Editor's Comment

21.02.17

Untapped potential

Source: PSE Feb/Mar 17

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”. 

Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all councils from the centralised funding regime that we’ve grown accustomed to. 

Malcom Harbour CBE, the chair of the LGA’s Task and Finish Group on innovative procurement, reflects on page 37 how the strategy provides an opportunity for local government to back the extension of procurement innovation support more widely across the public sector. Cllr Anne Western, the County Councils Network’s spokeswoman for economic growth, also considers the need to tap into the potential of local authorities to deliver increased productivity (more on page 18). 

As well as focusing on the Industrial Strategy, we look at what lessons England’s new metro mayors can learn from London’s current and former mayors on page 19, and the Local Government Information Unit considers the next steps for devolution and how to get it back on track (more on page 23). 

As you have seen from the front cover, there is a focus on education technology and how this is transforming the learning environment for students up and down the country. We also have an exclusive TechData supplement looking at the most effective ways to improve IT & digital efficiency in the public sector. This includes a competition to win a great bundle of prizes, so make sure you have a look at it. 

Following on from our Smart Cities focus in the Dec/Jan edition, we have project updates from some of the leaders in this area, including Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Swansea. The long-term ambitions of all these schemes are truly revolutionary in how we, as a sector, develop and engage with our citizens going forward – especially by transforming the way we use technology as an innovation driver. 

Finally, the Carbon Trust’s managing director of programmes, Richard Rugg, considers the public sector sustainability priorities for 2017 (more on page 54). His comments come ahead of this year’s Carbon Trust Public Sector Conference, of which PSE is the official media partner. We will be reporting live from this year’s event and will provide a round-up of all the major news in the April/May issue.

David Stevenson

Editor

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