Published: 24th Apr 2012

Managing demand for our public services cannot be served from the transformation of a service alone. Neither can it be served by hoping the problem will go away. Instead, we must tackle the inequality and economic conditions which give rise to high levels of social need in the first place. Economic development needs to get a social face. It is welcome that local government is now seeking to transform services with reducing demand as key. It’s now accepted that in the past we perhaps overly focused on ‘failure demand’ – i.e. dealing with social need when it occurs rather than preventing the demand in the first place. In the future, dealing with cuts has to be about reducing demand. If we can stop people needing public services in the first place we will reduce spending on them. However, as a local government frontline social service director said to me last … (To read the full article, subscribe below)