Posted tagged ‘governance’

Revolution/Evolution (delete as applicable)

February 28, 2012

Surely evolution is less painful?

Many moons ago we ran a post which began with the immortal words “‘Never throw away your old drain-pipes”.  these words rang loud and clear in my mind recently when I sat in on a workshop/meeting looking at how my local authority would reshape some of its central functions.  With changing times, less money and a different political environment it was felt that the time was ripe to begin to reassess the way in which the council organises itself behind the scenes.

The last time they attempted such a process was back in the days when LAAs (Local Area Agreements for our younger readers) were the order of the day and LSPs (Local Strategic Partnerships) were springing up all over the place.  A suitable arrangement of all of the various forums, groups and organisations (not to mention the more dominant personalities) was made, and they spent the next half a decade or so delivering their workplans, albeit at a diminishing rate of returns.

Sitting around the table I found myself on I discovered I was joined by many of the people who were around in those days, and indeed who helped to set up those very structures now up for discussion.  They were wonderfully frank in their assessments, sharing that they thought at the time they had got things right but now saw the errors of their ways; this time they were sure they knew what went wrong, and had come up with a foolproof plan to guide structures for the next six or seven years.

None of them saw the irony embedded within their words and plans.

Whilst I wasn’t personally around for previous discussions all that time ago, I feel confident that there were similar people sitting around a similar table, all saying that they were actually pleased that the policy framework was shifting as it allowed them to address the failings in the even older system, and that now they knew exactly how things should be done.  It’s very much like a local government version of an infinite fractal loop. (more…)