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BEST VALUE DEPENDS ON LOCAL POLITICAL WILL SAYS ALEXANDER

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Successful implementation of best value is heavily dependent on a high degree of political commitment, according to...
Successful implementation of best value is heavily dependent on a high degree of political commitment, according to Alan Alexander, professor of local and public management at the Scottish Local Authorities Management Centre.

Professor Alexander told delegates at the SOLACE Scotland conference that the most significant feature of the best value regime was that it concentrated on outputs and quality of services - both inherently political.

He held up the prospect of a radical change in approach: 'If the emphasis of local authorities is directed to the quality of output, then the question of mode of delivery becomes both less pressing and more open to strategic choice,' he said.

Professor Alexander predicted that best value, in conjunction with continuing financial constraint, would provide the strongest ever push to an enabling authority.

On accountability and public participation, Professor Alexander supported a system of proportional representation, and encouraged local government to actively campaign for its introduction in local elections.
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