Key 'Big Society' plan for public services unveiled
The Government will unveil today watered-down proposals to devolve more power over public services to local communities and John Lewis-style "mutual" companies.
The Open Public Services White Paper had been intended as a cornerstone of the Government's localism agenda, removing power from Whitehall and handing it back to local communities. But amid fears in Downing Street that the measures could be portrayed as "back-door privatisation" and suffer a similar fate to its NHS reforms, the White Paper will now not lead to specific legislation opening up public services to outside providers.
Instead the theme of the proposals will be expected to be pushed forward by individual departments – such as Michael Gove's free schools initiative and plans to give local people more control over planning applications.
In a speech launching the White Paper in East London today, David Cameron is expected to restate his desire for local communities to have more power over decisions which affect them. He will say: "Total public spending increased by 57 per cent in real terms from 1997 to 2010. But on no measure can we claim that things have improved by more than 50 per cent.
"It's about ending the old big government, top-down way of running public services... The old dogma that said Whitehall knows best – it's gone."
But Tessa Jowell, Labour's Shadow Cabinet Office Secretary, said all the Government had done so far was hand more power to the private sector. "The Government has lost its way on public services. Its reforms have, so far, failed to put power in the hands of service users and sought to strip services of their democratic character by elevating markets beyond their appropriate role," she said.
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
Isis 'throw man off a building for homosexual affair' and beat him to death when he survives
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...