Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Local residents across the county are being encouraged to take part in a series of ‘Your community – your say’ events to consider the services and priorities Herefordshire Council should be focusing on in the future.

*NEW* To combat Spam, you now must be a registered user to contribute.


‘Your community – your say’ forms part of a fundamental review of services the council is currently undertaking, in response to the many challenges facing the delivery of public services over the next decade. Councillor John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council, said:


“This is a time of significant change for the council and as such we’re taking the opportunity to look at what we do, how we do it and if it can be done better or differently. We have already seen local residents playing a greater role and taking responsibility for the services they receive, which is why it’s important to continue listening to their views on where we can make further savings in non-statutory services. The Your community – your say process is a slightly different approach for Herefordshire Council and we hope it will deliver a rich two way dialogue with residents. So we encourage all residents to take the opportunity to engage with the process and tell us what’s important in their community.”


There are different ways you can participate in this consultation and we like as many people as possible to be able to contribute:

• Please see events page where a list of events is posted.
• You can attend an event and put forward your views on services that are important to you and join in the local discussion groups.
• You can join the discussion forum by clicking the link above
• You can fill in the survey questions

Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Local residents across the county are being encouraged to take part in a series of ‘Your community – your say’ events to consider the services and priorities Herefordshire Council should be focusing on in the future.
‘Your community – your say’ forms part of a fundamental review of services the council is currently undertaking, in response to the many challenges facing the delivery of public services over the next decade. Councillor John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council, said:

“This is a time of significant change for the council and as such we’re taking the opportunity to look at what we do, how we do it and if it can be done better or differently. We have already seen local residents playing a greater role and taking responsibility for the services they receive, which is why it’s important to continue listening to their views on where we can make further savings in non-statutory services. The Your community – your say process is a slightly different approach for Herefordshire Council and we hope it will deliver a rich two way dialogue with residents. So we encourage all residents to take the opportunity to engage with the process and tell us what’s important in their community.
Matt
 

Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby vald » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:27 am

It would be more helpful if the Council listed some items that are up for discussion for those of us who cannot attend a meeting. Will there be discussions about transport, care for the elderly, sport provision, education? If the Council wants interaction, it needs to set up a framework for us, to let us know what it is thinking about doing. "Encouraging residents to be vocal about things that are important to them", is too broad. If it wants to know that, all it needs to do is read the local newpapers.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Nick Comley » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:52 pm

I can think of lots of people in Brimfield, Wyson and Little Hereford who would have lots of ideas to offer but the lack of public transport to get people to Leominster to take part in these events will mean only the views of drivers and people living in walking distance of the Bridge Street Sports Centre will be known!
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Annie w » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:25 pm

I would like to have my say but need a bit more structure.
On what? Is there a questions page or themes that I can comment on?
I don't quite know where to begin? :!:
Annie w
 

Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Gordon » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:36 pm

I was very pleased my two boys inspired by Wimbledon and the Olympics took to playing tennis over the summer. However the only tennis courts in Hereford I know of cost £4.80 an hour. On visiting two other villages I found they had free tennis courts.
Is there any way that we could achieve this in Hereford. It seems that promoting fit=ness and soport is part of the Council agenda but is unaffordable. Who/how would I raise this issue with?
Gordon
 

Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby B Curry » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:46 pm

The one issue that I feel moved to write about is about the privatisation of the NHS and how this large aging population will be able to receive healthcare in the future. With wages below the average in the region and in the country, what provision will there be to cater for those who cannot afford healthcare? I think the idea of people being given an opportunity to say what is important them is crucial but this county does not exist in a bubble and changes and cuts nationally will have a huge effect. Herefordshire Council ot the NHS could I pesume prioritise supporting hostpitals but what would this mean, schools close, potholes don't get fixed (more in hospital)?
B Curry
 

Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Forabw » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:03 pm

vald wrote:It would be more helpful if the Council listed some items that are up for discussion for those of us who cannot attend a meeting. Will there be discussions about transport, care for the elderly, sport provision, education? If the Council wants interaction, it needs to set up a framework for us, to let us know what it is thinking about doing. "Encouraging residents to be vocal about things that are important to them", is too broad. If it wants to know that, all it needs to do is read the local newpapers.

