Press release

Everyone must have access to choice

The government starts the next phase of its commitment to improve public services by increasing choice and giving people control.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government today starts the next phase of its commitment to improve public services by increasing choice and giving people direct control over the services they use. Increased choice can greatly improve the quality of public services and equality of choice is an important part of this.

To help us deliver equality, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin today announce the appointment of David Boyle, author and Fellow of the New Economics Foundation, to lead an independent choice review.

The review will look into what people currently do with the choices that they have, whether barriers exist that are currently preventing individuals from exercising choice and the factors necessary to ensure choice is available to everyone.

Mr Boyle will be speaking to a broad range of people from commissioners and providers to the users of public services and invites anyone with experiences or views they wish to share to contact him on 

Mr Boyle has previously written about the effectiveness of public services, co-authoring of a series of reports with NESTA about the development of co-production (when providers share the delivery of services with service users).

Oliver Letwin said:

This government strongly believes that choice can be empowering and drive up the performance of those providing services. But it only really works if everyone, irrespective of where they live or what they do, has an equal access to those choices. That’s why I am very pleased that David Boyle has agreed to carry out this independent review which will help us to deliver fair and equal choices for everyone.

Danny Alexander said:

Ensuring everyone gets access to improved public services is a priority of this government. Giving everyone a fair opportunity to exercise choice in the public services they use is an important way of achieving this. This review is an excellent opportunity for the public to get involved and help us to deliver the choices in public services that are right for them.

Notes to editors

  1. Terms of reference for the independent review have been published here.
  2. In the Open Public Services White Paper (published in July 2011), the government committed to establishing a robust framework for choice in publicly-funded services.
  3. Services currently in scope of the Right to Choice package are: early years child care, schools, further education, health services and social housing.
  4. David Boyle is a journalist, author and Fellow of the New Economics Foundation. He was responsible for bringing time banking over from the USA, and co-founder of Time Banking UK.
Published 22 June 2012