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December 2009

The role of LGTAG

The role of LGTAG

I am sure like previous BLOG virgins, writing this proves to be a tad harder than a technical article. For instance have a clean sheet of paper with the word “BLOG” at the header this gives the writer licence to meander off into the world of escapisms, rather than firmly planted on mother earth.

However having been an avid reader of the previous BLOGs it is clear that the authors have focused on the services we deliver within our day job, however as one would expect I do not intend to focus on the service delivery element of a local authority but rather on the technical organisations that represent those employed within the authorities.  The role of LGTAG and come to that CSS is where this BLOG is going:

Having been involved with LGTAG and LoTAG for many years, as with so many organisations it is true to say that there are a few willing hands that make the organisation tick.

LGTAG has always had a portfolio of services somewhat greater than that of CSS and since recent changes with the formation of unitary authorities I understand that the people LGTAG represents are now greater than that of CSS, so it could be said, bearing in mind it is Christmas, that LGTAG may be seen as the “Ugly sister” of the two organisations, but should now be the Cinderella organisation. I wonder how many ex county council authorities have resigned their CSS membership and taken out LGTAG membership due to their new status?  Clearly the boundaries of whether to join LGTAG or CSS are not aligned with County Council, Unitary, District, Boroughs and Mets as one would like to think they are.

Clearly in the technical press we often see the CCS and LGTAG views being promoted and quite rightly so as the needs of the county may be substantially different from an unitary for instance. However does it take two organisations to undertake similar roles, surely being professionals we can put balanced points for all?

If I look at LGTAG Transport Committee specifically. I undertook the role of Chairman for a two year period, which has elapsed.  It’s fair to say that at our last meeting I was not called upon to hold a ballot to appoint my successor and I’m not sure if we will need one on the near future.  The Transport Committee Secretary is now web master and PRO and no doubt many other offices, each one should be filled by an individual member rather than one holding all chains of office?

I wish to believe that the situation is not any different to CSS, so should we be opening up discussions with CSS to speak with one voice, I know the DfT and other Government bodies would welcome this move as they did when the road safety sectors formed a single voice.

I hope the above promotes discussions as I understand it a “BLOG” should not be a comfortable stroll through the countryside, but rather a challenge – perhaps a controversial hike over some rough ground – I hope I have met such expectations.

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