Front-line workers and 'local knowledge': Neighbourhood stories in contemporary UK local governance

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One of the aims of this special issue is to 'decentre' a key facet of governance, namely networks. This article considers in particular the concept 'networked community governance', a key part of New Labour's reforms in local governance and, in particular, around neighbourhood-based working. This article draws on interpretive methods and analysis to explore the everyday work of front-line workers in contemporary local governance through their own stories. The article is based on empirical work in the neighbourhood management system developed in Salford, a local authority in the North West of England. Key to facilitating 'networked community governance', is front-line workers' own 'local knowledge', understood as the mundane, yet expert, understanding front-line workers develop from their own contextual experiences. The article explores the difficulties that front-line workers perceive themselves to face in their everyday work and how they use their 'local knowledge' to develop responsive, entrepreneurial strategies.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009