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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Laurence Ferry and Thomas Ahrens

Within the context of recent post-localism developments in the English local government, this paper aims to show, first, how management controls have become more enabling…

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Abstract

Purpose

Within the context of recent post-localism developments in the English local government, this paper aims to show, first, how management controls have become more enabling in response to changes in rules of public sector corporate governance and, secondly, how changes in management control systems gave rise to new corporate governance practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretically, the paper mobilises the concept of enabling control to reflect on contemporary changes in public sector corporate governance. It draws on the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) new public sector governance and management control system model and data gathered from a longitudinal qualitative field study of a local authority in North East England. The field study used interviews, observation and documentation review.

Findings

This paper suggests specific ways in which the decentralisation of policymaking and performance measurement in a local authority (present case) gave rise to enabling corporate governance and how corporate governance and management control practices went some way to aid in the pursuit of the public interest. In particular, it shows that the management control system can be designed at the operational level to be enabling. The significance of global transparency for supporting corporate governance practices around public interest is observed. This paper reaffirms that accountability is but one element of public sector corporate governance. Rather, public sector corporate governance also pursues integrity, openness, defining outcomes, determining interventions, leadership and capacity and risk and performance management.

Practical implications

Insights into uses of such enabling practices in public sector corporate governance are relevant for many countries in which public sector funding has been cut, especially since the 2007/2008 global financial crisis.

Originality/value

This paper introduces the concept of enabling control into the public sector corporate governance and control debate by fleshing out the categories of public sector corporate governance and management control suggested recently by IFAC and CIPFA drawing on observed practices of a local government entity.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2018

Ian Charles Elliott, Violetta Fejszes and Mariola Tàrrega

In Scotland, the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act represents a significant development towards greater localism in the way public services are designed and delivered…

Abstract

Purpose

In Scotland, the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act represents a significant development towards greater localism in the way public services are designed and delivered in Scotland. This also represents a different approach to that adopted in the rest of the UK. The purpose of this paper is to explore the stakeholder perceptions of localism within a council ward.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on an in-depth exploratory case study of a single council ward in East Scotland. The fieldwork involved 61 in-depth interviews with multiple stakeholders including local councillors, public service managers and residents.

Findings

The findings highlight that, whilst the discourse of community empowerment represents policy divergence, there remain some significant structural and social barriers to meaningful community empowerment in practice. Finally, it is argued that there are three key factors to consider when developing community empowerment: a shared strategy, shared resources and shared accountability.

Originality/value

The research draws on extensive data from an in-depth case study to explore the realities of community empowerment within a single local authority ward. In doing so, it provides a rich contextual narrative of how the rhetoric of community empowerment is perceived within a council ward setting.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2013

Francine Baker

The paper will aim to examine the contemporary origins and development of the planning system and housing regulation in England and Ireland. One objective is to broadly…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper will aim to examine the contemporary origins and development of the planning system and housing regulation in England and Ireland. One objective is to broadly explicate how the regulation of housing in England began, with reference to Ireland, and its relationship with the planning system. The other is to outline the swing in England from a hotchpotch decentralised system to a centralised, and back again sharply to decentralised approach to planning and the provision for housing, a swing unparalleled in Ireland.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is to consider the main influences on the regulation of planning and housing, with reference to historical, social and legal regulatory developments, and to broadly assess the role of centralised and decentralised systems.

Findings

The regulation of housing was an incidental product of the regulation of public health. The use of town and country planning principles could have assisted such regulation, but were unpopular until the development of a centralised system of planning in the 20th century. This has led to problems in Ireland for the delivery of local services. The change in England under the Localism Act to decentralized system is unlikely to achieve an effective use of local resources. It is unlikely that unwieldy new systems of decision‐making and funding arrangements will improve the provision of housing for low incomes and the poor. A balance between the use of both systems is required.

