Change and the Localism Agenda


Managing Major Change: Employment and Corporate Governance

Robin Allen QC


1. National governments impose obligations on local government. Electors have needs and preferences to be met. Politicians have aspirations to achieve. None of this will happen without the worker – bees of local government – from chief executive to road sweeper – willingly putting their shoulder to the wheel or hand to the broom. So good human resource management is what makes things happen well.

2. Since we all know that the aim of the localism agenda is to enable major change to take place at the local level; we are going to need a very good deal of good human resource management in the next few years to make this happen. If it doesn’t the agenda will have been a failure.

3. Major change inevitably means, a change of focus by authorities, changes in budget allocation, and therefore changes in the employment needs. None of this will work without good employment relations and a careful use of resources.

4. Public accountability in relation to pay policies will be critical for buying in public acceptance. However public accountability will also increase internal accountability and so change the dynamics in job allocation and pay policies.

5. The key message of my paper it that following on the horizontal comparisons required by equal pay legislation the consequence of the new Bill is that authorities will now be faced with vertical comparisons between chief officers pay and that of the lowest paid. This is truly the beginning of a new era in public corporate governance.

6. The big accountability change we are now facing in the Localism Bill is in Chapter 8 simply entitled “Pay Accountability”.

Download the full article here: acses-annual-development-forum-2011—ra-paper.pdf