Public Sector Focus

21.08.17

Now more than ever we need long-term strategic economic management

Source: PSE Aug/Sept 2017

While the government still deliberates the feedback to its industrial strategy consultation, the independent Industrial Strategy Commission has identified a number of key foundational themes to make it a success. PSE’s David Stevenson reports.

As PSE went to press, we were still waiting for the government’s response to the feedback it received for its ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper consultation.

An interesting point that was made in the consultation was a pledge to work with local government to review how to bring more business expertise into the sector, “for example through the creation of a modern ‘Alderman’ type of role”, and working with Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) to review their role in delivering local growth, “examining how we can spread best practice and strengthen LEPs, including extending the support they receive from the What Works centre for Local Economic Growth”.

These will definitely be areas to keep an eye on when the government’s plan for a new strategy and white paper are released.

In his foreword to the green paper, Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “In building an industrial strategy we aim to set out an approach which endures.

“The policies that the government pursues, the institutions it sustains and creates, and the decisions that it takes, should be, as far as possible, stable and predictable. In a world containing much uncertainty, public policy should aim to be a countervailing force for stability, not an additional source of unpredictability.”

This was also a point made recently by leading economist Dame Kate Barker, chair of the independent Industrial Strategy Commission, who stated that while it is welcome that political consensus exists for a new and broadly-based industrial strategy, it may prove fragile over the coming years.

“For this reason, our first and most important conclusion is that the UK needs a set of institutions which will ensure public and private sector bodies can plan on the basis of confidence in a shared long-term vision,” she said. “The business sector is also supportive of a long-term, clear and ambitious industrial strategy.”

During July, the commission, an independent inquiry into the development of a new, long-term industrial strategy, supported by the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield, launched its ‘Laying the Foundations’ report.

The document, which sets out the emerging findings of the commission’s work before a final report is published in October, warned that a new strategy will only be a success if it is embedded throughout the public sector and secures buy-in from the private sector. It is also vital to have sound foundations and offer a positive vision for the future.

In its interim report, the commission identified seven themes that must be considered foundational, which the new strategy should be built upon: a long-term set of institutions to determine, implement and monitor a new strategy; recognition of the importance of place and the need to increase growth and productivity everywhere; a joined-up approach to science, research and innovation; a strong competition regime; an increased investment rate; a comprehensive effort to improve skills; and effective use of the state’s purchasing and regulating power.

It was also suggested that the new strategy should be informed by a positive vision for the country’s future, which can be achieved by reframing challenges the UK faces as strategic goals to be met. These goals, the commission stated, include decarbonisation of the energy economy, ensuring adequate investment in infrastructure, developing a sustainable health and social care system, and enabling growth in all parts of the country.

Dame Kate added that this summer is a critical moment for the UK economy. “The recent election has resulted in political fragility against a backdrop of growing economic concerns following the EU referendum,” she explained. “Now more than ever we need long-term strategic economic management to enable the UK to respond to current challenges and invest in our people, places and industries to achieve greater future prosperity.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Pay cap has taken £8.5bn from the public sector this year

21/11/2017Pay cap has taken £8.5bn from the public sector this year

Union bosses have warned that a total of £48bn has been taken from public sector pay wage budgets since the government took over in 2010, w... more >
Javid hints at non-mayoral combined authorities

21/11/2017Javid hints at non-mayoral combined authorities

Communities minister Sajid Javid has spoken of the potential for new combined authorities to be set up in the future which do not have a single m... more >
Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

20/11/2017Funding inequalities could destroy public services in rural areas

Central government funding per resident in county authorities was almost 50% below large cities last year, with councils saying the situation cou... 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 >
149x260 PSE Subscribe button

the raven's daily blog

Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

13/11/2017Visual.ONS: How to compete with the big data aggregators

Advertisement feature Christopher Gallagher, territory manager at SAS, explains how big data can be used by the public sector to find innovative solutions to common problems.  I have been really impressed by the work of Visual.ONS – the team at the Office for National Statistics, who are responsible for exploring imaginati... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Driving forward a healthier Scotland

10/11/2017Driving forward a healthier Scotland

Dundee City Council is leading the way in boosting electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Scotland, writes Rebecca Wallace from the local authority&rsqu... more >
A smarter approach to digital transformation

10/11/2017A smarter approach to digital transformation

Catherine Bright, Smarter Digital Services (SDS) manager, explains how a partnership of 12 councils across Kent and Surrey are jointly funding a ... more >
Delivering on estates

10/11/2017Delivering on estates

Sam Ulyatt, strategic category commercial director at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on how a new framework can help public sector organisat... more >
Open for business

10/11/2017Open for business

Clare Moore, senior specialist of valuation and disposals at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), explains how public sector bodies looking to... more >

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 >