An alternative to privatisation
The Centre for Welfare Reform's latest publication is the Discussion Paper:
COMMUNITY SOURCING AND SOCIAL CARE
In this paper Chris Yapp and Chris Howells outline their concept of Community Sourcing, an approach for strengthening rather than hollowing out our communities. Privatisation has damaged local communities both by taking profit, expertise and leadership out of communities, and damaged local government by undermining public service.
Community Sourcing refocuses the identification and solution of social problems back in local communities and seeks to create the best synergy between the use of local community resources and local government capacities. Local government is there to serve its community, and that can mean supporting and strengthening communities as they solve their own problems.
The authors note that Social Care and innovations like Individual Budgets, and Local Area Coordination are better seen as efforts to create greater capacity by strengthening the links between local government and communities than as forms of privatisation. Instead they are forms of local investment and collaboration.
Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform said:
"Privatisation was never the answer, instead of citizen empowerment it has been about a loss of local control and increased centralisation as local government lost capacity and local communities lost services. Community Sourcing returns our focus to where it should be: local citizens, resolving local problems in partnership with local government."
The paper is free to download from the Centre's library: