Policy Commission explores the role of the third sector and the local state in the future delivery of public services

The University of Birmingham and Demos Policy Commission on 'The future of local public services in a 'big society'' held its third workshop on 10 March at the University of Birmingham.

The workshop brought the commissioners together with other experts from academia, policy and practice to explore the future role of the third sector in the delivery of local public services, to examine evidence of learning from success and failure in third sector organisations, and to reflect on the future role of the local state (particularly local government).

The workshop explored a range of issues surrounding third sector delivery including: current and potential risks for voluntary organisations, the emergence of new funding models, the role of partnerships or subcontracting and the potential for self help and self organisation amongst young people. Commissioners also examined research evidence and practical experience relating to learning from success and failure in the third sector and compared that with experience in the public sector.

Finally participants debated the future role of the local state, considering among other things the ongoing role of the state in supporting the third sector, how accountability, value for money and public safety can be secured in plural local governance, and the role of the local state in dealing with failure and/or providing a ‘safety net’ for local public services.

A full report of the workshop is available on the Policy Commission website.

Previous workshops explored:

If you would like to make a contribution to this workshop or to the commission’s work more widely please get in touch with Professor Helen Sullivan who is leading this Policy Commission for the University.

Contact h.c.sullivan@bham.ac.uk or Audrey Nganwa a.nganwa@bham.ac.uk