Having been criticised previously for writing and expressing my views widely on the on-going investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into Construction Sector Cartels I must admit to a degree of smugness when news broke of the 103 companies having £129m of fines imposed on them having been found guilty of cover pricing.
Just arrived back from our annual seminar and awards at Cardiff and it was a great success.
The event opened with a bit of scene setting from the Welsh Local Government Minister, Dr Brian Gibbons and Emeritus Professor of Local Governance at LSE, George Jones. This could have been a 'we're all doomed session', however the quality of contributions by both speakers enabled delegates to keep the financial pressures faced in perspective.
The recent debate around the role of the Audit Commission, brought into sharp focus by John Seddon’s call to scrap it, has rather overshadowed the more important discussion around how best to improve service delivery. Is this best achieved under central direction? Or by creating a culture locally where members and officers work together to ensure they continuously improve local services by building upwards from citizens’ needs?