chapter  9
Chpater 9 Public service reform: (More) open public services
Pages 8

The policies of a new government are often shaped by those of its antecedents. In the same way that New Labour carried through the logic of particular Conservative policies of the 1990s such as promoting school choice, so, too, the 2010 Conservativeled coalition maintained a certain continuation of New Labour policies promoting localism and decentralisation. The 13 years of New Labour 1997-2010 amounted to a significant reconceptualisation of the relationship between the government and the governed (Simon and Ward, 2010: 11), such that the social policy encapsulated in the Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003) agenda was part of a much broader political programme, one which sought to redefine the role of the state and the mechanisms of power so as to meet the national, international and global demands of the twenty-first century (ibid.: 4). This chapter explores the continuance and divergence of New Labour’s social welfare policies post 2010 through an examination of the Open Public Services White Paper (2011) and the Localism Bill which was given Royal Assent in 2011, after considering, first, some of the uses and understandings of the term ‘localism’.