Cutting costs and effectiveness in Local Gov't
There has been a lot of attacking and defending of positions over cuts in Local Government funding. The main reactions include "we've had insufficient notice" and action in the form of significant cuts in jobs. Is a year's notice insufficient? Both major parties had signalled inevitable cuts in council budgets prior to the elections last May. Any organisation should be looking at its environment and preparing to adjust in order to make the most of expected changes and these changes should have been expected. Why do people not want to look at the scary stuff that is facing them? Because when we do not feel competent to deal with something it generates a sense of not being in control - which we do not like and work to eradicate. Not looking at it is one way we can restore a sense of control - albeit false and just delays the inevitable.
Making redundancies is a quick and incredibly bad way to cut costs. Immediate costs drop quickly but services still have to be delivered - requiring major restructuring while managing service delivery with a reduced workforce. Voluntary redundancy frequently results in very effective and marketable people leaving. This leaves a mess that needs to be managed, often by people who have little or no experience in doing so with little or no access to external expertise. The adage, 'don't just stand there do something' has become too dominant and there are many critical situations where, 'don't just do something, stand there and think about the whole picture' would provide a more effective council (pun intended).