Future Rural Public Services: Can The DIY Approach Work? [Kate Stephen & Clive Sheppard]


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During the current culture of austerity measures where public sector is facing unprecedented levels of cuts, there is a sense of foreboding about the impact on rural services. Policy rhetoric is that individuals, families and communities have to do more and the state will do less. Kate Stephen will give her perspective on the potential implications for rural communities in Highland and will describe what the DIY approach can look like, warts and all. Clive Sheppard will draw on his experience to describe the role social enterprise can play in rural service delivery.

Kate Stephen has been Project Manager on the O4O: Older People for Older People project and has experience working and volunteering in community development and community care.

Clive Sheppard has extensive experience in the social enterprise sector as a mentor, teacher and practitioner. He sits on the Board of Community Care Assynt which was supported by the O4O project.

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  • D Hall (2010) The past, present and future of public spending.
  • Traditional models of public service delivery are increasingly overstretched as a result of:
    • Rapidly shrinking resources as a result of depleted public finances
    • Rising demand due to social challenges issues such as an ageing population, rising levels of obesity and the prevalence of long-term health conditions.
    • Changing public expectations for more personalised, flexible and responsive public services.
  • Scotland’s six cities will form an alliance against what they perceive to be an SNP bias against urban areas, in favour of its bases of political support in rural locations.
  • Factors at play: Demographic Trend
    In the eye of the storm? Societal Aging and the future of public service reform. A Roberts (2003)
    Prof Jari Iinatti (2010)
    Centre for Wireless Communications (Medical communications)
  • Factors at play: Financial Crisis
    Action to cut now … what are the priority services? What do people want the public sector do deliver in the future?
    Higher costs (Health care costs are increasing annually by 4% - higher than the rate of economic growth … forecast to be 16% of GDP in 2020)
    The Auditor General’s role is to:
    examine how public bodies spend public money
    make sure they manage their finances to the highest standards
    make sure they achieve value for money.
  • Government response – non partisan.
    ‘Big Society’: “… where people, in their everyday lives, in their communities, in their homes, on their street … feel both free and empowered to help themselves and help their own communities.”
    Scottish Policy Innovation Forum, 15th September 2006 Public Service Reform in Scotland Stephen Maxwell Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
    Highland Council http://www.fhcommunities.org/the-highland-context.asp
  • Motivations for shifting away from public sector service delivery …
    Keir Bloomer is a former leader of the Association of Directors of Education, who has also been an adviser to the Scottish government.
    9th November 2010
  • Herald 8th Nov 2010
    Success then depends on central government’s ability to ‘let go’ of the reins of innovation and liberate local innovators to develop new systems that will serve their communities in different – and better – ways, for much lower cost.
  • What needs to change … (resources flow from top down)
    Success then depends on central government’s ability to ‘let go’ of the reins of innovation and liberate local innovators to develop new systems that will serve their communities in different – and better – ways, for much lower cost.
    The Role of Civic Organisations in the Provision of Social Services, UN Uni, Research for Action 37 “Synergy
    Co-determination, Co-financing, Co-production
    A substitutive or subsidiary relationship based on a mutually acceptable division
    of labour in service provision whereby civic organizations take over responsibility
    for the provision of certain services which the state cannot or does not want to
    provide and there is agreement that civic organizations have a comparative
    advantage in the area.
    There is in effect a three-dimensional process of 'tatonnement*', simultaneously technical,
    institutional and political.
