In Cornwall today to meet up with the Programme Director for Green Cornwall at Cornwall Council, Steve Cirell. Steve and me go back 15 years and shared many platforms and projects over the years in his time as Head of the Public Sector Unit at Eversheds. Steve has always been passionate about his work and I remember him as a leading voice in local government during the battles over CCT, his expertise on Trading and Charging, PFI and more lately on Best Value.
Attended the awards dinner for the Northern Ireland Local Government Awards at the Slieve Donard Hotel in Newcastle, Down. This is the second year in a row that APSE has been involved in the awards and it’s really taken off as an event with the dinner packed out.
Chaired a debate today at APSE's Scottish Housing conference at Peebles Hydro. We had a first class panel of speakers with Alex Neil MSP the Housing and Communities Minister facing the opposition spokespersons for Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, Michael McMahon MSP, Derek Brownlee MSP and Jeremy Purvis MSP. Dave Watson the UNISON Scotland organiser also spoke in the debate.
Led a debate today at APSE's Scottish Regional Council on the next stage of Best Value in Scotland this follows on from the Best Value audit process that has recently been completed.
Having examined the recommendations made there will be a requirement for more self evaluation and improvement support will be needed. There will be a greater focus on services, outcomes and partnerships. There will be a move towards more joined up inspection with other audit bodies. The process will overview £17b of spend, 258,000 staff employed and assets of £26b.
At the time of writing the reorganisation of local government in Northern Ireland has almost ground to a standstill as it has been swallowed up in the stalemate created by the wider political dealings taking place amongst the main parties in the Assembly.