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The Third Sector Delivering Public ServicesDevelopments, Innovations and Challenges$
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James Rees and David Mullins

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322399

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322399.001.0001

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The history of third sector service delivery in the UK

The history of third sector service delivery in the UK

(p.21) Two The history of third sector service delivery in the UK
The Third Sector Delivering Public Services

Pete Alcock

Policy Press

Third sector involvement in the delivery of public services has a long history. The chapter traces the history to the 1800s and the establishment of organisations providing key welfare services at a time when public provision was limited. Despite the development of the welfare state in the twentieth century, third sector provision continued. The reforms of the 1980s and 1990s led to further changes in this relationship, with the Conservative government seeking to replace public welfare with private and voluntary providers. Marketisation and contracting were continued by the Labour governments of the early twenty-first century, as part of a more general commitment to revisions in the mix of welfare providers, captured in their notion of the ‘third way’. Labour were proactive in promoting choice and innovation in public service delivery through the involvement of third sector providers, and in supporting them to develop capacity to bid for, and deliver, services.

Keywords:   welfare state, third way, third sector providers, public service delivery, Labour, Conservative

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