    *equilibrium which comes with trial and error
  • Trust: officials and politicians – keep their word / disclosing information … unrealistic demands / funding cuts
    Communication: Jargon / internet & emails
    Confidence: Can the volunteers do it / keep doing it / how to control it & guarantee the service
    Change: difficult for people who’ve always done it one way to adapt / repercussions at various levels (job descriptions – tasks and hours, facilitating rather than doing)
  • Response based on the perceived motivation – 2 previous slides
    Capacity – volunteer skills … volunteer fatigue
    Cohesion – agreement of need for service, critical mass of community to back the service development, people getting on with each other sufficiently to make it work
    Other places - Inequity of level of public service delivery / cuts … inspiration from other communities
    Confidence – Previous achievement within community … community owned assets
    Attitude – Scepticism Negative or Enthusiasm Positive
    Some considerations >
  • It is a process of engagement - building relationships, capacity and confidence: Difficult to predict outcome / responses – unexpected success, unexpected failure
    There is no guarantee that what works in one community will work in another duplication
    In rural communities, key individuals have greater influence (positive or negative) & the local politics & lack of social cohesion can affect results
    Service cut / change is often a catalyst for change from apathy to action
    High levels of mistrust & cynicism, sometimes anger, about public sector can exist
    Lots of pitfalls in the process but amazing what communities can do when they care.
  • Change of mindset from disappointment / dissatisfaction at level of service
    We can do it for ourselves
  • Tiers of management in the public sector to support the burden of responsibility, decision making and all the processes involved in service delivery
    Power to the people – unpaid, limited support structure, no specialist departments (HR, Training, Legal) – lack of people to accept the power.
  • Funding applications / who to go to for advice / policies / rules and regulations
  • A bit dull, but you know what you’re getting and everyone gets the same (to some extent)
    Some fantastic services where local people add much more than a basic service … they care
    Or some weaker services (postcode lottery)
  • Click – scone factor
  • Future Rural Public Services: Can The DIY Approach Work? [Kate Stephen & Clive Sheppard]

    1. 1. Future Rural Public Services: can the DIY approach work?
    2. 2. • Public sector spending – an overview • Co-production and ‘DIY’ • Community responses • Some considerations • The process
    3. 3. Some good things about public sector spending: •Redistribution of income •Reduces inequality through benefits and services •Infrastructure investment •Health and Education (more productive workforce) •Linked with economic growth (Wagner ‘s Law) •Peace and stability •Climate change mitigation
    4. 4. Public sector spending cuts: “the level of savings necessary mean that efficiencies alone won’t be enough” Scottish Parliament Finance Committee 2010 £59 m to be saved over next 3 years in Highland Council (£23m already found £36m still to be found) “…the majority of people in Scotland (63%) are unaware that annual public sector cuts as high as £1 billion are predicted in Scotland over the next three years.” YouGov poll for RCN (April 2010)
    5. 5. “Rural communities are vulnerable to the closure of services due to the high unit cost of provision in often geographically remote and isolated areas” http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/09/18163/26180
    6. 6. www.scotland.gov.uk DEMOGRAPHIC TREND “In the future, less working age people will take care of more elderly people with less money” “Demographic tidal wave” “Tsunami” “Massive iceberg”
    7. 7. LONG HARD FINANCIAL WINTER “very difficult choices to be made about priorities . …where, how, and by how much to cut budgets in the short and medium term. But this is not sufficient. There must also be debate and discussion about the vision for Scotland's civil society, economy and public services” Robert Black, Auditor General for Scotland, letter to the Chair of the Independent Budget Review Panel (June 2010)
    8. 8. NATIONAL GOVERNMENT: ‘Big Society’ SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT: “… the ability of people to do things for themselves forms a key plank of the Scottish Government's approach to delivering a more successful Nation.” (2009) “A stream of Scottish Executive policy statements …have endorsed the case for an extended role for the voluntary sector in a mixed service economy” (2006) LOCAL GOVERNMENT : (Responsibility for Care and Support) “Wherever people, families and communities can accept the responsibility for their own care and support we believe they should. Services may add to this support – not replace it.”
