I have often talked about the importance of working in partnership across the city to ensure the best possible services and outcomes for those who live, learn and work in the city.
I genuinely believe that through shared working and stronger links between public sector, residents, businesses and our vibrant community and voluntary sectors we can achieve more than we achieve alone.
The partnerships often take decades to develop a shared understanding of each other’s needs, desires, requirements and methods of working to become truly effective and highly performing. It is often due to the ongoing perseverance of generations of officers, supporters and staff that they survive the inevitable bumps in the road.
But it is well worth the time and effort required to continue to work in this way.
The city council does not run the city. It is responsible for running a range of services and structures which support the life of the city and the city’s ongoing development. In fact no single authority, organisation or individual is in charge of the city as a whole. The city is a complex thing and probably all the better for being a series of partnerships and collaborations where support is earned and respect develops slowly.
As such I see the city council as simply one partner in a complex range of partnerships in which every citizen and organisation is also an equal beneficiary of the outcomes we all strive to deliver together.
That means though that sometimes we have to think not of the needs of ourselves (or our organisation) but of the overall requirements of the range of partners and residents. There is no single ‘right answer’ to most of the challenges the city faces – they are nearly always more complex when viewed in the round than when seen from a single viewpoint.
Taking a broad view allows us to deliver stronger communities better services and avoids gaps in services or outcomes for all – as well as delivering effective and financially sustainable services.
Working together isn’t always an easy choice – but it is nearly always the right one. As a council we are committed to keep taking this best route to finding the best solutions, and would welcome everyone to join us.
Councillor Daniel Yates is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.