This is an excellent new contribution to current academic and policy debates, and will be of great interest internationally to all students, researchers, public sector managers and policy makers.
The improvement of public services has become a key priority for all the main political parties in the UK. Recent years have witnessed large, real terms increases in spending on public services and a plethora of new initiatives designed to drive up standards in the Heath Service, schools, the police and local government.
As part of this broader picture the Government has launched major reforms that it hopes will transform local authority performance. Councils have had to develop new ways of delivering services. They have been under pressure to achieve 'stretch targets' and to work in partnership with other local agencies to provide more 'joined up' services. More recently ministers have also stepped up the pressure on them to achieve major efficiency savings through better procurement and working practices.
To date relatively little has been written about these developments. This book fills this gap by bringing togther authoritative analysis of current reforms ythrough speically commisioned chapters by leading researchers, policy makers and practitioners who have been closely involved in the development and implementation of these policies.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Local Government Studies.