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National Leisure and Cultural Services Forum Leadership Learning Programme A personal perspective on Public services, local government and the challenges for culture and sport. Pete Murphy BA MA FETC MRTPI CIMSPA FSA Nottingham Business School 9 th October 2013
The brief for this session • Explore some of the changes of the last 15 years and identify the key drivers of that change • Solicit participants views on the 4 ‘capita’ scenarios for local government – followed by a group discussion around those scenarios • Give some personal views on what the future might hold for public services and local government in the UK • Identify some of the challenges for culture and sport in local government
The last 15 Years – how do you view them - which is your perspective? • Blair, Brown, Cameron and Clegg (Politics) • Pre-Olympics, Post Olympics (Externals) • Comprehensive Spending Reviews Pre-2008, 2008 -2010 Post 2010 (Financial) • Best Value, CPA, CAA and Localism (National Frameworks) • Partnerships, Collaborations Values (Local solutions) • Complexity, the Garbage Can Theory of Organisations and Evil, Toxic and Pathological examples of Leadership.
A chronology of central governments relationship to locally delivered services • • 1997 -2000 -2002 -2005 -2007 -2010 -2011 -2013 Consulting and Learning Joining up policy and delivery A period of significant improvement Appreciating inadequacies Good theory, bad politics Short term reactionary austerity Long term confused austerity
Post 1997 Local Government Modernisation Drivers for Change • Collective and Public Interest recognised with the latter no longer assumed to be synonymous with private interest • Devolved Control and Subsidiary – the devolution agenda • Collaborative Relationship between central and local government – with co-production of policy and joint responsibility for delivery • Understanding Inputs outputs and outcomes with a move to explicit outcome based “joined-up” action • A mixed supply side for delivery with fit for purpose delivery mechanisms replacing ideological preferences in solutions.
‘How’ - Modernising the architecture, oiling the machinery of government • Understanding change and the need for co-production of policy development and delivery effectiveness – the “what” as well as the “how” being considered as part of the policy process • Integrating Central Government and “Whitehall” – the “joining up” agenda and the effectiveness of a single consistent narrative”. • A better relationship, mutual understanding, trust and respect between Central and Local Government • Developing the Regional dimension and the regional agenda – underdeveloped because of unresolved relationship with EU. • The introduction of Public Service Agreements, Cabinet Committees and Structural change in delivery organisations
A new purpose and role for local authorities a new constitutional settlement? • Providing “Citizen Centred” and/or personalised services and activities - appreciating mutual democratic legitimacy but joint recognition of the need to re-engage the public (and in particular hard-to-reach groups) in a strong and active democratic process. • Promoting inclusive, cohesive, communities with service providers responsive to communities needs, collaborating in partnerships to deliver mutually agreed objectives • The optimal efficient, effective and economic delivery of services that are provided by “fit for purpose” delivery vehicles • Councils and politicians that provide “community leadership” rather than organisational leadership while managing open and transparent organisations with public accountability
Philosophical Underpinnings • Rediscovery of “Society” and the appreciation that public services can and should create “Public Value” • Changing the nature of the Central/Local Government Relationship - from “political balance” to “spending the publics money” efficiently, effectively and economically. • Changing assumptions of Local Authorities and (some) other Public Agencies as being generally competent but with citizen rather than provider supremacy • Changing the objective and ambition of central government - to “continuous improvement” in all services in all public authorities and agencies.
