public services

The SNP is crippling Scotland’s services

Jimmy Gray  |  3 May 2016

This year, under threat from the Scottish National party government in Edinburgh, Highland council had to make savings totalling £39.856m to produce a balanced budget. All services will be affected to a greater or lesser extent from education through to burials. One of the cruelest has been an incredible 60 per cent increase in burial …

0 Comments Read more

We need to win

Sally Keeble  |  23 March 2016

Round two of the 2016 budget has Osborne promising to jettison his changes to disability benefits and having his record torn apart by Angela Eagle. But to dismiss his budget as a huge failure would be to underestimate what has happened. In fact the budget book shows he already has enough changes built into his …

1 Comment Read more

The bedrock of social justice

Jacqui Smith  |  29 October 2015

Labour rejected the fatalistic assumption that public services could never really deliver higher standards or fairer access, reflects Jacqui Smith Before my election to parliament in 1997, I was a teacher in Tory Worcestershire. My classroom was in a portakabin and a bucket to catch the drips coming through the roof was an important teaching resource. …

2 Comments Read more

Could Labour die?

Steve Reed MP  |  8 June 2015

Sharing power, and reforming the Labour party to do it, could breathe new life into our politics After Labour’s staggering defeat in 2010 few people thought we could go down even further, but in 2015 we did. We were wiped out in Scotland, have hardly any representation in the south of England outside London, and saw our majorities shrink …

3 Comments Read more

The limits of the market state

Colin Crouch  |  26 March 2015

‘Marketisation’ has become the main slogan driving public policy towards many public services from hospitals to prisons, from nursery schools to care homes for the elderly. The public is invited to welcome the introduction of markets as the advent of freedom of customer choice. Yet the process of contracting-out that typifies this agenda bears few …

0 Comments Read more

Great leaders foster great public services

Sonia Sodha  |  24 February 2015

Perhaps the most important insight from this collection of interviews by Liz Kendall MP and Steve Reed MP is the huge impact that people prepared to think differently about public services can have on the quality of local services. Whether it is social entrepreneurs like Josh MacAlister and Hilary Cottam trying different approaches or local …

0 Comments Read more
children, nursery, toddlers, early years, education, social mobility

Labour’s fresh start for Sure Start

Michael Pavey  |  10 February 2015

Sure Start was to Blair’s government what the NHS was to Attlee’s. It was a radical extension of the state into a field previously characterised by an uneven patchwork of providers. Like the NHS, it universalised a service previously only guaranteed to the independently wealthy. Again, like the NHS, the current Tory-led government have created …

1 Comment Read more

Think differently about the state

Editorial  |  10 February 2015

It is the poor – those for whom Labour claims to fight the hardest – who are the greatest victims of low-quality public services Public service reform has long been derided by some on the left as unnecessary, technocratic and harmful to public sector workers. Worse still, an electorally calculated sop to the middle classes. …

1 Comment Read more

‘I would have been angry too’

Liz Kendall MP and Steve Reed MP  |  4 February 2015

Labour needs to learn to let go, says Jim McMahon ‘If we had gone into marriage guidance counselling at that point,’ says Jim McMahon of the relationship between Oldham council and its residents two years ago, ‘the counsellor might have said: “Do you know what, it might just be time to part ways”.’ Oldham was …

0 Comments Read more

Leading from the front

Claire Kober  |  4 February 2015

Local Labour shows the way In political circles at least we are in full-blown general election mode. In my home seat of Hornsey and Wood Green every weekend brings with it another swath of new activists determined to play their part in winning the constituency back for Labour. If we can pull off a ground …

5 Comments Read more