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We need an overarching picture

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One area which is an issue for authorities is that the skills we have traditionally required are not necessarily the skills we now require. Most councils lack the commercial and analytical skills public services now need.

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To counter this at Nottinghamshire, we established an improvement programme that focuses on providing project management and commercial and analytical capacity.

We have bought in some of those skills but ensured internal staff worked alongside externals to gain knowledge transfer, and to develop the new skills that are necessary to deal with the changing environment in which we operate.

Along with others, we are seeing how we can move more of our services online but we do have access issues in rural parts of the county.

Our broadband project is a high priority. It will ensure all areas of the county have access and as many businesses and homes as possible have super-fast broadband. It’s a fundamental part of our economic growth plan.

We are also undertaking a full service review process. This includes asking what outcomes the service is trying to achieve, how it is planning to do that and what other options are available. In many cases we are completely rethinking our delivery models.

The risk is that by reducing or changing something in one place, you increase cost in another and you just end up moving the pot around. We need to have an overarching picture to avoid unintended consequences.

Jayne Francis-Ward, corporate director and monitoring officer, policy planning and corporate services, Nottinghamshire CC

Join the LGC Transformation Summit

LGC Transformation Summit is taking place on 7-8 November, 2013, and will again be held at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire.

If you are involved in local government transformation and are interested in attending, please contact: jenny.vyas@emap.com

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