Selected comments from LGC’s quarterly survey of sector confidence
More from: LGC view - Confidence survey
In 25 years plus working in local government I have never known a government so anti-local government and so out of touch with what is going on in communities. Councils will be unable to function given the level of budget reductions being set. Outsourcing or sharing of services does not bring the level of savings required as most councils have been modernising and improving services and efficiency for twenty years and there is simply no more room for further cuts without adversely affecting the ability to deliver.
I am devastated that the work of local government that makes such a difference to the lives of every resident is being undermined to the extent that it is by ministers who seem to care little about directly delivered services.
The feeling within local government is a mixture of anger, despair and resignation. Pickles and his cohorts come across as simply not being interested. We provide vital, front-line services and we do it all in the context of not being able to borrow to balance our books unlike, for example, the NHS or central government, but we are treated like dirt, as the lowest of the low. It’s a disrespectful, disgusting central government team at the moment.
We represent a handy scapegoat for Eric Pickles when huge sums need to be saved in the public service; the problem is that local government is being presented with a lose/lose situation - damned by the citizen if we do make the cuts, damned by the government if we don’t and damned by much of the media either way.
The coalition government understand local government they just want it reduced. Simple.
The government are so far removed from the real world and Eric Pickles’ view of local government has been tainted by his one experience of a failing authority against the many exceptional authorities.
The intentions of the Prime Minister are constantly frustrated by departments carrying on in the same old ways.
I believe the Government really wants to deliver on its stated ambitions and relationships with local government BUT it needs to far better ‘publicly’ value the contribution local government’s elected members and senior managers make if it wants to really succeed -values are more important than policies.
They may as well abolish DCLG, put planning with the business department, grant settlement to the Treasury and abolish most other functions. The current secretary of state is not fit to hold public office.
Local government will on the whole deliver front-loaded cuts but central government will fail utterly to deliver on its spending targets. Ministers should concentrate their fire a little closer to home. The public still do not appreciate the scale of the retrenchment that will be required to meet draconian funding cuts.
“Local Government” as a voice needs to be more assertive, authoritative and confident. Too much passivity in dealing with a government that needs help and does not have all the answers. Ideology is getting in the way of practicality.