We've all had enough doom and gloom to last a professional lifetime. So, while not shying away from the huge challenges faced by all councils, we wanted this year's annual conference to look at practical solutions that are already happening in authorities across the UK.
Glenrothes tonight for Fife Councils annual apprentice awards dinner.
Over in Belfast today to chair the latest meeting of the local government reform joint forum.
Despite having a few challenging issues recently the forum continues to make good progress in negotiating all things human resources related contained within the up and coming local government reorganisation of local authorities in Northern Ireland.
Spoke at an international policy conference on ‘urban crisis’, organised by De Montfort University at Leicester City Football Club this evening.
Only a group of academics would want to have a talk on public policy challenges for their after dinner entertainment. Despite my trepidation at delivering a presentation at 8.30pm, they appeared to lap it up and it ended up quite a lively debate.
It was great to see a real fighting spirit amongst APSE’s membership at the annual conference at St Georges Hall in Liverpool. A number of national organisations and their representatives appear to have recently become drained of spirit about local government’s future role, almost accepting that by 2020 local government will play a minimalistic part in society and the lives of local communities. That's not a view APSE shares and it was a chance to promote our 'Ensuring Council' model.
While there are few surprises when it comes to local government’s ability to attract the blame for issues of national significance they have had very little control over, even a cynic like myself was shocked at how quickly they became the whipping boys on public health when recent life expectancy league tables were published.
It's an old cliché that staff are an organisations number one asset but just because it's old doesn't make it any less true. My view is that more now than ever we need to harness the ideas of frontline staff to make services more efficient and effective. Those on the frontline who interface with communities on a daily basis have the detailed, local knowledge that can help make those services more efficient and effective.
This blog is based on my recent article published in the MJ
Never has the need for local government service delivery teams to have a commercialisation strategy been more apparent than at present.
APSE's latest research shows how local authorities can take a lead in ensuring the lives of a generation of young people are not blighted by long-term unemployment.