Philosophical Underpinnings (cont) • Appreciating the need to address both single and multi-agency problems and issues in local communities. • Appreciate that Central Government should be part of the solution at times it can be seen (and has been) part of the problem. • Developing effective interventions, - change the nature and type of intervention or engagement with under-performing agencies • Underpinned by a “fit for purpose” and sustainable tax and financial support regime. • A move from competition to collaboration as the basis of public service delivery – designing collaboration into the delivery system
The “Tipping Points” or step changes in the improving Central/Local relationship • The establishment of Central/Local Government Partnership in 1998 • The results of the first round of LPSA negotiations (2002) and “Invest to Save” Rounds 1, 2 & 3 • The review of the “Gershon” Efficiency savings programme (CSR 2004) across all the major public sectors • The Prime Ministers Delivery Unit report son the first Local Area Agreements (Feb/March 2007) – from margins to mainstream
Mixed success with implementing the local government and public service modernisation agenda • Power of Well Being • LSP’s and Community Leadership • Community Strategies • New Political Structures • Best Value, Public Value CPA , LPSA’s and LAA’s • New Ethical Framework • E- Government and Internet • Finance and Tax • Legal Parameters • New Vision drawn from Community • Objectives & Priorities • Quicker Decision Making • Efficient/Effective/Economic Service Delivery • Probity & Openness • Innovatory delivery • Sustainable funding regime
How labour thought it fitted together • A new legal framework -– but no power of general competence • Community value and engagement through LSP’s to provide a wider vision – responsibility but no powers. • Community Strategies – with a coherent focus and mutually agreed objectives (a co-ordinating plan) for all local stakeholders but reflecting national targets and voluntary • New constitutions - more effective decision making structures, open, transparent, quicker and more robust decisions – but earned autonomy rather than real freedoms • Co-ordinated and mutually reinforcing investment and support - both financial and non financial (particularly E-Government) – but council tax reform collapsed
The Coalition Government - policy resonances, history and previous global crises • The oil crises and the post 2008 financial meltdown minimise the state to facilitate a flourishing private sector • Dismantle the planning system and emphasize property rights over public interest law • Create flexible, unplanned, de-skilled labour markets • Infrastructure (Utilities, Energy, Communications, Transport, Housing) - long term finance subjected to the crowding out theory i. e. minimize public investment to facilitate private sector • Enterprise growth and innovation are the result of individual genius, IT entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and small businesses provided regulations are lax and taxes low
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Active Innovatory State Targeted proactive state able to take risks and create a highly networked system of actors that harness the best of the private sector for the national good over a medium to long term horizon. The state acting as lead investor and catalyst which sparks the network to act and helps spread knowledge Bonfire of the Quangos Performance and Innovation Unit Beacon Councils Invest to Save Quality Innovation Prevention Productivity Improvement and Innovation Agencies Networks Partnerships and Collaborations
The Coalition and the policy process in Whitehall • The development of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act • The NHS Transition Board • ‘Public Health and Well Being Boards: antecedents, theory and development • Evidenced based policy making or policy based evidence making?
The development of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and The Public Health explanatory model
The Coalition Government • When has hard evidence and the public interest …. . …ever got in the way or trumped… …political prejudice , ideology, powerful vested interest or potential personal preferment… …for these people
Evidence of their (mis)use for evidence? It is in the national media! • Michael Gove revealed to be using PR-commissioned puff-polls as "evidence” (New Statesman May 2013) • Swedish free school operator to close leaving hundreds of pupils stranded (Guardian 31 May) • Eric Pickles announces plans to scrap Audit Commission’ BBC news 13 th August 2010 – and the DCLG research department and its databases • MP Maria Miller's Leveson connections "flagged up" in expenses probe, claims newspaper (Daily Mirror 12 th December 2012) • Jeremy Hunt to outline plans for more GPs - His instruction is contained in a “mandate” being issued to Health Education England (Independent 31 st May 2013)
Smaller Government? GOVE RNMEN T
Public sector reform agenda - the coalitions abdication of responsibility for public service delivery • Civil servants responsible for policy but not for delivery • Comprehensive Spending Reviews but no Public Service Agreements • The Open Public Services White Paper and the commissioner – provider split e. g. distinguishing Fire Authorities and Fire Services responsibilities • The NHS Structure and the Commissioning Board – avoiding parliamentary scrutiny of ministers. • Principal Agent and New Public Management not Public Value
4 Capita Scenarios
National Commissioning A centralised, declining role for local government • Local government becomes focused on cost reduction and reduces capacity to engage with new agendas • Government takes central role for new agendas, commissioning-for–results nationally
Delivering for Place A centralised and growing role for local government • Extended control and remit • Very high accountability to national agendas
Local Government By-pass A localised declining role for local government • Independent public entrepreneurialsim explodes • Local government is bypassed
Smaller spider, bigger web A localised and growing role for local government • Small solutions work • They are joined up by active local government
Local Government Bypass or managing decline. A localised, declining role for local government as independent public entrepreneurialism explodes • Local Government is bypassed – only residual services not wanted by private sector or third/community sector - but there is pride! • The ‘private’ concept of entrepreurialism and small start ups (low tax, low wages, youthful enthusiasm and thriving markets) • The Jazz band jamming and the locally networked councillor and manager - a decline in political parties influence Still need strategic service integrators from outside!
