Editor's Comment

01.12.15

Public notice

Source: Dec/Jan 16

As PSE was going to press, we were still awaiting the local government financial settlement. This has rarely made for happy reading in recent years. 

With the number of rabbits-pulled-out-of-hats that George Osborne managed in the Spending Review, perhaps we should be more confident than usual about what the DCLG and Treasury have in store for local authorities, and the citizens who depend on and make use of their services? 

Or perhaps not. This government and its predecessor have rarely acknowledged the immense financial pressures that councils are under – especially as regards social care – preferring to talk of finding efficiencies, selling assets and raiding the reserves. 

These avenues do all provide opportunities for one-off cash injections or for long-term savings, yes, but do not begin to make up for the scale of rising demand and plummeting ‘income’ that most councils are facing. 

A traditional riposte has been that the public, apparently, have barely noticed the cuts that their own councils have made. Beyond the fact that many people are only dimly aware of who is responsible for what in our over-complicated and over-centralised system, and that councils’ most vital functions relate to a relatively small proportion of vulnerable people in our communities, perhaps that is not surprising. But it is very likely that more people will notice the impact of the coming cuts in this Parliament, as more and more valued services get closed or handed off to volunteers (or maybe the clamour will only become politically meaningful when the pothole situation gets out of hand…) 

Political argument will continue – some say public services are being defunded to clear the way for privatisation, others that public sector salaries, pensions and conditions are over-generous and that there is more fat to trim yet in service delivery. 

You can make up your own mind. There is plenty of analysis of the Spending Review itself in this edition of PSE, and we will be covering the local government financial settlement on our website as soon as it is announced. 

There’s plenty else on the agenda too, from devolution to education governance, and from the new Transport for the North body to sustainability in the wake of the (more successful than expected) Paris climate conference. You can find comment and analysis of all those issues throughout this edition of PSE – turn the page for more details and my Editor’s Choice. 

It just remains for me to wish all PSE readers a great Christmas from the whole team here – we’ll see you in 2016!

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

AI technology fund of £2 million announced to identify UK potholes

22/07/2019AI technology fund of £2 million announced to identify UK potholes

Innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be used to help improve the condition of local roads, following the announcement of DfT f... more >
Five new regional economic blueprints launched

19/07/2019Five new regional economic blueprints launched

A series of local economic blueprints have been unveiled, setting out plans for how to boost the earning power and opportunities of people and bu... more >
DfE announces £33.5m for academies to drive improvements

19/07/2019DfE announces £33.5m for academies to drive improvements

Academies in England will receive a package of over £33m to help drive improvement in the education system, the Department for Education (D... more >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... 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

AI technology fund of £2 million announced to identify UK potholes

22/07/2019AI technology fund of £2 million announced to identify UK potholes

Innovative artificial intelligence (AI) techn... more >
Ministers back new Oxford-Cambridge Arc economic proposals

19/07/2019Ministers back new Oxford-Cambridge Arc economic proposals

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse has vowed to s... more >
New Chief Executive at East Hampshire and Havant Councils

22/07/2019New Chief Executive at East Hampshire and Havant Councils

East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council have approved the permanent appointment of Gill Kneller as shared Chief Executive. She was made interim Chief Executive in January 2019,... more >
Government consultation with local authorities to promote local voices

22/07/2019Government consultation with local authorities to promote local voices

Communities Secretary Rt Hon. James Brokenshire has laid out the government’s vision for building a stronger sense of belonging and shared prosperity within local communities. The new ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >