The Wigan Deal
The Wigan Deal has evolved since 2011. It is an agreement between public systems and citizens. Public systems are clear about what they can do. Citizens are clear about what they can do.
This isn’t a statement. It is a continuing conversation.
It demands a different kind of public policy. (Wigan is part of Greater Manchester and so has powers devolved from Westminster. The Chief Executive is the commissioner of both health and local authority services).
Stress is placed on listening, and letting people who use services to take the lead.
The local and health authority has transferred power and assets to the community. It has fostered a culture of collaboration that gives council staff and civil society activists permission to innovate. The work starts from the premise that local people have the capabilities to solve challenges in their lives. The council is there as back up support.
All workers in Wigan -social workers, refuse collectors, administrators- are trained to engage with the community. Stress is placed on listening, and letting people who use services to take the lead.
Donna Hall was Chief Executive of Wigan Council and pioneer of The Wigan Deal. Donna is also Chair of National Local Government Network whose work will feature strongly in the ongoing debate in Islington.
Here is Donna reflecting with Michael Little from Ratio on the Deal, how it works in practice and what it means for the future of public policy.