Local authorities can play an enormously important role in enabling the work of charities, volunteers and community groups. But how important is the social sector to local councillors?  

Looking at what policymakers are promising in their manifestos at election time can give us an idea. In last year’s election, we saw how more long-established council groups had stronger ambitions for civil society, how alternative economic approaches were gaining traction, and how big the differences were between England and the devolved nations.  

Find out what’s been pledged for the social sector in your area and across the country in our interactive map below. And follow @ProBonoEcon for live updates as results are announced. 


By scoring the pledges made by policymakers on a scale from 1 (if there’s no mention of the social sector) to 5 (if the social sector is at the heart of the winning council group or assembly member’s plan) we can build a picture of where the sector is most front of mind, and highlight best practice. 

All the data displayed above is drawn from the websites and social media of candidates and council groups, and based on specific mentions of the social sector and its constituent organisations - such as charities or co-operatives – and activities such as volunteering. Candidates may have ambitions plans for areas such as homelessness or domestic abuse which may be delivered by social sector organisations, but if it is unclear whether they intend to work with the social sector, it has not been ranked as such. This tool should therefore be used to explore best practice where the social sector has been front of mind. 

This map will be updated as results are announced, and Pro Bono Economics will be publishing its full analysis once all results are in.