Inside residents’ minds: How to understand and manage service users’ behaviour
Last month, the new chief executive of the LGA, Mark Lloyd, warned that further cuts to local government funding could threaten the delivery of councils’ statutory services.
Don’t miss LGC Transformation: Our regular special report on service reform
In the same week, the prime minister himself became embroiled in a high-profile spat with Ian Hudspeth (Con), leader of Oxfordshire CC, about the impact of cuts on services. Mr Cameron claimed in a letter to Cllr Hudspeth that Oxfordshire could make more savings from back-office services rather than closing children’s centres. Cllr Hudspeth said Oxfordshire had already exhausted this option.
The way councils are expected to fund themselves and operate is in flux; clearly the journey is not over
The two incidents serve to demonstrate the difficulty facing local authorities. Their reputation for always balancing the books is to be commended but some believe has encouraged central government to expect ever-more impressive savings. The spending review has brought with it confirmation of the government’s plans to end revenue support grant, localise business rates and allow councils to plug the social care funding gap with a council tax precept. The way councils are expected to fund themselves and operate is in flux; clearly the journey is not over.
Councils have moved beyond cutting back-office functions.
To avoid cutting provision, their focus is now on transformation of how they respond to need. In this issue of LGC Transformation, we explore greater use of digital technology, behavioural study and demand management, and data analysis as the new tools of the trade.