Governments urgently need to develop better relationships with the people they serve. This interim report explores how those relationships can be built. Working in four local authority areas, we show how institutions have succumbed to the idea that better services alone are the key to building public trust. In fact, the public cares about process as well as outcomes. What you do matters, but so does how you do it.
Drawing on extensive new research, we offer a new typology of the trust relationships that the public wants to build with government. With practical ways for councils to take the initiative, we show that the key is a focus on the personal interactions between citizens and staff and a new approach to taking political decisions.
Simon Parker is a fellow at the Office for Public Management, and former head of public services at Demos. Phil Spires is a Demos Associate, Faizal Farook is a researcher at Demos, and Melissa Mean is head of the cities programme at Demos.
This project is supported by the Improvement and Development Agency, and Communities and Local Government.