Spoke today at a conference in Edinburgh on Best Value 2, which is Scotland's new audit process for local authorities. My role was to make a comparison with the English experience of Best Value audit, although I did feel a bit of a phoney as my Motherwell accent hasn't faded that much despite living and working in England for 11 years.
Spoke today at the Defend Council Housing conference London, ‘A manifesto for council housing.’ My talk was promoting two pieces of research APSE have recently completed the first a joint publication with ARCH, on the holistic benefits of retained council housing, ‘Under one roof'; and the second about the work UNISON commissioned from APSE on ‘A new generation of council housing'.
Spoke today at the City and Financial seminar in London on the topic of ‘Grasping the scale of the medium to long term challenge facing local government.’
APSE’s annual Highways and Street Lighting seminar took place over the last couple of days at Newcastle Marriot. The seminar incorporated ‘The Great Salt Debate’ which was a chance to look back at the problems with winter gritting this year from all perspectives. A debate between local authorities, grit suppliers and national agencies teased out some of the main issues that hindered services this winter and hopefully lessons have been learned that can be acted upon in order to avoid a repeat in future winters.
Reading press reports about Kathryn Bigelow’s film ‘The Hurt Locker’ scooping six Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony set me wondering what the term actually means. A quick check on Google gave me the following definition ‘a period of immense, inescapable physical or emotional pain’. What an appropriate analogy then for the next few years in local government.