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

Darlington council in £9.5m venture to build on housebuilding success

06/12/2019Darlington council in £9.5m venture to build on housebuilding success

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet has approved the borrowing of a further £9.5m to create another housebuilding joint venture, fol... more >
LGA responds to report on lack of social care

05/12/2019LGA responds to report on lack of social care

Age UK has today (Dec 5) published a report on the effect of a lack of social care, citing that it has resulted in 2.5 million lost bed days in t... more >
£845k in charity grants supporting disabled people in London

05/12/2019£845k in charity grants supporting disabled people in London

One London charity has been awarded £248,000 in funding to develop accessibility in jobs and services for disabled people. City Bridge... 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

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... 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

What can you do for the citizen?

03/12/2019What can you do for the citizen?

Every day you and your teams play a vital rol... more >
Webinar – using technology to share best practice in the public sector

02/12/2019Webinar – using technology to share best practice in the public sector

The recent PSE Webinar in London, in partners... more >
Darlington council in £9.5m venture to build on housebuilding success

06/12/2019Darlington council in £9.5m venture to build on housebuilding success

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet has approved the borrowing of a further £9.5m to create another housebuilding joint venture, following the success of its current schemes. Th... more >
LGA responds to report on lack of social care

05/12/2019LGA responds to report on lack of social care

Age UK has today (Dec 5) published a report on the effect of a lack of social care, citing that it has resulted in 2.5 million lost bed days in the NHS between this election (Dec 12) and the prev... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the role of data. Data is all around us in the modern age. Unseen, the digital environment plays a role in near on every aspect of our lives. It influences, manages and mit... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >