Paul Martin on regulation v2


Published on

Presentation from Paul Martin, Chief Executive of Sutton Council, on regulation, sector-led support, and the challenges of 'the Big Society'

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • The FSA’s budget was increased by 16.5% for the current financial year – nearly £65m more to better identify and mitigate risk, supervision and enforcement
  • The FSA’s budget was increased by 16.5% for the current financial year – nearly £65m more to better identify and mitigate risk, supervision and enforcement
  • Conservative manifesto – we will scrap ring fencing so funding can be spent on local priorities; we will scrap the hundreds of process targets Labour have imposed on councils
  • Devolved budgets e.g. Sutton’s six local committees Open data – gritting bins
  • Paul Martin on regulation v2

    1. 1. Achieving a better balance between regulation and sector-led improvement Paul Martin
    2. 2. The paradox of regulation in the UK <ul><li>Since 1997 there has been a focus on regulation as the prime way of driving improvement in local government (£2bn a year) </li></ul><ul><li>But it’s been the financial sector where there’s been a concurrent shift to greater self-regulation, where things have gone horribly wrong </li></ul><ul><li>There’s always a balance to be struck between external and self-regulation and the key thing is getting that balance right </li></ul>“ In retrospect regulation of the banks should have been tougher. I don’t think we got the balance fully right.” Ed Balls, April, 2010
    3. 3. Does central government need more regulation? <ul><li>“ Mandarins demanded written orders to implement decisions they opposed and submitted unprecedented number of protests.” The Guardian, 18 May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Ministers overruled civil servants on spending plans on at least four occasions between January and May this year. </li></ul><ul><li>Advice from officials was ignored on a further nine occasions in 2009. This compares with just five occasions in the previous three years. </li></ul><ul><li>Three quarters of the objections were on ‘value for money’ grounds. </li></ul><ul><li>The objections showed &quot;there was some unhappiness about spending decisions.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jonathan Baume, First Division Association </li></ul>
    4. 4. Are we beyond the tipping point? <ul><li>There has been a consensus for some time that the current balance in local government is wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Government has nationalised, regulated and micro-managed local government </li></ul><ul><li>The overall cost of local government regulation is £2billion (NAO) </li></ul><ul><li>The coalition government is committed to ‘ the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups ’ </li></ul><ul><li>“ We will end the era of top down government … cut local government inspection and abolish the CAA” </li></ul><ul><li>The Coalition – our programme for government, 20 th May 2010 </li></ul>
    5. 5. Reducing the burden <ul><li>BVPIs, CPA, CAA, LPSAs, LAAs, - these acronyms and the associated stars and flags have dominated our thinking, if not the public’s </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation has encouraged councils to become risk-averse, compliant and pragmatic </li></ul><ul><li>Now in the context of budget cuts, there’s a need for strong local leadership - political judgements based on locality rather than star rating </li></ul>
    6. 6. Five ways to achieve a better balance <ul><li>Councils articulating distinctive policy agendas </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Big Society’ forms of accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Stronger community leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Skilling-up staff </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting resources from regulation to building community capacity </li></ul>
    7. 7. Articulating distinctive policy agendas <ul><li>Regulation has often been about central government seeking re-assurance that councils are delivering against national standards and priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Key lines of enquiry prescribe what constitutes ‘good services’ in enormous detail </li></ul><ul><li>Instead what we need is for councils to develop policies rooted in and authentic to the needs and aspirations of the locality </li></ul><ul><li>That means designing services ourselves with local users, offering greater choice and discretion </li></ul><ul><li>We should recognise, and in Graham Swift’s phrase, ‘celebrate the inescapable locality of existence’ </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘postcode lottery’ should become the ‘postcode opportunity’ </li></ul>
    8. 8. Developing ‘Big Society’ forms of accountability <ul><li>The current regulatory framework is based on a model of state provision; ensuring people’s entitlements are being met </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘big society’ emphasises social responsibility and radical devolution rather than state guarantees </li></ul><ul><li>Improvement will be driven through different types of accountability like </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalisation, choice and control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transferring ownership of community assets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participatory budgeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater use of the market, outsourcing and trading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open data: helping residents become ‘armchair critics’ </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Demonstrating stronger community leadership <ul><li>Community strategies based around local priorities not national indicators </li></ul><ul><li>Developing partnership infrastructures more proportionate to local needs </li></ul><ul><li>Taking on new roles e.g. Essex post offices </li></ul><ul><li>More mayors </li></ul><ul><li>Councils taking responsibility for high profile failures rather than ministers </li></ul><ul><li>St Helier festival, 2009 </li></ul>
    10. 10. Capacity building within the sector <ul><li>Staff will be using their knowledge and experience to shape services rather than working to key lines of enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Councillors as active contributors and community assets within town and county halls </li></ul><ul><li>Employ more young people, apprentices and graduates </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of delivery: social enterprises and co-operatives </li></ul><ul><li>Talent management will be a higher priority </li></ul>
    11. 11. Capacity building in the community <ul><li>We are becoming increasingly focused on longer-term outcomes involving lifestyle changes (obesity, smoking, healthy eating, exercise) </li></ul><ul><li>Tackling these issues isn’t about better regulation, it’s about shifts in behaviour, prevention rather than cure </li></ul><ul><li>And it’s not only about individual choices, it’s about how communities of place and communities of interest can play more substantive roles </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples </li></ul><ul><li>Community communicators in Barking & Dagenham, Bexley and Sutton </li></ul><ul><li>Smarter Travel Sutton: 6% reduction in car use, 75% increase in cycling </li></ul><ul><li>Sutton Life Centre – positive activities for young people </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries staffed by local volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Young Foundation – Guide to Behaviour Change </li></ul>
    12. 12. It’s later than we think <ul><li>Many councils – councillors and officers – have known nothing but subservience to the national state. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to replace compliance with innovation, obedience with experimentation, bureaucracy with dynamism </li></ul><ul><li>“ Doing the right things” not “doing things the right way” </li></ul><ul><li>Can we occupy the space available to us, or will we wait for national guidance? </li></ul>