Partnerships….

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I wrote this blog for my in-council intranet blog this afternoon but on refection a wider audience might be interested and so here it is..

Interesting comments from Mark Rogers, Chief Executive at Birmingham City Council and President of SOLACE UK, in today’s Municipal Journal. On partnership he says –

“This partnership malarkey is becoming too complicated for a simple soul like me who just wants to make a few friends, influence a few people and, in a shared enterprise, improve the lives of our residents. It all used to be so simple…”

Now, I am not saying I feel the same about us here in Angus, but I do recognise the sentiment.  We are encouraged to think in terms of partnership delivery a lot these days, voluntarily and on the back of legal requirements for example new health and Social Care integration Boards. And that is how it should be.

Sure enough shared burdens are lighter burdens. And getting rid of the inter-agency haggling and the nonsense we have suffered from for ever is bound to be good, and make the way ahead easier. But we do tend to replace the barriers to inter-agency working with new barriers seated in the heavy governance of partnership arrangements. Is that what Mark is talking about?

May be it’s just trust? If we had more trust of each other the need for excessive formalisation of the way we work together would be less necessary – not removed – just be less detailed? Does every marriage need a pre-nup?

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