At our event held in the beautiful surrounds of the Edinburgh City Chambers Councillor’s Lounge, the LGiU team was there to meet people and hear about what more we could do to support our members. It was great to hear from Andrew Kerr, Joyce White, Alison Evison, Philippa Bradley and our CEO Jonathan Carr West about the key challenges and opportunities facing public services and local government in particular in 2018.
All our speakers talked about the challenge of delivering excellent public services that answer citizens’ daily needs and also services that intervene early to prevent problems when possible. Local government can’t pick and choose its customers. We have to respond flexibly to the needs of all people living in Scotland, regardless of age, location, income or gender.
As you would expect, community involvement was also a key theme, with our speakers highlighting the need to listen to citizens and hopefully help people to co-produce the kind of communities they want and need. However, what I also heard was a common commitment to ensure that all citizens of Scotland benefit from living and working in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The golden thread mentioned by everyone was, for me, the need to tackle inequalities be they health or education outcomes whilst also delivering sustainable economic growth for all.
Speaking personally, I was delighted when feedback from our members’ survey highlighted how useful our service has been in 2017. I commission our policy briefings, and so I spoke to attendees to get new ideas and inspiration for 2018. Here is our end of year review to give you more detail. In 2017 I have concentrated on making sure our content reaches you in a timely manner – the right information at the right time. Thank you also to the people I have been lucky enough to meet during the past year who have generously shared their ideas and inspiration for topics.
So as January draws to a close I can foresee an exciting programme of briefings – drawing on national, UK-wide and international examples. A key theme for 2018 is “sharing practice”, making sure we can share practical and useful information to help both celebrate success and improve services.
As always, if you want us to cover a topic please let me know. If you would like to write for us, briefings written by associates with an LG background are always very popular.
Happy reading for 2018!