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Call for evidence: 'the future of local cultural decision making' 

Updated: Mar 15

Culture Commons are running a new ‘open policy development programme’ exploring ‘the future of local cultural decision making’.

This 12-month project will see a coalition of organisations from across local government, sector representative bodies, universities, arm’s length bodies, and grant giving organisations coming together in a first-of-its-kind research and policy development programme.

To ensure that the programme is drawing on the widest possible body of evidence, the Culture Commons team are now making an open call for evidence to gather perspectives from individuals and organisations on how increased local decision making might affect the creative and cultural life of the UK.

Please read our guidance below before submitting evidence to the programme.

Please also check out the programme hub for more on why, and how, we're running the programme.

What Evidence are we looking for?

Over an 12-month period, the programme will explore the following four themes:

  1. Local Cultural Decision Making

  2. Culture-led Place Shaping

  3. Funding

  4. Local Voice

We are looking for evidence that relates to these four key policy themes and/or that makes a clear connection between increased local decision making and the creative and cultural life of the UK.

There are many ways to define this phenomenon (e.g. political, legal and cultural), and we are open to submissions that broaden the programme partners’ understanding of how it might be understood.

Culture Commons will endeavour to take a flexible approach to the types of evidence that we review. The evidence that you submit could include, but would not be limited to:

  • Your own personal views

  • The views of your organisation

  • Anecdotal evidence on how increased local decision making has already affected you or your organisation

  • Research papers, grey literature, reports, reviews, articles, blogs and other writings

  • Shareable qualitative data that you or your organisation has collected

  • Shareable quantitative that you or your organisation has collected

  • Summaries of relevant existing primary and secondary research

  • Views on the risks and opportunities that you or your organisation are force

  • Survey or other quantitative data that reveals something about how you or your organisation thinks about any of the four themes

As part of your submission you may like to consider the following questions:

What are your/your organisations' views on political proposals to offer more decision making powers to councils in your area?

Looking back over the last calendar year, what form of local authority support has had the greatest impact on you/your organisation?

Do you welcome further engagement from your local authority or any other types of local government structure on the creative and cultural life of your area?

Do you have evidence/case studies that demonstrate the impact that the creative and cultural sectors can have within local place based development?

Do you know of methodologies or data sets that could support different approaches to cultural funding?

What mechanisms or models do you think could support wider citizen engagement in local cultural decision making?

Who do we want to hear from?

We hope to receive evidence from individuals and organisations operating in:

  • The creative industries

  • The cultural sectors (both privately and publicly funded)

  • Local and regional governments

  • Universities, think tanks and independent researchers

  • Trade unions and workforce representative bodies

  • Sector and trade representative bodies

We recognise that individuals and communities representing micro- and small creative and cultural sector organisations, freelance, self-employed and atypical workers, and those from minoritised backgrounds are often not included in policymaking dialogues. We strongly encourage submissions from these demographic groups.

How will the evidence you submit be used?

The Culture Commons team and the programme partners will read your evidence and use it to inform the programme activity. Your evidence will be reviewed by the programme Working Group and Culture Commons team.

Whilst we do not intend to republish evidence in full, we may quote from your evidence in any interim or final reporting, which will be published on our webpages and potentially the webpages of the programme partners too.

As an open policy development programme, the evidence you submit may be placed in the public domain. In the programme partners involved will be able to see and read what you have sent to us. Your name, or your organisation’s name, will usually be published too.

In certain circumstances you can ask us to keep your details anonymous or your submission confidential. For example, you might do this if your evidence contains very personal information about you or your family. You can make this request, if necessary, when you upload your evidence.

The programme partners do not have to accept your evidence or publish what you send us.

In what format should evidence be submitted?

We encourage you to submit evidence in any format that works best for you, which could include but would not be limited to:

  • Written word

  • Voice notes

  • Video messages

In some cases, we may be able to have one of the programme team conduct a short semi-structured interview online if you are, for any reason, unable to submit your evidence in any of the above formats.

We hope that individuals and organisations wishing to submit evidence can take account of the following guidelines:

  • Be concise: if your submission is over 3,000 written words or 15 minutes in length, please include a shorter summary at the start of the submission

  • Include an introduction to yourself, and your organisation if applicable, as well as your reasons for submitting your evidence

  • Ensure that you reference any research or work that is not your own appropriately so that we are, in turn, able to attribute to professionally expected standards

The deadline for submission to the open call is Sunday 2nd June 2024 at midnight.


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