In a speech reported by Telegraph of London on March, 28, UK Prime Minister Cameron said:
Just as these principles guiding reform are simply, so are the reasons driving it. State bureaucracy has proved too clumsy and inefficient, stifling the innovation we need at a time when value for money is so critical. I also have an instinctive belief that parents, patients and professionals are so much better equipped to make the choices that will drive improvements in our public services. Give the power to them, allow new providers to come forward with new ideas, and good things will happen.
This was the vision at the heart of the Open Public Services White Paper which we published last summer.
But there is more to do if we are to realise our vision of truly open public services. So today, as we publish our update to the White Paper, we are taking three new, radical steps. First, we are announcing an independent review that will specifically look at how we can extend choice to the most disadvantaged in our society. This means making sure that everyone has access to the information and support they need to make a choice, and that if they want to complain, they know how to go about it. Where we find this information and support is missing, we will act.
Second, we are publishing draft legislation that would enshrine in law the right to choice. This means if your mother needs hospital treatment, or your child is about to start school, you will get a choice over where they go. And if that choice doesn’t exist, or you’re not happy with it, you will have a way to get your complaint listened to and resolved. If as an outpatient you are unfairly denied the choice of appointment, you will be able to have that decision overruled. And if you are a new provider who believes you can offer a better service, you will have a way to break through the state monopoly and allow the user, not the bureaucrat, to be your judge and jury.
Third, we are going to consult on making it easier to set up neighbourhood councils. It has been too difficult for people to come together and have a say in how services are designed, prioritised and delivered in their local community. In fact, some local authorities have been guilty of the same kind of top-down bureaucracy that has been the Achilles’ heel of central government. I want us to really turn the tables so that people have a genuine opportunity to take responsibility for their neighbourhood services. Together with our plans to work with a range of consumer organisations to enable them to champion and enforce choice and competition in public services, these steps will change the way our public services are delivered – and the way our country is run.
Nearly two years on from coming into office, brick by brick, edifice by edifice, we are slowly dismantling the big-state structures we inherited from the last government.