Carillion: Companies can go bust, councils cannot

Carillion has crashed; it’s winter for social care provider Four Seasons. The National Audit Office, using polite accountant speak, has condemned PFI as a giant scam and, implicitly, convicted HM Treasury of gross negligence. For the first time in the 30-year advance of outsourcing in public services, a principal political party is now officially opposed.So… Read More...

Let’s shed some light on public sector contracting

Carillion’s collapse shows public sector outsourcing is risky and limited. It’s time for a rethink and greater scrutiny and transparency, argue John Tizard and David Walker. If last year the charred stump of Grenfell Tower symbolised the failure of arm’s length management of public services, then the collapse of Carillion shows the limits of the… Read More...

Reach out for long-term relationships

When I speak to leaders and activists from the local voluntary and community sector (VCS), I am increasingly struck by the similarity of questions and concerns they are raising. Many of them relate to local government and the localist agenda.Of course, there are the inevitable (and justified) concerns about the lack of sufficient funding and… Read More...

Use dormant funds for systemic local change

Last week the government announced – or was it re-announced? – that it was unlocking £330m from dormant accounts, with the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital distributing cash to initiatives tackling many social challenges. It announced that these funds would address a range of issues including the housing of vulnerable people, helping disadvantaged… Read More...

Public procurement professionals must step up and speak up in 2018

2018 will be another challenging year for the public sector. Austerity, cuts to funding, staffing and services will continue unless there is either a change of government in Westminster or the current government very surprisingly undergoes a Damascene conversion. Demand for services, especially social care, will continue to grow. There will be ridiculous calls for… Read More...

Charities and councils being at loggerheads won’t help local people

Across the country, relationships between the councils and charities seem strained or even, in places, broken beyond repair. Some commentators attribute this depressing picture to the impact of austerity, as well as the spread of neoliberal politics and a fixation with competitive tendering. Sadly, there are indeed many instances of misunderstanding and a breakdown in trust between… Read More...

How to appoint a chair or chief executive

In the second of our articles for Trustees Week, our guest columnist says when appointing a chair or a chief executive, charity trustees must be bold, imaginative and true to their mission John TIzard Some of the most important and critical decisions for any charity trustee board are the appointments of chief executive and chair.… Read More...