All change in local government

As the funding cuts start to bite, things are changing rapidly in local government. But this is only the start. My own local authority, for example, managed to find savings of £17.5m in 2011/12 and needs to identify another £30m by 2015. And if the trend continues, they estimate that they will have to cut expenditure by a further £39m by 2018. This will leave the Council with only half of the resources that it had in 2010/11. Continue reading “All change in local government”

On outsourcing and accountability

I drove down to South Devon last Friday evening and stayed overnight at the Paignton outpost of a well-known budget hotel chain. Arriving at around 8pm, I was pleased to find one solitary space left in the hotel car park. Sufficiently pleased, in fact, that I didn’t even bat an eyelid at the £5 overnight charge. What annoyed me, though, was that I had to scrabble around to find change for the ticket machine rather than just pay at reception. Continue reading “On outsourcing and accountability”

When times are hard, focus on what you want to achieve

We all know that times are hard. Budget cuts, uncertainty around funding and increased pressure on the resources that are left mean that many organisations across the public and not-for-profit sectors are struggling. But now is not the time to get what you can from where you can. Now is the time to focus carefully on what you want to achieve. Continue reading “When times are hard, focus on what you want to achieve”

From block grant to spot purchasing

I went to an excellent seminar the other day, in which Bristol City Council’s health and social care commissioning team explained key changes in how they are going to fund various organisations around the city. But while the changes make sense financially and in terms of service user choice, they could spell problems for the provider organisations concerned. Continue reading “From block grant to spot purchasing”

The golden rule of financial management

In financial management, there is a golden rule. It applies to all organisations, whether they are large or small, whether they sell products or services, and whether they operate in the public or private sectors. It’s not a complicated rule or even a very exciting one. But organisations ignore it at their peril. And those that do won’t be around for very long. Continue reading “The golden rule of financial management”