I was invited to give a speech to the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce lunch held in Goole this past week. I chose the theme of - "If the Private Sector were to deliver Public Services what would be different?”
(Pictured with Chamber Chief Executive Iain Kelly)
I covered a number of issues that are close to my heart, including my thoughts on how the Council, Police, Fire, the NHS and other public services organisations could work closer together to deliver services more locally, and more efficiently to save money, including how we could make best use of public service assets.
I also spoke about the thorny issue of Business Rates collected in the East Riding by the Council on behalf of central Government, where the money is put into a central pot, before the Government divides it up between all the Local Authorities in England using a fiendishly complex mathematical formula to determine how much to pass back, telling us how the money should be spent and how this flies in the face of localism and really needs a major overhaul!
Being more radical – I also explored alternative ways of raising money to be spent on public services locally, and how greater local accountability and democracy could be introduced - particularly if the decision makers got it wrong we could throw them out!
As expected I did give my thoughts on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), but more importantly I certainly listened to the views of the representatives of the business community who attended.
The whole speech was designed to be thought provoking; I hope I achieved what I set out to do?