Editor's Comment

19.08.16

A new wave of uncertainty

Source: PSE Aug/Sep 16

Since the last edition of PSE, the landscape facing the public sector has altered dramatically and brought with it a great deal of uncertainty – as if there wasn’t enough of that before. 

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (well, the English and Welsh vote), we have a completely new-look government, with Theresa May at the head. Fortuitously, Professor Chris Painter has been on hand to provide a round-up of all the changes and their potential implications. His article, starting on page 16, is well worth a read. 

Unsurprisingly, the thread which is interwoven throughout this issue is that of Brexit.

With David Davis at the helm of the newly formed Department for Exiting the European Union, it is important that clear leadership and decisions are made – sooner rather than later – to help steady the Whitehall ship that will have to, as Sir Jeremy Heywood said, provide “calm and commitment” to deliver a smooth transition. 

Although none of us know exactly how the negotiations, and taking sovereignty back from Brussels, will play out, it is fair to say that all of the public sector must work together, collectively, if the nation is to prosper. 

In the June/July issue, we focused predominantly on the latest devolution developments. Now, however, we are unsure how this agenda will play out, especially with regards to maintaining already promised EU funding. The LGA is calling for reassurances from the government, but so far there seems to be little response. 

As well as looking at the political and economic ramifications of Brexit in this edition, we also have a focus on inequality, public sector estates reform, pensions and finance, and much more. 

Of particular interest, Cllr Gillian Keegan, director of Women2Win, explains why she is co-chairing a commission into women’s representation in local government. Her article discusses the work of the one-year programme and how people can get involved. I sincerely hope you do, as it is a travesty that just over 30% of councillors are women. We can, and must, do better! 

While many have said David Cameron’s legacy will be Brexit, Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum argues that instead he should be remembered for his inaction over child obesity. I’ll let you make your own mind up on that one, but it is something to consider – especially as this is a growing public health problem which falls under local government’s remit to address. 

Last year, at around this time, we were all preparing for the then chancellor’s Spending Review. But George Osborne’s replacement at No.11 has signalled that he is prepared to ‘reset’ the government’s economic policy and, in light of the events so far this year, it is needed. What this will entail is still unknown, but a wise bet from what has happened so far in 2016 is that change is ahead.

David Stevenson

Editor

Comments

Mike Francis   01/09/2016 at 19:35

Some really important points here and should be factored into planning for managers and executives following a summer of reflection.

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Up to 2,500 homes on the way as part of York Central development proposals submitted

14/08/2018Up to 2,500 homes on the way as part of York Central development proposals submitted

Around 6,500 jobs and a 20% surge in the local economy are expected after landmark new plans were submitted for planning permission in York. ... more >
Fight against Dorset merger ends as Christchurch council accepts defeat

14/08/2018Fight against Dorset merger ends as Christchurch council accepts defeat

Christchurch Borough Council has agreed not to take its legal fight to the Court of Appeal following the refusal of its Judicial Review applicati... more >
Social housing green paper only small step compared to ‘huge need’ for affordable homes, LGA says

14/08/2018Social housing green paper only small step compared to ‘huge need’ for affordable homes, LGA says

The government’s social housing green paper is “only a small step” in delivering more social homes says the UK’s largest ... more >

comment

A new era of opportunity for the north

13/08/2018A new era of opportunity for the north

It’s time to stop seeing transport investment as a nice-to-have: it’s a cut-through catalyst for growth in sectors across the north. ... more >
Council mergers: little gain, less democratic

13/08/2018Council mergers: little gain, less democratic

Dr Linze Schaap, associate professor at the Tilburg Centre for Regional Law and Governance, and Dr Niels Karsten, assistant professor at the Tilb... more >
Creating a council cloud-first approach

13/08/2018Creating a council cloud-first approach

Georgina Maratheftis, programme manager for local government at techUK, makes the case for wider adoption of cloud technology by local authoritie... more >
The strength of districts

13/08/2018The strength of districts

Cllr Isobel Darby, member lead for quality of life at the District Councils’ Network (DCN) and leader of Chiltern District Council, shares ... 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

Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >

public sector focus

Understanding the apprenticeship levy

13/08/2018Understanding the apprenticeship levy

YPO has launched the first national apprentices... more >
LGO upholds 60% of investigations against councils

12/07/2018LGO upholds 60% of investigations against councils

Article by Callum Wood of Public Sector Magaz... more >
Fight against Dorset merger ends as Christchurch council accepts defeat

14/08/2018Fight against Dorset merger ends as Christchurch council accepts defeat

Christchurch Borough Council has agreed not to take its legal fight to the Court of Appeal following the refusal of its Judicial Review application, with leader Cllr David Flagg apologising for t... more >
At-risk Leicestershire councils team up to evaluate ‘rushed’ merger plans

30/07/2018At-risk Leicestershire councils team up to evaluate ‘rushed’ merger plans

District and borough authorities at risk of being axed due a potential merger into a unitary authority have declared that they will adopt a “collaborative approach” for the future of ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Don’t horse around! Council finds new home for house-bound pony

13/08/2018Don’t horse around! Council finds new home for house-bound pony

A council that took four years in a legal wrangle to remove a pony from an Isle of Lewis house may have found the four-legged beast a new home. Western Isles council removed Grey Lady Too – a Connemara pony that was taken into the home by pensioner Stephanie Noble on Christmas Eve in 2011 – from its residence in 2014 because i... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >