Why does policy succeed or fail? Nick Raynsford, a former MP, Minister and campaigner, tells us how it looks from the front line of policymaking.
Based on his vast personal experience at the very heart of government and the voluntary sector, Raynsford explores what works and what doesn’t in making and implementing policy and legislation. He gives an ‘insider’s view’ on a range of events. some not previously made public, including the botched 1980s reform of Housing Benefit, the vacuum left by the 1986 abolition of the Greater London Council, the ill-fated 2002 Fire Service strike and subsequent reform programme, and fitful regeneration in the Thames Gateway in the 2000s.
Bringing it right up-to-date, he explores various devolution plans leading up to the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
Offering solutions as to how obstacles in policymaking and implementation can be overcome which will help to restore trust and much-needed confidence in government and the political process, this is a fascinating bridge across the policy and practice divide.
"Raynsford's incisive, candid and unique perspective on successes and failures in government makes this book a must read for politicians, policy-makers, campaigners and academics alike." Kate Henderson, Town and Country Planning Association
"Few people can be better placed to write about housing’s place in politics and policy-making than Nick Raynsford...His book will appeal to those interested in political science and policy studies as well as housing studies" Housing Studies
"Nick Raynsford has produced a serious and essential guide to how to do government - and how not - a must read for every future minister." Order, Order
"Nick Raynsford was one of the chief architects of the London mayor and assembly. His particular ministerial experience gives him deep understanding of how Whitehall and Westminster operate." Anthony Travers, LSE
"A fascinating read from one of the wisest and best informed ministers we have had in recent times. Essential reading for anyone interested in the challenges of delivering good government." Lord Bob Kerslake, former Head of the Civil Service
"An honest, thoughtful and detailed inside account covering an eclectic set of issues, with important insights and radical proposals for change." Margaret Hodge, DBE, MP
“Raynsford’s aim in drawing out his lessons from decades in government is to help future policy become even more effective. His book provides an interesting exposition of significant policy innovations, with illuminating reflections on the factors behind success and failure.” Local Government Studies
"As a serving minister, Nick Raynsford always distinguished between good politics and good policy, and could spot a bad policy from afar. That same common sense permeates these pages." Andy McSmith, Political journalist and author of 'No Such Thing as Society - a History of Britain in the 1980s'
“An insightful account …who better than Nick Raynsford to help us understand what actually happened.” Peter Williams, University of Cambridge
"Restores faith in the hard working politician, challenges the machinery of Whitehall and offers a route to renewed public confidence in government" David Montague CBE, CEO L&Q Housing Trust
Nick Raynsford served as Labour MP for Fulham and later Greenwich for over twenty years. Between 1997 and 2005 he was Minister with responsibility for London, Housing, Planning, Construction and Local Government. He was Director of Shelter Housing Aid Centre 1976-86. He is an Hon. Fellow of RIBA, RTPI and ICE.
The irresistible rise of Housing Benefit;
Why we don't build enough homes;
Does it fly?;
A mayor for London;
The slow road to devolution in England;
The transformation of Hackney;
'This won't take much of your time';