PA and New Local Government Network (NLGN) have produced a paper that seeks to pen a renewed debate on what citizens want - and can realistically expect - from their public services.
Our analysis provided evidence for four potential clusters of citizen attitiudes that are likely to emerge in response to an unprecedented period of austerity. Through a scenario planning exercise we extrapolated the extremes of each cluster to polarise the principal characteristics and provide us with a set of clear options:
Safety-nets: citizens who expect little support from government for themselves, but passionately support a decent safety net for the vulnerable.
Reclusives: citizens who have given up on public services and either settle for second best, doing without or, where they can, buying private alternatives.
Shopping-lists: groups of citizens who are increasingly active on behalf of themselves, their families and communities, trying to win themselves a bigger share of declining public spending.
New mutalists: a new wave of social entrepreneurs setting up schemes that help citizens help themselves, for instance by trading time spent helping elderly relatives.
Throughout the paper we build the case for the emergence and potential future prevalence of these clusters.