Editor's Comment

20.12.16

No early Christmas presents

Source: PSE Dec/Jan 17

As the chancellor stood at the despatch box in late November, the public sector waited with bated breath at what support would be given to those that are working under extreme pressure. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, Philip Hammond didn’t deliver any early Christmas presents for local government. And it is unlikely that we will see A Christmas Carol change of heart anytime soon. 

Despite major calls from a plethora of organisations for the chancellor to deliver extra funding to alleviate the strain on social care, nothing at all was mentioned about it in his speech or the supporting document. And when I say nothing, I mean not a single word. 

This, quite rightly, led to an outpouring of criticism from the sector. But as PSE went to press, Simon Stevens, the CEO of NHS England, told us during a Q&A session at the NHS Providers annual conference that he had “not given up on the possibility” that there might be a stocking filler with extra funding  from Treasury directed in the way of adult social care. However, until this materialises, it looks to be a bleak Christmas and New Year for the sector. 

Hammond placed great emphasis on supporting productivity and investing in infrastructure, especially through the development of a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund. But, again, there was no mention about the role of local government in allocating spending. Philip Atkins, vice-chairman of the County Councils Network, said that once you look beyond local government finance, there is a lot to be engaged with in the Autumn Statement, particularly around growth. 

In another insightful piece, Alexandra Jones, CEO at Centre for Cities, reflected that in order to boost productivity, as the chancellor wants, then there must be a concerted effort to tackle the skills gaps across the country. But as she explains on page 20, this is one piece of the jigsaw that was missing from the plans put forward in the statement. 

Other announcements by the chancellor included extra devolution powers for London on its adult education budget and employment support services. There was also a mention that mayoral combined authorities in England will get new borrowing powers. However, there was nothing about devolution beyond the major cities. 

In this edition of PSE, we talk to Labour’s shadow devolution minister, Jim McMahon, about the future development of deals and the role of mayors. On page 24, the former leader of Oldham Council also calls for a national devolution framework to be delivered. 

Throughout this issue we have a number of analytical pieces looking at public service reform and the opportunities to drive change forward in these turbulent times, especially through digital transformation and the smart cities agenda. 

I do hope that you enjoy this festive edition of PSE, and from all of us here I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

David Stevenson

Editor

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Switch to Universal Credit doubles number of referrals to foodbanks

25/04/2017Switch to Universal Credit doubles number of referrals to foodbanks

Areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out to single people, couples and families have seen a 16.85% increase in the number of people being... 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 >
Public sector can lead the UK to an ultra-low emission future

25/04/2017Public sector can lead the UK to an ultra-low emission future

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, explains why the public sector has the potential to shape and accelerate the UK automotive market to be entire... more >

comment

Public sector can lead the UK to an ultra-low emission future

25/04/2017Public sector can lead the UK to an ultra-low emission future

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, explains why the public sector has the potential to shape and accelerate the UK automotive market to be entire... more >
Employee financial wellbeing in the public sector

25/04/2017Employee financial wellbeing in the public sector

Charles Cotton, performance and reward adviser to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), analyses the financial wellbeing o... more >
Wigan Council: embracing digital transformation

25/04/2017Wigan Council: embracing digital transformation

Alison McKenzie-Folan, deputy chief executive, director customer transformation at Wigan Council, explains why local authorities, as digital lead... more >
Oxfordshire devolution will boost UK economy

21/04/2017Oxfordshire devolution will boost UK economy

Peter Sloman, chief executive of Oxford City Council, argues that pursuing devolution rather than restructuring local government in the county is... more >

editor's comment

11/04/2017A watershed moment in British politics

The government has now officially triggered Article 50, formally starting the process of Britain’s exit from the EU. How this will affect local government, the wider public sector and the Civil Service remains to be seen, but the likelihood of it being plain sailing with the enormity of the task ahead seems rather unlikely.  It... read more >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will w... more > more last word articles >

interviews

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 >
Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO), tells PSE’s David Stevenson why there are lots of oppo... more >
McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolution, talks to PSE’s David Stevenson about the need to radically... more >

public sector focus

A period of inevitable risk

25/04/2017A period of inevitable risk

Dr Daniel Dresner, information and cyber secu... more >
Using data to enhance public services

25/04/2017Using data to enhance public services

Shane Green, programme manager for business i... more >
60 seconds with… local growth minister Andrew Percy

10/04/201760 seconds with… local growth minister Andrew Percy

How will the DCLG be promoting this year’s mayoral elections? As we gear up to devolve crucial powers and funding to six of the country’s regions, we’ve created a campaign to h... more >
Bournemouth BC to pay out £400,000 as CEO position made redundant

03/04/2017Bournemouth BC to pay out £400,000 as CEO position made redundant

Bournemouth Borough Council have formally voted to remove the chief executive role from the council, and will pay out almost £400,000 to the outgoing CEO in costs including a £63,000 ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Engaging voters ahead of May’s elections

24/04/2017Engaging voters ahead of May’s elections

Emma Hartley, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, discusses the importance of a collaborative approach to engage voters ahead of this year’s elections.  It’s vital that voters can easily participate in every type of election so that democracy can work. One of the challenges for the Electoral Commission when new... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >