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People first, always

Delivering better, cheaper, more accessible public services

February 2024



Labour has stated its ambition to use technologies to transform public services during its first term in government. This is a welcome and much needed commitment - but the critical improvements the UK needs cannot be delivered by technology alone. People must be at the heart of this transformation and the focus must be on delivering real benefits, changing lives, and creating new opportunities.

As public-interest technologists and policy specialists, we see a significant gap in the public counsel being offered to Labour. This gap is the space between techno-optimism and reality, between the necessary specificity of manifesto pledges and the long-term difficult work needed to run the machinery of government. This is the gap where delivery takes place, services are transformed, and innovation becomes reality – and where better, cheaper, more accessible public services become the norm. These recommendations are focussed on what must happen now and next in order to make the future possible.

We are sharing these recommendations to advocate for a practical and pragmatic approach to delivering change that starts locally, builds skills across the four nations of the UK, and makes public service attractive for a generation that wants to build a better, more equitable society.

The recommendations were developed with input from experienced digital practitioners. Quotes in the text are taken from interviews and written submissions.