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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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.

Wakefield: Family hubs and libraries working in partnership to pilot BookTrust’s Storytime Prize

The BookTrust’s Storytime Prize aims to build confidence and enjoyment in sharing books with children and encourage visits to the library, by inviting families to explore and vote for their national Storytime prizewinning book.

St Helens Borough Council: Start Well Wheel

The Start Well Wheel is a tool for parents/carers to track all appointments and key milestones in their child’s life.

Tameside Story Makers

Tameside Story Makers has weekly storytelling sessions targeted at preschool-aged children.

Playground offers gentle creative play sessions for babies

Artists are working in libraries and children’s centres to develop their creative practice for babies and their families.

Dorset Council Libraries: Toddler Time and Talk

Libraries across Dorset host a range of early years programmes such as Rhyme Times, Library Gets Lively and Story Times to support early language development and a love of books and reading. Following a Rhyme Time session at Portland Library, staff identified a need to develop their sessions in response to the requirements of some of their families; in the main the isolation of some parents who found it difficult to break into established groups, or who were new to the area and had not developed relationships with other parents.

Libraries of Sanctuary: Changing perceptions of refugees in Southampton

This case study explains how Southampton City Libraries became a Library of Sanctuary in October 2020. This case study explains how Southampton City Libraries became a Library of Sanctuary in October 2020. This case study forms part of the Culture Hub.

South Kesteven District Council - Transfer of leisure service to council

The council had previously assessed the leisure management options on the expiry of its leisure contract, and had decided to extend the contract in place for a period of 15 months in order to procure a new contract arrangement. As a result of COVID-19 this position proved unviable, as the council were providing significant financial support to their contractor, and a procurement during the pandemic was not likely to produce a beneficial result. The council therefore reassessed the options available, and as a result Cabinet agreed to transfer the leisure service to a wholly-owned council company called LeisureSK Ltd.