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ACC CONF: HESELTINE URGES CLOSER PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

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Councils have formed partnerships with the private sector as a direct result of the need to bid for cash, deputy pr...
Councils have formed partnerships with the private sector as a direct result of the need to bid for cash, deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine said.

'The very act of competition has given an edge to the bids coming forward, has given an impetus to the development of partnerships, and has helped bring innovation, imagination and a longer-term perspective to local plans,' he said.

Mr Heseltine, who as environment secretary began the system of competitive bidding for capital allocations in the early 1980s, said these policies had revolutionised the culture of councils: 'Officials have learned to work together, councillors and business people have become friends.'

He said a £2 billion challenge fund had helped to lever in a further £5bn from the private sector. 'We could not have achieved the same output without competition.'

Mr Heseltine urged councils to second officers from and into the private sector, a process he said had transformed how the Department of Trade and Industry works.
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