News and Comment


A bigger say in the NHS for patients

Thursday January 17 2013

A truly patient-led NHS has been an aspiration in the health service for well over a decade. The motivation is born out of the realisation that improving patient involvement could lead to better services, higher standards of care and greaterefficiency savings. Furthermore, high profile failings, such as those at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust, have highlighted just how bad patient… Read More

Harness assets to truly make savings

Friday December 21 2012

The Department for Communities & Local Government’s guide to saving money, published earlier this week, contains some tips that councils may find helpful. There is, however, little in it to signify the “change in culture” which Eric Pickles refers to in the foreword. There are some neat ideas like pop-up shops in public buildings, alongside… Read More

“Mutual and co-operative approaches to delivering local services” report published

Thursday December 6 2012

OPM was very pleased to contribute to the CLG Committee’s “Mutual and cooperative approaches to delivering local services” report, published today. The report outlines findings into the progress and development of employee owned cooperatives that can help to deliver local services. We found the committee’s recommendations to transform the “shape, responsiveness and quality of local… Read More


Back to the Future: The Great Exhibition and NESTA’s FutureFest

Friday March 27 2015

NESTA’s FutureFest earlier this month was in some ways a very old fashioned affair. For all its future-gazing, it felt very much in the tradition of the 1851 Great Exhibition, with its mix of wonderment sideshows and learned talks by politicians, innovators, academics and journalists, including Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett and author of ‘The… Read More

Spending the 1%: The potential for participatory budgeting on a national scale

Thursday March 26 2015

The label ‘the 1%’ usually carries connotations of elitism and exclusion when mentioned in a political context, conjuring up images of a super-rich elite lording it over what they might refer to as the ‘hoi polloi’. However, a very different 1% was discussed at a recent event organised by the UK Open Government Civil Society… Read More

25th anniversary guest blog series: A digital future for local government must be shaped by the communities we serve

Tuesday March 17 2015

I recently got into a mini spat on Twitter with a Member of Parliament who sits on the Speaker’s Digital Democracy Commission (DDC) before giving evidence at the House of Commons on the changing nature of representation in a digital age. The MP in question had proudly tweeted: ‘Debate on @digidemocracyuk tomorrow! First time public… Read More