The first session of the day focused on what people value in the public sector and Mike Freer, former leader of the London Borough of Barnet, talked about their 'Easy Council' approach to public services. He highlighted the fact that satisfaction with services was declining while services have never been better. Because expectations of public services was higher we need to maintain a focus on efficiency but need more radical innovation. We need to accept the challenge of 'Total Place' and join up our services around families and residents but we also need to change behaviours. His key principles were:
- a new relationship with citizens;
- a one public sector approach;
- a relentless drive for efficiency.
We need to understand that we don't necessarily know best and we must allow citizens to challenge the way services are delivered recognising that one size doesn't fit all. We need targeted interventions based on need and not a bland unpersonalised universal offer. We need a focus on self-help, empowerment and responsibility alongside a relentless drive for transparency. And finally we simply need to focus our energy and efforts on outcomes, not structures, not processes just outcomes.