Prolonged austerity is driving an important shift in local government. The early years of austerity have been characterised by authorities taking action to reduce costs through a range of traditional ‘supply side’ cost reduction measures. However, given that austere public finances will last well into the next parliament, local government needs to raise its sights and shift beyond traditional cost reduction approaches.
Many authorities are already reaching a tipping point where it is no longer possible to undertake the same activities as before. Local authorities now have to fundamentally redefine their role and purpose.
Local public services need to be viewed in a much more holistic way, with a focus on how multiple organisations, and citizens themselves, can contribute to securing desired outcomes.
This new landscape will require fundamentally different organisational cultures and behaviours to make it successful, along with an intense focus on digital innovation and intelligent and insightful data collection and management.
This will be a complex journey. In our latest Talking Points we set out the six steps that will help to create the right foundations to deliver more effectively against this agenda.