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The collaborating planner?Practitioners in the neoliberal age$
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Ben Clifford and Mark Tewdwr-Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305118

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305118.001.0001

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Management: the efficiency agenda, audit and targets

Management: the efficiency agenda, audit and targets

(p.115) Five Management: the efficiency agenda, audit and targets
The collaborating planner?

Ben Clifford

Mark Tewdwr-Jones

Policy Press

This chapter explores how local authority planners responded to the Labour Government’s performance management agenda for planning, particularly the targets for speed of the development control function. It is revealed that the performance agenda has had a massive impact on the professional life of planners ‘at the coalface’. In common with other public sector professions, a range of negative consequences were associated with the targets, including concerns about a focus on process over outcome and a range of unintended consequences. Strikingly, however, most planners did not support the abolition of targets. A range of ways in which planners have successfully used national targets to further their own agendas are evident. Having discussed the continued currency of the efficiency agenda for the Coalition government, it is concluded that there is significant active agency amongst these frontline professionals, whilst working within an overall structure imposed by central government.

Keywords:   Planning, Planners, Targets, Audit, Efficiency, Great Britain

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