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The Comunity Paradigm - Why Public Services Need Radical Change And How It Can Be Achieved

7th March 2019

Photograph of The Comunity Paradigm - Why Public Services Need Radical Change And How It Can Be Achieved

This item was mentioned by Chief Executive Donna Manson at the Highland council meeting today when she spoke on 3 papers on the agenda. With all the pressure facing councils it sets out new approaches that are already being used with more to come.


The report was produce for New Local Government Network. This is an elite group of around 50 organisations from the public and private sector united by a belief in innovation and creativity. NLGN forms the safe space we need to meet as peers and have the most forward thinking conversations in the sector.


Our public services, designed in previous eras, are struggling to adapt to the rising demand pressures they face today. Yet across public services in the UK and beyond, radical innovations are emerging which meet the challenge.

The feature that connects these innovations is the handing over of significant power and resource to communities. Using these innovations as inspiration, The Community Paradigm sets out a compelling case for a deep shift in public services based on a completely new relationship between citizen and state.

This relationship rejects the hierarchical and transactional mindsets of traditional service models which all too often bypass people's assets and capabilities. Instead, it fosters collaboration between the public servant and the citizen, sharing power and resources more directly with people, to embed prevention and ensure future sustainability.

Combining policy analysis and insights from leading edge practice, The Community Paradigm sets out a new vision and policy agenda for the future of public services.

You can read a blog giving an overview of the case for a new Community Paradigm by report co-author Jessica Studdert HERE.

This paper will form the foundation that shapes NLGN's ongoing research programme and network practice in the future. If you or your organisation would like to find out more about how we are helping public services shift towards the Community Paradigm and how you can get involved, please email the report authors directly - Adam Lent, NLGN Director on and Jessica Studdert, NLGN Deputy Director on

See the full report at

A few years ago Bill Fernie ex Caithness councillor along with other councillors and management staff visited Wigan council to see what they were doing. They discussed their "New Deal" project and this help influence the Redesign of Highland council work that is ongoing See the New Deal in Wigan at

Everyone was pushing forward to make thing work and the enthusiasm was impressive even with like every place declining resources made it hard to change. This was just one example that Highland council looked at and continues to review ideas in other places.


Redesign work of Highland council can be seen at

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