Be nicer to public sector managers, pleads think-tank

7 Jun 01
Incoming ministers should show more trust in the qualities of the public sector and not attach themselves to the 'myth of the private sector as super-hero', a new policy document, Transforming Britain , argued this week.

08 June 2001

In what amounted to criticism of New Labour's cautious and pro-business approach to restructuring the public sector over the past four years, centre-Left think tank the Fabian Society called on the new government to be more pragmatic when choosing how to deliver services.

Before a final decision is made on transferring a service out of the public sector, the nature of that service, the nature of the market and possible risks should all be assessed.

Ministers should also be less bullying in their approach to public sector managers. 'The task is to win their support, not try to batter them into submission,' says the document.

The report, published on June 8, also argues for better funding of public services and greater flexibility for local service deliverers.

The Fabians also called on the new government to pursue a policy of devolution to the English regions and for greater leadership from Westminster.

Reflecting on the past four years in the public sector, it says Labour's approach between 1997 and 2001 'must be one of disappointment'.

Transforming Britain also looks at other issues, including social justice, democracy and the economy.


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