UCLan urges public value commitment at Cumbria convention
Academics, politicians and industry leaders come together at University event
Increasing organisations’ understanding of and commitment towards public value was top of the agenda when academics, politicians and leading figures from the nuclear sector gathered in West Cumbria.
Held by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in partnership with the Samuel Lindow Foundation (SLF), the 2019 Westlakes Public Value Convention explored how public funded projects are benefitting citizens in the communities in which they are being delivered.
Insights into the work being carried out by UCLan in the area were shared, based on leading research relating to policy and professional practice, drawing upon the University’s partnerships in this field.
The institution has collaborated with a number of organisations, including the European Space Agency (ESA), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Sellafield and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).
Chaired by Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, David Taylor, the two-day event was framed by the foundations of the Government’s Industrial Strategy; people, places, infrastructure, ideas and business environment.
"Not only was it beneficial to share the findings of research we’ve done as part of our collaborations to date, it was a chance to look at new opportunities with organisations we haven’t yet worked with."
Speakers provided local, national and international perspectives on public value issues in these areas, and included Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Professor Paul Haworth of the NNL, Paul Vallance, Head of External Relations at the NDA and Dr Rick Wylie, Reader in Applied Policy Science at UCLan.
Dr Rick Wylie said: “Citizens remain at the heart of the work we do on public value, with a real focus on measuring the impact of an organisation, policy or programme beyond financial measures and economic outcomes. This perspective is helping shape the approach to public value of several organisations, ultimately resulting in changes to policies and practices to maximise public benefit.
“Not only was it beneficial to share the findings of research we’ve done as part of our collaborations to date, it was a chance to look at new opportunities with organisations we haven’t yet worked with. The more organisations that commit to prioritising public value, the wider the benefits will be felt.”
David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, added: “Public value is an increasingly important topic, particularly for citizens in communities such as West Cumbria, and is key across all sectors. Events like these are crucial for exploring issues and sharing best practice.
“Following on from the success of this convention we are planning a second which will take place in the House of Lords later this year, and we look forward to continuing the debate and broadening our influence in this area.”