Forgive me for being a bit slow, David, but what does this have to do with NO2ID? All very interesting for those of us with a passing interest in social care, but....
No need to ask forgiveness, Cap'n, I'm clearly going through a phase at the moment of failing to make myself understood. My fault entirely.
The New Local Government Network (NLGN) have form.
You may remember their paper Local Identity: The role of local entitlement cards in public service delivery
which, under Geraint's tutelage, I attempted to review
According to that review:
1. NLGN believe that there are benefits to be gained by widespread data-sharing in local government. They can't name those benefits, which is a defect in a think tank. Nevertheless they believe the benefits are there.
2. At which point their position amounts to an attack on local government because the staff are currently not delivering those (unspecified) benefits, they don't know what they're doing, they don't understand their "customers", they need to go into partnership with local private suppliers who apparently do know what they're doing.
3. Quite why we should believe that NLGN know what they're doing or how it is that they understand the customers of local government services better than anyone else is never explained.
4. NLGN's agenda is restricted at the start of their paper to local government but by the end has grown to cover the national transformational government agenda.
That was August 2007.
Here we are now in 2009 and NLGN are still pushing the same agenda – the still unspecified benefits of a "heralded [but unrevealed] vision" will be earned when "local agencies come together seamlessly to deliver more cohesive, joined-up, and unified local services". So they say but they still provide no reason to believe it.
What they do provide is an insight into their objectives:
It is vital that local authorities develop their position as 'primus inter pares', playing a growing role in the leadership and strategic oversight of local public services. Councils have an opportunity, indeed a responsibility, to become the true place shapers visualised by Lyons and joint-appointments are a good step in this direction.
"Place-shaping" and "place-shaper" are odd locutions, I hadn't heard them before, they're slightly reminiscent of "shape-shifting", but I assume that what Ms Turley means by "place" is society – she believes that local government is primus inter pares
in shaping society. She's wrong. Local authorities are part of the state. And the state is shaped by society, not the other way around. Local authorities have no "responsibility" to shape society, they can't, and they don't have the "opportunity" either.
The heralded vision of 'one public service', where local agencies come together seamlessly to deliver more cohesive, joined-up, and unified local services has taken another step closer to becoming a reality this month.
I don't know about you but, what with all this seamlessness and cohesion and joinedupness and unification and heralded visions
taking a step closer to reality, when I read "one public service", I hear "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer
". Going a bit far? Headed for the Moderated sin bin? Again? Maybe not this time:
Could we see, for example, joint appointments for local authority chief executives and police chiefs? We are some way off that yet, but it poses an interesting debate.