I agree. Last year's exercise was to vague, with insignificant background information and discussion time.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Karen Rose » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:15 pm

I agree that some questions or headings would be useful otherwise where do you start? Might it also be useful to talk about some positives too? I can think of lots of gripes and worries but I also think Herefordshire is a great place to live and I would like to see policies that help to keep it like that!

Maybe someone should get the ball rolling - why don't we talk about the growing older population for starters? Here are a few thoughts:

When people talk about housing in rural areas they almost always focus on younger families. What can we do to let older people live in rural areas? Please don't think that means rows of little out of place bungalows with lonely pensioners in them, which is usually what's on offer. We need to be brave and put proper sheltered accommodation into rural villages so that the elderly are able to stay there, have company and access care - maybe they could also host health/recreation facilities for the rest of the population?
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby clairecarter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:26 pm

vald wrote:It would be more helpful if the Council listed some items that are up for discussion for those of us who cannot attend a meeting. Will there be discussions about transport, care for the elderly, sport provision, education? If the Council wants interaction, it needs to set up a framework for us, to let us know what it is thinking about doing. "Encouraging residents to be vocal about things that are important to them", is too broad. If it wants to know that, all it needs to do is read the local newpapers.


Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts hopefully what follows will help to focus your contributions to this discussion. ‘Your Community Your Say’ is building on the results of the Quality of Life survey undertaken in July 2012. Herefordshire Council use this survey to find out what people think about local services, where they live and what most needs improving. The results of the Quality of Life survey have given us some very interesting high-level results however in order for us to be able to use this information to inform decision making, specifically around how public services are delivered in the future, we are using ‘Your Community Your Say’ as a way of digging deeper into the detail of what the survey is telling us. By further understanding residents priorities we will be able to better use the resources available to us. Subsequently the service areas that are discussed will be determined by what people see as their priorities or services that need greatest improvement or could be delivered more efficiently.

We are particularly keen to know:
Whether there are particular public services (not only those delivered by Herefordshire Council) that you feel should be prioritised in the county and/or your local area?
What public services are most in need of improvement? In what way could they be improved?
How could public services be delivered differently and more efficiently?
What public services would you be prepared to lose or see reduced in order to retain those you have identified as a priority?

Hope that helps. We look forward to hearing your responses.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby clairecarter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:28 pm

Annie w wrote:I would like to have my say but need a bit more structure.
On what? Is there a questions page or themes that I can comment on?
I don't quite know where to begin? :!:


Hi Annie for sharing your post hopefully what follows will kick start your contributions to this discussion. ‘Your Community Your Say’ is building on the results of the Quality of Life survey undertaken in July 2012. Herefordshire Council use this survey to find out what people think about local services, where they live and what most needs improving. The results of the Quality of Life survey have given us some very interesting high-level results however in order for us to be able to use this information to inform decision making, specifically around how public services are delivered in the future, we are using ‘Your Community Your Say’ as a way of digging deeper into the detail of what the survey is telling us. By further understanding residents priorities we will be able to better use the resources available to us. Subsequently the service areas that are discussed will be determined by what people see as their priorities or services that need greatest improvement or could be delivered more efficiently.

We are particularly keen to know:
Whether there are particular public services (not only those delivered by Herefordshire Council) that you feel should be prioritised in the county and/or your local area?
What public services are most in need of improvement? In what way could they be improved?
How could public services be delivered differently and more efficiently?
What public services would you be prepared to lose or see reduced in order to retain those you have identified as a priority?

Hope that helps. We look forward to hearing your responses.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby clairecarter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:35 pm

Nick Comley wrote:I can think of lots of people in Brimfield, Wyson and Little Hereford who would have lots of ideas to offer but the lack of public transport to get people to Leominster to take part in these events will mean only the views of drivers and people living in walking distance of the Bridge Street Sports Centre will be known!


