Solace Summit 2018 – The call to make our local services sustainable

By Richard Godfrey, Account Director at Arcus Global

Between October 17th-19th, Arcus Global attended the three-day Solace Summit in Brighton as an exhibitor. Myself and Nick Howes, Sales and Marketing Director, were on hand to discuss Arcus Answer and other cloud-based products and services within the Arcus Global family, such as our Built Environment and Regulatory Services applications as part of our Platform offering, with attendees.

The event served as a platform to discuss some of the most pressing matters facing the public sector today. We attended the ‘Comprehensive Spending Review – Can we Create a Sustainable Sector?’ speaking session. It looked at what needs to be done to ensure that local public services come out of the next Spending Review on a sustainable footing. The keynote speakers included Melanie Dawes CB Permanent Secretary at DCLG, Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive at CIPFA and Adam Lent, Director at New Local Government Network.

It was made very clear during the session that one obstacle challenging local services right now is financial stability, or lack thereof. This is not a new issue – councils have been feeling the squeeze for some years – but local authorities’ ability to alleviate the impact of the continued cuts has reached breaking point.

Solace recently conducted a survey of council chief executives, which found that 1 in 6 indicated that a fifth of their budgets goes towards universal services rather than statutory services such as adult social care, children’s social care and homelessness. Additionally, 1 in 6 council chief executives indicated that they had lost about half of their controllable budget since 2010. If you include the inconsistency in local government finance policy, forcing councils to constantly revisit and revise their financial planning, then we can appreciate why the sustainability of local services is being called into question.

At Arcus Global, we take it upon ourselves to fully understand and appreciate the financial climate local authorities are operating in. With this understanding, we then provide cloud-based technologies that enable them to deliver crucial services in a sustainable way while offering quality services to their citizens.

Attending events such as Solace Summit ensures that we are constantly kept abreast of the latest issues affecting local authorities and other public-sector entities. If you’re struggling to deliver effective services, then contact us to find out how we can help.