Reaction to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ 50 Ways to Save document has been mixed, as you would expect.
Councils will have to make an average saving of 1.7% from April, and some fear this will lead to a breakdown of council services, and others feel that there are still genuine areas of overspending, which can be clipped back.
Mr Pickles has produced his document to showcase ways councils are already, or are planning, to make savings. One thing’s for sure, the cuts will happen, so councils need to think about how to make these savings.
Here at Alliantist, we know a way to help make these savings… indeed, No.49 of Mr Pickles’ suggested savings points us in the right direction:
49. Save money on computer software: Use open source software. Conduct a full review of software licences across the whole local authority – can they be consolidated or are open source/free alternatives available.
Now, using open source software can bring about some savings, but it can also lead to increased costs and risks in the workplace. Our platform for change, pam, is a great way of consolidating software, as it allows so much work to be conducted in one software environment. And pam is built with open source software… so we know that open source software is risky without the right wrap.
Also, in his document, points 1. Share back office services, 2. Community budgets – bring staff and money together, and 3. Use transparency to cut waste, are also all about collaboration and partnership working… the heartbeat of pam.
Points 9. Get more for less by improving procurement, and 10. Buy together, also embrace this credo.
So we believe pam is the way forward. Our cloud-based platform has pre-built frameworks for so many aspects of work: personal, organisational and ecosystem change and development; facilitating decision-making across boundaries; there’s plans, projects and programmes working; tasking, briefing and co-ordination; community & group working; and even tools for commissioning, among many more.
Not only that, but the roadmap of the way ahead for pam includes more add-ons, to cover an even greater array of work areas.
And there are examples of councils already using pam to great effect: for instance, Lewes District Council and Salford City Council. Lewes is using pam for change and enablement, and Salford for multi-agency operations around families and gangs.
Jenny Rowlands, Chief Executive of Lewes District Council, said: “pam is at the heart of our ‘One District, One Council’ vision – bringing us closer to the communities we serve.”
These two examples illustrate the varied ways pam can bring about greater efficiency, and help the public sector deliver in their communities.
More than the functionality of pam, however, is the philosophy behind it… that new ways of working need to be found if public services are to deliver more, for less. We believe in new ways of working, and that is why we exist, to empower large organisations to embrace the possibilities for change.