Hi Nick Thanks for your post. Unfortunately we can't provide transport to get people to these events but I wonder if there is a local community car scheme that could help with getting people there or whether car sharing could be coordinated locally. We are also enlisting the support of local Community Researchers and help from local voluntary organisations who have face-to-face contact with people who are unable to attend events to ensure their views are heard. If there is anyone locally who may want to become a Community Researcher please let us know - we can provide them with training and a small fee.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby clairecarter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:36 pm

Gordon wrote:I was very pleased my two boys inspired by Wimbledon and the Olympics took to playing tennis over the summer. However the only tennis courts in Hereford I know of cost £4.80 an hour. On visiting two other villages I found they had free tennis courts.
Is there any way that we could achieve this in Hereford. It seems that promoting fit=ness and soport is part of the Council agenda but is unaffordable. Who/how would I raise this issue with?


Thanks for your post I will take this issue forward and will come back to you with a response.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby clairecarter » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:55 pm

B Curry wrote:The one issue that I feel moved to write about is about the privatisation of the NHS and how this large aging population will be able to receive healthcare in the future. With wages below the average in the region and in the country, what provision will there be to cater for those who cannot afford healthcare? I think the idea of people being given an opportunity to say what is important them is crucial but this county does not exist in a bubble and changes and cuts nationally will have a huge effect. Herefordshire Council ot the NHS could I pesume prioritise supporting hostpitals but what would this mean, schools close, potholes don't get fixed (more in hospital)?


Thanks for your post. All Local Authorities, including our own, are facing serious financial challenges which will inevitably mean that difficult decisions and choices will need to be made. However this is also an opportune time to look at how we currently do things and whether we, or others, could do things differently and more efficiently. Do you have any thoughts on this? Also some of the key questions we want to explore during 'Your Community Your Say' are not only what peoples' public service priorities are but also what public services they would be prepared to give up or see a reduction in in order to retain the services they see as priorities. it would be good to hear your views.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby administrator » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:18 pm

Karen Rose wrote:I agree that some questions or headings would be useful otherwise where do you start? Might it also be useful to talk about some positives too? I can think of lots of gripes and worries but I also think Herefordshire is a great place to live and I would like to see policies that help to keep it like that!

Maybe someone should get the ball rolling - why don't we talk about the growing older population for starters? Here are a few thoughts:

When people talk about housing in rural areas they almost always focus on younger families. What can we do to let older people live in rural areas? Please don't think that means rows of little out of place bungalows with lonely pensioners in them, which is usually what's on offer. We need to be brave and put proper sheltered accommodation into rural villages so that the elderly are able to stay there, have company and access care - maybe they could also host health/recreation facilities for the rest of the population?


Thanks for getting the ball rolling Karen. I wondered if you had given any thought about who in the future might run these types of facilities. Is this something you think local communities could take ownership of with the proper resources and support? One of the things we are interested in hearing about are examples of public services that people think are well delivered and what makes them effective so we can explore the possibility of replicating these in other parts of the county. Does anybody have any such examples? If you do it would be good to hear about them.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Forabw » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:43 pm

One thing that would be useful is to have a much clearer idea of what current cost are including commissioned services and what particular budget streams are under pressure. I cannot find on HC's website any budget information and we are often told that outsourced contracts are subject to 'commercial confidentiality'.
It is not possible to offer views on broad headings such as cut road cleaning or , recent example, the removal of recycling skips unless we have some idea of what they cost - in detail- in order to offer some suggestions about savings that could be made.
Broad brush discussions about service 'priorities' are often useless. The BBC has just announced on its website that HC is seeking to 'outsource' up to 38 services including planning. How can this produce a saving except by reducing wages and T&C's for transferred staff? Planning is a statutory requirement like many other services so could we start by stating what it is the council has to do and what it does at present it does not have to do. And then work out how it can do the essentials cheaper, without outsourcing. I have never understood how contracting out at a profit to the provider is cheaper than doing it in house. Let's start there.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby administrator » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:16 am

