There is an urgent need to transform public services in Wales. Money is running out, efficiencies alone will not be enough. The demand for acute services is rising and preventative and community services are being cut.
Quality of life cannot be delivered by the state alone and many people are now looking at a different co-produced public service, which places the citizen and community at the centre, with the state as the enabler and facilitator.
As most large public sector organisations are traditionally very structured and hierarchical, it’s clear that a culture change is needed in order for shared power to become the mainstream way of working in Wales.
Last week, the entire Participation Cymru team attended the annual WCVA Conference and AGM in Cardiff entitled: Moving forward with sustainable local services. We played a key role in this year’s event by holding a workshop, having an information stand and Mandy Williams, Participation Cymru manager was one of the keynote speakers. We wanted to encourage people to think about how they (or their organisation) are currently using their power so we asked delegates the question:
Where does your power lie and how do you use it?
At first many delegates found it quite difficult to answer as it’s a question which does require some thought – thankfully many people did come back to write their answers down, here’s a summary of what was said:
- My power lies in my belief in equality and my drive to make that a living reality for everyone by listening, learning and using my voice to help others!
- My power lies in being part of a team with a wealth of experience and knowledge
- My power lies in working for an audit body and my responsibility is to share knowledge and improvements with others.
- My power is present in lots of different places – I always use it responsibly for the benefit of the community – unless it involves chocolate…
- My power is in my enthusiasm for getting people involved and I use it to make sure that engagement is meaningful and makes a real difference
- My power lies in being able to influence others thinking about the importance of engaging citizens in the design & delivery of public services that matter to them
- Sharing my knowledge and passions with the people in my life: both personally and professionally
- Being a trustee of an organisation and I use my power by giving my voice to vulnerable groups.
If you weren’t able to attend the event, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the question: Where does your power lie and how do you use it?