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

Birmingham bin strikes called off following key High Court ruling

21/09/2017Birmingham bin strikes called off following key High Court ruling

Strikes by refuse workers in Birmingham have this week been called off after the union won an important High Court ruling. Unite has called ... more >
IFS: Public sector faces recruitment chaos if pay cap is not dropped

21/09/2017IFS: Public sector faces recruitment chaos if pay cap is not dropped

The public sector will face major recruitment and retention issues if pay restraints, which are pushing wages to historically low levels, are con... more >
‘Fundamental rethink’ on social housing needed as Javid brings forward green paper

20/09/2017‘Fundamental rethink’ on social housing needed as Javid brings forward green paper

A wide-ranging, top-to-bottom green paper on social housing is to be brought forward by the government, Sajid Javid has this week announced. ... more >

comment

Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider lessons of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire and what measures and assess... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Care Network (HSCN), talks to PSE about the importance of moving to the ... more >
Effective leadership in uncertain times

04/09/2017Effective leadership in uncertain times

Dr David Beech, lecturer in people management at Salford Business School, argues that continuous renewal and progress is fundamental to effective... more >
Refocusing professional development

04/09/2017Refocusing professional development

Graeme McDonald, managing director of Solace, discusses the importance of taking time out to focus on learning, especially in the ever-changing l... more >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides ... 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

‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Business, tells PSE’s Luana Salles that health and social care orga... more >
HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

26/06/2017HSCN: The enabler for a more joined-up public sector

Mark Hall, Chief Assurance Officer at Redcentric, discusses NHS Digital’s project, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) and what b... more >
Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

25/04/2017Maintaining the momentum for further devolution

Ahead of this year’s mayoral elections, Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Civil Service, tells PSE’s David Stevenson why the argu... more >
New social care funding misses the point

13/04/2017New social care funding misses the point

Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee, reflects on the social care funding released in this year’s ... more >

public sector focus

Make the census meaningful again

11/09/2017Make the census meaningful again

Christopher Gallagher, Public Sector – ... more >
Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

30/08/2017Time to revisit community engagement and rebuild trust

The Grenfell Tower disaster revealed a number... more >
South Yorkshire devolution in doubt as councils clash over next steps

19/09/2017South Yorkshire devolution in doubt as councils clash over next steps

South Yorkshire’s devolution deal took a serious knock today after a statement from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) revealed that two councils, Barnsley and Doncaster MBC, have refused to b... more >
Male LCR cabinet urged to give up their seats for female nominees

15/09/2017Male LCR cabinet urged to give up their seats for female nominees

The entirely male cabinet at the Liverpool City Region (LCR) have this week been urged to give up their seats by the Women’s Leadership Group (WLG) in a drive towards a more gender inclusiv... more >

the raven's daily blog

How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

18/09/2017How do we deliver true social and economic value for the community?

Five years on from the introduction of the Social Value Act, Alison Ramsey, frameworks co-ordinator at Scape Procure, reflects on the key questions that prompted the legislation’s introduction. The Social Value Act was an important landmark. It decisively addressed the need for major public projects led by all public bodies to maxim... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >