Every year, Councils spend millions in providing public sector services to people within their communities. The public expects that every pound of that money should be spent economically, efficiently and effectively.
The 2010 comprehensive spending review conducted by UK’s HM Treasure made unprecedented cuts to the money that travelled from central Government to local Government. With these cuts in place, Councils had to make difficult decisions towards the sustainability of some of their services, and with this came the decisions around which services to continue and which services to cut or undergo cost saving exercises.
In effect, Councils were being tasked to act more “entrepreneurially” whether they were currently able to or not.
This now poses the question as to how Councils can begin to become more entrepreneurial and diversify their income streams, but also save costs across their service portfolio. Traditionally, Councils have never been tasked with bringing income in, but are now able to operate with more freedom and space to do so. If you look at the variety of services and products that a Council provides, most of them can be traded within a private market space as well as a public one, so now more than ever, Councils should be ran more like businesses but not lose sight of the core focus to provide key services to the local stakeholders of the community, in effect, Councils can become the next generation of Social businesses.
There have been some great examples of Councils becoming more entrepreneurial and these case studies can be found in the Spark Global Education Public Sector Intrapreneurship report.