June 2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in Runnymede – an event of international, national and local significance. Magna Carta established the fundamental principle that government, including the King, must be subject to the law.
Magna Carta is the basis for British democracy and many other democracies around the world. The anniversary is highly relevant to local government. Councils up and down the country are using Magna Carta 800 as an opportunity to reflect on civic life, explore the civic underpinnings of places, boost UK plc through increased visitor numbers, and engage young people about how Magna Carta gave rise to the individual liberties they enjoy.
The Barons' challenge to an over-mighty King also resonates with the LGA's own campaign to reverse years of centralising, top-down government by devolving powers and funding to a constitutionally independent and rejuvenated local government.
The LGA is representing local government's interests to the Magna Carta 800 Committee, UK Parliament and ministers, and ensuring that councils have the latest information on national projects and opportunities. We would like to hear how your council is planning to mark the anniversary.
Please email your case studies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
23 September 2015
As preparations are made to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta next month, a publication by the LGA and The National Archives looks at how councils are ensuring that local archives remain a source of inspiration.
The Houses of Parliament, the National Trust and Surrey County Council are asking the nation to take a moment to celebrate, debate and reflect on their liberties by hosting a LiberTeas event on Sunday 14 June at 3.00 pm.
The 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort's downfall, a central moment in the English struggle for democracy, will be marked with two weeks of events in the beautiful English town of Evesham this August.
On 4 March 2015, King John was reunited with Magna Carta at Worcester Cathedral in a special re-enactment to commemorate Worcestershire as the Home of Liberty and Democracy.
King John may have had a dusty reputation in this country generally but not to the townspeople of King's Lynn who received their charter in 1204. The document forms part of an exhibition from February to June 2015.
Visit the Magna Carta 800 Committee website to find out about events near you
Councils can sign up for the Magna Carta 800 bulletin for all the latest news
Magna Carta on the UK Parliament website
Further information can be found on Parliament Week's website
Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting historic anniversaries
British Library Magna Carta exhibition
This year for the first time the four oldest copies of the Magna Carta will be brought together at the British Library.
20 October 2015