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CIPFA 2002 CONFERENCE REPORT - PRIME MINISTER'S THIRD WAY GURU SAYS REGIONALISATION IS 'INEVITABLE'

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Globalisation makes it inevitable central government will devolve more power to local or regional levels, according...
Globalisation makes it inevitable central government will devolve more power to local or regional levels, according to Anthony Giddens, director of the London School of Economics.

Professor Giddens told CIPFA delegates globalisation is shifting the sovereignty of the state.

He argued government is now 'too small to solve the big problems, but too large to solve the small ones'.

'I'm in favour of regional assemblies because I think the situation at that level is a mess at the moment,' he said.

While applauding the sentiments of the government's recent white paper, he said it did not go far enough, especially in terms of 'fiscal devolution'.

Prof Giddens, the academic behind prime minister Tony Blair's 'third way' theory, echoed sentiments of other speakers at

the conference by emphasising the importance of the private sector in service

delivery.

'The state may often be inadequate to deliver certain public goods,' he said. 'Partnerships between the state, private sector and the voluntary sector are the way forward. A good PPP is a form of partnership which can often be more effective than public provision.'

However, the limits of privatisation had were not yet fully understood by the government. 'I do not think anyone really believes that the private sector is always the answer,' he added.

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