Searching for Space: What place for towns in public policy?
Author: Lauren Pennycook
As the home to millions of citizens, businesses, and service providers, towns are particularly important places across the UK and Ireland. However, our report Searching for Space: What place for towns in public policy? finds that there is a policy gap at the towns level. Across the jurisdictions, there are well-developed policies designed to progress cities and rural hinterlands, and often powerful groups working on their behalf. At the same time, policies are routinely designed to support the development of communities, with no regard to the outcomes experienced by the wider town in which they sit. The report finds that towns are a neglected area of public policy – they are rarely taken as the basis for formal policymaking, or have the policy levers available to them to influence their fortunes.