Editor's Comment

19.08.16

A new wave of uncertainty

Source: PSE Aug/Sep 16

Since the last edition of PSE, the landscape facing the public sector has altered dramatically and brought with it a great deal of uncertainty – as if there wasn’t enough of that before. 

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (well, the English and Welsh vote), we have a completely new-look government, with Theresa May at the head. Fortuitously, Professor Chris Painter has been on hand to provide a round-up of all the changes and their potential implications. His article, starting on page 16, is well worth a read. 

Unsurprisingly, the thread which is interwoven throughout this issue is that of Brexit.

With David Davis at the helm of the newly formed Department for Exiting the European Union, it is important that clear leadership and decisions are made – sooner rather than later – to help steady the Whitehall ship that will have to, as Sir Jeremy Heywood said, provide “calm and commitment” to deliver a smooth transition. 

Although none of us know exactly how the negotiations, and taking sovereignty back from Brussels, will play out, it is fair to say that all of the public sector must work together, collectively, if the nation is to prosper. 

In the June/July issue, we focused predominantly on the latest devolution developments. Now, however, we are unsure how this agenda will play out, especially with regards to maintaining already promised EU funding. The LGA is calling for reassurances from the government, but so far there seems to be little response. 

As well as looking at the political and economic ramifications of Brexit in this edition, we also have a focus on inequality, public sector estates reform, pensions and finance, and much more. 

Of particular interest, Cllr Gillian Keegan, director of Women2Win, explains why she is co-chairing a commission into women’s representation in local government. Her article discusses the work of the one-year programme and how people can get involved. I sincerely hope you do, as it is a travesty that just over 30% of councillors are women. We can, and must, do better! 

While many have said David Cameron’s legacy will be Brexit, Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum argues that instead he should be remembered for his inaction over child obesity. I’ll let you make your own mind up on that one, but it is something to consider – especially as this is a growing public health problem which falls under local government’s remit to address. 

Last year, at around this time, we were all preparing for the then chancellor’s Spending Review. But George Osborne’s replacement at No.11 has signalled that he is prepared to ‘reset’ the government’s economic policy and, in light of the events so far this year, it is needed. What this will entail is still unknown, but a wise bet from what has happened so far in 2016 is that change is ahead.

David Stevenson

Editor

Comments

Mike Francis   01/09/2016 at 19:35

Some really important points here and should be factored into planning for managers and executives following a summer of reflection.

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

A shocking eight out of ten workers have lost confidence in the future of council services, survey finds

18/06/2018A shocking eight out of ten workers have lost confidence in the future of council services, survey finds

Council services are failing residents with over two thirds believing they don’t receive help and support when they need it, a new survey h... more >
Grenfell, one year on

18/06/2018Grenfell, one year on

In the year since the Grenfell Tower disaster, the LGA has been working tirelessly to ramp up fire safety regulations and ban ‘desktop&rsqu... more >
School cuts coalition blasts education secretary over ‘dangerously inadequate’ SEND funding

18/06/2018School cuts coalition blasts education secretary over ‘dangerously inadequate’ SEND funding

Almost 40 local councils alongside trade unions have condemned the education secretary for insufficient funding for young people with Special Edu... more >

comment

Grenfell, one year on

18/06/2018Grenfell, one year on

In the year since the Grenfell Tower disaster, the LGA has been working tirelessly to ramp up fire safety regulations and ban ‘desktop&rsqu... more >
Brexit's long shadow over devolution

18/06/2018Brexit's long shadow over devolution

The EU Referendum and the stop-start Brexit negotiations have left a looming shadow of uncertainty over devolution in the UK, writes Anthony Sala... more >
Decisions, decisions

18/06/2018Decisions, decisions

The true social value of procurement comes from asking challenging questions and thinking outside the box, argues Melissa Bell, sustainable procu... more >
Finding the balance

18/06/2018Finding the balance

Douglas White, head of advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, evaluates the risk-benefit relationship of data sharing within the public sector, highl... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

G-Cloud 10: small changes, big opportunities

12/06/2018G-Cloud 10: small changes, big opportunities

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Rafael Cortes, Foehn... more >
Targets and tribulations

04/06/2018Targets and tribulations

David Willett, corporate director at The Open... more >
Government under fire for lack of care funding after £20bn NHS pledge

18/06/2018Government under fire for lack of care funding after £20bn NHS pledge

Council chiefs have heavily criticised Theresa May for not including social care funding in her promise to increase cash resources by £20bn annually for the NHS to mark the service’s ... more >
Somerset should form three unitary authorities, MP suggests

12/06/2018Somerset should form three unitary authorities, MP suggests

Bath and North East Somerset Council leader, Tim Warren, has revealed that he would be open to a council merger, backing MP James Heappey’s recent suggestion of forming three new councils. ... more >

the raven's daily blog

The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

29/05/2018The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

Following the announcement of the second wave of integrated care systems (ICSs), NHS Providers, the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and the LGA reflect on how lessons learnt by members from across the four organisations – that have designed and worked together as part of the vanguards – will support the j... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >