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Closure of the e-Consultation Hub

by on October 1, 2010

I have written today to our partners in the e-Consultation Hub project to inform them that the project will close at the end of December 2010.

Like everyone else we are making choices about what we can and should be doing with our resources. We’ve decided that we must focus on supporting and improving the online planning application service (1App) and we simply can’t afford to do both.
I am certain that you will understand the rationale for this decision.

We will be working with our LPA and Consultee partners to minimise disruption and ensure no consultations go astray during the close-down.

I would like to publicly thank each of our partners for their commitment and contribution.

  1. Ken Usman-Smith permalink

    This decision simply parallels the hard choices we, as Local Authorities are also making around what we can afford to continue to deliver and what we cant.

    This reflects decisions now being made at grass roots level on accelerating the streamlining of work that we have all been doing for several years to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

    The problem is the cuts will impact on projects that have a potential to make savings, as well as those that are expensive and possibly wasteful aspects of the service. The problem is they cannot readily prove a return on investment and so fail to attract support.

    ‘Invest to save’ was a driver after e-government became t-government, but this has largely been overtaken with ‘cut to save ‘that may be unwelcome, but in an era opf 25% cuts is inevitable.

    Remember that most planning authorities budgets do not relate to programme’s that can be trimmed or reduced. Instead they cover staffing and back office support only. So a reduction in budget will quickly have a dramatic impact on the service, hence the drive to streamiline and re-engineer. This is coupled with a hard look at charging regimes to recover the actual cost of delivery of services and invest more in community infrastructure developments.

    The Hub and its demise will be one of many other such reviews that will escalate post CSR and bite January 2011 onwards. We must be ready to be ambitious and inventive in finding new ways to deliver a planning service, and nothing is sacred for this once in a generation brave new world.

    “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” – W EDWARDS DEMING

  2. Rosemary Cantwell permalink

    It seems that a revolutionary approach is required – a radical overhaul of the entire Civil Service, Government Agencies [including the Planning Inspectorate – PINS], Quangos and other bodies which exist but which I cannot even say exist because I do not know their names.

    And I think it is this fact that there are SO MANY organisations rather than a few Ministries which obscure what is going on out there.

    By economies of scale and the use of “cloud technology” will it not be possible to give the UK a completely new system that will work for the 21st century.

    I believe we are living in a rapidly changing environment – just see what is happening in Microsoft at the moment. Will “cloud technology” be the way forward for all of us?

    I am not surprised that the one area of the Spending Review where monies are to be increased is in the cyber-technology.

    Unless we can be totally connected, we cannot survive in this global world village.

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