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Council ‘nudge units’ needed to tackle rising demand, say consultants

Policy, education, nudge, principles

Councils should create local versions of the government’s so-called ‘nudge unit’ in a bid to cut the demand for services amid a spending squeeze on town halls, a report has claimed today.

Public services consultancy firm iMPOWER said authorities needed to improve their ability to use behavioural science as a way to reduce demand for services and implement organisational reforms.

The firm polled 125 council chief executives and senior directors and found 123 agreed that demand management formed a significant part of their plans to deal with funding reductions.

However, nearly half of those polled (46.9%) said their organisations did not have the skills needed to adequately deliver programmes to reduce demand.

The inflection point report recommended the creation of Behavioural Insight Hubs, so authorities have the experience and ability to devise behavioural interventions for their own communities.

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