The Scottish context – local governance review and public service reform: Professor James Mitchell

  • Bruce RyanProfessor James Mitchell now talking about Local Governance Review. Christie Commission made 4 main recommendations: (1) need better ways of doing things with people; (2) get out of silos and reach community; (3) prevention of problems; (4) be more efficient.
  • Tressa BurkeJames Mitchell addressing #PBmainstream event. Importance of Christie principles: doing WITH communities: collaboration & wkng out of silos; prevention and tackling inequality and efficiency.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says we need not to fall back into silos. Governance ≠ government. Hence review is about: (1) community empowerment (what do people want to solve inequalities?); (2) engaging with different public audience.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says ‘legislation is not the answer to everything’. Too true, methinks.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says, working with @COSLA, his team asked LAs what they wanted from the review. They got common picture of what is not right, then collated it this summer. But there was a variety of responses. Info continues to come in, e.g. updated submissions.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says that they are getting more detail, not big differences. LAs are asking people what they are after, to make these submissions.
  • Si CameronJames Mitchell setting out local governance review and asking ‘what do we want?’ PBmainstream is our opportunity to be part of the practical realisation of public service reform and the strengthening of local democracy.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says key themes from scoping exercise: (1) asymmetric approach; (2) collaboration and integration across public services; (3) appetite to broaden and scale up empowerment and participation; (4) more democratic accountability and representation.
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now says: (5) scale, e.g. exploring if regional approaches could get economies of scale but flexible deployment at the local; (6) much focus on fiscal autonomy/empowerment.
  • Si Cameron: There is an appetite for a different approach: PBmainstream delivering services with people by putting them at the heart of the design and decision making!
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell now talking about community empowerment. 1st of 3 empowerments that will be submitted. Others are functional empowerment (have we got the mechanisms right?) and fiscal empowerment (can’t just dump problems on communities). I twinkle with that – much PB work currently done by volunteers!
  • Gavin Crosby: Good to hear discussion that fiscal and functional empowerment is needed alongside community empowerment. Communities can’t solve issues without access to systems and resources
  • Bruce RyanJames Mitchell says we are interested in ideas in how to take this forward.
  • Lorraine Gillies: I’m wondering to what extent is PB seen as a transformation tool by public bodies. All those TRANSFORMATION teams across the country. Are they missing a trick?