    9. 9. MOTIVATION: Quality “… if schools were run by non-profit making companies or charitable trusts they would be more effective, as they would have more control over what they do and how they spend their money.” “There’s a real problem with government. Frankly it is no longer really fit for purpose” Keir Bloomer, former leader of the Association of Directors of Education (Nov 2010) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11715053
    10. 10. MOTIVATION: Cost Saving “We currently pay a lot of money to bus companies to provide socially necessary services and there has to be a way of cutting that expenditure in order to protect those services … I’m very interested in investigating getting a greater level of involvement of the community, particularly where commercial services have been withdrawn” Jonathan Findlay, Chairman of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (Nov 2010) http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/transport-environment/voluntary-groups-to-run-buses-1.1066567
    11. 11. Model for the Mixed Economy for Service Delivery Social enterprise / voluntary sector ? Private Sector
    12. 12. http://www.squidoo.com/braintest Public sector mindset Local culture & volunteers CommunicationCommunication TrustTrust ConfidenceConfidence ChangeChange The Co-Production Brain
    13. 13. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://cccbuzz.exbdblogs.com/files/2010/06/FIN-yes-no-maybe.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cccbuzz.exbdblogs.com/tag/soft-skills/&usg=__CHlQmsFkgQxf4cyUDbjbh2IsC8c=&h=284&w=423&sz=68&hl=en&start=68&zoom=1&tbnid=YQ243D-9MovV5M:&tbnh=160&tbnw=210&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dresponse%2Byes%2Bno%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rlz %3D1T4ADBR_enGB240GB280%26biw%3D1419%26bih%3D666%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C1547&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=966&vpy=231&dur=2328&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=146&ty=128&ei=JhvZTIDzBNfPjAfQn4mzCg&oei=EhvZTKngIsnEswb2zZDpBw&esq=5&page=4&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:68&biw=1419&bih=666 http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://images.webster-dictionary.org/dict/103/304566-gauntlet.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/gauntlet&usg=__hWYadNXpeb7fbDu4ATh23W0kLF4=&h=106&w=135&sz=4&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=r-3_wuIzR3T0aM:&tbnh=84&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthrow%2Bdown%2Bthe%2Bgauntlet%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1436%26bih %3D666%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=442&vpy=126&dur=94&hovh=84&hovw=108&tx=76&ty=60&ei=A1zdTLfUBcG6hAfOge3hDA&oei=A1zdTLfUBcG6hAfOge3hDA&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0 COMMUNITY RESPONSES CAPACITYCAPACITY COHESIONCOHESION CONFIDENCE & ATTITUDE CONFIDENCE & ATTITUDE OTHER PLACES OTHER PLACES
    14. 14. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ragged-edge-mag.com/graphics/crowd.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.ragged-edge-mag.com/nov97/drnat11.htm&usg=__GaDPYvXc7odiwvq7a-WD7NDP7zs=&h=75&w=200&sz=5&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=3l1RtdvJMHJlUM:&tbnh=60&tbnw=160&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcartoon%2Bcrowd%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D790%26gbv%3D2%26tbs %3Disch:10%2C154&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=716&vpy=188&dur=31&hovh=60&hovw=160&tx=102&ty=58&ei=nNzaTK7dB5KI4QaN2tiBCQ&oei=d9zaTOvNHca2hAeT1bXPAg&esq=4&page=1&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:8,s:0&biw=1276&bih=790
    16. 16. http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/2010/08/on-mega-refi-rumor.html https://honors.rit.edu/amitraywiki/index.php/Political_Responsibilities%3F
    17. 17. Public Sector: Economies of Scale Community: Burden of Bureaucracy http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://diaryofasmartchick.com/wp- content/uploads/2009/08/bulk.gif&imgrefurl=http://diaryofasmartchick.com/category/topics/personal-finance/frugal- living/&usg=__dzI2u7URBYscAb68x4e9F6fFuMI=&h=160&w=185&sz=7&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=9yEM- XHNSC_DOM:&tbnh=128&tbnw=148&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddiscount%2Bfor%2Bbulk%2Bpurchase%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D790%26gbv %3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=338&vpy=210&dur=3750&hovh=128&hovw=148&tx=104&ty=58&ei=qOraTJyxPIeqhAf- jIjdAg&oei=qOraTJyxPIeqhAf-jIjdAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0 http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ax3JF7ty-ic/TKezbjgZ9HI/AAAAAAAADT4/MncGZXzjsvs/s1600/paperwork %2525202.