Case studies

Innovation in local government is about improving the lives of the people in our communities. Browse through our case studies to see the many innovative programmes councils are involved in.

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COVID-19 case studies

Councils are doing remarkable work to address the challenges brought by coronavirus. Good council practice related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on our dedicated web hub.

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Work Local: Councils’ role in the employment and skills landscape in the UK

In England, the current skills and employment system consists of at least 49 national employment and skills related schemes or services managed by nine Whitehall departments. No single organisation is responsible for coordinating this activity locally. However, with adequate resources local government can deliver. Our local government partners across the UK are already on a path to achieving this.

Story Bus by Leeds Library Service

The Story Buses were initially launched in January 2020. The buses arose from the need to replace the library vehicle fleet and resulted in two Story Buses, named Sam and Nelly by the children, with exciting exterior designs by illustrator Nick Sharratt and interiors with well-designed spaces to sit and read.

Leeds City Council and Reception Reading Stars

Reception Reading Stars is a reading activity to help foster a love of books and reading targeted at parents/carers of children about to enter reception class in September.


The idea of reading to a dog originated in America. Alison Tutill had seen some research carried out by BookTrust and thought it would be something we could offer in libraries.

Sheffield City Council trusted assessor scheme

The Snowdrop Project is a Sheffield based charity that works with survivors of human trafficking to empower them to recover from their experience.

HealthConex: Recruiting overseas for social care providers in England

Ronan Carolan set up HealthConex, which specialises in recruiting nurses and care staff to the UK and Ireland, and, having seen a wide variety of practice within the industry, he was driven by a desire to recruit ethically and see candidates as clients, not commodities.

Wakefield: providing integrated care from community hubs

Joint health and care teams have been established in the West Yorkshire district of Wakefield. The teams work from community hubs, helping keep people out of hospital. 

Harrogate: how council-owned leisure group is taking holistic approach

Harrogate Borough Council has set up a community health and wellbeing company, Brimhams Active, to run its gyms, leisure centres and community hubs. 

Barnsley: creating a diagnostic hub in new retail and leisure centre

In Barnsley the hospital trust and council have worked together to create a diagnostic unit in the new retail and leisure centre, which has been developed as part of a £200 million regeneration of the town centre. The diagnostic unit will provide local people with access to a range tests and scans and help reduce the backlog in planned care that has developed during the pandemic.

Cambridge: how a café is helping people to recover from substance misuse

The Edge Café in Cambridge provides support to people recovering from substance misuse and those with mental health problems by running recovery groups and providing opportunities for volunteering.