Service before self
“Above all I want the work that I do to matter and make a difference to people’s lives; only then will the internal critic of self-doubt and guilt quieten down for a while.” A guest blogger at We Love Local Government describes the very human impact of the cuts.
Councils using zero hours, casual staff and the work programme
“This post lists the results of an FOI I recently sent to councils to get a rough idea of how many people councils employed on zero hours contracts or zero hours-type working arrangements and how many councils were using the work programme.” Kate Belgrave investigates the increasing use of zero-hours and casual work contracts in local authorities.
Should a consultant be a local government leader of tomorrow?
“So, if the local government leader of tomorrow is from the private sector that does concern me… particularly if it is indicative of an irreversible erosion of civic values at the expense of private profit.” Toby Blume is depressed that a private sector consultant has won the Local Government Leader of the Future Award.
How to be strategic in local government
1. Just say things Just saying things is also known as ‘being strategic’. To contribute to a high level strategy meeting, you need a mouth and something to say. The easiest thing to do is talk about the arrangement of words in documents. For example: “I think this comes under people and not places” “The […]
Spending Review and local authorities: We need change and a resurgence of ethics…
Spending Review and local authorities: We need change and a resurgence of ethics, not coercive micromanagement by stealth and an even greater distance between people and Government With £11.5 Billion in further cuts set to be outlined in the Coalition’s Spending Review later today, I will probably not be alone in asking myself if this […]
On the road, learning about councillors
Last week, I spent most of it on the road listening to Councillors from around the country discussing the Networked Councillor report and findings. Councillors joined the discussion from rural and urban areas, from all parties and some like me are aspiring Councillors, some have been Councillors for decades. Key points were: - The networked […]
How depressing it is to read yet another glib document from Ofsted! I don’t know how many people will be fooled with this one, but it cuts no ice with me. I shall certainly be responding to the consultation and leaving them in no doubt what I think. The headlines speak of plans for “tougher” child protection inspections. But […]
Judging by the phone calls, emails and tweets that my colleagues and I have received, the report in Third Sector of comments by Geoff Little (Deputy CEO of Manchester City Council) addressing the Charity Finance Group conference earlier this week has sent a shockwave around the voluntary and community sector not just in Manchester but the rest […]
“While councils believe it is up to the landlord to define a bedroom then such perversities will abound and these legal fictions continue.” Joe Halewood challenges the ‘legal fiction’ that some councils are hiding behind when it comes to the bedroom tax.
During late 2012 a debate began on the discussion board of a group I belong to. It focused on developing local currencies and promoting local businesses through Smartcard technologies. What concerned me wasn’t the technology, but the attitudes that seeped casually around the edges of the discussion about the necessity and inevitability of smartcard use […]
You may have seen a couple of really interesting pieces in CYP Now this week, which relate to some of the challenges of modernisation in youth work that I outlined in my last blog for this site. The first reported on a new youth work BA honours degree starting in Derby this September, for which the syllabus will […]
“If the Local Housing Allowance caps of 2012 made preventing homelessness difficult, the Benefit Cap will make it impossible.” Romin Sutherland explains the conflict between two of the Government’s policies - and how it will hurt vulnerable families.
Lambeth recently hosted the visit of two Participatory Budgeting experts from the US, as part of a study tour organised by Church Action on Poverty, as the culmination of their People’s Budget campaign. Josh Lerner, from the North American PB Project and Alderman Joe Moore, from Chicago met with elected members and senior officers at […]
Today is the day after the day after the local elections. I just googled ‘turnout news’ and a whole bunch of stories came up. Here are just three: Conservatives celebrate victory in Northamptonshire election following low turnout Low turnout in mayoral election Significant drop in turnout at county council elections I wondered if there was […]
So how about we hack local democracy? What am I talking about? Hacking is associated with coding, but as I learned at bluelight camp..essentially it means taking a thing and modifying it to make it work better. I know that lots of policy people, active citizens, politicians, public authority officers and others have really good […]
Today the national negotiators representing the employers of more than a million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the largest organised bargaining group in the UK economy) made a final pay offer of 1% with no strings, effective 1 April. Perennial optimist, and lead negotiator for the GMB, Brian Strutton, says there’ll […]
As I go about my formal and informal research into the effects of target-driven performance management, I regularly have conversations with people at all levels of organisations. One thing I’ve found is that the people at the very top of organisations tend to be intelligent, articulate individuals who genuinely care about their organisation and want […]
Pretty much since the government published the latest version of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity back in March 2011, Eric Pickles has been talking about putting compliance with the code on a stronger legal footing. At the moment under the Local Government Act 1986 councils must “have regard” to the code of recommended practice on […]
We took a call from a concerned relative recently about a 17 year old care leaver who was a dad to a 4 month old baby. He was living with the baby and the baby’s 18 year old mum, in a one bedroom flat in a small village. He had no money, no heating, no food, […]
Dear Social Tenant, The bedroom tax is wrong and nasty, it is pernicious. On a personal level my heart bleeds for you and I am behind you 100%. Yet on a professional level I want to slap your face and tell you to stop moaning and see the wood from the trees. If you do you will […]