PM launches ‘Open Public Service’ white paper

Speaking in East London this afternoon the Prime Minister launched the government’s long-awaited White Paper, Open Public Service, delayed from last autumn.

He said:

So let me tell you what our change looks like. It’s about ending the old big government, top-down way of running public services … releasing the grip of state control and putting power in people’s hands. The old dogma that said Whitehall knows best – it’s gone. There will be more freedom, more choice and more local control. Ours is a vision of open public services.

There’s coverage of the speech in the Guardian.

The Guardian also claims to have seen internal civil service documents released under FoI requests which indicate that the government is prepared to let schools and hospitals close if they cannot survive in the marketplace. The “exit of providers (eg school closure) may be controversial and unpopular,” one document warns, “and an appropriate failure regime must be designed.”

You can download and comment on the White Paper at the government’s dedicated website here. There will be a “listening period” from July to September.

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