New Locality report: Saving money by doing the right thing

10 April 2014

Review by Judy Robinson:

"Saving money by doing the right thing is a report by third sector organisation, Locality - the network of development trusts and social action centres.

This report is both an academic study and draws on Locality’s work in communities. The subtitle says it all: why local by default must replace diseconomies of scale.

There are common themes with the other two other reports reviewed here about privatisation and how scale and standardisation or improving supply chain management by prime contractors doesn’t work for people and is more expensive than the alternatives. The myth of economies of scale is well and truly kicked into touch with moving personal case studies.

It is also about how public service, under intense pressure, appears to have opted for one model often led by the Treasury. It includes a systems analysis of how this has happened, why it fails and the costs of this failure. Local, person centred approaches involving the voluntary and community sector set out a real alternative.

However, what may be missing is an equally cogent analysis of the politics and the power issues that lie behind this ideological change. Both major parties have identified the private sector as an answer to what they believed to be failing public services rather than a radical transformation. Now, there are powerful players with interests in not changing this model.

Read Judy's blog - Little and large: the diseconomies of scale

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