Headlines: July 8th, 2005

The Organisational Development of local authorities has been put at the heart of the revised Local Government Pay and Workforce Strategy, which has been launched jointly today by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Employers’ Organisation for local government and which is supported by the Local Government Association. It is based on their shared belief that local government in England needs the leadership, organisational flexibility and people capacity to deliver improved services.

The new document is the latest update to the original Strategy launched in September 2003, and which has been revised annually since then. It continues to promote a number of familiar priorities, such as developing effective leadership, identifying skills gaps and addressing recruitment shortages, but also takes account of recent developments, including the Efficiency Review, the 10-year vision and other relevant new workforce strategies.

Its focus is on kick-starting councils’ Organisational Development in the belief that for workforce reform to be successful, the whole organisation needs to be transformed. Councils, it says, need to look ahead, taking a strategic approach to achieving corporate goals and not relying on piecemeal, short-term measures.

The ODPM is also supporting a new document, which outlines how Organisational Development can help authorities transform the way they work and to meet the rising aspirations of their communities. This has been produced by SOLACE Enterprises and Swiftwork on behalf of the joint ODPM / LGA Capacity Building Programme, which has already supported more than 250 councils through national programmes, local projects and direct support.

Local Government Minister Phil Woolas said councils had to provide community leadership and improved services within carefully controlled budgets and transforming the way that authorities worked to meet the changing needs of customers and the wider community would be critical to that success.

Welcoming the revised strategy Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the LGA said all leaders knew their organisations were only as good as their staff. “Improvements in services cannot be achieved without an effective people management strategy that links the management of a council’s largest resource – its workforce – to the achievement of its priorities,” he added.