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

‘Fundamental rethink’ on social housing needed as Javid brings forward green paper

20/09/2017‘Fundamental rethink’ on social housing needed as Javid brings forward green paper

A wide-ranging, top-to-bottom green paper on social housing is to be brought forward by the government, Sajid Javid has this week announced. ... more >
Cost benefit analysis of government infrastructure ‘misused and poorly communicated’

20/09/2017Cost benefit analysis of government infrastructure ‘misused and poorly communicated’

The government must improve its system for valuing the costs and benefits of its infrastructure to improve the delivery of key projects, experts ... more >
Birmingham recalls Improvement Panel following ‘serious setbacks’

20/09/2017Birmingham recalls Improvement Panel following ‘serious setbacks’

Birmingham City Council’s improvement panel is to stay at the city, despite the authority telling the DCLG that it no longer required its s... 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 do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18/09/2017How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislation’s introduction. The Social Value Act was an important landmark. It decisively addressed the need for major public projects led by all public bodies to maxim... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >