Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Localism bill does little to shift power 28 October 2011 After almost 10 months edging its way through parliament the localism bill is on the brink of royal assent. Has it been worth the effort? Among its 487 pages are provisions rolling back some of the key local government innovations introduced under Tony Blair. Local government traditionalists – particularly long-standing backbench councillors who never forgave Blair for introducing council cabinets – will rejoice at the freedom to reintroduce the committee system. The upside of the old way is greater openness in decision-making; the downsides include intensely tedious meetings and a reduced ability to get on and do things rather than just talk about them. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The chasm between councils and NHS 26 October 2011 Despite being 18 months away from taking over responsibility for public health, local government has already had its first clash with the NHS. It illustrates the cultural chasm the two will have to bridge if they are to make their new relationship a success. The spat with the NHS leadership at the Department of Health is over how much money the NHS will hand over locally for the public health budgets. Chief executive Sir David Nicholson asked councils to sign off their local primary care trust’s calculation of how much money should be transferred. Most have responded by deluging the DH with objections and concerns. The DH was clearly taken aback by this independence of thought, not behaviour it encourages. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Political noise or democratic music? 21 October 2011 Is local democracy in crisis? This question posed at the recent summit of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers certainly stirred a lively debate on the local government network this week. As local power becomes more dispersed, the paltry turnout in many elections undermines local government's ability to lead its communities. As local politics starts to play a bigger role in the NHS, how long will it be before a GP tries to win an argument by claiming to have more patients than the councillor has votes? Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Growth comes locally, not in Whitehall 14 October 2011 Council chief executives are pushing for local government to be at the forefront of the public sectors' response to the economic crisis. They have been meeting in Edinburgh this week for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers’ annual summit… At the end of the summit, the society published a communiqué setting out local government's role in "rebooting" the economy, based on a myriad insights and ideas from its members. I worked with the Solace team to draft it. The economy was centre-stage. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Exploiting digital for transformation 14 October 2011 Local government managers too often fall into the trap of describing efficiency gains and incremental improvement as "innovation" and "transformation". At the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers' summit in Edinburgh this week, delegates decided it was time for some linguistic honesty. Doing things a bit better is not transforming them. Read the full article on the Guardian public leaders’ network ____________________________________________________________________ What councils could learn from Jobs 7 October 2011 Steve Jobs's genius was to offer us products we didn't know we wanted, and design them not just to function well but to be a joy to use. Designing exceptional services means not just doing what your customers ask you to do, but developing deep insights into their lives so you can meet their needs in ways they would never have imagined. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Why hospital is no place for the elderly 3 October 2011 The debate over whether relatives of elderly hospital patients should be encouraged to help care for them is missing the point. The question is: does the patient need to be in hospital in the first place? Too many elderly people are admitted to hospital for the convenience of the NHS rather than their own health or quality of life, kept there too long, poorly cared for while they are there and discharged having lost their confidence and continence. Read the full article at the Huffington Post ____________________________________________________________________ Local realities stymie national dreams 30 September 2011 There is a touching naivety about national politicians. As they write their speeches, flesh out their "vision", they begin to believe they can reorder a complex world with simple solutions. In contrast, local politicians and officers see complexity. They understand the rough edges of policy, the unintended consequences. This reality gap between the national and the local was evident in Liverpool this week as Labour began to develop its local government policies. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The headache of taking on public health 23 September 2011 As the health reforms near the end of their parliamentary journey, many councils have yet to get to grips with their imminent responsibility for public health. The tasks involved are wide-ranging and touch on every aspect of a council's work – housing, transport, leisure, disadvantaged families, local businesses, infants and children, community safety, the elderly and much more besides. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Trying to decide the funding of localism 16 September 2011 As MPs make a brief return to parliament before dispersing to the annual drinking marathons that are the party conferences, the Commons' public accounts committee has been passing the time unpicking the impact of the government's localism policies on how money is spent, and who is held to account for it. The Labour chair – big-hitting former Islington council leader Margaret Hodge – made her feelings clear on how the Department for Communities and Local Government distributes its cash to councils: "Nobody can really understand anything that comes out of DCLG in terms of rationality." Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Localism, what localism? 9 September 2011 The government is developing a disturbing habit of making a lot of noise about granting councils new freedoms, which never materialise. This has happened twice in the last few weeks. First there was the announcement by Nick Clegg at the Local Government Association conference that two councils would be used as a test bed for pooling all the public service funding in their area, assessing the impact on service delivery, particularly for the most chaotic families. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Planning reform means start digging 2 September 2011 Local government is currently embroiled in solving two of the economy's biggest problems - achieving growth and building more houses. Common to both is the planning system. The government regards slashing regulations in order to make it easier and quicker to build homes, factories and offices as crucial to getting the economy moving and addressing the housing shortage. Ministers slave over media microphones, explaining how the government is condensing over a thousand pages of planning rules into barely 50. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network
September to October 2011
