Big Plans v. Surgically Targeted Action

Andrew Adonis in Prospect on NHS structural reform

Rearranging the deck chairs in public service management structures is almost always a pointless and expensive displacement activity. It is the last refuge of governments wanting to divert attention from their own failings or—worse—a ploy to distract from problems caused by underfunding, by declaring war on “the system.”…

As a public service moderniser masterminding Tony Blair’s quest for “education, education, education,” my greatest successes came from surgical interventions with special funding, particularly the “London Challenge” to transform the capital’s comprehensive schools

Similarly in the London Docklands and 60s and 70s there was a mass of big plans that were not implemengted. For good or ill little happened until Micheal Heseltine and especially targetted investment at Canary Wharf (after ripping down there first attempted redevelopment).

Similarly in the Arc the test of success will not be the big plan but the surgical interventions in terms of new towns it will pave the way for,