Big Society? Localism? Sustainability? And Sir Bob

16 Nov 2011 by Karl Hallam

It is easy to argue that the current economic crisis dwarfs all other issues at the moment. But, if the Coalition neglects its commitments to the Big Society, localism and sustainability then the consequences of the global shifts on UK life will be even harder to handle.

Whether it is the assault on the solar electricity industry, the edicts about frequency of bin collection or level of council tax, domestic policy has been somewhat 'all over the place'. In our work with third sector organisations trying to negotiate a new world of commissioning and payment by resuilts we are seeing how smaller bodies are in danger of being cut out of the picture. This can be because of poor commissioning by local authoirities who are inexperienced at best, or due to the savy of bigger private corporations who know when to take a loss leader to get their foot in the door. As keen obervers of DCLG, it seems that Eric Pickles does not want to engage with the stakeholders in the work of his department. He is also losing his Perm Sec, Sir Bob Kerslake, who will be the new head of the Civil Service. We've worked with Bob (and are fans) and hope he can play his part in bringing some coherence to domestic policy. But, although he is good, is he that good?



your comments

Posts: 5
Reply #5 on : Thu September 26, 2013, 00:42:06
We now have three bins.The household stuff is<a href=""> celelctod</a> weekly, the others fortnightly.I now need a degree in sorting rubbish, as I cannot tell which plastic is re-cyclable and which not.The Council have also told us, that if we put the wrong stuff in they won't take the bin away. And they can fine us on a sliding scale.So where does the stuff go that I am not sure about Yes you guessed it the Household Bin.Seems to me with x million unemployed we could use them to sort the rubbish. At double the minimum wage, or perhaps community service!!!
Posts: 5
Reply #4 on : Sun September 22, 2013, 13:17:14
CLG are also advising that these costs will only be met until the end of this CSR and that it is not clear what will<a href=""> haeppn</a> after that point but it may well be down to authorities to fund. This makes it potentially a far more costly scheme depending on the levels of compensation (land value costs in rural Scotland basis of the impact assessment might be different from urban land costs in England).
Posts: 5
Even those with a du
Reply #3 on : Sun September 22, 2013, 01:05:02
Even those with a duty to be positive (let alone those fcniag redundancy) must know that the questions raised by John Tizard are somewhat rhetorical: for example will the government mandate all of Whitehall and the various services and agencies that it sponsors to participate etc!Of course I commend CLG's general intention. Who would not?! But Whitehall departments are not going to suddenly capitulate and become a department of everything and everywhere especially following yet another rather inadequately conceived and apparently ad hoc unilateral announcement by DCLG.I mean, for example, where is Gordon Wasserman's new GovCo in all of this?! We should surely remember that in the most difficult locations we also face riots!The total approach I published in 1972 (through Shelter), and discussed with Peter Walker and the DOE before the 1972 Budget Debate, showed precisely how central and local department functions could be financed and how they could operate together; that is to say when, where, and for just as long as such political and executive coordination was very clearly required.Moreover I showed how such action could relate to other joint action across regions and the whole country and how this related to parliamentary supply and to political validation at all levels. Indeed in the wider sense we are unlikely to reach a secure modern approach to local government as a whole until we can clearly distinguish between such joint multi-level priority tasks and the great mass of local duties that can and which should be entirely a matter for local political discretion.I even managed to explore this theme in an internal DOE Review though in the words of the permanent secretary the new Secretary of State (Geoffrey Rippon) didn't want to change much ! Even so I think the above approach would then have had Home Office, Education, Industry, Health Social Services, Treasury and CPRS support had it not been effectively blocked by the DOE's own senior departmental wreckers!So now it is intolerably frustrating almost 40 years later and at 80 years of age! seeing so many total approach initiatives come and go decade after decade; each inevitably failing for much the same reasons as each new generation starts from square one . The landscape is strewn with their wreckage. So it's now up to Oliver Letwin and the Cabinet Office to really get to grips with the actual policy implications of localism. They must see that while this does indeed mean massively devolving all that can be safely left to the localities it also means a better grip on Whitehall's own strategic role plus the management and political validation of that vital constituency dimension!
Posts: 5
Reply #2 on : Tue January 31, 2012, 15:40:15
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Posts: 5
Reply #1 on : Thu January 26, 2012, 17:20:26
Appearntly this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin' 'bout.

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