Abstracts: April 18th, 2007

This pamphlet from the New Local Government Network think tank argues that the Welsh local government’s approach to citizen interaction in public services is a strong model for the rest of the UK. The pamphlet argues that all citizens, not just service users, need the opportunity, information and incentive to engage with service design and delivery. The Welsh approach strengthens the collaborative, community, bottom up approach to citizen-centred service provision. It relies on contributions from all parties at all stages and prioritises the synergy of views and ideas. Satisfaction scores and evaluation of service performance remain important, but it is an ongoing process of improvement through continuousinput and consultation at the bottom that is expected to drive change.The Welsh model is based on a ‘bottom up” approach which restricts the level of choice-based services available, instead preferring to engage with citizens at every stage of the service design and delivery process. The information gathered from this dialogue is not used for league-tables or to drive competition but to give citizens the means and measures with which to involve themselves fully in the policy decision-making process.

The pamphlet is available free of charge at: www.nlgn.org.uk