Our survey of local authority chief executives and leaders across the UK, plus a poll of over 2,000 members of the public.
"While councils have coped well in the face of continuing uncertainty, there are now real fears of failure looking ahead. But with every threat comes an opportunity. Digital disruption, artificial intelligence and robotics have the potential to transform local public services. Councils will need resilience, agility and new capabilities to grasp their potential."
As councils look to the next Spending Review in 2019 and beyond, there are new opportunities such as artificial intelligence and robotics as well as risks to manage, from cyber to a shift away from grant funding. Councils have proved their ability to deal with significant challenges in the past and will need to continue to adapt and innovate as they enter a post-Brexit world.
1) Defining, developing and delivering sustainable, inclusive place based growth strategies and securing a clearer economic identity to attract, and retain, talent and investment.
2) Working across places and securing the right public service reforms to underpin place based transformation to deliver key outcomes by redesigning services and building new partnerships, for example to achieve health and care integration.
3) Building skills, capabilities and processes to secure organisational resilience, being prepared to manage key risks and also being agile to respond to, and recover from, unforeseen challenges.
4) Developing commercial skills and business acumen, being prepared to work outside council organisational boundaries across the public and private sectors in order to achieve better returns on investments and better value from public/private sector arrangements.
5) Embracing the value of data as an asset and investing in data analytics capabilities to inform decision-making and generate insight, driving smarter, earlier interventions and influencing behaviours to manage demand and reduce cost.
6) Harnessing digital disruption and new technologies such as AI to change traditional ways of working, creating new value and better serve the needs of communities.