Hello PPMA members and friends
The last couple of weeks since the PPMA Seminar in Leeds have flown by and I am starting to think about the next 12 months of my Presidency. It has felt a bit like organising a huge wedding – many months in the planning, over in a flash and a bit of a three day blur! And before you ask there was very little alcohol involved – for me anyway, although not for others.
Since then a flurry of invitations have come in for various events (I have even have turned down the kind offer of a Barry Manilow concert – with some regret!) and a few speaking opportunities. There have also been requests for a regular column in the MJ, and for the PPMA view on top talent in the public sector given the increase in recruitment in the private sector and on how best to manage performance. Links to these will appear on the PPMA website and twitter as they are published over the next few days and weeks.
Moving from one Barry to another, I have also spent a day in London with Barry Pirie, the PPMA Vice President and Alan Warner the Sponsorship Manager, talking with some of our sponsors about how we can work together over the coming year for the benefit of our members. What struck me that they all are incredibly committed to working with the PPMA and some have long been our supporters and partners. They can also give us access to things that we would just not be able to deliver without them or even be able to pay for. Barry and I will work closely together with the Policy Board to focus the PPMA on the big challenges for our sector and for us as HR professionals and there will be more about this after the Board meeting on the 13th June. We have also agreed to try to develop stronger relationships with colleagues in health who share much of our change agenda, and also with CIPFA. At the Leeds seminar Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA, shared his view that finance and HR are key to transformation in public services so I think that is the basis for a discussion on collaborative working.
The challenge for us as a membership organisation is to provide something for you as members that you cannot get from the CIPD or the LGA, both of whom we work with. The public sector is a fascinating complex and innovative space. Our workforces are highly committed and we have a unique role in working with them to shape the future of public services for our local people and communities. I am more than a little frustrated that there is still an obsession with comparing the private and public sectors at a time when many of our services are provided by the private sector and when we are becoming much more business-like in our approach generally. Many of us now deliver services through trading companies of one sort another, and have had to quickly learn how to set them up in such a way that they can deliver competitive and relevant services.
Today is elections day. After I finish writing this post I’ll go to the village hall opposite my cottage to vote and, like you, will follow the results as they come through and wonder what the future will hold. Politics, like everything else, is changing in response to so many issues and impacts on all public services. Today’s headlines about the 250,000 people in rent arrears because of benefit changes and recession are a great example of how policy decisions can have unintended consequences for people, families and communities – and the public services.
Finally, I would like to urge you to join and be active on social media. We’ve posted some ‘how to’ guides on the PPMA website so there really no excuse. I look forward to seeing you all following me, @louisetibbert and @ppma_hr in the near future, or reading your tweets.