Posted tagged ‘challenge’

We’ve had an idea…

June 14, 2012

If we’ve said it once we’ve said it loads of times: everybody loves an arbitrary milestone.  We 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 government types to tell us why they too love local government.

Well, we’ve just sailed past the 200,000 barrier with barely a glance over our shoulders, so it’s high time we celebrated another marker along the way with something a little different.  An e-mail which began with the words “I’ve had an idea…” started winging its way between us, and we thought we should share it with you as we think it’s got legs.  Short, stumpy legs perhaps, but legs nonetheless.

Local government has a rough deal.  We do more things than most give us credit for, better than most know and all without much in the way of reward past job satisfaction.  We do all we do for pride and for the local people we serve.  We would say this is a noble endeavour, and worthy of wider recognition and – perhaps – even appreciation.

With this in mind, we’d like to propose that we take the route of so many other issues and entities out there, and declare an arbitrary day or week as ‘Local Government Day/Week’. (more…)

Family or Fortune?

February 2, 2012

Things which are mutually compatible: lamb and rosemary, Morecambe and Wise, Tango and Cash.

Things which aren’t: Cesium and water, high heels and a night of dancing, Eric Pickles and a positive story about local government.

I’d like to propose that bringing up a young family and pushing forward in your local government career is moving into the second of these groups.

I can already hear local government press and HR departments up and down the country crying out in opposition, quoting the schemes in place to support working parents such as flexi-time, TOIL, childcare vouchers and more.  Outwardly we may protest otherwise but, drawing on personal experience, over the past few years I have found it increasingly difficult to reconcile my day job with my more important evening and weekend job of being a parent.

Looking around the office seems to back up my concerns.  Those who are young and successful are invariably those without children.  Those who have children and are successful usually are older, with children at least in their early teens.  Those who – like me – are young and have children are finding it tough at best to squeeze as much success out of their careers as they might otherwise like.

I want to be clear of course that in no way, shape or form do I blame my children for these challenges, they are the best thing I have and ever will do, regardless of whatever else happens in my life and career.  However, I’m keen to explore what exactly is the problem, and whether it is in any way controllable.  Why do those of us with young children find the balance so tough?  Is it as simple as people think, is it in any way particular to local government, or is it something that simply has to be accepted and worked through? (more…)