It was great to see a real fighting spirit amongst APSE’s membership at the annual conference at St Georges Hall in Liverpool. A number of national organisations and their representatives appear to have recently become drained of spirit about local government’s future role, almost accepting that by 2020 local government will play a minimalistic part in society and the lives of local communities. That's not a view APSE shares and it was a chance to promote our 'Ensuring Council' model.
While there are few surprises when it comes to local government’s ability to attract the blame for issues of national significance they have had very little control over, even a cynic like myself was shocked at how quickly they became the whipping boys on public health when recent life expectancy league tables were published.
It's an old cliché that staff are an organisations number one asset but just because it's old doesn't make it any less true. My view is that more now than ever we need to harness the ideas of frontline staff to make services more efficient and effective. Those on the frontline who interface with communities on a daily basis have the detailed, local knowledge that can help make those services more efficient and effective.
This blog is based on my recent article published in the MJ
Never has the need for local government service delivery teams to have a commercialisation strategy been more apparent than at present.
APSE's latest research shows how local authorities can take a lead in ensuring the lives of a generation of young people are not blighted by long-term unemployment.
Visited Telford and Wrekin Council today to catch up with the Managing Director Richard Partington and find out what current initiatives the Council are working on. And there was plenty to hear about and see.
Local government has been facing tough times for a number of years now and yet the longer austerity rolls on, the more demand on services grows.
Housing, social care, school meals and leisure are among the many services facing up to this challenging phenomenon of more demand with less resources whilst trying to balance budgets.
Great day today at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood where we held our first conference on the usage of social media in local government, #apsesm
Viewed with suspicion by some, belittled by others, derided by the media both locally and nationally, over worked and underpaid. For some a wider career ending move with little reward at the end, with even the possibility of a small pension set to be removed by Ministers.
Managing a significant but diminishing budget, making cuts to services the vulnerable rely on and staff redundant, it’s all in a day’s work in the current economic environment.
More and more councils are emphasising the development of commercial strategies and skills in order to hold services together and give them a fighting chance in the current age of austerity.
Some commentators may view local government, innovation and entrepreneurship as unlikely bedfellows. But I see evidence all over country that a commercial culture is expanding and flourishing amongst council staff.