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Public Participation and Citizen-Centred Local Government: Lessons from the Best Value and Better Government for Older People Pilot Programmes

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This article examines the contribution that public participation can make to the development of ‘citizen-centred government’. It draws upon the evidence of two major initiatives established by central and local government to develop and test out new approaches to service delivery (the Best Value and the Better Government for Older People pilot programmes). Evaluation of these two sets of pilots suggests that the notion of ‘citizen-centred government’ and the forms of participation that are required to achieve it are liable to a range of different interpretations. In particular there is an important distinction between approaches which seek to promote community planning and user-focused services, and those that envisage a much more active role for local people in designing and delivering local services.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Local Government Centre, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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