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Centre for Local & Regional Government Research www.cardiff.ac.uk/carbs/research/groups/clrgr Small country governance and public service delivery: Central-local.

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Presentation on theme: "Centre for Local & Regional Government Research www.cardiff.ac.uk/carbs/research/groups/clrgr Small country governance and public service delivery: Central-local."— Presentation transcript:

1 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Small country governance and public service delivery: Central-local relations in Wales Steve Martin, Valeria Guarneros-Meza, Tom Entwistle and James Downe CONFERENCE ON SMALL COUNTRIES AND THE GLOBAL CRISIS 1 ST JULY 2009

2 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Small country governance Welsh style Collaboration and efficiency Citizen at the centre Central-local partnership Joined up Government

3 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Voice not choice Consumer model (England) Multiple providers compete for users to secure future viability Consumers choose between providers thereby driving up quality Citizen model (Wales) Monopoly suppliers collaborate across boundaries Citizens informed and engaged to ensure services meet needs

4 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research The Welsh way Close knit policy community Localism – recognition of local democratic mandate Strong informal links between local government leaders and ministers Partnership council Lack of policy capacity in fledgling devolved administration Cohesive local government lobby Non hypothecated funding Lack of hard edged performance management – WPI (Laffin 2004; Greer 2004; Jeffrey 2006)

5 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Evidence Sent to all 22 authorities 308 heads of 15 services 323 executive members and scrutiny committee chairs Response rates 46% officers (all except Newport) 22% members (all except Denbighshire) Seven point Lickert scales 1=strongly disagree to 7=strongly agree

6 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Partnership rationales

7 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Main partners

8 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Engagement rationales

9 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Engagement with?

10 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Engagement methods

11 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Central-local relations

12 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Important to my service

13 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Good relationship with WAG 66% officers 47% members

14 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Different parts of WAG seem to have conflicting policies Joined up government

15 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research AdvantagesDrawbacks Constitutional autonomy Local contexts More democratic Low costs of regulation Capacity problems Reinvent wheel Inequalities Command and control Equity Accountability External challenge Insensitive to local variation Costs of enforcement Policy silos Collaboration and negotiation Clear division of roles Plays to strengths Avoids conflict Cosiness Transactions costs Lack of transparency Competition and contracting Incentives to perform Innovation Transparency Style over substance Bidding costs Uncertainty

16 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research PolicymakingPracticePerformanceFunding AutonomyLAs free to make policy in clearly defined jurisdictions LAs free to determine practice Targets set locally, local performance monitoring LAs control income and spending CommandCG makes policy with little meaningful consultation CG attempts to control practice through guidelines and regulation CG determines priorities and standards and monitors performance CG controls income and expenditure (capping, ring- fencing, specific grants) CollaborationLAs have significant influence on policy objectives and/or instruments CG helps councils to tackle practical problems Negotiated national plus local targets. Joint monitoring of performance Income and expenditure negotiated CompetitionLAs compete to influence the policy making process LAs compete for recognition for best practice/innovation Explicit comparisons with rewards and sanctions LAs bid for challenge funding and other specific grants

17 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research

18 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research PolicyPracticePerformanceFundingMean Autonomy Command Collaboration Competition

19 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research

20 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research CommandEducation Social services children Transport Waste CompetitionCorporate Sport and recreation CollaborationDemocratic Services Finance AutonomyHR Regeneration

21 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research My service is under strong pressure from WAG to achieve national targets

22 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research WAG places a lot of restrictions in my service

23 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research WAG provides clear guidance about what it expects from my service

24 Centre for Local & Regional Government Research Many central-local relations not one approach Variations between services By policy, practice, performance, funding Rhetoric of central-local partnership not reflected in most respondents perceptions Perceived lack of joined up government across Assembly Government departments, activities, initiatives and funding regimes What works, where and for whom? Interim conclusions


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