Friday saw the publication of the ‘Place Matters’ booklet from the DCLG (available in the download section of this site). It’s only 12 pages long, but will have an impact far beyond its size, for it clearly signposts the direction of DCLG (or CLOG as I heard it referred to this week. Take your pick), Government Offices, Local Authorities and LSP’s.
DCLG will be completely refocused around this agenda and will be actively stimulating and encouraging ‘strong local leadership where local authorities work effectively with partners to undertake the role of ‘place-shaping’’.
I have posted before about ‘place shaping’ (see ‘bringing people inside the brand’). This will be a critical issue for the service in future years yet, at the moment, colleagues are largely unaware of it. They focus on what comes out of the Home Office and pretty comprehensively neglect the agendas of other Departments and the wider Government agenda.
If it moves quickly the service (and BCU Command Teams in particular) can play a key role in molding and developing the ‘place shaping’ agenda at a critical local service delivery level. If it remains unaware and aloof from it, it will find itself being molded rather than doing the molding.
Successful ‘place shaping’ will require cooperation, insight and a significant degree of entrepreneurship and innovation (not skills currently highly prized within the police service). The ODPM document ‘All our Futures: The challenges for local governance in 2015′ identified that ‘The skills required of leaders will be as much about brokering, collaboration and persuasion as about steering the operation of a major service delivery organisation’. Perhaps they had ‘place shaping’ in mind when they wrote that.
- Bringing people inside the brand