By Helen Sullivan and Chris Skelcher.
Partnerships, inter-agency working and collaboration are the
watchwords of the modern manager. Networking and alliance building
are necessary skills. This timely book traces the development of
the new emphasis on working across boundaries and places the issue
in the government’s modernisation agenda.
The authors see policy dilemmas in the approach. Do local
partnerships have real power if they are reacting to a centrally
driven performance management model? Are local strategic
partnerships representative of the community in areas with ethnic
and cultural diversity? How do the responsibilities of these
inter-agency partnerships fit with the vision of democratic renewal
through local authorities? These are not questions with a right or
wrong answer but raise issues often glossed over in the rhetorical
enthusiasm for partnership working.
This is an important book that asks difficult questions about
overlapping jurisdictions that have been constructed in the name of
public benefit but which confuse the nature of
The headlong pace of change will not stop but readers of this book
will be better equipped to look at the public policy implications
of the new structures being put in place.
Terry Bamford is chairperson of the Kensington and Chelsea
Primary Care Trust.