Colloquium update

Well that was really stimulating. How do we deliver services that people want and need in our localities? It is agreed it’s not a top down approach any more.

It was proposed by some of the people that did the spending in the public sector that the last ten years of increased public spending did deliver improved “outputs” but did not deliver better “outcomes.”

Yes I know… try and get your head round that one. In my eyes it is this… more things were done, more boxes were ticked more resources were employed but the result of all this money and effort was limited in terms of improved economic or health chances for those that need it.

No there isn’t a magic wand but it is clear that money is not the answer to health or well-being outcomes.

In essence it was a group of mainly public sector managers being enabled by Local Partnerships to get together and think through some of the challenges we ALL now face in our communities.

You’ve got a train to catch

I am sat in the sumptuous Institute for Civil Engineers up the road from parliament typing this. No free wifi so will post later when i get chance. London is great on such a beautiful day but despite the culture, shopping, attractions etc etc I am still looking forward to getting back to Blackpool.

There’s alot to do now… mainly find some daft stuff to talk about for FNAT for tomorrow night and some great tunes but then to sit down at the weekend and go through my notes from today.

I am really dull I know

Why I have ended up with this obsession I really don’t know. But I have. I am driven now to effect in a teeny tiny way some of the change required to empower young people where I live. Working with partners in Blackpool and Lancashire County Council I hope over time (it will take time) to piece by piece, and stone by stone tear down the bureaucracy and top down approach to looking after our society.

This is not about building a social business of a great size to run huge and equally bureaucratic services. It is about spinning out hundreds of micro business with a social goal. Empowering all of us to look around and see that it is not the council that should do that thing on our street, it is all of us.

The right environment needs to be created though or all we will get (and it is already happening) is a whole raft of councils and PCTs (the same people that haven’t improved outcomes despite all that cash) flipping into the social enterprise sector.

Highlight of the day

For me it was the guy that stood up and showed us graphs and diagrams of how you can measure outcomes. Total BS. I have seen alot of this in the last four years. Yes you can spend weeks “drilling down through the statistics” and plotting ever more colourful diagrams but not from your ivory tower. Get onto street level.

Trust, then enable local people to get stuff done. Yes outcomes have to be measured or you’ll just waste money but in the end real people (who we need if this big society gig is going to flourish) get switched off by all that. It has got us nowhere slowly.

It’s time to empower local people. And when I say local I mean hyper local. Not Health and Well-being Boards (although they will need to be there) but on a street and neighbourhood level.

Please though, public sector people remember that social enterprise is two words. Without that big second word none of this will work.

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