Post pandemic public purse propositions

By Tim Byles and Mike Bennett | 24 February 2021

While not much is certain in this world, we can be sure that the future financing of local government will not resemble the land of plenty. As evidenced by the Spending Review, Government is reluctant to plan ahead for any sensible length of time, and nothing in the state of central/local atmospherics suggest that significant constitutional improvements are on the horizon. This is not where we want to be; this is where we are. This stark reality means that councils will need to rely on their intrinsic sense of innovation, redoubtable resilience and dependable values to face up to the unprecedented complexity of public policy problems which are plain to see.

While some have compared navigating these problems to a modern-day version of  Scylla and Charybdis we, like Odysseus, think that councils can ‘baffle death’ by avoiding the abominable tentacles of financial failure and resist the siren calls to break themselves on the rocky headland of unmet public need.

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