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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

PwC Low Carbon Economy Index 2014: 2 degrees of separation: ambition and reality

The 6th annual Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) tracks the rate that G20 countries are decarbonising their economies.

The 2018 university: how ready is higher education to embrace the future?

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.

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’.

Good Growth for Cities

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 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.

Good Growth for Cities 2013

This publication, with UK think tank Demos, presents an index measuring the economic wellbeing of UK urban areas. We argue the case for cities to look beyond GDP and Gross Value Added (GVA) and give the public and business a key role in determining priorities for their local economic success.

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

Good Growth for Cities 2013

This publication, with UK think tank Demos, presents an index measuring the economic wellbeing of UK urban areas. We argue the case for cities to look beyond GDP and Gross Value Added (GVA) and give the public and business a key role in determining priorities for their local economic success

Stepping stones to growth

Signs suggest that the UK economy is turning a corner and confidence is on the rise, but the stepping stones that lead to recovery require a different way of thinking

NHS@75: Towards a healthy state

The current and growing financial and demand pressures the NHS is facing threaten to undermine its fundamental principles. Without deliberate and courageous action – by the public, providers, commissioners, regulators and politicians – the NHS as we know it may not exist in 2023. NHS@75 sets out the case for radical change in the health service over the next ten years.

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. The purpose is not to add more detail to an already fatalistic picture but to recommend new policies and approaches that can be applied to future fiscal challenges.

At risk? Dealing with failure

No government wants a provider of public services to fail. But as public services are opened up to more competitive pressures, it is likely that under performance will no longer be hidden and provider failure will then appear to occur more frequently.

Brave new world? Different ways of working

Today’s pressures will significantly impact on the way public services are delivered in future, whether by public sector organisations or by a mix of other providers. Here we examine how public sector organisations need to re-define their purpose and future ways of working by becoming more agile and managing demand more effectively.

Opening out? New approaches to service delivery

The UK Government has committed to opening up public ervices to a diverse range of providers competing to offer a better service for users. But why is opening up public services to new providers such a priority? Does a new market for ‘public service partnerships’ exist yet? Here we discuss the implications for the partnership models needed to deliver public services.

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

This PwC publication from Sweden explains why e-services can be used by public administration individuals and institutions alike to dramatically improve society’s capacity for development and innovative capacity.

Under Pressure: securing success, managing risk in public services

PwC's practical guide to coping with the pressures of austerity, rising demand and public sector reform

The agile council

This PwC publication discusses why creating an “agile” UK council model is critical to the current and future success of the organisation and looks at the environment councils are operating in and five steps to becoming an agile organisation.

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?

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.

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.

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.