Smaller spider, bigger web A localised and growing remit for local government • 3 or 4 tier system of councils and community interest companies – accountability and governance? • Actively joined up by local authorities and critical organisation by local councillors and heroic managers • Has the French system delivered economic, efficient effective public services? – and where is the regional tier? • Are we developing the individual councillors with the capabilities, capacities, skills and integrity to implement tis scenario?
National Commissioning A centralised, declining role for local government • Focuses on cost reduction and reduces capacity to engage with new agendas – the local political abdication scenario? • Government takes central role for new agendas, commissioning-for–results nationally - the centralised determinism of the early Blair years (local eyes and ears? ) • Local authorities reduced to having discretion around how they deliver not what they deliver • Conducting the Orchestra • Does this Chinese or principal agent solution work in an inherently contested adversarial political and legal constitution?
Delivery for Place • Police commissioners and public health counter-balanced by departmental annual outcomes statements • Exercising scrutiny and control over other local service providers • Commonality of political and budget control – little public engagement • Strategic service integration partnerships • Scotlands. National Performance Framework and Single Outcome Agreements
A personal perspective on key drivers 2015 - 2020 • The way society resolves the tensions of democracy and bureaucracy, the relationships between citizens/councils; local/central government and local/central politicians • The relationships between legislature and executive; the government and the judiciary and the state and the press / media • UKs relative position in the wider world – as UK loses influence and external influences impact more on UK • Events dear boy events! – increasing numbers of wide scale emergencies and crises make the world seem a smaller more joined up ecosystem
As a result • Growth will be the national economic policy driver (not austerity); but autocracy rather than engagement will be the governments temptation; while a search for an alternative to GDP will start to emerge • Neo-liberalism remains dominant ideology – but post 2020 global sustainability and BRIC power will be its undoing • Public wellbeing, the holistic view of communities and pragmatism will be the focus of local politicians who reject the current scapegoating and negotiate greater power and influence from the centre • Because of increasingly stark international comparisons acute infrastructure inadequacies and systemic underperformance in services and innovation will begin to be tackled
In short • At times of crises populations turn to their elected politicians and expect them to help them. • In the UK system, national politicians need local politicians and local politicians are often the next national politicians – the legitimacy of the ballot box is often underestimated particularly by big business • Local communities are facing long term issues and local communities will turn to local politicians as local authorities become bigger players odespite a diminishing resource base
Continued • Contrary to popular myths and conventional wisdoms local authorities will innovate, organisationally and systemically, if given the opportunity. • Health and wellbeing and the Public Health agenda will be the Trojan horse of holistic collective interest • Although history is created by the victors in the long run the “evidence will out” and judicial reviews return! • A lot of current issues are primarily long term – they need long term, strategic and systematic responses • This leads to a renaissance for local authorities rather than local democracies
Challenges for Culture and Sport • How do we rescue policy and strategy from the malign incompetence of the centre? • How do we strategically relocate its influence on the local agenda? • How do we evidence its value and impact to individuals and communities so as to justify long term investment? • How do we build capability and capacity to sustain its contribution for the long term? • How do we future proof this new role and position?