Abolishing the Performance Indicators
Eric Pickles has announced that he will be abolishing all Local Area Agreements (LAA) and the National Indicator data set.
(Obviously, the flip side of this is that he is also abolishing the grants that went with meeting those LAA targets.)
In the place of the national indicators the Government will ask for local government to prepare and submit a series of different data sets.
The assumption here is that it is not the collection of the data that puts unnecessary costs on Local Government but the bending of services to meet the targets and the number crunching that follows to turn the data into performance indicators. A lot will depend on how simple Mr Pickles data requests will be.
I reckon that the savings from not collecting these targets will be smaller than Mr Pickles believes but that this symbolises a welcome retreat by the central government. Whether local government can rise to the challenge is an open question especially in times Osbourne enacted cuts but for the first time in a long time this offers local government a fighting chance to innovate and plough their own furrow in response to specific local needs.