Forabw wrote:One thing that would be useful is to have a much clearer idea of what current cost are including commissioned services and what particular budget streams are under pressure. I cannot find on HC's website any budget information and we are often told that outsourced contracts are subject to 'commercial confidentiality'.
It is not possible to offer views on broad headings such as cut road cleaning or , recent example, the removal of recycling skips unless we have some idea of what they cost - in detail- in order to offer some suggestions about savings that could be made.
Broad brush discussions about service 'priorities' are often useless. The BBC has just announced on its website that HC is seeking to 'outsource' up to 38 services including planning. How can this produce a saving except by reducing wages and T&C's for transferred staff? Planning is a statutory requirement like many other services so could we start by stating what it is the council has to do and what it does at present it does not have to do. And then work out how it can do the essentials cheaper, without outsourcing. I have never understood how contracting out at a profit to the provider is cheaper than doing it in house. Let's start there.


Information on Herefordshire Council budgets can be found ‘ratepayers’ information leaflet http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/docs/CO ... _FINAL.pdf that goes out with all council tax bills and there is of course the relevant budget reports to cabinet and council (accessible via the Council's website). The Council used to produce budget book but stopped this a couple of years ago as it was taking up significant time and we received very few requests for the information however we are revisiting this and are looking for good practice elsewhere for next year.

In relation to the point you raise about outsourcing as you will be aware we are facing unprecedented financial cuts and other major changes and have to fundamentally review everything that we do, like every other local authority and many other public services. Our forward thinking Root and Branch Review programme is designed to do this and will, over an 18 month period, set out what services we will deliver over the next decade to meet the priorities for the County. We also have an obligation to council taxpayers and residents to consider best value and to understand what alternatives there are to direct service provision by the Council. As part of these reviews we are undertaking soft market testing to seek informal views from different providers about different ways of providing services, this will include the voluntary sector as well as the commercial sector. This runs alongside the “Your Community, Your Say” engagement exercise where we are seeking views from residents about future priorities. The results of this will be fed into our option appraisal for each Review about which services are provided in the future and how – there is no presumption in favour of outsourcing services, what matters is what solution provides the best outcomes for residents at a price we can afford to pay. We hope this helps to clarify the points you raised and are keen to follow the discussion on planning.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby administrator » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:25 am

If you want a good overview of what Herefordshire Council currently spend and how their budgets are allocated this information can be found in ‘ratepayers’ information leaflet that goes out with all council tax bills.

http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/docs/CO ... _FINAL.pdf
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Kington823 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:51 am

If you want more detailed information on expenditure and how the Council spends its budget make a request for the information to the Director of the service concerned. If the information isn't provided make a freedom of information request for it.

There are some difficulties that can not be overcome by fredom of information request because the Herefordshire Council places and thereby hides much of its activity via private companies that it sets-up (Hereford Futures, Hoople, etc) and they will not give you finacial information.

For example detailed expendtiture information from the council shows that is spends some £220m on service contracts of which only £50m is spent using local Herefordshire firms or organisations. One well documented effect of this is to limit local business investment in jobs and training, etc.

Other nearby councils have policies that favour their local firms and organisations.

It takes time but you have to ask for the information and if required use the freedom of information act to obtain it.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Colin M » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:00 pm

B Curry wrote:The one issue that I feel moved to write about is about the privatisation of the NHS and how this large aging population will be able to receive healthcare in the future. With wages below the average in the region and in the country, what provision will there be to cater for those who cannot afford healthcare? I think the idea of people being given an opportunity to say what is important them is crucial but this county does not exist in a bubble and changes and cuts nationally will have a huge effect. Herefordshire Council ot the NHS could I pesume prioritise supporting hostpitals but what would this mean, schools close, potholes don't get fixed (more in hospital)?


