Join us tomorrow in Westminster for our event on Labour in local government.
Local election results for the party over the past couple of years have been fairly lamentable, with our share of the vote below 30% in both 2006 and 2007.
The worry is that losses in council seats will have a knock-on effect in a general election. Without foot-soldiers and infrastructure in whole regions such as the South East, Labour MPs and PPCs will surely be at a disadvantage when seeking election in these electorally crucial areas.
Perhaps the question is a more general one, however. Turnout is generally extremely low in local elections. One way to encourage people to vote and become involved in local politics might be to give local government more powers. And this means reforming local government finance, and allowing councils to raise - and spend - more of their own money.
Advocates of 'localism' and devolution have been saying this for years, of course. David Cameron's recent proposal - of local referenda on council tax increases - came nowhere close to really addressing these issues, as Chris Leslie, Director of the New Local Government Network and Progress Vice Chair pointed out on the Progress site last week.
Have your say tomorrow evening in Committee Room 9 of the House of Commons, 1800-1930. Speaking will be the local government secretary, Hazel Blears and Gerry Stoker, founder of NLGN, amongst others.
To register, please send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 008 8180