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The recent anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta provides a helpful space in which to pause and take stock of the popular legitimacy of our political structures and institutions. As many have pointed out, the retrospective writing of history is evident in the Magna Carta’s mythic status.
Working together will be the big theme of the new few years if we are to meet social need effectively. A new configuration of dependency, independence and inter-dependence in services for the public (and with and by the public) will be necessary in which public money and resources provide the seeds for change and not the whole medicine.
The Social Value Act was born in unusual circumstances. As the former MP Tom Levitt recollects in his book, ‘Partners for Good’, the then new Conservative MP Chris White launched the Bill in October 2010.
Whatever the outcome of the election, the challenge for any incoming government is clear. We need to find more effective ways to deliver public services that maximise the benefits to local communities, prevent problems and reduce future demand on services.
One of the more intriguing ideas to emerge from Cabinet Office under the Coalition government has been the resurrection of the concept of ‘The Crown’. Of course we’ve heard the rhetoric of joined-up government for decades now.
Last week, in London – one of the richest cities in the world – the Mayor announced a “Level 7 Warning” on air pollution. High levels of pollutants like NO2 and particulates fill the air, causing a perceptible haze in areas like St James’s Park.
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