Originality/value

This paper assesses the impact of social, historical, administrative and legal changes that have impacted on the progress of the relationship between planning and housing regulation in England and Ireland over the last two centuries until the present day.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Book part
Publication date: 23 May 2016

Rory Shand and Mark Hyde

Is public entrepreneurship an oxymoron? Why and how is enterprise/entrepreneurship important for public service delivery? The growing role of enterprise within the public…

Abstract

Purpose

Is public entrepreneurship an oxymoron? Why and how is enterprise/entrepreneurship important for public service delivery? The growing role of enterprise within the public sector has been the subject of much recent debate and policy focus, surrounding issues such as public value, meeting targets, and the need for innovation across public services by policy makers and managers given rapid reduction of budgets in this sector. This chapter reflects on these developments and examines the effects that an enterprise focus in the public services has in terms of vocation. Drawing on the Weberian notion of vocation (1941) in politics and the sciences, what does enterprise mean for the notion of public service? Certainly, historically the public services have enjoyed a strong vocational drive from its workforce, resulting in employee loyalty, and links with communities as well as higher levels of public trust than politicians or bankers, for example. The chapter draws on examples from education, public services and localism, all of which have seen to some degree the parachuting of managers in from the private sector or the aping of these behaviours and cultures in search of more entrepreneurial delivery. Drawing on the Weberian framework of bureaucracy and vocation, the chapter examines the changing role of public service and notions of community and duty, arguably damaged by failures of the Big Society agenda (Shand & Higman, 2014; Smith, 2010) and examines if and how enterprise can maintain the ethos of public service and vocational areas of the public sector in the enduring and pressurised new public management environment of meeting targets and value metrics.

Methodology/approach

The chapter adopts a Weberian approach in terms of vocation, and applies this concept to the notion of enterprise across the public services. The vocation approach in the public services, drawing upon Weber’s discussion of politics and science, underpins our discussion in this chapter as we argue that the role of innovation needs to be more widely applied and appreciated in the public services.

Findings

The chapter finds that examples of innovative behaviour and delivery are evident across the public services, but these need to be understood within the context of culture, values and ethos. These underpinning goals, across several frontline and first respondent public services particularly, are driven by dedication to duty and having to respond to rapid changes in targets, ‘customer’ service, and most recently, austerity. These responses need to be seen as innovative traits, linked to leadership and the Weberian notion of vocation.

Practical implications

The chapter raises several issues driven by failures or mistrust in the practical delivery and underpinning ethos of the public services. The focus on ethos has direct implications for both leadership within the public services and how these leaders’ roles and actions are interpreted by sections of wider society such as the media or the public. Notions of public trust are touched upon in the chapter, which highlight the role of key public services as different from the activities of politicians and bankers, areas which have become central to growing attitudes of mistrust among the public. The notion of vocation in the chapter is applicable to the practical arena as the role of innovation in public service needs to be reconsidered. The chapter suggests that, to date, the idea of innovation in public services has been driven by private sector innovation, and this has led to far too narrow an appreciation of what we term innovation within and across the public services.

Originality/value

This chapter unites debates around trust and innovation in the public and private sectors with the Weberian ideal of vocation, drawing upon key public services and their leadership and delivery to argue that we need to understand the drivers and motivating ethos behind the public services when we consider the role of innovation and indeed how we understand and apply this term within public service delivery.

Details

New Perspectives on Research, Policy & Practice in Public Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-821-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Edward Kasabov and Usha Sundaram

This chapter uses a historical lens to analyse the role of governance institutions in shaping enterprising places using the context of the English city of Coventry in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter uses a historical lens to analyse the role of governance institutions in shaping enterprising places using the context of the English city of Coventry in the early to late Middle Ages. Using historical documentation as an empirical method, this chapter examines the formation, evolution, growth, maturation, decline of institutional structures, related governance mechanisms and their interactions with other institutional influences that shaped the entrepreneurial nature of the city and its economy. The chapter discusses aspects of success, failures and discontinuities that beset the entrepreneurial landscape of the city and draws parallels to some contemporary developments in UK’s entrepreneurial governance.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is underpinned by a research methodological approach that is historical and processual in nature and relies on historical documentation including archival sources of empirical material and other published data which have not previously been studied in the context of entrepreneurship and public governance. The research method and approach addresses a methodological and conceptual void in extant entrepreneurship literature.

Findings

The empirical findings from archival sources of data and their analysis sheds a new interpretive light on the nature of enterprising places as a combination of continual historical synergies in the specific context of Coventry. The chapter specifically focuses on the role of merchant and craft guilds as a unique presence in the entrepreneurial landscape of Coventry in the early to late Middle Ages and their contribution as powerful institutional and governance forces in shaping the city’s economic history. The guilds and associated governance institutions exercised and enacted multiple economic, legislative, regulatory, civic, municipal, socio-cultural and religious roles and left a strong imprint on the city’s economic destiny that endured for several centuries. Through the interpenetrative influences of these guilds with other political, royal and religious institutional structures of their day, the economic history of the city and its enterprise was woven together in a fabric of cooperation, discord and power struggles. The historical analysis provides a powerful narrative in charting this story and draws parallels to ongoing struggles in contemporary developments in Coventry’s entrepreneurial governance and leadership.

