United Kingdom publications

Welcome to the Public Centre Research Centre - UK. This section features insightful research from UK and similar countries on the issues and the challenges faced by public sector and government officials while providing a roadmap of the future of government. To view global publications, please choose the option "all publications" in the menu to the left.

HE Matters: Managing Risk

Our latest edition of HE Matters explores how universities in the UK can manage the key risks they face in 2017 and beyond.

Skilling up the regions: Driving productive and inclusive growth across the UK

Tackling the UK’s skills shortages is key to unlocking productivity, but a new local model of skills is needed, with employers in the driving seat.

Good Growth for Cities 2016: A report on urban economic wellbeing from PwC and Demos

In the wake of the EU referendum result and its potential implications for the UK economy, it is no surprise that the government is placing renewed focus on driving growth, with an emphasis on ensuring that no cities or regions should be left behind.

Gov.Tech: The power to transform public services in the UK

Driven by entrepreneurs using modern technology to disrupt the norm and deliver innovative products and services that users really want, Gov.Tech has the power to transform public services, achieve better for less and improve outcomes.

Local State We’re In 2016

The Local State We're In is our sixth annual survey of local authority Chief Executives and Leaders across the UK.

Beyond control – local government in the age of participation

The past five years has seen a period of unprecedented change for local authorities in the UK. Councils have been pushed to the point where they are having to ask fundamental questions about their place in society. This Talking Points sets out five areas which councils should focus on to harness the power of participation.

Good growth for cities 2015: Our report on economic wellbeing in UK urban areas

The Good growth for Cities 2014 report presents and index measuring the economic wellbeing of our urban areas looking back to before the financial crisis. We argue the case for cities to look beyond GDP and Gross Value Added (GVA) – and for further powers for cities to determine their own priorities for economic success.

The global university

What are the challenges facing universities who have an international agenda? Our new Higher Education sector briefing considers the risks.

Beyond letting go

Our ‘Beyond letting go’ Talking Points explores a number of areas where central government has a critical role to play in creating and operating in a successful devolved environment.

The 2018 University

Higher education is facing a future that is challenging but also presents more opportunities for innovative organisations than ever before. Rather than being standalone academic institutions, universities will need to become ever more integrated into the economy, with real commercial awareness and relationship management capability, in order to thrive.

Skilled for the future: simplifying the UK skills system

The skills system in the UK has been the subject of significant change over the last 10 years, with new funding agencies and policies, new qualifications and a greater focus on employers' needs. This Talking Points publication considers whether the current skills system is really working for its stakeholders and what changes could be made to its administration to make the UK skilled for the future.

To own or not to own: realising the value of public sector assets

The drivers of fiscal austerity will continue to frame decisions, and the ongoing reform of public services, for the rest of this Parliament.

Full speed ahead: connecting our cities and regions

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution and the future is about localised decision-making.

Delivering growth: Where next for Local Enterprise Partnerships?

Our Talking Points with the Smith Institute draws on interviews with 22 LEP leaders (mainly chairs and chief Executives) and a briefing event hosted at the LEP Annual Conference in March 2015 to explore ‘where next’ for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Delivering the decentralisation dividend

With decentralisation high on the agenda in the UK, our report Delivering the decentralisation dividend sets out the potential prize of decentralisation - good growth, public service reform and public engagement - and the barriers to be overcome if local places are truly to deliver the decentralisation dividend.

Forces for change: the public’s view of defence

As we approach the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) under a new government, we explore the public’s views on the purpose and value of our Armed Forces.

Whitehall Matters: A collection of articles on the Spending Review

The public sector is still under pressure and will be for the next few years. But there are practical changes that this government can make through the Spending Review process, and to its future operating model.

Smart moves: Tapping into growth in public transport

Our third annual public transport ticketing survey focusses on understanding if perceptions of current and future public transport ticketing options, as well as the drivers and barriers to their adoption, are continuing to change.

Good Jobs: A Demos and PwC essay collection

This Demos and PwC collection of essays brings together a wide range of contributors to share their views on what might be meant by ‘good jobs’.

The Public Matters – Autumn 2014

In this issue, we share the public's perspectives on reforming public services and dealing with the deficit, lifting living standards and delivering good growth and good jobs. We also explore the role of deliberative research in policy making, more widely.

Decentralisation Decade report: a plan for economic prosperity, public service transformation and democratic renewal

IPPR’s report ‘The Decentralisation Decade’, which we have supported, sets out the prospects and priorities for decentralisation in England over the next 10 years.

Who’s accountable now? The public’s view on decentralisation

Who’s to blame when public services go wrong? Who takes the credit when the economy picks up? Our Talking Points publication, Who’s accountable now?, analyses who the UK public hold accountable for the economy and public services.

Productivity in the public sector - what makes a good job?

This new Talking Points publication from PwC and Demos explores what can be done to lift productivity and how the public sector can play its part.

The Local State We’re In 2014: Our annual local government survey

The Local State We’re In 2014 charts the progress councils have made in redefining what they do, how they do it, and the outlook for the future.

Redefining local government

Prolonged austerity is driving an important shift in local government, and this new landscape will require fundamentally different organisational cultures and behaviours to make it successful. This Talking Points argues that there is a need for a new framework that enables local authorities to make strategic choices leading to the redesign and development of new ways of working on the ground.

