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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - THE TOOL OF CHOICE

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Greater choice in how local services are delivered and who provides them would radically transform local government...
Greater choice in how local services are delivered and who provides them would radically transform local government, as it is a tool to allow services to evolve according to user preferences.

Choice is a highly complex issue, which many people wrongly regard as the be-all and end-all of public service reform.

Enhanced choice is only realistic if enough capacity exists and if decision making is truly delegated to the service user - a definition NLGN has adopted in our recent Making choices report.

The 'genie will indeed be out of the bottle' (LGC, 23 April) as users who have experienced greater freedom and flexibility over local service provision will have greater expectations and not want to give up these freedoms.

While many providers might not be flexible enough to provide greater user choice, if local government is to be at the cutting edge of service delivery we need to go beyond the work of consultation and user groups.

Natalie Arend

Research officer, New Local Government Network

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