ippr established the Commission on Public Service Reform in the North East, based at ippr north in Newcastle, in 2007. The Commission came together to look at the policy challenges emerging from the reform and renewal of public services since 1997, particularly in relation to the distinctive needs of the North East region.
The Commission has found that the record levels of investment in the North East's public sector have produced 'high-performing' services which have mitigated some of the worst effects of the current recession. However, such 'high performance', as measured by the various national auditing bodies, has had limited impact on closing the gap in relative outcomes. Whether in terms of life expectancy, entrance to further education, or unemployment, the North East still lags behind other regions and the disparities between different parts of the North East remain.
Through analysis of this apparent paradox of high performance and poor outcomes, the Commission has identified three interlinked themes under which the public sector and the region must overcome challenges, each with a key recommendation.
State of the North 2024: Charting the course for a decade of renewalThe North’s communities are ambitious for a better future, but face systemic and pronounced inequalities. Gaps in power, wealth, opportunity, and health result in shorter, sicker, less fulfilling lives.
No home left behind: Funding a just transition to clean heat in ScotlandHow can we ensure that investment in clean heating in Scottish homes drives a just transition, sharing costs and benefits fairly?
The asylum backlog: Job done?This blog post sets out how the department must now grapple with a new set of backlog challenges.