Posted tagged ‘attitude’

Do they even care about us?

June 29, 2011

Did the PM betray attitudes towards Local Government?Yesterday the Prime Minister attended the LGG conference and spoke to the masses. He was apparently the first serving PM to do so in history, and began by quipping that perhaps afterwards he would know why none of his predecessors had done so.

He was due to talk about localism, so thanks to a timely heads-up from @dominiccampbell I tuned in to the live web stream and listened as he began outlining localism. It started well, with reference to what in effect used to be known as Total Place, and went on to mention the current deregulating of local government.

However, before long the conversation turned away from local government. Mr Cameron instead turned the focus of the discussion over to the current headline issue – public sector pensions – and in effect used his key note speech to speak directly to the media. He set out why he was doing what he was doing, and how important it was that his party’s plans were followed through.

The discussion around the rights and wrongs of this debate are not the topic for this post, and in any case are being picked apart by far brighter and more informed minds than mine. My interest in this is instead to be a little narked at the way local government appears to have been casually tossed aside here. (more…)

Stupid, selfish and lazy

May 11, 2011

A picture speaks a thousand words... Or four

A good friend of mine recently sent me a link to a video of a talk by a guy named Dave Meslin. You can view his talk here.

We’re not normally ones to idly link to other people’s work on our site but his talk about apathy (what it is and what it definitely isn’t) is well worth a watch. We don’t necessarily agree with it all but there are some great points that are worth considering for every local government employee.

Whilst I don’t want to pre-judge your viewing enjoyment there was one thing in there that really struck a bell with me. Towards the end of his talk Dave says that one of the problems is the way we (and here I think he means everyone in Government) think about members of the public.

Too often, we, in the words of Dave, think that members of the public are:




The way we think about the people we serve undoubtedly colours our work.

How often do we stop what we’re doing and re-evaluate our pre-conceptions about the people we work for? Too many times in life I’ve heard people, and sometimes even myself, say things along the lines of:

‘What do they know anyway?’

‘My life would be ok if it wasn’t for the stupid residents’

‘I’d get more work down if it wasn’t for yet another complaint from the councillor’

This isn’t always the case but what if the assumption was the other way round? If our first thought was something like:

‘I’ve just heard something from a resident I didn’t expect; what should I do differently?’

‘My job is to serve the residents first and foremost; if only I didn’t have so much paperwork etc to do I could spend more time providing services for them’

‘Good job the councillor raised that on behalf of their constituent otherwise we might have missed it.’

Maybe I’m overegging the pudding a little but I thought it was a useful corrective to a sometimes easy trap to fall into.

Thanks Dave!

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Are the kids alright?

August 24, 2010

Lazy, good for nothing time wasters.  No, this isn’t a deserved rant against the England football team, it is paraphrasing the message delivered recently which discussed the productivity of local authority workers (

To quote directly:  “Junior staff in local authorities are, on average, productive only 32% of the time during working hours.”  It said this compares with an average of 44% in the private sector, the argument being therefore that we could shed 500,000 jobs and see no difference in service delivery.