Research and practical implications

The chapter contributes a historic and contextually enriched sensibility in understanding the entrepreneurial and economic history of Coventry as viewed through the lens of institutional interactions and provides a valuable study that draws parallels between the past and the present. It provides a historically informed approach in understanding the current context of the nation’s local and regional economic policies and attempts to understand how enterprise and enterprising places thrive and sometimes struggle to survive within such a landscape.

Originality/value of chapter

The chapter is a unique take on the analysis of entrepreneurship and institutional governance of a city’s local economy in that it takes a historical perspective of issues that animate current public discourse. A historical approach to studying entrepreneurship provides a longitudinal and macro perspective to studying ideological debates that shade contemporary economic, political and socio-cultural governance. The analysis draws interesting parallels to the power discourses and dynamics and ideological conflicts that shaped institutional influences across centuries that impacted upon the city’s economy and use that as a backdrop to comment upon contemporary developments in the policy landscape viewed as an articulation of a political-ideological agenda. The analysis provides and calls for a greater application of historical sensibilities in governance and entrepreneurship scholarship in order to glean valuable lessons.

Details

Enterprising Places: Leadership and Governance Networks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-641-5

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Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Keith Baker

This chapter argues that the concept of metagovernance offers an alternative to multi-level governance (MLG) for understanding how policy is delivered through complex…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter argues that the concept of metagovernance offers an alternative to multi-level governance (MLG) for understanding how policy is delivered through complex networks. Whereas MLG portrays the state as a diminished entity, metagovernance argues for a strong, capable state that can govern through the deployment of policy tools. The chapter identifies and evaluates how policy tools are selected to realise the strategic objectives of government.

Methodology/approach

A critical case methodology is employed. Nuclear power is held to be a most difficult test for the British government’s ability to metagovern. The empirical data was collected from in-depth qualitative interviews conducted between August 2008 and July 2013.

Findings

The chapter shows that the British government’s metagovernance efforts are informed by the risks that would-be developer face. The British government is shown to have some ability to practice metagovernance but the complexities of nuclear power and the existence of a MLG structure create risks that government cannot overcome. It is also observed that in nuclear power programmes, the risks of construction cost overruns and electricity price fluctuations have the greatest impact on the calculations of would-be developers.

Research implications

The findings offer insight into the limits of government capacity in the face of networks and claims of continued state power. The chapter links together the literature on risk and the emergent literature on metagovernance. It is shown that institutional risks in the form of political opportunism are ever present and cannot be easily overcome.

Practical implications

Government are often called upon oversee difficult projects that are delivered by commercial actors. The findings indicate how governments might approach the task and point to a need for greater sensitivity to the nature of the project itself.

Social implications

The empirical results show that to moderate risk, government has tended to adopt very technocratic policies that limit wider democratic consultation in favour of working directly with commercial actors.

Originality/value

The chapter presents a detailed analysis of government decision-making in a highly controversial area of public policy – nuclear power.

Details

Multi-Level Governance: The Missing Linkages
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-874-8

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Sophie Childs, Tilak A. Ginige and Hannah Pateman

Welwyn Hatfield Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWHC 966 (Admin), Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities

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Abstract

Purpose

Welwyn Hatfield Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWHC 966 (Admin), Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWCA Civ 26 and Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15 (Beesley hereafter) and Fidler v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWHC 143 (Admin), Fidler v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] EWCA civ 1159 (Fidler hereafter) are two recent cases concerning deliberately concealed breaches of planning control. The defendants engaged in dishonest and misleading conduct, in an attempt to rely on a loophole within Section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (T&CPA). This study aims to critically analyse two solutions which were created to close the loophole; in addition, this study analyses various alternative remedies that have been suggested, and finally, whether the present law has been sufficient to remedy the situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The T&CPA is a key piece of legislation regulating planning controls; Section 171A-C provides the time limits for taking enforcement action against a breach of planning control. To achieve the above purpose, an evaluation of those provisions will be undertaken in detail. Subsequently, this study will analyse two solutions which were created to close the loophole; firstly, the Supreme Court (SC) decision (Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15) and, secondly, the governments’ decision to amend the T&CPA without awaiting the SC’s decision[1].

