Today sees the launch of the Keep Calm - Save Money campaign, backed by my new white paper, Having It All. The white paper is specifically focused at English local government and in essence argues that the £50B spent annually by English local government on third party services and products should become the main focal point for cashable savings. It is a travesty, speaking as a former public sector official myself, to see frontline services being cut and good people taking voluntary redundancy when tens of millions of pounds are wasted annually because local authorities are unwilling to collaborate to achieve optimum engagement with suppliers and markets.
Some local authorities have done a great job in showing what can be achieved, but it is far too often confined to a category or a contract.The reasons for not taking part in any shared activity that will make any kind of cashable savings so often sound like a list of excuses used by an errant school kid for why they haven't done their homework!
What is needed today is ownership of the issues by chief officers and elected Members and leadership to drive through the cultural changes. The white paper essentially throws down the gauntlet to all local authorities to work with other like minded organisations and help to avoid the scenario where English local government is the soft touch of the public sector