Headlines: October 9th, 1998

New research shows there is still a gulf in understanding between the public and the private sectors.The report prepared for the Local Government Management Board suggests there are still significant communication problems between local councils and business.

Local Government Minister Hilary Armstrong says that this could lead to problems forming the partnerships necessary for projects like private finance initiative developments to go ahead.She told a Municipal Journal conference: “Our White Paper published in July makes clear we want to see outward looking and responsive local government. Local government that leads its community and in the process delivers high quality services at an affordable price. Local government in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors so as to bring a fresh approach to service delivery.”

“Much has already been achieved but this research shows we cannot underestimate the task ahead.”

Copies of the research, by Fran Button Consultancy, into local government attitudes towards the private finance community is available from the Local Government Management Board, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5QU. Price 25 pounds. This was jointly funded by DETR and LGMB. The Department has also jointly funded a complementary study of private sectors funders’ attitudes towards local authorities with the British Bankers’ Association. A full report from that study is due to be published November 1998.