Magazine article Public Finance

'I Will Listen and Act', Promises Miliband

Magazine article Public Finance

'I Will Listen and Act', Promises Miliband

Article excerpt

David Miliband has defended the government's widespread use of targets in its drive to improve local services but has pledged to scrap those that are hindering rather than helping progress.

In his first speech since being appointed Cabinet minister for communities and local government, Miliband argued that service and delivery targets had an important role in 'reinforcing the accountability of the ballot box".

Addressing the Core Cities Group in Nottingham on May 20, he said local government also recognised the power of effective inspection, which could provide an 'external spur to performance management'.

But Miliband acknowledged there was now a widespread feeling that 'we have ended up with too much of a good thing'. He told the gathering of provincial civic leaders that he was prepared to listen to and act upon such concerns if they were justified. 'Where you show me that the drive for accountability is getting in the way of positive outcomes rather than reinforcing them, I will seek to get it changed.'

In return, however, he called on local government to play its part in holding its own members to account. 'I hope the strongest parts of local government will see it as directly in their own interest to cajole, inspire or strong-arm those who are not so good to raise their game. …

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