Unprecedented financial problems coupled with demographic and environmental pressures call for a fundamental rethink of what the future role of local government should be and how effective services can be provided in the next decade and beyond.
The 'enabling model' has prevailed in local government during the past decade, fostering a largely unchallenged assumption that becoming a commissioner rather than a provider of services makes 'common sense'. But practitioners and commentators are beginning to question the assumption that this is the best way to meet the demands of complex policy and practical issues. This latest APSE report highlights that in fact such models can contribute to problems by fragmenting services and leaving 'hollowed out' authorities lacking capacity to intervene in accountable ways to meet the needs of their citizens.
It is against this backdrop that APSE has developed the Ensuring Council as a logical alternative to existing models.
The challenges faced by local government are, immense and APSE is not suggesting there are any easy solutions. However this report provides a useful and timely contribution to the debate and we hope it will help to shape alternative solutions to the challenges faced by local authorities providing a a positive way forward to 2020 and beyond.