Ever wondered what a Borough Councillor's role entails?




Ever wondered what a Borough Councillor's role entails?
I did! I was elected as a Councillor for the Lynn South & West ward of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk on 5th May 2011.

A little bit about me:
I have lived in South Lynn for 7 years with my wife and work locally for the Norfolk Primary Care Trust as an IT Manager.

I am a Labour Councillor and whilst the local Labour group made some encouraging gains in the May elections (moving from 4 councillors to 13) we are still very much a minority opposition as the Tories hold 42 of the 64 council seats.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

An open letter to Oliver Letwin

Absolutely horrified this evening to read an article due to be published in tomorrow's Observer, as 'tweeted' by local reporter Chris Bishop (@chrismojo) the comments are very Tebbit-esque.

I set out my open letter to Letwin below....

Dear Mr Letwin

Having read your comments regarding the Public Sector in the Observer article of Sunday 31st August, I felt compelled to write to you to urge caution in what seems like a very cavalier attempt to drive up productivity in the Public Sector by increasing the fear factor.

As a dedicated Public Servant (with experience in Health, Education and Local Government) I have to tell you that age old adage about many public services being run on goodwill and sandwiches is true (or at least partly true - the hospitality budgets that paid for sandwiches for attendees at lunchtime meetings went long ago) and the effects of such a risky strategy might just be to destroy the last shreds of goodwill; when the Public Sector starts 'working to rule' it will quickly become apparent that productivity was never really the problem.

Successive re-organisations of Public Sector bodies have left morale in tatters and staff are never really given time to reach a normal level of productivity before the next re-organisation is announced and we all end up in a seemingly repetitive cycle. I can understand the rationale behind most of the re-organisations is to find better, more efficient, more productive ways of working and rightly so; after all we are all tax payers too and we should demand that our taxes are spent as wisely as possible, either to drive down the level of taxation or to drive up the level of service but I have to tell you that my experience is that services are not usually given enough time to produce the expected results before someone comes in and stomps all over the structures, frameworks, boundaries etc and kicks the whole cycle off again, the reason usually being given as the existing structure is not productive or efficient enough.

I am told anecdotally by a former colleague, an accomplished doctor at a large hospital trust, that his bigger fear for the future of the NHS is the attitude of junior doctors coming through the system when it comes to goodwill. Whereas when he was a junior doctor (within the last 15 years) it was the norm for his shift to finish when all the patients had been seen, today's juniors are showing signs of working to rule and, whilst not necessarily leaving patients to fend for themselves, are not as willing to put their personal lives on hold for the sake of 'the job'. I have to report that the same erosion of a sense of working for the 'public good' is happening in the other Public Service areas I come into contact with.

Perhaps this government could focus on helping the Public Sector realise its undoubted potential rather than completely dismantle it and try to drive up productivity in the remaining pieces with the kind of threats normally associated with feudal landowners.

Yours Faithfully

Gary

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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