APSE exhibited at the SNP conference in Aviemore this weekend and I also spoke at a fringe event on 'what local authorities are doing to tackle climate change', with the Scottish Government's Environment Minister, Mike Russell and Sandra White a MSP.
The Comprehensive Spending Review eventually arrived today after months of speculation and the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, didn’t spring many surprises on local government. As expected the spending settlement was the tightest in years with a 1% real term rise set out over the next three years. This coupled with a built in efficiency target of 3% cashable savings, which in reality means £4.9b of savings required over the next three years suggests that times are about to get really tough for local authorities.
Start the day by speaking at a Surveyor conference in Nottingham on efficiencies and procurement in Highways services. I push a line around shared services and joint procurement, managing to get in a few analogies about Robin Hood. I talk about public value and how we need to ensure that we don't do a reverse Robin Hood by stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. The Q and A is pretty good and I have a laugh by linking my answers to the great legend of Sherwood forest.