On the front foot

The last few days have been pretty busy and today has been no different at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth.

Not only has it been interesting to meet my counterparts from around the country and share ideas but it has also been good to gain a sense of how other organisations are reacting to the changes in central government.

It was especially interesting to speak to Secretary of State Eric Pickles and Helen Bailey who is Director of Public Services at the Treasury about their views on the road ahead for local government.

It will come as no surprise that the financial challenges that lie ahead were top of the agenda and it is clear that these will be challenges that everyone around the country will face over the coming months.

The workshops and discussion emphasised more than ever the need for local government to prove their worth. I must admit the continuous talk of ‘hard times’ can dampen morale but I am keen to use the current situation as a real opportunity to work efficiently and effectively and show taxpayers in Staffordshire that we can still provide quality services and value for money.

After speaking to many peers at the conference it is clear that Staffordshire is ahead of the game due to some early foresight and having sound financial systems in place.

This week has been very useful but it’s back to my farm this weekend. I must say the weather is fantastic but I could probably do with a bit of overnight rain for my land!

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