Editor's Comment

13.10.15

Money and power

Source: PSE - Oct/Nov 2015

Our front cover photograph gets across well some of the key themes we’re covering in this edition, showing as it does protesters marching past Manchester Town Hall – austerity, devolution and public service reform.

The marchers were there to make clear their feelings about government policy and cuts, as part of the demonstration at the start of the Conservative Party conference at nearby Manchester Central.

The march, which passed close by PSE’s office in Manchester city centre, attracted tens of thousands unhappy with the government, and the banners made clear that plenty of them were public sector workers who remain implacably opposed to the Conservative agenda.

Many of our features and comment pieces examine the interplay between austerity and devolution. I’d especially urge you to have a look at Professor Chris Painter’s contribution beginning on page 18, which digs below the government rhetoric (and the protestors’ chants) to examine the true state of public service reform and the likely direction of travel over this Parliament. It’s useful to read this in conjunction with Barry Loveday’s piece (page 34) on the changing relationship between police services, PCCs and local authorities, and Simon Parker’s article on ‘taking power back’ (page 65). Parker’s piece is eye-opening, and not just for his comparison of Westminster to Tony Montana from Scarface, via an evocative metaphor linking the addictive properties of power and cocaine. His new book – called, appropriately enough, ‘Taking Power Back’ – recently arrived at the PSE offices. I’m sure you can expect coverage and perhaps a review in a future edition.

The tensions thrown up by localism and austerity are clear subtexts in some of our other main focuses this edition, from housing and planning policy to transport interchanges. A-level Politics students learn that the subject boils down to who gets what, when and how – so it’s hardly surprising that so many aspects of policy, democracy and governance right now are concerned with austerity (money) and devolution (power).

You can find out more about what’s in this edition, and some of my highlights, over the page. I’d also urge you, if you haven’t already, to download the PSE app and likewise to sign up to our e-newsletter to receive bitesize bulletins with the biggest news headlines from our website, now twice a week instead of just once. More than 115,000 people from across the public sector already receive it – you can sign up for free via our website, just click ‘Subscribe’.

Adam Hewitt

Editor

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

November too late for pay cap decision, GMB says

25/09/2017November too late for pay cap decision, GMB says

The GMB has criticised the government’s choice to defer the decision of ending the public sector pay cap until the Autumn Budget on 22 Nove... more >
LGA: TfL Uber decision shows need for ‘urgent reform’ of outdated taxi laws

25/09/2017LGA: TfL Uber decision shows need for ‘urgent reform’ of outdated taxi laws

Councils have this week declared that outdated taxi laws need to be urgently reformed following Transport for London’s (TfL’s) decisi... more >
Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

22/09/2017Councils falling short of preventive care obligations

Councils are failing to meet their obligations to prevent, reduce or delay the need for care as set out in the Care Act 2014. New research p... more >

comment

Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider lessons of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire and what measures and assess... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), talks to PSE about the importance of moving to the ... more >
Effective leadership in uncertain times

04/09/2017Effective leadership in uncertain times

Dr David Beech, lecturer in people management at Salford Business School, argues that continuous renewal and progress is fundamental to effective... more >
Refocusing professional development

04/09/2017Refocusing professional development

Graeme McDonald, managing director of Solace, discusses the importance of taking time out to focus on learning, especially in the ever-changing l... more >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides ... 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

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

Make the census meaningful again

11/09/2017Make the census meaningful again

Christopher Gallagher, Public Sector – ... more >
Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

30/08/2017Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

The Grenfell Tower disaster revealed a number... more >
South Yorkshire devolution in doubt as councils clash over next steps

19/09/2017South Yorkshire devolution in doubt as councils clash over next steps

South Yorkshire’s devolution deal took a serious knock today after a statement from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) revealed that two councils, Barnsley and Doncaster MBC, have refused to b... more >
Male LCR cabinet urged to give up their seats for female nominees

15/09/2017Male LCR cabinet urged to give up their seats for female nominees

The entirely male cabinet at the Liverpool City Region (LCR) have this week been urged to give up their seats by the Women’s Leadership Group (WLG) in a drive towards a more gender inclusiv... more >

the raven's daily blog

How would local government look under a Labour government?

25/09/2017How would local government look under a Labour government?

Few will disagree with the statement that the current landscape of local government is one that has been shaped by seven years of Tory influence. Harsh austerity measures have seen pressures on council-run services, as well as the NHS, mount sharply as demand increases. The resurgence of the Labour Party in June’s snap election... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >