This is a summary of some of the conversation from the floor during the launch of the 21st Century Public Servant research (PDF).
Comment from the floor that public servants are depressed because they are being left behind, the public are running away from them we should be using all the technologies we have to hand to delver services – make things better for out public, our families.
Q. With all the cuts to staff how do you think we can deliver the changes as set out in teh report?
A. Catherine: The services have been framed holistically within the report as it’s not just local government that deliver these services but a lot of front line staff are already behaving that way….Mark: Leadership need to be looking at supporting this. Heroic leadership alienates people we need to be making connections.
Comment from Steve Winterflood Chief Exec of South Staffs what’s really difficult is what’s a fad and what are enduring changes. and the report really highlights what the profound changes are – Thank you.
Comment: An audience member highlights that in a recent climate change progamme the 10 strands or themes identified in the report correlate with the practitioners looking to work towards delivering a low carbon society – maybe we need a discussion to look at collaboration, maybe not across Europe, but across authorities.
Comment: From and education perspective the core messages are exactly right we need to be relationships and values driven. We should be talking about a deep connection with people on the ground, With communities, with parents, with children and young people.
Comment: Where I think we have to be a bit more sophisticated is our use of language – we still talk about contracts and KPIs and it disincentives people. We should stop calling local council employees “officers” it’s such and archaic term of address.
Comment: Karen Cheney – I really welcome this report as this really starts the conversation about Public servants being human, but one of the questions going forwards is this report is about 21st century public servant – but what is a 21st Public Century public service?