Hello PPMA members and friends

This is our second post from guest blogger, Steve Davies, PPMA London Region Chair and Head of HR & OD at Lambeth Living (a housing management company). Steve shares some thoughts from the recent London and Southern/ SE regions meeting about Leadership challenges following the general election in May 2015.

‘At the last joint regions meeting we had two directors from SOLACE (society for local authority chief executives) attending and the discussion was about the landscape and future for local government following the general election in May 2015 and the leadership skills needed to operate in that environment. You can find information from the presentations on our regional pages.

Whatever the outcome of the election in May there will be further reductions in public sector spending to manage. All the parties are signed up to the principle of ‘deficit reduction’ and public spending cuts approaching £50bn during the next parliament.  Non protected departments (DCLG for example) are likely to see a further reduction of 33% in budgets compared to a cut of 21% during the current parliament. In addition the LGA is predicting spend on adult social care is likely to take 40% of local government budgets by 2020.

SOLACE did a survey of chief executives recently to get their views on the future landscape and they said the top 3 priorities for central government following the election should be Health & Social Care integration; Devolution (regional powers in England); and Housing supply.

They were also asked about what they were planning to do more during the next 12 months.  The most common areas identified were –  Partnership working with other organisations,  Income generation, Radical service redesign, Improving asset management, Reduced spending on back office functions, Demand management, Improving service delivery, Shared service/ management,  Reduced spending on managerial functions.  Nothing new then!

What is certain is the challenges will be significant. The need for leadership skills will be even greater and key among those will be transformational skills – vision setting, strategic management, working with partners and stakeholders and communications skills; coupled with contextual skills – leading place, leading through trust, leading through ambiguity and complexity.

Our role then is to understand the wider dimension that our organisations are operating in, understand the drivers and motivators of our workforce and find leaders who can join the dots, paint a clear picture of the future and inspire people to deliver in these ever changing operating environments.’

Steve Davies

London Region Chair and Head of HR & OD at Lambeth Living