When it comes to improving public services, what’s good for local government should be good for central government. Piali Das Gupta looks at why the latter can benefit from adopting the principles of the former.
I spend a fair amount of my time as head of policy for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) attending meetings with government departments wanting to know how they can feel assured that local government leaders are up to the myriad challenges facing them today, from emergency response and recovery to promoting social mobility.
What strikes me is central government never seems to turn that same lens on itself. If you talk to SOLACE members about the characteristics of effective modern leadership, they will put humility and self-awareness near the top. Sadly, humility and self-awareness were glaringly absent from the Government’s response to the National Audit Office report on the roll-out of Universal Credit.