Eric Pickles has set out his direction of travel in a speech about what he clearly sees as the extravagent waste that is rife in local government.
But the rights or wrongs of that aren’t what’s got me thinking. Rather it’s the decision to do away with the National Indicator set.
Pickles argues at one point that local commissioners may end up being more careful in what they pay for because of the (welcome) decision to publish data in ways that are more accessible than has been the case. He sees the emergence of an ‘army of armchair auditors’ who’ll keep local politicians and officers feet to the fire.
My question is how?
Without consistent data across local authorities I fear that we won’t be able to know whether the services we get are better or worse than our neighbours, whether the outcomes that are measured here are the same as down the road?
It could be that I’ve misunderstood how this’ll pan out, and if so I’d appreciate being put right.