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 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 'Do not give them a reason': Baltimore man divides police and rioters in hope of avoiding violence
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
Bali Nine executions: Indonesia confirms killings of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will go ahead
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
£40000 - £48000 per annum + 10% bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engin...
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To join a team working with a female in her ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 30 years ...