Before councils rush to outsource public services they should ask themselves why those who tried it years ago are now bringing them back in-house, says Paul O’Brien
Finance Archives - Page 45 of 48 - NewStart
The white paper contains a number of good ideas on how to bring innovative and quality services to the market place. The devil is in the detail – and the detail must inform a positive and active debate, one that ensures we do not slide into a de facto privatisation of public services.
With such examples of clear methods of how plurality of public service can lead to better delivery it’s curious that the words collaboration and co-production are absent from the government’s vision. Instead there is a sense of outsourcing as casting off, of government opening up markets and then disengaging.
There is a clear commitment from the coalition to localism and decentralisation, and along with upcoming proposals to reform local government finance, community budgeting is arguably one of the most powerful mechanisms of doing so.
What’s difficult to appreciate is quite how the programme sketched out in the white paper will ensure, in the coalition’s words, that ‘our reforms will mean that the poorest will be at the front of the queue’.
For those sitting on the outside looking in, a green economy may appear volatile, certainly not mainstream... no doubt some commentators would dismiss it altogether. In doing so they miss one very important point: marry social enterprise with innovation and you’ve got the ‘power couple’ of the green economy – and I, for one, confer my blessing on this union.
Social housing tenants are among those most affected by financial exclusion. A new report shows how a more strategic approach from landlords can make a huge difference. Neil Merrick reports
Broad-based regeneration schemes are now over, but for how long? Clare Goff discovers some believe the consequences will be too severe not to bring them back
David Cameron has cited Swedish and Spanish co-operative schools as models for public service mutuals in this country. But a new report from Co-operativesUK finds the UK has a long way to go if it is to mirror international experiences of public service delivery by co-operatives.
As a councillor it is already difficult to explain to people that you have no direct power over a multitude of organisations, but this will increasingly get worse in the future as I will also have to explain that there is nothing I can do about the local school or health facilities.