Why We All LOVE Local Government


Love!

As regular readers will have noticed last week we broke through the 100,000 hits ‘barrier’ and celebrated accordingly with a slightly self-involved celebratory post. Obviously, we don’t apologise for that (we’re still bathing in a warm cuddly feeling which is absolutely baffling for our colleagues) but we do recognise that it did slightly miss the point.

The reason that this blog is successful (and we accept that success is a pretty relative term) is because of the subject matter; yes, local government. With this in mind we thought it only fair to have a post devoted to why we love local government and we asked some of our friends to help us.

So, without further ado here is the WLLG and Friends tribute to local government:

I’ve worked in both the private and the public sector. In my experience, per 100 employees, local government has more passion, determination, innovation, hard work, long hours, dedication, ridiculous arguments, office rocking laughter, success in the face of adversity, caring, blue sky thinking, cost focused, patient than any private sector firm. But most of all, very most of all, it has an army of personality and humanity. That’s why I really love local gov.

Louise Kidney (@LouLouK)

Because its where the rubber hits the road for quality of life. It has to make all the tough choices that Westminster politicians make, and really live with the consequences – and according to the public, it has more impact on people’s lives than westminster, whitehall or the EU. And finally the people – there are more cheerful pragmatists in local government than anywhere else in public services.

Ben Page (of Ipsos MORI fame)

I love local government at its best because it’s what makes our local communities work.  Imagine life without it – no social services for vulnerable elders and children, no libraries, no local roads or street lighting, hardly any sports facilities, no way to plan our towns and villages, a hugely diminished voluntary sector, even now hardly any schools, no local democracy, no one saying this is our special place and it’s great.

Roger White (HelpGov)

I love local government because the best councils are bursting at the seams with fresh thinking, and because it’s a place where new ideas can make a real difference to communities.

Simon Parker (New Local Government Network)

Living and working in the same borough. Makes you find out and understand so much more about the community where you live and love :-)

Antonia Dixey (@antoniadixey)

I love local government because it has given me the opportunity to work with impressive, inspiring people who are passionate about improving people’s lives

Richard Vize (Guardian Local Government Network Contributing Editor)

Despite all the challenges Local Government will face over the coming years, staff will come together and continue to deliver first class services to its citizens. “Challenge, Change and Transformation” is the way forward to reshape services not the re-introduction of “Compulsory Competitive Tendering”.

Cllr David Harrington (Ingleby Barwick West Ward)

Local government does things most folk take for granted but make our communities liveble. We’d be in a worse place without it.

Ben Lowndes (@blowndes)

I Love Local Government because it sets the local context and provides the services, so my family can get on and live our lives.

Neil McInroy (Centre for Local Economic Strategies)

I love Local Government because I can see some of the outcomes of my work on the communities I serve.

David Sommerfeld (@hebdave)

Large Government provides a dizzingly array of services to their communities from the familiar (schools, roads, bins) to the hidden (support for vulnerable families & adults). We get a lot of stick from Pickles, the press and the public when we get it wrong but what I love is that sometimes we are our own harsh critic and no other type of public organisation has the same level of internal challenge and desire to continuous improve.

Will Oulton (@Williamoulton)

I love it because it’s full of unsung people who work tirelessly to do the mundane, the important and the seemingly impossible.
Ben Welby (@bmwelby)

And what about us?

We Love Local Government because:

Within the catch all term ‘local government’ is a diverse, complicated, at times bizarre and yet dedicated, brilliant and innovative organism. At it’s best local government can make a lasting difference to the lives of the residents it serves and even at it’s worst you can guarantee that the motives will be good and that there’ll be something interesting to talk about. It’s a place where things done perfectly go unnoticed, whilst the slightest hiccup makes news columns big and small, which attracts some of the greatest thinkers and doers working today along with more than its fair share of those whose only purpose in life is to serve as a bad example to others.

Like any relationships, our love of local government has its ups and downs, its highs and lows, its moments of pure inspiration, its moments when the acronym WTF?! is the only way to describe things.  It may drive us mad at times, but if nothing else it will always drive us someplace interesting.

Local government is all this and so much more.

We suggest you come back here regularly to find out all about it.

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at: welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com

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13 Comments on “Why We All LOVE Local Government”

  1. ermintrude2 Says:

    I’m a social worker and since I qualified I’ve worked in local government – I sometimes think we are ‘bypassed’ by some of our colleagues in other departments except when there are problems. It certainly seems that we don’t have much in common with other departments – but my job has allowed me to connect with the community I serve and feel a genuine attachment and affection for the locality. Many people don’t notice what we do unless they are directly involved but the differences that we can make (both positively and unfortunately sometimes negatively) on peoples lives really can reflect the important role that local government employees and interventions can have.

    Do people know that a local authority can act as a guardian for someone who has mental health problems and make demands on where and how they live?

    Do they know that it is the local authority responsible for approving and monitoring AMHPs (Approved Mental Health Professionals) who make applications for compulsory admissions to psychiatric hospitals (aka ‘sectioning people’)?

    That’s not even mentioning the responsibilities in coordinating safeguarding procedures for children and adults.

    We do great jobs but we are rarely noticed, let alone thanked, with people who are at the crisis points in their lives.

    I don’t always love local government – sometimes it frustrates me – sometimes it hampers me – but some of the finest people I’ve come across who are absolutely committed to promoting social justice work and strive to work to their very best abilities within local government – I’ve stopped expecting people outside the bubble to notice or care what I do but we are here and contrary to what the press might have you believe, we do care.


  2. I fell in love with local government immediately, after nearly two decades in other sectors. The immediate impact of our work in our communities is such a pleasure to be part of, and so powerful. In our various different disciplines we are all really part of making life liveable. When we do our jobs well we are – mostly – unnoticeable and often unthanked. If things go wrong, the local papers (and sometimes the nationals) boil over with poisonous wrath, which only goes to show how important our services are. It takes a special kind of dedication to get knocked down and pick yourself back up again, and again, and again. Local government is full of people who do just that, and who can find the sunshine on the darkest day. (It’s also got more of its share of over-comfortable individuals how have found themselves an unchallenged niche and bedded down for life, but – ahem – this post is about the joys.)

    I can sum up my love for Local Government in two of my favourite catchphrases: “Local Government never sleeps” and “Local Government makes the works go round”.

  3. Big K Says:

    I love local government because no other organisations manage to deliver the range of services and activities that we do. The scope of our own activity is vast but then when you add in all the stuff we do in partnership with others then it is bewildering.


  4. I managed to let a couple of nonsensical typos affect my comments. Of which the most important is: Local Government Makes the WORLD go round.

    Not “works”.

    Oh dear! No prizes for attention to detail for me today. Good job I’m not actually at my desk today. :-)


  5. [...] Last weekend I was asked by @WeLoveLocalGov if I could send them a sentence or two about why I love Local Gov for this post. [...]


  6. [...] Local Government team to supply them with a tweet about why I ‘love’ the sector for a post they were putting together to mark the anniversary of their [...]


  7. [...] response to our piece about why people love local government Benjamin Welby wrote a brilliant response expanding on his initial comment and explaining exactly [...]


  8. [...] on the blog and published a special post asking some of our readers why they love local government. It was an uplifting piece concluded by our own thoughts: And what about [...]


  9. [...] here at WLLG Towers are no exception to this rule, and way back in the dark and distant past (well, October last year anyway) we celebrated breaking the 100,000 hits barrier by asking some of our favourite local [...]

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  11. [...] our readers you may want to come back tomorrow, but before you do we’d like to leave you with a paragraph from a previous post which we hope sums up what we were all about: We Love Local Government [...]


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