The UK public sector is in a state of flux. Central government has instructed local authorities to work together to provide greater efficiencies, while local government, in turn, has long accused central government of hampering its work via a combination of micro-management and a stranglehold on finances.
Both sides have responded to each others’ criticisms. A number of local authorities have duly teamed up to procure services – including law firms – jointly to cut costs. Westminster, in turn, has responded to calls from the Local Government Authority for greater powers by promising a programme of ‘double devolution’, boosting the role of local people by devolving power both to councillors and to local service providers.
This Public Sector Special Report examines how that power might be devolved. It also explores the role of the ‘Third Sector’ and the fine line between a claim for negligence and a claim for breach of statutory duty.