Louise Casey is right to start softening us up for closures. Family intervention must realise savings as well as get families back on their own two feet. As far as I can see, it is the only example of true innovation resulting in significant savings by reducing the need for services. Everything else is cuts in areas where demand is strong.
We’re currently reviewing this year’s budget cuts and planning for further savings next year. It is not good.
This year we are not delivering all our planned savings. Some of our transformational plans have proved to be difficult to implement and the savings will take longer to realise.
Politicians are also getting cold feet. We have a library closure coming up. But the leader is likely to ask me to find alternative savings this year.
I don’t feel very good about all this. Our officers working on plans for next year are despondent. I don’t know if it is because we are all weary, but service innovation ideas are simply not there. All we can think of is cutting.
It is taking its toll on the team. My best mate is one of our directors. We went out for a few drinks last week and he told me he is looking for jobs in the charity sector. His motivation throughout his career in local government has been to make a positive difference to residents’ lives. He feels that all the future holds is dismantling all the good things we have done over the past few years. He doesn’t want to be part of it.
I am struggling to come up with how I can help my team and give them some hope. They are all intelligent individuals and they know what the future holds. I have recruited people who are ambitious with a strong sense of public service. We can’t give them what turns them on and I fear they are all looking to see where they can realise their ambitions. And it isn’t in local government.
The one thing he won’t comment on is his identity…