The following points outline the working principles for the Birmingham Policy Commissions.
The Policy Commission’s main focus is on ‘local public services’ and it will direct its research and activities towards ‘the local’. However its recommendations will be made to those institutions that have influence over the resourcing, planning and provision of local public services, which may include central as well as local government.
- The Policy Commission will explore ‘the local’ in a variety of contexts including the urban, suburban and rural.
- The Policy Commission has chosen young people as the specific group through which it will explore the future of local public services in the short, medium and long terms. The Policy Commission acknowledges the great diversity that exists within the group ‘young people’, and the services that they require, and will take account of this within its work.
- While the specific focus of the Policy Commission is the future role of local public services in the context of the ‘Big Society’ initiative of the UK coalition government, it acknowledges that, the state has a crucial and ongoing role to play as an enabler, supporter, protector and regulator.
- The Policy Commission will seek advice and evidence from a range of sources including: academics, practitioners, policy makers and service users. It will work through a variety of means including: taking evidence in hearings, holding workshops and other events and conducting further research where necessary (e.g. surveys, focus groups and deliberative events).
- The Policy Commission will engage directly with young people, acknowledging the powerful contribution which young people already make to shaping the quality of their own lives and those of their peers, and exploring how this contribution might better be supported and shaped by local agencies to ensure more appropriate local public services.