A Saturday thought

Experimenting with public services?

In America local government, in the form of the 50 states, is often referred to as the ‘laboratory of democracy’ where new ideas are tried out, local issues are addressed and where progress in local government leads where the federal Government follows.

I may be simplifying things a little but the States rarely wait for the federal centre to make a decision and then catch up.

In Britain local authorities show none of this innovation and rarely (there are some exceptions) even get close to being a ‘laboratory’. In fact some times I wonder whether local authorities would know what to do if the Government weren’t telling them what to do.

I know it is different in the US (California is nearly as big as Britain) but surely now is the time for local authorities to take a leaf out of America’s book and truly innovate. After all, it isn’t as if there aren’t enough issues that need tackling.

My fear is that if they don’t local authorities might just be left behind…

Explore posts in the same categories: The future of Local Govt

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One Comment on “A Saturday thought”

  1. localgov Says:

    Really interesting thought, but the UK local government mindset is on risk minimisation rather than gain maximisation. We just aren’t set up to accep that sometimes things we try simply won’t work as well as we want them to.

    In the US the mindset is far more of a learning one, where whilst mistakes are not tolerated people would still rather see effort and change attempted rather than the same old techniques getting the same responses (assuming these aren’t enough of course).

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