Archive for December 10, 2010

Fearing the (Danish) Butcher’s Knife

December 10, 2010

A rather strange metaphor for local government?

Today a guest post from a correspondent who wanted us to write about the ‘phrase de jour’ in Local Government right now: the ‘salami slice’. We went one better and got them to write the piece for us. Enjoy:

In these austere times, I, like most people, wander merrily into work each day wondering whether today will be the day that the brown envelope will land on my desk, and I can at long last bid adieu to the 1960’s concrete monstrosity, we affectionately refer to as ‘the Civic Building’. Sadly that day is still yet to come, and in many ways I fear that I may actually survive to become one of those lucky few who have to achieve the same output with 25% less staff.

If yours is anything like my authority, you will have undergone previous savings programmes, which involved bringing in the dreaded consultants from one of the big firms. These have sought to skim that 5 or 10% off the top of every budget, only for the programme to finish and everyone realise that the savings aren’t actually achievable because the work these teams do still has to get done.

This can’t be the way to solve the current budget cuts and we simply don’t have the margins of error this time. While I am partial to a little bit of Salami now and again, slicing of this variety has no place in creating a ‘Council of the Future’.