That was the localgov week that was
Perhaps local government hasn’t been in the news quite as much this week as last, but it’s still had plenty of interest to those of us with any sort of stake, which when you think about it is everyone. As always, here’s a run down of our favourite blog posts of the week, but there are plenty of others out there which are just as interesting so let us know about them in the comments box below.
A gloomy perspective here from Patrick Butlers Cuts Blog, looking at the fact that things aren’t going to get any better for local government workers in the near future.
The commission models the dramatic impact of this on different types of authority: a typical county council, currently employing 7,500 workers, will see its core staff shrink to just 2,500 by 2014 after outsourcing and redundancy have kicked in; a single tier authority (a borough council, for example) with a staff of 4,000 might expect to see its workforce shrink by 25% over the same period.
As comms tools are changing, so should the way that comms teams work, at least according to comms2point0. Generally, we agree with them of course, but this post is not about us.
The stats and the ‘math’ are compelling – you’ve all seen them, you don’t need me to tell you again that the growth of digital and social media, coupled with the decline in print media, is reason enough to adapt.
But the real benefit is that this approach could deliver greater and real engagement with our customers and the opportunity to talk to them on a more human level. And, vitally, talk to customers about the stuff that is important to them.
And that has potential spin-offs both ways.
But are press officers, for example, ready for this change?
For the ones I know, yes. Many have already embraced change and use the full range of channels available to them – traditional and new.
But I do get a sense that some are still just churning out press releases all day long. And with an ever decreasing pool of local newspapers to send these releases to is that still right?
And here’s a little more social media goodness to add fuel to the fire, this time from Simon Wakeman’s blog. And why use words, when you can use a modern social media-style approach to doing it…
Back to the Guardian now, in particular the Local Government Network, to hear how HR needs to change if it is to meet the challenges of the future.
No local authority can afford to carry overheads or support services that do not contribute to the strategic development of the organisation. All functions should help the council to lead its community and secure effective, efficient services for local people and businesses.
This means we need much a more strategic HR function, focused on the future of the organisation rather than simple compliance and transaction for staff. The long-term trend is clear: transactional HR will be secured from shared service centres, leaving the core HR team to make a strategic contribution.
Second week in a row for the LGiU, this time for asking what has happened since the Localism Act came into power. Despite all of the hyperbole over recent months, it seems to have disappeared as far as the masses are concerned.
I’ve written before about the strange lack of public interest in the bill. Within local government, there’s a great deal of interest of course, but also anxiety about the implementation of the act and a growing concern that it will not make as much difference in practice as the government intends. I’d argue that the act does have transformative potential, but that the lack of public interest is the most significant barrier to its success.
And finally, possibly our favourite picture of the year so far: the Austerity Tree (thanks @jamesgleave1)
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