Posted tagged ‘failure’

Could a council go bust and if it does what should we do?

August 24, 2011

Could a council really go this way?

My managers manager is a fairly senior guy in my local authority. Two months ago he was asked to take 40% out of his budget over the next three years.

In an unguarded moment a few weeks ago he commented that if it transpired that this target was more firm target than aspiration we ‘might as well all pack up and go home.’

This, along with a whole number of other things going on in local government, got me thinking; is it possible that a whole local authority might get in a position where they are so low on resources that they ‘might as well all pack up and go home.’

There are certain things that a council legally has to do and there are functions that have to happen to enable these things to take place. If it becomes impossible to meet these statutory responsibilities within the finances that the council has then in effect it would be bust. I don’t want to be inflammatory but is this possible?

I asked this question on twitter and in response the excellent Alex Khaldi from Impower wrote a blog post entitled: Pop Goes the council? I urge you to check it out as my below summary will doubtless not do it justice.

(more…)

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Nobody’s Perfect

July 28, 2011

Who will make sure you are going the right way?At a recent job interview I found myself faced with the dreaded question: what are your areas for development?  Essentially the inquisition interview panel were asking me “what things are you really bad at that will make us think twice about employing you?”

Of course in such a situation the worst thing to do would be to tell the truth.  “I have a terrible memory”, “I sometimes say offensive things in the hope of starting conversations”, “I actually don’t understand most of the financial regulations so just bumble my way through them” – all of these may be true but are not going to help get the job.

I refused also to say the standard, tired response of “I’m a bit of a perfectionist”; that’s BS of the very lowest degree in most cases and simply screams out ‘I’M NOT CREATIVE ENOUGH TO COME UP WITH AN ORIGINAL RESPONSE’.  In the end I went for my willingness to JFDI – Just-Flowering-Do-It (you can replace Flowering with other more suitable words should you feel the need to).  This sometimes means I’m halfway through an exciting project before I remember that my line manager might just be interested in finding out what I’m up to.

Why do I bring this up now?  Well, at a recent Senior Management Team meeting one of our Service Heads stood up to talk about the review she had conducted on her service.  She went into detail about some of the things that had gone well, but then also detailed some of the things which, to put it bluntly, had gone really badly. (more…)