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As we move rapidly towards the next general election, all eyes are on ideas that will emerge to deliver good growth, reform government and public services and help lift standards of living. Our blog explores the most pressing challenges being faced in the public sector today, towards 2015 and beyond.

15 April 2014

Global urban competitiveness: Playing the long game

By Nick C Jones Fundamental trends such as climate change, technological advances and the shift in economic powers globally are changing the playing field for cities worldwide. This is particularly the case as urban development objectives shift from pure wealth creation towards more complex and demanding well-being objectives, as our...

11 April 2014

Free cities?

By Nick C Jones Another week, another high profile speech on the importance of getting on with decentralisation, this time in Birmingham where the Labour leader extolled the virtues of giving more powers to those at local level. And following on from Lord Heseltine’s much lauded report No stone unturned,...

10 April 2014

Going for good growth – our latest infographics

By Nick C Jones The UK economy is now on the road to recovery but there remain many challenges ahead with regards to the longer term sustainability of the recovery and the kind of growth being generated. The holy grail is still a balanced economy and a reduction in the...

Lifting living standards – our latest infographics

By Nick C Jones As we head along the path to the 2015 general election, debates about declining living standards - and what can be done to help lift them - have moved centre stage. This is not just about managing household spending but dealing with the earnings crunch too....

Rethinking government – our latest infographics

By Nick C Jones Fiscal austerity will continue deep into the next Parliament whichever party, or parties, form the next government. Spending cuts have become the norm for those working in the public sector (and living with austerity), who must also grapple with increasing demand for public services. This is...

04 April 2014

One year on, clinical commissioning groups must hold their nerve

By Kalee Talvitie-Brown and Rob Yearsley One year on from their authorisation in April 2013, clinical commissioning groups remain full of ambition. However, the CCG Barometer, carried out by the HSJ with our support, shows there is a remaining concern that CCGs don’t have enough capacity or access to skills...

03 April 2014

A fine balance: Good jobs and paying the bills

By Tom Gosling, Head of Reward Practice As growth returns to the UK economy, we are seeing an immense political challenge – how to get voters to see the link between an upturn in national economic prosperity and a lift in their personal living standards. In large measure, this requires...

01 April 2014

Launching the Decentralisation Decade

By Stephanie Hyde, Head of Regions, PwC We need to see stronger regional growth if we are to secure a lasting recovery in the UK. As Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has noted: “…it is not enough just to have a recovery in London and the South...

28 March 2014

Managing public finances: knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing?

By Matthew Hodge, Director, PwC Do those in financial management across government and the public sector focus too much on managing the inputs, and not enough on delivering value? This theme emerged from a recent session at the Institute for Government, where the response to HM Treasury’s ‘Review of financial...

27 March 2014

Delivering Future City Transport - London

By Neil Broadhead, Partner, PwC The latest in our roundtable series with the Smith Institute was held in London last month and the following central questions were explored: How can our cities deliver a better transport infrastructure and system over the next decade and beyond? And what key steps need...

25 March 2014

A fragmented system can't deliver whole person care

By Janet Dawson and Dr Tim Wilson The conclusion of Sir John Oldham’s independent commission on whole person care cannot be clearer: the fragmentation of care, driven by deep professional and organisational boundaries and supported by perverse payment mechanisms, cannot continue if the NHS is to remain faithful to its...

Tales from the West Country

By Nick C Jones, Director of PwC’s Public Sector Research Centre Cities, and their role as engines of sustainable growth, continue to hit the headlines, particularly in the context of recovery outside of London. Commissions have been established, and television programmes made, to discuss the ways to unleash the shackles...

19 March 2014

Will this Budget deliver the platform for victory in 2015?

By Nick C Jones, Director of PwC’s Public Sector Research Centre Budget 2014 was always going to be delivered with next year’s General Election in mind. So, will voters be persuaded? And will businesses give the Chancellor the support he so dearly wants? With a Budget dedicated to ‘makers, doers...

18 March 2014

Local government budget preview: the growth and reform two-step

By Jonathan House, Director, PwC The positive developments for the economy we’ve seen over the last few months, as highlighted by our latest UK Economic Outlook, will no doubt be welcomed by the Chancellor when he makes his Budget speech on Wednesday. But rebalancing the economy and stimulating local economic...

Tomorrow’s Budget – aim higher?

By Sara Caplan Tomorrow’s Budget – aim higher? The re-emergence of apprenticeships as a force in education, training and employment, and Higher Apprenticeships in particular, is significant. Higher Apprenticeships have driven more business adoption of apprenticeships joining up previous silos of skills, employment, business and students. Universities are still a...

14 March 2014

Getting your priorities straight

By Juliet Stuttard and Steven Kershaw We continue to live with public sector austerity. The associated pressures on headcount mean that the retained, or core, Ministry of Defence (MOD) will need to be smaller – and its in-house skills deeper and more concise. While recent thinking has signalled the aspiration...

10 March 2014

National Apprenticeships Week – What a week!

By Sara Caplan This year, more than I’ve ever known, National Apprenticeships Week has been full of high profile, exciting events for both me and the firm……It’s been a packed week! Monday: Work experience was top of the agenda today, with a day of planning and preparation to begin our...

07 March 2014

Back to the baseline

By Roland Sonnenberg, Partner, PwC Government departments face sustained pressure to show that their services provide value for money for taxpayers. As budgets tighten further, it is increasingly important for Whitehall to develop and monitor projects through robust baselines. Such a step ensures that projects are sanctioned on a sound...

28 February 2014

The future of the local hospital

By Janet Dawson and Ed Bramley-Harker In other sectors smallness is often associated with being inventive, flexible, dynamic and profitable. But in the NHS many local hospitals are struggling. What is driving the issues at local hospitals and how can organisations respond? Local hospitals face a number of common pressures....

26 February 2014

To 2015 and beyond: towards the next Strategic Defence and Security Review

By Tony Raper, senior defence advisor, PwC The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is undertaking a wide ranging and challenging reform programme following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and Lord Levene’s Defence Reform Review and alongside broader cross-Whitehall austerity and transformation. With the pace of change accelerating, the MOD...

24 February 2014

Delivering Future City Transport - Manchester

By Jane Forbes, Partner, PwC The second in our roundtable series with the Smith Institute was held in Manchester on 30 January where the following central questions were explored: How can our cities deliver a better transport infrastructure and system over the next decade and beyond? And what key steps...

11 February 2014

Tipping the hourglass: Good jobs and social mobility in the workplace

By Paul Cleal, Partner and PwC Government and Public Sector Leader The rise of the knowledge economy has been well documented but in actual fact, one in four UK jobs still requires no qualifications. It was a surprise to many at our ‘Good Jobs’ roundtable with Demos that in some...

10 February 2014

Delivering Future City Transport - Birmingham

By Richard Parker, Partner How can our cities deliver a better transport infrastructure and system over the next decade and beyond? And what key steps need to be taken now in order to realise our cities’ transport vision? This is the central question we are exploring in our roundtable series...

05 February 2014

Spreading prosperity: is decentralisation the answer?

By Nick C Jones & Esmond Birnie When economists refer to ’the economy’ and growth, the focus tends to be the sum of everything that comprises the UK national economy. So, if we say that growth in 2014 will be around 2.4%, up from around 1.9% in 2013, we are...

30 January 2014

Leading the charge – civil service reform and the role of ‘the centre’

By Tina Hallett, Central Government Lead Partner What role can or should the centre of government play in leading and driving reform across Whitehall? This was on the agenda at our event with the Institute for Government on 27 January. Some may query the timing of this question given where...