SOLACE Summit: Casey urges local government to ‘renew itself’ after Brexit

By Thomas Bridge | 12 October 2016

Local government must ‘renew itself’ following four years of ‘seismic change’, according to the director general of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Dame Louise Casey told the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) Summit in Newcastle Gateshead the UK had been left ‘reverberating’ from years of political upheaval and the recent EU referendum and now required ‘strong organisations’.

She said the referendum result represented the public voting against ‘bureaucrats, technocrats and politicians’ and the UK now needed ‘good, strong, fantastic public servants’ who were ‘ prepared to talk about what’s going wrong’.

Dame Louise said party politics now appeared too ‘old fashioned’ to keep up with national concerns and anticipated the rise of single ticket political candidates and celebrity mayors as ‘people fall out with’ the current political system.

She said: ‘I believe in the fundament al power of public service... It is a force for good. We need to renew ourselves, reconnect with own bravery and integrity’.

‘We need to do that regardless of who is in power in Downing Street.’

She added the country ‘needed to zero in on’ an ‘endemic’ problem of social and economic exclusion, an issue she branded a ‘cause of national shame’.

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