One of the stand out things for me at the moment is the level of effort being put in by colleagues right across the council to make it all work. The “it” in question comes in many forms of course.
No need to reiterate that we are in the midst of one of the most challenging periods that Scottish and UK local government has experienced. The financial demands have brought forward some really creative and innovative service development and improvements from the Angus Council team. And the savings which enable us to live within our means have followed. At least so far. Better for less is a reality being delivered by our team.
One of the things that is hard to accept is that unlike say a private sector business looking to contract or change, the plans and initiatives we develop to deal with what the organisation is facing often have to be tested in a democratic forum before they can be implemented. We aren’t a multinational corporation who can make a decision to close some plants and basically get on with it, whatever the kickback from the workforce or the wider community, or even the government.
Sometimes the democratic part of the change process delivers a decision that calls for a lot more work to be done by a service department or a cross service team, revisiting the issues and the options. And sometimes this will be no more than a rehearsal of work already done, and be unnecessarily resource consuming. We need to manage that better. But I suppose that is the cost of a democratic system which, to paraphrase Churchill, is after all the worst system of government by far. Except for all the others.