While I understand the concern for the elderly in Herefordshire the fact remains that a large number of the elderly move here in retirement and are well able to cater for health needs, what concerns me more is the continuing drop in funding for youth services and the availability of jobs. HCC's own figures show that the number of 16-25 year olds leaving the county is increasing and yet HCC are proposing an 80% cut in youth funding. The population rate of under 16 has been falling in Herefordshire for a number of years and is set to continue to fall by 0.9% until at least 2016. The council should be doing more to encourage our youth to stay here in Herefordshire if it is to remain a viable county and not become the retirement capital of the Midlands.
We also have the councils new nine point project to reduce the £1.3 million gap in council tax benefit, as we all know HFDS has a very low average income and yet the council want to hit those who can least afford it by capping CT benefit at 90% of total and introducing child benefit as part of income in the calculation (yet the elderly are exempt from these new ideas).
As we do have an aging population I wonder why services such as ambulances & police are also being cut, you would have thought those services would be required more not less.
I would offer a suggestion to HCC - cut £1.3 Million from the budget for the Edgar Street Development and put it into the hole created by the government cutting council tax benefit funding to the county, from a £90 Million budget £1.3 Million isn't really that much.

Lets be frank here there are services we cannot do without, there are services we would like to have. I personally feel that the relative councils should be looking to sell a number of the public buildings in order to help balance the cuts.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Forabw » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:54 am

administrator wrote:
Forabw wrote:One thing that would be useful is to have a much clearer idea of what current cost are including commissioned services and what particular budget streams are under pressure. I cannot find on HC's website any budget information and we are often told that outsourced contracts are subject to 'commercial confidentiality'.
It is not possible to offer views on broad headings such as cut road cleaning or , recent example, the removal of recycling skips unless we have some idea of what they cost - in detail- in order to offer some suggestions about savings that could be made.
Broad brush discussions about service 'priorities' are often useless. The BBC has just announced on its website that HC is seeking to 'outsource' up to 38 services including planning. How can this produce a saving except by reducing wages and T&C's for transferred staff? Planning is a statutory requirement like many other services so could we start by stating what it is the council has to do and what it does at present it does not have to do. And then work out how it can do the essentials cheaper, without outsourcing. I have never understood how contracting out at a profit to the provider is cheaper than doing it in house. Let's start there.


Information on Herefordshire Council budgets can be found ‘ratepayers’ information leaflet http://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/docs/CO ... _FINAL.pdf that goes out with all council tax bills and there is of course the relevant budget reports to cabinet and council (accessible via the Council's website). The Council used to produce budget book but stopped this a couple of years ago as it was taking up significant time and we received very few requests for the information however we are revisiting this and are looking for good practice elsewhere for next year.

In relation to the point you raise about outsourcing as you will be aware we are facing unprecedented financial cuts and other major changes and have to fundamentally review everything that we do, like every other local authority and many other public services. Our forward thinking Root and Branch Review programme is designed to do this and will, over an 18 month period, set out what services we will deliver over the next decade to meet the priorities for the County. We also have an obligation to council taxpayers and residents to consider best value and to understand what alternatives there are to direct service provision by the Council. As part of these reviews we are undertaking soft market testing to seek informal views from different providers about different ways of providing services, this will include the voluntary sector as well as the commercial sector. This runs alongside the “Your Community, Your Say” engagement exercise where we are seeking views from residents about future priorities. The results of this will be fed into our option appraisal for each Review about which services are provided in the future and how – there is no presumption in favour of outsourcing services, what matters is what solution provides the best outcomes for residents at a price we can afford to pay. We hope this helps to clarify the points you raised and are keen to follow the discussion on planning.

Thanks for the link. But still need some help understanding the issue. The report says that further reductions in central government support will require savings to be made of £10.3m yet only £1.07 m was received in rate support grant this year. Is the further cut in redistributed business rate or if not where are these government cuts coming from?
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Crocodiles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:16 am

Hi,

At the moment we are in a village hall in a very rural community of Whitney-on-Wye we have only one daily bus going to Hereford and this does not run at times that support the local families who use the Pre school and family sessions we run. All of our families are reliant on own transport adding to the carbon footprint issue.

We have lost our libary service van and now have been asked to pay for books for the children in our care. The government complain about failing literacy skills and the removes vital free access to books from the very youngest children in society how does that make sense. We are supporting a scheme to try and set up a free library in our local farm shop but this does not help the children now.

