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

 County council director and CCG CEO to lead STP in joint-role

22/05/2019 County council director and CCG CEO to lead STP in joint-role

Hertfordshire and West Essex STP has announced a job-share partnership between the local county council and CCG to lead the STP. Iain MacBea... more >
Even ‘draconian cuts won’t be enough’ as councils face £50bn funding blackhole

22/05/2019Even ‘draconian cuts won’t be enough’ as councils face £50bn funding blackhole

Councils in England face a funding black hole of over £50bn across the next six years, according to a new report warning that local authori... more >
Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay

15/05/2019Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay

The government has formally approved the formation of two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire in 2021, a year later than first planned, also... more >

comment

Cities as places of opportunity

29/04/2019Cities as places of opportunity

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, asks: if cities are places of opportunity for the low skilled, why are so many struggling? ... more >
Shaping healthy places with district councils

29/04/2019Shaping healthy places with district councils

District councils are achieving excellent outcomes by shifting health solutions from clinical settings to community ones. They have a significant... more >
The road more taken: delivering future connectivity and mobility

29/04/2019The road more taken: delivering future connectivity and mobility

Localis chief executive Jonathan Werran outlines the challenges to delivering future connectivity and mobility, and asks what policy shifts to ho... more >
The state of the Spring Statement

29/04/2019The state of the Spring Statement

Ben Zaranko, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), analyses this year’s Spring Statement and looks ahead to the Spe... 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

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

Flexible working being led by the public sector, Softworks survey finds

26/02/2019Flexible working being led by the public sector, Softworks survey finds

The public sector is leading the way in regar... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector a... more >
Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay

15/05/2019Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay

The government has formally approved the formation of two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire in 2021, a year later than first planned, also confirming the abolishment of the county council ... more >
Government agrees to £30m a year South Yorkshire devolution deal

09/05/2019Government agrees to £30m a year South Yorkshire devolution deal

The government has given the go-ahead for the South Yorkshire devolution deal following a “breakthrough” in March in the stalled £30m a year deal for the Sheffield City Region. ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Empower your reader, choose print

07/05/2019Empower your reader, choose print

We are on a digital rollercoaster, swirling and twirling through a variety of different online advertising platforms – have we forgotten about traditional marketing platforms such as print? The UK is currently the global leader in advertising, generating £6 for every £1 spent on advertising to the economy. This year, UK ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >