Kit for Councils

A pack for local authorities to support strong community relationships

Mutual aid and widespread community engagement have flourished since the first lockdown. The State doesn’t own this new activity, but it can help it to thrive. 

We’ve teamed up with Tony Clements –  Strategic Director for Economy at Hammersmith and Fulham Council – to develop a kit to inspire and support councils to create the conditions for relationships to thrive within their communities.  


During Covid we have seen the huge power of community and neighbourly relationships and inspiring examples of councils across the country nimbly adapting to support this new activity. As we look beyond the pandemic, we must nurture these new relationships, enabling them to flourish into the networks of support that will enrich and strengthen our community life. Councils must be at the heart of this. 

Tony Clements

Strategic Director, Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Explore the kit

The Relationships Framework

A set of principles for sustaining and nurturing community activity now and in the future

The Framework in Action

Dozens of real life examples of councils working in relationship-centred ways 

The Relationships Navigator

A simple tool to assess how closely your practice aligns with the principles in the Framework 

For those unable to open Google documents:

  • PDF of the Framework in Action can be downloaded here
  • PDF of The Relationships Navigator can be downloaded here

In this video, originally shared with Grapevine’s Thinkers and Doers network, Tony Clements introduces the Kit for Councils, talks through the nine principles, and fields some questions from members.

9 principles for councils 

In The Relationships Framework we suggest 9 principles for for sustaining and nurturing community activity now and in the future.

Shift the obstacles

Remove bureaucratic barriers to community activity and citizens engaging with the council

Sustain motivation and build new purpose

Show people how their relationships and actions help address big issues. 

Develop the Covid social infrastructure

Build on the new ways of working and connecting the pandemic has catalysed

Create open and transparent cultures

Foster trust by setting clear standards, being honest about mistakes + making information open

Enhance the everyday touchpoints

Make relationshipbuilding an integral aim of council services

Build relationships into physical spaces

Use the built environment to encourage connection

Renew relationships with the voluntary sector

Share power through equal collaboration and favourable procurement

Train and empower staff

Equip council staff and dedicated community teams to build relationships day-to-day 

Embrace new accountabilities

Ensure the council is publicly held to account for fostering community relationships.