Headlines: July 8th, 1997

David Clark, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, extended his search to the north east for feedback on what people want from Government. This follows a visit to Europe where he launched his campaign for less burdensome European regulation for citizens and businesses.He selected Newcastle for the first of a series of fact-finding ‘listen and learn’ tours to look at Government through the eyes of businessmen, public servants and the general public. ‘Only in this way’, said Dr Clark, ‘can we give the people of this country the Government they want’. “I shall be consulting widely with people who use public services every day to find out what they think about them. I will also be talking to service providers, business representatives, consumer organisations and others,” he said. “I want to actively involve the public in developing better services for their use.”

The White Paper on ‘New Government’ due to be published later in the year will set out a unified programme for the renewal of government and a vision of public services well into the new millennium. The main themes of the document will be:

  • opening up Government for the ordinary citizen, in particular introducing Freedom of Information legislation
  • listening to the people – breaking down the barriers between Government and the people, through consulting and involving them
  • Rooting out waste – easing burdens on business, removing bureaucracy from people’s daily lives.

Dr Clark emphasised that his aim was to restore faith in the public service ethos. He added that better government can only be delivered if the full talents of Civil Service and other public servants are properly harnessed.

If you would like to express your views to Dr Clark on Better Government you can e-mail him at dclark@ccta.gov.uk