Good public services are vital to our individual and collective wellbeing and prosperity, and the foundation for a fair and cohesive society. They enable us to cope with the uncertainties of life, develop our potential, and extend our opportunities. They act as a practical expression of our shared values and aspirations. They work to correct underlying inequalities, and to advance other shared social, economic or environmental objectives.
The Commission on 2020 Public Services is a major inquiry into how our public services can respond to the significant challenges of the next decade. In a period when resources will be severely constrained, the demands on public services will rise driven by economic, demographic, social and other trends, often global in nature. Exacerbating the dilemmas for policy makers, many of the trends are also constraining the ability of the State to respond.
The Commission will develop a practical but compelling vision for public services in 2020, appropriate to the conditions of the times. It brings to the task a breadth of perspectives and a wealth of experience. Chaired by Sir Andrew Foster, Commissioners are drawn from across the political spectrum, local government, academia, and from the public, private and third sectors. The inquiry will run for 18 months, reporting in the summer of 2010.