The Prime Minister will today promise further reforms to public services, including “more ambitious” reform of social services and child protection and an acceleration in the sale of public sector assets that are no longer needed.
Giving a keynote speech ahead of the Spending Review, David Cameron will make the case for “a smarter state with better services and better value for the taxpayer”.
The PM will focus on three strands – reform, devolution and efficiency – and say:
- More responsibility for early intervention and tackling social problems will be devolved. Government departments, local authorities and charities will be expected to work more collaboratively. “There will be a clear message to any local authority failing its children: transform the way you provide services, or those services will be taken over by non-profit trusts.”
- The Troubled Families programme will be expanded to cover 400,000 families;
- Legislation will be introduced to allow the police, fire and ambulance operations to combine back-office functions, IT and procurement; Police and Crime Commissioners will take over control of the fire and rescue services. The Mayor of London will take control in the capital;
- Up to 38 local areas are under consideration for devolution deals. “This could see major devolution of spending and powers over transport, education and health across the country. The first wave of new agreements will be signed in the coming months”;
- Public sector land will be sold with planning permission already secured for the first time.
David Cameron will insist that deficit reduction and an “opportunity society” are not alternatives.
“They can complement each other. Because with a smarter state, we can spend less and deliver more,” he will argue. “If we make the right decisions, then far from getting in the way of our progressive goals, the changes we make can, in many cases, actually improve the services that government delivers – and help people.”
The PM will say: “[Be] it breaking state monopolies, bringing in new providers, or allowing new ways of doing things…..[reform] can cut the costs of these failures both economically and socially and help advance the progressive causes of spreading opportunity and enhancing social mobility that we should all care about.”
Cameron will argue that efficient government can also help deliver progressive goals.
“Opening up contracts to small businesses spreads entrepreneurship and drives innovation. Closing down government offices and releasing government land can help build more homes and spread home ownership,” he will say.