This is the theme of this evenings debate at Full Council. A special Full Council meeting has been arranged for all councillors to engage in a campaign that has been put forward by the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA website (http://www.local.gov.uk/campaigns) briefing explains the campaign as ;
‘Rewiring Public Services is an ambitious campaign which provides much-needed solutions to how we can deliver public services within an ever-tightening fiscal environment. Our objective is to lobby for a radical transformation of the way local government works and its relationship with Whitehall.’
I do not intend to repeat everything from their website here, but there is an excellent short, animated, film that succinctly covers the issues that will affect local authorities and the residents they serve over the next few year. The film can be viewed via this link: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/campaigns/-/journal_content/56/10180/4050697/ARTICLE (I would love to have a video add-on to this website but wonder about the cost).
There is also a document published by the LGA Rewiring Public Services
My position can be summed as – the need for local authorities, indeed the public sector as a whole, needs to think about how it operates. Gone are the days when the government bailed out public services which overspent. Gone are the days when the general public did not have any say on their services; John Major’s government introduced the ‘Citizens Charter’ from where most rights of citizens to cause public services to engage emanate from.
At this evenings meeting I hope to speak on this theme and, importantly, try to show that LOCALISM also brings with it RESPONSIBILITIES. I will also try to address issues such as; do we need the number of councillors we have in Solihull? If rewiring public services means that, surely the House of Commons should also look at their numbers. Do local councillors have the skills to do their work effectively and efficiently? Should personal development and training be a requisite of a councillors role? Can turkeys really vote for Christmas.
I shall be tweeting from this evenings meeting – please drop in to @Cllrken