The coalition government is in the midst of delivering a radical agenda of public service reform. But is their reform programme somethingthat the public actually want?
This report explores the question based on original research by the Fabian Society. The picture that emerges is a rich tapestry of ideas and attitudes, which at times suggest that public opinion is directly opposed to the coalition government’s proposals.
There is significant public concern regarding the nature of providers and lukewarm feelings about the localisation of services. The research indicates that while many like ‘choice’ when it comes to their own use of services they are suspicious of the unintended consequences of bringing in new types of providers and creating markets for public services.
The report also explores views on what would improve services and for the most part they preferred options close to home: more choice, voice and control for people using services and for frontline staff.
Above all, as public services change they need to preserve the essence of what the public say they value in government provision: ‘the values and ethos of the public good’.
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