26th February 2015
Solace Insights Report Launched
On 26th February 2015 Solace released ‘Solace Insights – changing local services’. The report, sponsored by CapacityGrid, measures the mood in local government and outlines some clear and important messages to the sector and our partners. This is a statement from Graeme McDonald, Director of Solace, to support the publication.
Solace members see a predictable, although bleak picture ahead for local government finance. While the UK economy might be improving, the recession’s impact on public finances, and particularly local services, will be felt for years to come.
The key findings from our survey of Solace members include:
• 92% are concerned about the impact of cuts on their organisations
• 75% expect the state of local government finance to decline, with counties being the most negative
• 84% don’t believe any of the main political parties have a sufficient programme of change
Councils have been responding by protecting the frontline but as the cuts in central government funding continue, chief executives and senior managers, are starting to fear the impact will soon be felt on service delivery. Significant innovation is now a necessity.
Local Government senior managers have low expectations of help coming from Westminster. While they hope for far more progress to be made particularly in health and social care integration and housing supply, there is a realisation that most solutions will come from their local places and communities. The appetite for devolution remains strong.
The research paints a picture of local government under severe financial pressures, fearful of the potential future and feeling that solutions are unlikely to come from Government. Given the levers to pull, local government senior managers believe a brighter future is possible but this will require a new approach across all public services in the places where we live.