Strategic Improvement or Service Measures? Best Value in UK Local Government

Rodney Mcadam, Mairead Maguire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In 1997 Best Value was introduced as part of the UK government's policy to modernise local government. The Local Government Act 1999, more commonly known as “Best Value”, subsequently came into effect on 1 April 2000. Since then, there have been a number of studies on the effectiveness of Best Value at service delivery level. However, there is a paucity of research studies, which investigate the strategic impact of Best Value in local government organisations. The aim of this article is to examine the introduction of Best Value at a strategic level by using a case organisation analysis. The research reveals that the strategic approach taken to the Best Value planning process contributed to an improvement in services. Moreover, the strategic approach led to more consistent action, enabling customers and other stakeholders of the case organisation to experience the longitudinal benefits of Best Value. Thus, the need for over-reliance on service delivery to demonstrate value was reduced.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-81
    Number of pages25
    JournalPublic Policy and Administration
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Oct 2004

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