Yes Minister and CPA

This week Comprehensive Performance Assesment finished its 7 year run as one of the principle means by which councils are constrained by Whitehall.  It is being replaced by the Comprehensive Area Assesment which reduces the number of central targets and supports the move towards greater local partnership working across the public sector.  Some see the CAA as not much better than the CPA, such as the Conservative Party which recently pledged to abolish it.    If only Jim Hacker knew what he was starting in this scene where he and Sir Humphrey talk about local councils.

    1. Andy Sawford says:

      David, it was a weekend blog post, the Yes Minister clip is funny! Most people will get the joke because it does still resonate. Yes local government has improved, but the attitude of many Whitehall departments to it has not. CAA is young yet, but we have and will produce serious commentary on it. Our first published report focused on the CAA and children’s services.

    2. David Walker says:

      That’s a bit eilliptical, Andy: does that mean you are in favour of CAA? It’s a bit of a cop out to say ‘some see the CAA as..’. Do you?
      Bundling your observation up with Yes, minister is puzzling, too. In recent years local government has upped its game in its dealings with Whitehall – become much more sophisticated as senior civil servants themselves have become more knowledgeable about local government and more appreciative of the part played by both elected members and officials. Yes Minister was long ago exhausted as a version of departmental life. Disliking government policy is one things but resorting to tired cliches about how central government works is another. If local government is ever to accomplish the revival urged by LGIU, its spokespeople (yourself) surely need to be a bit more sophisticated about the culture and mechanics of the centre.

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