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Localism bill does little to shift power 28 October 2011 After almost 10 months edging its way through parliament the localism bill is on the brink of royal assent. Has it been worth the effort? Among its 487 pages are provisions rolling back some of the key local government innovations introduced under Tony Blair. Local government traditionalists – particularly long- standing backbench councillors who never forgave Blair for introducing council cabinets – will rejoice at the freedom to reintroduce the committee system. The upside of the old way is greater openness in decision- making; the downsides include intensely tedious meetings and a reduced ability to get on and do things rather than just talk about them. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The chasm between councils and NHS 26 October 2011 Despite being 18 months away from taking over responsibility for public health, local government has already had its first clash with the NHS. It illustrates the cultural chasm the two will have to bridge if they are to make their new relationship a success. The spat with the NHS leadership at the Department of Health is over how much money the NHS will hand over locally for the public health budgets. Chief executive Sir David Nicholson asked councils to sign off their local primary care trust’s calculation of how much money should be transferred. Most have responded by deluging the DH with objections and concerns. The DH was clearly taken aback by this independence of thought, not behaviour it encourages. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Political noise or democratic music? 21 October 2011 Is local democracy in crisis? This question posed at the recent summit of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers certainly stirred a lively debate on the local government network this week. As local power becomes more dispersed, the paltry turnout in many elections undermines local government's ability to lead its communities. As local politics starts to play a bigger role in the NHS, how long will it be before a GP tries to win an argument by claiming to have more patients than the councillor has votes? Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Growth comes locally, not in Whitehall 14 October 2011 Council chief executives are pushing for local government to be at the forefront of the public sectors' response to the economic crisis. They have been meeting in Edinburgh this week for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers’ annual summit… At the end of the summit, the society published a communiqué setting out local government's role in "rebooting" the economy, based on a myriad insights and ideas from its members. I worked with the Solace team to draft it. The economy was centre-stage. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Exploiting digital for transformation 14 October 2011 Local government managers too often fall into the trap of describing efficiency gains and incremental improvement as "innovation" and "transformation". At the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers' summit in Edinburgh this week, delegates decided it was time for some linguistic honesty. Doing things a bit better is not transforming them. Read the full article on the Guardian public leaders’ network ____________________________________________________________________ What councils could learn from Jobs 7 October 2011 Steve Jobs's genius was to offer us products we didn't know we wanted, and design them not just to function well but to be a joy to use. Designing exceptional services means not just doing what your customers ask you to do, but developing deep insights into their lives so you can meet their needs in ways they would never have imagined. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Why hospital is no place for the elderly 3 October 2011 The debate over whether relatives of elderly hospital patients should be encouraged to help care for them is missing the point. The question is: does the patient need to be in hospital in the first place? Too many elderly people are admitted to hospital for the convenience of the NHS rather than their own health or quality of life, kept there too long, poorly cared for while they are there and discharged having lost their confidence and continence. Read the full article at the Huffington Post ____________________________________________________________________ Local realities stymie national dreams 30 September 2011 There is a touching naivety about national politicians. As they write their speeches, flesh out their "vision", they begin to believe they can reorder a complex world with simple solutions. In contrast, local politicians and officers see complexity. They understand the rough edges of policy, the unintended consequences. This reality gap between the national and the local was evident in Liverpool this week as Labour began to develop its local government policies. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The headache of taking on public health 23 September 2011 As the health reforms near the end of their parliamentary journey, many councils have yet to get to grips with their imminent responsibility for public health. The tasks involved are wide-ranging and touch on every aspect of a council's work – housing, transport, leisure, disadvantaged families, local businesses, infants and children, community safety, the elderly and much more besides. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Trying to decide the funding of localism 16 September 2011 As MPs make a brief return to parliament before dispersing to the annual drinking marathons that are the party conferences, the Commons' public accounts committee has been passing the time unpicking the impact of the government's localism policies on how money is spent, and who is held to account for it. The Labour chair – big-hitting former Islington council leader Margaret Hodge – made her feelings clear on how the Department for Communities and Local Government distributes its cash to councils: "Nobody can really understand anything that comes out of DCLG in terms of rationality." Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Localism, what localism? 9 September 2011 The government is developing a disturbing habit of making a lot of noise about granting councils new freedoms, which never materialise. This has happened twice in the last few weeks. First there was the announcement by Nick Clegg at the Local Government Association conference that two councils would be used as a test bed for pooling all the public service funding in their area, assessing the impact on service delivery, particularly for the most chaotic families. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Planning reform means start digging 2 September 2011 Local government is currently embroiled in solving two of the economy's biggest problems - achieving growth and building more houses. Common to both is the planning system. The government regards slashing regulations in order to make it easier and quicker to build homes, factories and offices as crucial to getting the economy moving and addressing the housing shortage. Ministers slave over media microphones, explaining how the government is condensing over a thousand pages of planning rules into barely 50. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network