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Best value must make community needs the top priority, says Nisbet

THE NEEDS of local communities should be the first concern of public sector engineers if best value is to be achieved, the Association of Municipal Engineers was told this week.

Andrew Nisbet of the ICE best value taskforce said that discovering the needs of the customer should come before quality and efficiency considerations.

'The need to involve the community in the best value process has come up time and time again,' he said. 'When you are doing strategic consultation you will need to make people aware of the implications of those policies.'

His comments came three months before the group is due to publish its framework for local authorities to 'deliver services in the built environment that people want, at a price they want to pay'.

He added: 'The final definition will differ in each local authority because all staff will have to own it. Consultation and improvement will run through each stage.'

Nisbet assured 'daunted' engineers that the guide would be very readable, consisting of a 'circular structure' of the seven stages that engineers could dip into.

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