I am sure there will be other issues but this is probably enough to start with on first visit.

Karen
Last edited by Crocodiles on Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby Colin James » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:45 pm

I would like to discuss the terrible problems we face every day on the Belmont Road Hereford (A465) I wish someone would make the decision to turn off the stupid traffic lights at the Asda junction! Everyone who lives in Hereford knows that when these lights are off the traffic flows fine! Turn this junction back into a roundabout. If you find yourself in the traffic jam daily please register on the Herefordshire Council Website and sign our petition http://councillors.herefordshire.gov.uk/mgEPetitionListDisplay.aspx. This is also being discussed along with many other local issues on Sounthwhye Voice website http://www.southwyevoice.co.uk feel free to join us!
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby administrator » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:06 pm

Crocodiles wrote:Hi,

At the moment we are in a village hall in a very rural community of Whitney-on-Wye we have only one daily bus going to Hereford and this does not run at times that support the local families who use the Pre school and family sessions we run. All of our families are reliant on own transport adding to the carbon footprint issue.

We have lost our libary service van and now have been asked to pay for books for the children in our care. The government complain about failing literacy skills and the removes vital free access to books from the very youngest children in society how does that make sense. We are supporting a scheme to try and set up a free library in our local farm shop but this does not help the children now.

I am sure there will be other issues but this is probably enough to start with on first visit.

Karen


Thanks for your post Karen we will make sure the points you raise are fed into our consultation. We are particularly keen to hear from parents with young children as currently they are an under-represented group in the consultation. It would be great if we could come out and talk to the parents that attend the pre-school / family sessions you run - do you think this may be possible?
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Re: Your Community Your Say; General Discussion

Postby administrator » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:43 am

spartacus wrote:There is a danger in consultation exercises; without a serious intention to take on board the views of the consultees they can become a self serving PR exercise. I can't help feeling that YCYS is treading a fine line between being a genuine attempt to engage local people and being a shop window for the many services the local authority provides. If the issue is that impending government cuts is going to mean a reduction in services then that is where we must begin. Less money will assuredly impact services but I would like the opportunity to look at other areas of council spending as well. For instance, in the face of financial hardships and hard choices is it really a good time to be doing a rebranding exercise? Personally I think not. The salary paid to the senior officers of the local authority ought to be included in a discussion of how to save money. I would prefer to spend less on high salaried staff so that front line services can be protected. Difficult choices will have to be made but the YCYS consultation is limiting these choices to the devil and the deep blue sea. How, as residents, are we supposed to chose between getting our roads mended and hospital care? If the local authority is looking for an accountability audit trail so that, when the cuts come, they can say we were consulted then the YCYS consultation is perfect; if they are really looking for ways of making cuts without impacting (as far as possible) front line services then the functioning of the authority itself has to be on the table. Vague accounting, high salaries, wasteful practice, inefficiency and insufficiently robust sub contracts should also form part of the discussion. Consulting requires more than a tired ear listening patiently to the complaints of the few. The YCYS framework is, by its nature, a negative starting point. What services can we do without? Perhaps it would be better to say, how do you think we can make more of the money we have so that we don't lose any services? Greater delegation of powers to parish councils under the localism act could certainly be effective but, so far, this is slow to materialise and may not manage to push through without some other NGO getting in the way. The whole point of delegating something like, say, road maintenance, is to reduce costs by getting the commissioning close to the point of use. We should not view impending cuts as inevitably reducing services but rather as a challenge to be more creative about how we do more for less. Creative and positive discussion will always throw up ideas - some will be good, some bad and some downright barking but some will be worthwhile and the local authority should give such ideas, and the people who have them, a fair hearing. Like the grit in the oyster that produces a pearl it is the out-of-the-box thinkers who may have the most to offer.


Thanks for your post it reflects many of the issues that have been raised at the YCYS events and we have made sure that people's thoughts about other ways of saving money (e.g. reducing internal inefficiencies) have been recorded alongside all the other suggestions about ways of delivering public services differently.
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