Leading from the front: Finance in the public sector – from aspiration to action

This PwC publication continues PSRC's research into the role of Finance in the public sector in the UK, examining the trends, issues and the changing environment faced by Finance Directors

The Local State We’re In PwC’s annual local government survey, 2013

This PwC publication finds that UK local authorities have once again successfully delivered against an ambitious programme of financial savings over the last year without impacting the quality or quantity of services. But the survey points to nervousness about meeting rising demands for services and protecting the frontline in future in the face of further public spending cuts.

Gaming the Cuts: Local government in 2018

Local authority decision makers in the UK are attempting to bridge a widening financial gap. Against this backdrop this report sets out the potential implications of future spending reviews out to 2018.

Brave new world? Different ways of working

In this Pressure Points publication, we examine how public sector organisations need to re-define their purpose and future ways of working.

Opening out? New approaches to service delivery

This PwC publication examines the UK Government's commitment to opening up public ervices to a diverse range of providers competing to offer a better service for users and discuss the implications for the partnership models needed to deliver public services.

At risk? Dealing with failure

This PwC publication discusses the risks in the delivery of public services, examples of different types of failure and how to turn around organisations in distress.

Good growth for cities: Our report on economic wellbeing in UK urban areas

Developed by PwC & the World Economic Forum this report on city growth presents the findings of our index on the economic wellbeing of UK urban areas.

Strategic Infrastructure: Steps to prioritize and deliver infrastructure effectively and efficiently

This publication, developed by PwC and the World Economic Forum, explains why infrastructure only drives economic growth when it is well aligned with the country’s economic, industrial, social and environmental priorities.

Hidden potential: fulfilling the economic potential of mid-sized cities

A report from Centre for Cities, PwC and Sunderland City Council reveals that mid-sized cities have the potential to create more jobs if they can invest in reconfiguring their centres

A question of quality: Citizens Jury on quality in the NHS - Full report

As part of our contribution to the debate on improving the quality of care in the NHS, PwC commissioned BritainThinks to convene a Citizens’ Jury. The Jurors were able to arrive at strong, well-considered and thoughtful recommendations with a real shift in perspective from personal consumers of healthcare services to citizen ambassadors for the nation.

Valuing social impacts: Should government pay for results?

An approach to measuring and valuing social impacts and practical steps to achieve wider adoption of Payment by Results schemes by Departments.

Helping economic take off: Devolving Air Passenger Duty

This edition discusses the effects of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on 29 November, which confirmed a substantial rise in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in 2012, and what the future for the Northern Ireland leisure and business travel will be.

Good growth index - Our report on economic wellbeing

One of the toughest questions for today's governments is how to achieve balanced economic growth that is financially, socially and environmentally sound.

Out in the open: Delivering Public Service Reform

Rising demand for public services, tightened budgets and the need for a leaner, more efficient public sector mean public service reform is high on the Coalition’s agenda.

Funding tomorrow's care – Practical implications of the Dilnot Commission proposals

On July 2010 the Government set up the independent Commission on Funding of Care and Support, chaired by Andrew Dilnot, to develop solutions on how to 'achieve an affordable and sustainable funding system for care and support, for all adults in England, both in the home and other settings.'

Is PFI Working?

The real problem with PFI is not the one we're hearing about in the press. The procurement process means that PFI deals are structured and signed under significant public sector scrutiny.

Implications of the bribery act for higher education

Bribery has traditionally not been considered a high management risk for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Recent changes in UK law however, mean a rethink is needed. This Talking Points outlines some of the new risks facing HEIs and the ways in which these may be addressed.

Infrastructure investment in the wake of crisis

Our latest Talking Points publication argues for continued investment in infrastructure, despite the global financial crisis.

Rebalancing the economy: prospects for the North

This report by the Smith Institute, in association with PwC and Newcastle University provides a detailed analysis of past and present policies to tackle regional inequalities.

Charging ahead: Should government charge for more?

With the Coalition facing the dual challenge of reducing the deficit and implementing public service reform, should government charge for more services?

The future of retirement in a transforming workplace

People are living longer, healthier lives, bringing a number of challenges. A public debate is required, alongside action from Government, employers and the financial services industry

Who's accountable?

All parties appear to support greater localism but given the tendency to hold ministers accountable for all aspects of public service performance is it really possible for government to let go in our centralised political culture?

Social Private Partnerships - Innovation in public service delivery

The last decade has seen a determined push by Whitehall to create a more mixed economy for public service delivery. The policy objective, has been to transform the UK's £79bn public service market by widening choice, lowering cost and radically improving service delivery.

New partnerships for public services

The third sector makes a significant contribution to society, employing 650,000 people, and contributing nearly —9 billion a year to the UK economy with social enterprises alone. The sector has evolved at a rapid rate, assisted over the last decade by a determined push from Whitehall to create a more mixed economy for public service delivery.

Working longer, living better: A fiscal and social imperative

This generation is enjoying longer lives and longer periods of retirement than any of its predecessors. But these big changes also create a number of significant challenges, especially to the government's fiscal position through higher costs of state pensions, health and long-term care.