Headlines: August 4th, 1998

Hilary Armstrong, Local Government Minister, has again highlighted best value as a key component of the government’s thinking for local public services.

In one of her first public statements since the Deputy Prime Minister’s announced the content of the Local Government White Paper she homed in on the element which will drive councils towards achieving better value for money.

She said the White Paper “set out clearly what best value means in terms of the improvements in services and costs that Councils must deliver and the rigorous process which Councils must follow to deliver these improvements.

“Councils must set themselves targets for improvement which, as a minimum, must be up with what the top 25% are able to achieve, both in terms of how well they deliver services and the costs they incur in doing so.

“Councils must take a hard look at the way they deliver services now and what others are able to achieve. They must consult local people and local businesses about their ambitions and the ways for delivering improvements.

The White Paper ‘Modern Local Government: in touch with the people’, is available from the Stationery Office, priced 12 pounds and 50 pence. The document is also posted on the DETR’s website http://www.detr.gov.uk/