It gets worse. I recently drove past a banner in Southwark inviting residents to get involved in the Future Shape of Southwark Housing. Sound familiar? This article about Engine Service Design, who ran Barnet council's case study on working with disadvantaged people - you know, the ones that cost the council so much money! - reveals that they worked with Southwark council as well.
So, Barnet Future Shape is actually us being fobbed off with Southwark's cast-offs! Look at this quotation from the article:
Engine's Joe Heapy says: "Organisations need to listen, adapt, and collaborate, which is totally right for our times. Whole system change is painful, and it hardly ever happens in local government. But design can help bite off small chunks of that change, while keeping an eye on the larger picture."That sounds a lot like Mike Freer, writing in the Times in November:
Graeme Gordon, head of corporate strategy at Southwark council agrees. "If we were to just talk about cuts, that would be a terrible missed opportunity. We may be driven by the funding crisis, but we want to do things differently."
...if this next round of public sector reform is simply to be about cutting spending, we will have failed. The need for reform runs much deeper than that.And I thought we were special.