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APSE highlights importance of school catering to local authorities and devolution

26 Sep 2017
Local authorities are being urged not to forget the role their own frontline services such as school catering can play in strategic policy plans on devolution.

The call comes from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE), which has just published a report into the subject.

‘The impact of devolution upon frontline services’ report, developed by APSE along with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), calls for a more positive approach in considering the future role of frontline services.

It says that as devolution has evolved over the last few years and deals have been agreed between localities and government, the debate has been remiss of any conversation about frontline services

O’Brien said: “From school meals tackling obesity and health inequalities, through to investment in public realm making places more attractive to new businesses, we see a disconnect at a strategic level to some of the glaringly obvious contributions that frontline services can make to the wider policy aims of devolution. 

“Many of the devolution deals have aims that can be supported or addressed by a more intelligent approach to local government frontline services. Yet time and again we know that these services are often the last to be considered from a strategic level.

“I am calling for the new Mayors and our devolution leaders to rethink pathways and provide a more inclusive approach to valuing the public sector’s existing capacity rather than what appears to be a commissioning approach taking resources outside of the public purse.”