Magazine article Public Finance

The Public Wants Power, Says Miliband

Magazine article Public Finance

The Public Wants Power, Says Miliband

Article excerpt

People are keen to become involved in the running of their local services as long as choices are presented to them in a meaningful way, according to the minister for communities and local government.

In an exclusive interview with Public Finance, David Miliband dismissed suggestions that there was no public appetite for involvement, saying as long as there was influence on offer and high-stake choices to be made, people would engage.

'It's how you do it and what issues are there and what influence you're offering that counts,' he told PF.

'If you invite people to attend draughty meetings in church halls once a week on a Tuesday night it's quite difficult to get them to turn up. However, if you say to them, "Come to a meeting with your neighbourhood police team, we're going to talk about the priorities for the area..." people will turn up.'

Miliband cited the example of London where 75,000 people have attended neighbourhood police team meetings in the one third of the capital where neighbourhood policing has been rolled out.

In a keynote speech delivered last month, Miliband said neighbourhood empowerment was key to securing a 'double devolution of power from Whitehall to councils and then from councils to neighbourhoods. …

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