It is true to say that the Government believes that vibrant and successful local economies play a vital part in shaping the places where we live and work and that local authorities have an important role to play in ensuring the sustainability of local economies through the stewardship of their local areas.
This is the first report in a research programme designed to examine key contemporary issues in the delivery of public services. We have been motivated to embark upon this programme of research by a sense of frustration.
During late February and March 2011 APSE surveyed members using an online system. Although the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, in the context of the ‘Community Right to Challenge’, applies only to English local authorities we extended the survey to ensure opinions and experience could be gathered from across the UK. A total of 140 responses were received.
This new report from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) provides a valuable, practical toolkit which managers and decision makers in councils throughout the UK can use to assess the impact of their public services on the environment. We commissioned it as part of the legacy of PSNet, to be an important part of the improvement process within public services.
The recesssion means that local people need high quality public services like never before. Local economies depend on the flow of public money not drying up. Now is the time for elected members to assert their rights and duties to ensure commissioning protects high quality, democratically accountable, services.