Putting communities at the heart of public service

Public services face an enormous challenge, driven by rising demand for services and reducing availability of resources to satisfy that demand. Historically service providers and commissioners have generally been able to satisfy demand for services through marshalling and deploying the resources over which they have direct control (their staff and budgets).

This is in many ways a deficit based model, whereby often the role of a commissioner is to start from an assessment of need and then determine how to address this need. It is, we believe, unsustainable. In order for public services to have any hope of maintaining the level and quality of services we expect (or demand), then, amongst other changes, providers have to find a way to build communities or neighbourhoods that are capable of far greater self-reliance. Communities that are stronger, that place less demand on public services.