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Better business: Councils shaping markets for public value

Better business: Councils shaping markets for public value

In a new research report ‘Better business: Councils shaping markets for public value’, which was commissioned by APSE and written by NLGN, the organisations argue that whilst local businesses can bring valuable social, environmental, and economic benefits to local places, some private sector markets are failing to meet social needs and creating negative outcomes relating to ill health, financial vulnerability, and poor educational attainment which are picked up by local public services. Whilst national governments have a clear role to play in fixing these, local intervention can be preferable, or complementary, to a wider national approach.

The report provides a range of positive recommendations to enable councils to nudge or ‘budge’ business towards more socially responsible products and business practices.

The report outlines the opportunity for councils to:

  • Support new socially beneficial entrants to the market or provide of goods and services themselves to put competitive pressure on the private sector and retain the capacity for choice in service delivery
  • Rethink use of council assets and buying power to regulate within the council domain
  • Make the case for councils to have the freedoms to better regulate local markets to support national policy objectives
  • Scale up market shaping activities and make these much more effective through greater use of insights from behavioural science
  • Demonstrate strong political leadership to take effective action locally

This report will be of great interest to those with a role in public policy and service delivery and will act as a useful guide in exploring what councils could do to better influence local markets. It is not a crude call for more regulation – although regulation has a role to play in some areas, but sets out the potential steps to ‘nudge’ or ‘budge’ businesses into better practices.

 

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Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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