Here is an interesting blog about the focus of the government upon shared services in local government, and the belief that it will save billions of pounds for the tax payer. Evidence from practice highlights the fact that sharing services is more likely to add cost in whole system terms than reduce it. The current rhetoric only measures certain parts of the process to make it look successful. Be careful what you wish for Mr Pickles.
I was looking for a bulb for the kitchen recently. The pack of six looked a bargain, until I saw the price of a pack of three! It’s the system stupid!
You may recall that on the 3rd Sept I reported a fault through my local county council web site. The issue resulted from poor workmanship. A resurfacing job had been undertaken on a road close to my house which had resulted in surface dressing blocking a series of drains on the road.
Well I recently noticed that a few of the drains had been cleared. Good news, I hear you cry! Guess what, they missed the key drain on the entrance to a side road joining a main road. How could they miss it? After all the note from the council advised me that the referral would need to be inspected before any action would be taken. Well a few weeks passed before the drains were cleared. So, what did the inspector actually do on the site I wonder? Did he/she even get out of their car?
Remember that this is all additional cost. If the job had been done correctly in the first place then no follow up would have been necessary. The inspection has clearly added no value, and the rework to return yet again to the site will add further cost. Believe me it will be necessary for the inspector to return to site and inspect the drain that he/she missed the last time. The rate we are going the road will need resurfacing before the drain gets unblocked. All we have to do is hope that in he meantime an accident does not arise as a result of the eater that will run on the main road. The season suggests that standing water will freeze leaving.
Functionalisation, and the separation of decision making from the work is costing the council a packet. Maybe even enough to fix the generally poor state of the roads in the county.
I feel duty bound to let them know that they have failed yet again to do the job properly. I bet nothing happen this side of the festive break.
This makes you stop and think.