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Working in local government? What worries you? Do you look forward to 'wine o'clock'| SoberSixty

Working in local government? What worries you? Do you look forward to 'wine o'clock'| SoberSixty


In this post, Tony Worsdall, Founder of SoberSixty and an accredited Sober Coach, discusses the challenges that people working in local government in the UK face in their work and their personal lives, and how, with anxiety and stress being an ever present companion, having a drink after work is becoming a challenge.

Having spent my entire 40+ year career in local government, one thing is abundantly clear to me in 2024. The challenges of doing more with less have reached uncharted heights, and will only continue as the government of the day attempts to rebalance the UK economy. I have recently seen many colleagues leave public service as the impacts of their work-life balance become unbearable.

Local Government Services today

Challenges for local government

People working in local government in the UK may have a range of concerns and priorities depending on their specific roles and the demographics and cultures of their local communities. Some common worries may include:

Budget Constraints

Local councils are facing unprecedented financial pressures, including reduced funding from central government and increasing demand for services.

Service Delivery

Ensuring effective and efficient delivery of public services, such as education, social care, waste management, and transportation, is a constant concern, particularly with an ageing population

Local Economic Development

Supporting economic growth, job creation, and community regeneration are key priorities for local councils.

Housing and Homelessness

Housing affordability, availability, and homelessness are significant challenges in most areas.

Health and Social Care Integration

Integrating health and social care provision, addressing health inequalities, promoting preventative measures, and supporting vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.

Environmental Sustainability

Climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation are pressing issues that require action at the local level.

Community Safety

Ensuring public safety and reducing crime and antisocial behaviour are essential responsibilities of local government.

Political and Governance Challenges

Local government operates within a complex political and governance framework. Managing stakeholder relationships, maintaining public trust, and complying with legal and regulatory requirements are an essential skill for local government officers

All of these factors are well known and are constantly discussed in mainstream media, most often in an unflattering light.

What about the Workers


Challenges for the local government worker

People working in local government in the UK may have worries in their personal lives similar to those of individuals in other professions, as well as some specific concerns related to the nature of their work. Here are some potential worries they may face:

Work-Life Balance

Balancing the demands of professional responsibilities with personal life can be challenging. Long hours, tight deadlines, and high-pressure situations may impact their ability to spend time with family and friends, pursue hobbies, or take care of their own well-being. Hybrid working has had negative and positive impacts that vary with individuals circumstances.

Job Security

Like many public sector workers, people working in local government are increasingly concerned about job security, especially during times of budget cuts, restructuring, or political changes. Uncertainty about the future of their role or organisation can cause stress and anxiety.

Workplace Stress

Dealing with the complexities and challenges of local government work, such as managing competing priorities, navigating complex processes, and addressing public scrutiny, can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being.

Financial Concerns

Concerns about their own financial stability, debt, savings, retirement planning, and the cost of living, are increasingly commonplace.

Health and Well-being

The demands of their job may make it difficult to prioritise self-care and address health concerns promptly.

Impact of Work on Family and Relationships

The nature of local government work may involve attending meetings, events, or emergencies outside of regular office hours, which can disrupt family life and strain personal relationships.

In Summary

Overall, while people working in local government in the UK are dedicated to serving their communities and addressing public needs, they also face personal worries and challenges that require attention and support. Balancing professional and personal priorities, managing stress, and maintaining well-being are important considerations for individuals in these roles.


 wine o'clock


And what if relieving the anxiety and stress involves a glass of wine or beer after work?

There is a growing cultural trend of indulging in alcoholic beverages, particularly wine, after work as a way to unwind and relax. It has become increasingly prevalent in modern society, often associated with the end of the workday and the transition into leisure time.

'Wine o'clock' reflects the idea of a specific time, typically in the early evening, when individuals feel justified or compelled to pour themselves a glass of wine or another alcoholic drink as a form of reward or stress relief. This behaviour is seen as a social norm in many workplaces and is often glamorised in popular culture.

However, while moderate alcohol consumption may offer temporary relaxation benefits for some individuals, excessive or habitual drinking after work can lead to health problems

The World Health Organisation report that no level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health

The World Health Organisation has recently issued a statement in The Lancet Public Health that no level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health.
No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health (

I am not sure how this sits with people who want to moderate their alcohol intake, but it does suggest that moderation may not deliver the health benefits suggested by some. 'a glass of red wine a day is good for you' springs to mind.

What can a Sober Coach do for you?

If you are becoming worried about your relationship with alcohol now may be a good time to share your concerns with others. A Sober Coach may work for you and help you maintain accountability should you decide that life would be better without alcohol.

Have a look at my post here Will a Sober Coach work for me?  for some further information

What are you waiting for?

If you have identified with any of the above, why not give me a call.

Take control of your relationship with alcohol and work with me on your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.

The first step is just a click away. Don't hesitate any longer; book your free, no obligation call today .