Reimagining the state
After a decade of austerity, the British public were already seeking a new settlement for public services. In the 2019 election, both main parties ran on platforms committing to billions more public spending. Increasing focus had been placed on inequalities – geographical, socio-economic, race-based – and democratic deficits and regional power imbalances had been laid bare.
The coronavirus pandemic has placed huge strain on the public sector, and while it has demonstrated some of the best, and most effective, aspects of the State, it has also further exposed its deficiencies.
Tensions between efficiency and resilience, freedom and security, central control and local autonomy have been placed in stark relief. Weaknesses in the machinery of government, whether in decision-making, logistical planning or responsiveness, have become clearer. Questions have been raised about the balance between national self-sufficiency and global integration. Critical infrastructure has been demonstrated to stretch beyond the public sector, and the importance of strong public-private partnership working proven.
We are faced with a huge opportunity to rethink how the State operates. This event will explore how the size, shape and role of the State should change in the wake of the virus, and what steps must be taken to achieve that vision.
- Baroness Nicky Morgan, former Cabinet Minister
- Sir Michael Barber, Chairman, Delivery Associates
- Chair: Charlotte Pickles, Director, Reform
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