It seems slightly absurd that in the midst of one of the greatest shake ups in public spending for many decades, we have to take you back to 2004. However ‘Making the Connections’, the Welsh Government’s plan for public services, is still the foundation for the kind of public services that we continue to aspire to here in Wales.
The foreword says that ‘the best outcomes are obtained when those who use and those who provide services work together in collaboration’. In fact it is more important than ever that the voice of the citizen is clearly heard when designing public services as with less money to go around it is vital that we involve people in decision making.
When public service organisations listen and respond to the needs of citizens and communities, they are able to provide services much more effectively. Their involvement in the design process ensures that money is spent where it is needed.
Rather than adding to the time it takes to design services to local need, a good engagement process can in fact save time, as the right actions are implemented from the very beginning. More so now than ever before, the participation of people and communities in decision-making is vital for efficiency and effectiveness. People have a right to have their say in the services that affect their daily lives.