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ourfamadventure.blogspot.com/&usg=__8Z4Sf63ZsZBL8B3KpXQQ4fXamiw=&h=720&w=716&sz=58&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=ixFsBu7dDk0GhM:&tbnh=126 &tbnw=125&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpaperwork%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D790%26gbv%3D2%26tbs %3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=360&ei=NOzaTIqAF4GAhQfgqsDQAg&oei=NOzaTIqAF4GAhQfgqsDQAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=65&ty=70
    18. 18. http://www.google.co.uk/imgres? imgurl=http://www.standardprocessnw.com/images/carrottfeild.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.standardprocessnw.com/&usg=__iiq61F4Ox8MhI_X8gG7ItokSb Ro=&h=267&w=406&sz=33&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=FjWlnx4NDCqgjM:&tbnh=157&tbnw=238&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dstandard%2Bprocess %26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D790%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=422&ei=lePaTNeJOoqIhQf_7- z_Dw&oei=iOPaTK_6B4GGhQfV5fH-Dw&esq=5&page=1&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0&tx=153&ty=58 Public Sector: Standardised Service Community: Variety in nature and quality of services http://www.google.co.uk/imgres? imgurl=http://susanalbert.blogspot.com/pix/basket0603.jpg&imgrefurl=http://susanalbert.blogspot.com/2003_06_01_archive.html&usg=__V- 1VtRdLjKBfq3MuIDkLAHn_r_E=&h=240&w=320&sz=41&hl=en&start=213&zoom=1&tbnid=_IOj1vKL_65TcM:&tbnh=149&tbnw=235&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfield %2Bweeds%2Band%2Bflowers%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1276%26bih%3D790%26gbv%3D2%26tbs %3Disch:10%2C6179&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=776&vpy=171&dur=203&hovh=192&hovw=256&tx=148&ty=101&ei=xefaTLi7LcG3hAeu_NjPAg&oei=YeTaTJKoJI-GhQfB- 8XQAg&esq=9&page=10&ndsp=26&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:213&biw=1276&bih=790
    19. 19. Community run services … •Highland Hospice •Bradbury Centre •Glenurquhart Centre •Howard Doris Centre •North and West Sutherland Care Alliance •Community Care Assynt … and many more •Highland Hospice •Bradbury Centre •Glenurquhart Centre •Howard Doris Centre •North and West Sutherland Care Alliance •Community Care Assynt … and many more •Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company •T4T •SW Ross Community Car Scheme •... and many more •Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company •T4T •SW Ross Community Car Scheme •... and many more •U3A •Contact the Elderly •Village Hall Activities •Churches •Social Clubs •Leisure Centres •Tai Chi, Dorothy Dobson, etc … and many more •U3A •Contact the Elderly •Village Hall Activities •Churches •Social Clubs •Leisure Centres •Tai Chi, Dorothy Dobson, etc … and many more The Scone Factor
    20. 20. Future Rural Public Services: can the DIY approach work?
    21. 21. Scone image Http://www.google.co.uk/imgres? imgurl=http://es.homesandproperty.co.uk/handp/media/scone_300_3676.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cakesandbunting.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html&usg=__ojRZHQT40lN4dx_zQlaRVQdpajg=&h =300&w=300&sz=18&hl=en&start=18&zoom=1&tbnid=X4g8XfrSgp4amM:&tbnh=162&tbnw=155&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dscone%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1436%26bih%3D666%26gbv%3D2%26tbs %3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=375&ei=AgzcTIKpGsHqObmQ6OgI&oei=ygvcTLPnBISShAe2jJT_Dw&esq=13&page=2&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:18&tx=87&ty=93 Reading: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/Finance/papers-10/fip10-12.pdf http://www.global-labour-university.org/fileadmin/GLU_conference_2010/papers/59._The_past__present_and_future_of_public_spending.p http://www.reformscotland.com/index.php/publication/view_details/913/ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1308517 http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts/2010/05/pm-and-deputy-pms-speeches-at-big-society-launch-50283 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/03/20155113/3 Highland Council http://www.fhcommunities.org/the-highland-context.asp http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/Finance/papers-10/fip10-12.pdf http://www.wider.unu.edu/publications/working-papers/previous/en_GB/rfa-37/