The Project

This research project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol.

It aims to address two important questions relating to the future leadership and governance of the city:

  • What difference does a Directly Elected Mayor make?
  • What steps can be taken to ensure that the introduction of a DEM brings about benefits and avoids potential disadvantages?

To answer the first question we are carrying out a ‘before and after’ assessment of the governance of the city. The study will throw light on whether or not the DEM model of governance actually has the desired effects – as viewed from different vantage points.

Such evidence will have value, not just in assisting local learning in the context of the City of Bristol, but also in providing insights that could be useful to other cities or city regions contemplating moves towards a DEM model. The findings of this evaluation will be of interest to central government and others interested in improving the effectiveness of local governance.

The research team will address the second question by working closely with the various stakeholders to learn from their experience of changing the governance of the city and to contribute ideas drawn from research on other cities. This involves an action/research methodology in which the researchers engage with those involved in the reform effort to help the process of discovery and lesson drawing. The research project involves working closely with Bristol City Council and other stakeholders in the governance of the city.

The project applies ideas relating to place-based leadership that were developed in a previous project carried out by researchers in SPE. The Public Sector Innovation and Local Leadership in the UK and the Netherlands project examines the role of civic leadership in advancing the cause of social inclusion.

The initial stages of the work are funded through the Prospects Project. Our aim is to secure funding for a project to monitor the evolution of the Mayoral model of governance over the longer term.

2 responses to “The Project

  1. Some questions about the relationship between the Bristol Civic Leadership Project and the Prospects project/report:

    1. Does the ‘Bristol Civic Leadership Project’ (as opposed to the ‘Prospects project’ within the ‘Bristol Civic Leadership Project’) have any form of ‘steering group’ (equivalent to the Research Advisory Board of the Prospects sub-project)? If so, who is on it?

    2. How can one submit proposals for ongoing work within the scope of the Bristol Civic Leadership Project?

  2. Sorry for the long delay in responding to your query. We’ve been offline.

    1) There is no separate steering group for the BCLP. We are currently seeking funding for a further stage of our work on Bristol – an “after” study to complement the prospects study. If we are successful in this then our proposal is to reconstitute the steering group as used for the prospects project.

    2) The BCLP is not, at present, looking to commission research from others. There are no plans to do so.

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