Stretched to the limit? The impact of Local Public Service Agreements on service improvement and central-local relations

Helen Sullivan, Gillian Gillanders

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Local Public Service Agreements (LPSAs) are one of a number of policy instruments introduced by New Labour to facilitate service improvement in local government. Situating LPSAs in debates about central – local relationships, this paper examines their impact to date. It compares the expectations of LPSAs amongst central and local stakeholders, delineates the experiences of each in attempting to work in a new way, identifies those aspects of the LPSA process which ‘worked’ and those which did not, considers evidence of impact and identifies implications for future policy and practice. The paper concludes that LPSAs have led to improvements in the systems and processes of local government, contributed to local partnership working and stimulated limited changes in central – local government relations. Early data indicate that LPSAs have had some impact on service improvement but there remain important questions about sustainability
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)555-574pp
    JournalLocal Government Studies
    Volume31
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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