Findings

This research concludes that the government should have awaited the SC’s decision before amending statute to prohibit reliance upon the expiration of time where there is an element of deliberate concealment. Additionally, this study suggests that the statutory amendments were not required in light of the SC’s solution in Beesley. As a result of the governments’ ill-considered decision, uncertainty has permeated through the conveyancing process, causing ambiguity, delays and additional expense in transactions at a time when a precarious property market needs anything but uncertainty.

Research limitations implications

The scope of this research is limited to deliberate concealment of breaches of planning control and the four-year enforcement period; whilst considering the consequences of the solutions proposed, this study does not provide a detailed overview of the planning system, but rather assumes prior knowledge.

Originality/value

This study offers a unique assessment of the law relating to the deliberate concealment of planning breaches and offers a thorough criticism of the law with recommendations for reform. Additionally, a variety of alternative solutions are considered. Both legal academics, planning professionals and those interested in planning law will find the paper a thought-provoking digest.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Julie Adshead

The aim of the research is to examine the legal ideologies of planning law proposed by Patrick McAuslan in 1980 and their operation in one key aspect of modern-day…

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1020

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the research is to examine the legal ideologies of planning law proposed by Patrick McAuslan in 1980 and their operation in one key aspect of modern-day planning law in England and Wales in order to assess the balance between these ideologies today.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to achieve this, the philosophical and theoretical foundations of the respective legal ideologies are revisited. The approach that follows is a mixed doctrinal and socio-legal one. The content of the law in certain key areas is established and then analysed against the framework of McAuslan's ideologies in order to establish the social context balance of the law.

Findings

The paper concludes that, despite much change in law and policy, the balance between the three competing ideologies in the area of development control in the planning regime of England and Wales remains similar to that in 1980.

Research limitations/implications

For publication as a research paper, the scope of the examination was necessarily restricted. Certain areas scrutinised by McAuslan are of less relevance today, but, nonetheless, there is clearly scope to revisit some of the other aspects of planning law considered in 1980 and, indeed, to expand the scope of analysis to other areas of environmental law.

Originality/value

The paper takes a framework of legal ideologies that was proposed over 30 years ago and applies it to elements of the modern-day planning regime. The paper will be of value to both legal academics and those in the town planning discipline.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Ed Mitchell

This article's aim is to consider the implications for integrated care in England of the “community right to challenge” provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

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169

Abstract

Purpose

This article's aim is to consider the implications for integrated care in England of the “community right to challenge” provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

Design/methodology/approach

The article's approach is an analysis of the Localism Act 2011, secondary legislation made under that Act and a review of the existing literature on the Localism Act 2011.

Findings

The Localism Act 2011 community right to challenge provisions have the potential to lead to innovative ways of providing services but they also have the potential to undermine or inhibit integrated care arrangements.

Originality/value

The article analyses the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 together with the provisions of secondary legislation which provide for its detailed operation.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Book part
Publication date: 16 March 2021

Helen M Burrows

Social Work education has seen some changes since my first paper on how The Archers could be used to enhance a student's understanding of service user experiences…

Abstract

Social Work education has seen some changes since my first paper on how The Archers could be used to enhance a student's understanding of service user experiences (Burrows, 2016). Social Work students still, however, need to understand the difficulties that their future service users may experience; learning is developed through lectures, seminars and workshops, and most of all through practice experience, but a real challenge for educators is how to show students the constant lived reality of families and communities who have complex difficulties. A visit to a household only gives a snapshot of their life, and service users may be guarded in their behaviour during a professional visit. My original paper considered the educational value of the ‘fly-on-the-wall’ perspective of The Archers, in catching unguarded moments and drawing attention to issues in the community. From the impact of rural poverty and unaffordable housing, through issues of mental health, hospital discharge, to adult survivors of child sexual abuse and the tangled webs of modern slavery, these issues will resonate with any social worker, in Adult, Children and Families or Mental Health fields. These are not just issues in a rural setting; professionals in more urban settings will recognise these as things the families and individuals they work with must deal with from time to time.

Details

Flapjacks and Feudalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-389-5

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