Courtesy of the lovely folk at the New Local Government Network, I got to hear one of the new local government Ministers, Grant Shapps MP, speaking earlier this week. He said a number of welcome and interesting things about reducing the extent to which Whitehall gets in the way of Councils doing sensible things on the ground. He also said that the financial climate would be horrendous and local government would be in no way insulated from that, in fact quite the opposite. We’d kind of guessed that.
Then he said that what the private sector does, and he thinks we should learn from this, is to do more for less, and be more efficient. The man’s clearly some sort of organisational genius, I mean I personally had never thought of that. I don’t know about any of you. Less money, but the same broad outcomes? Apparently it’s what they do at Sainsbury’s. They don’t say “Good food costs more at Sainsbury’s”. I’m not sure what he thinks local government’s advertising slogan would be, something like “reassuringly expensive”?