Change is both an opportunity and a challenge.
It can inspire creativity and also cause anxiety but it is something we need.
As the nation goes to the polls, we face one of the most uncertain results ever in the composition of the new government; however, we can be sure that it will be different. A new government and for some, different local leadership means local public services will need to continue to manage change as well as meeting further, unprecedented financial challenges.
For local government and particularly its public sector partners, a new government presents an exciting opportunity to build on the pre-election momentum for devolution, local autonomy and establishing a different local-central relationship – one that is better placed to help deliver joined-up, efficient, sustainable and accountable services.
The sector has already demonstrated its ability to innovate, evolve and deliver despite the scale of public sector funding pressures. That track record stands us in good stead to influence a new government’s thinking in order to secure the best possible outcomes for our communities.
Locally, we are ready, willing and able to take on the responsibilities that might pose; however, we need to be able to convince central government that absolutely is the case.
How can we do that?
In Suffolk we are committed to an integrated approach for public services. Local leaders are working to build a new paradigm of system leadership across the public sector.
The challenges are many and the precedents few; however, we know it is the right thing to do in order to build a sustainable local system that is able to support those most in need but also to foster more confident, independent and resilient local people and communities. To do this, it is essential we remain focused on the shared drivers such as early intervention, preventing demand and the impact on the ground.
Working more collaboratively as a system also means we’ve a better understanding of local need, and consequently, can offer more seamless, timely responses. In terms of prevention, it means we’ve a better understanding of local assets and how to maximise them.
Locally, we want more flexibility and autonomy so that we can build 21st century public services for and with our communities. This cannot be achieved through a centrally imposed single solution. That is why Suffolk’s public sector leaders want to work with the new government to create the best economic and social outcomes for our people, local partners and indeed, central government.
Deborah Cadman, chief executive, Suffolk CC