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£410 million for council services that put people first

Eric Pickles announces £410 million in funding to help councils transform the way they run local services to put the user first.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles yesterday (2 April 2014) announced £410 million in funding to help councils transform the way they run local services to put the user first.

Following on from the Budget last month, the government has unveiled a major package of incentives that will reward authorities that cut duplication and build services around the needs of local people, including £90 million which will be distributed immediately.

Building on this momentum, a further £320 million is to be made available in 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016 to areas with ambitious plans for improving services that could include integrating health and social care; getting the unemployed back to work; or early intervention to get children ready for school. At the heart of all these plans will be a renewed drive to redesign public services in a way that works for users, as well as efforts to reduce long-term costs to the taxpayer by making public bodies both more efficient and more effective.

The Budget also announced that the government’s successful Troubled Families programme will be accelerated, with up to 40,000 additional families to be worked with a year earlier than planned: getting children back in school; cutting youth crime and antisocial behaviour; and putting parents on a path back to work, as well as dealing with problems in the home such as domestic violence.

New figures yesterday showed that over 100,000 families have now been identified as meeting the criteria for the programme, with councils actively working with more than 78,000 of them. Local authorities will be asked to submit expressions of interests to work with additional families in 2014 to 2015 if they are performing well in the current programme and have an ambitious and achievable plan for further service reform.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

This £410 million funding package will help to fundamentally change the way local public services are delivered to residents. The Troubled Families programme has led the way in showing how services can be improved by building them around what people want and need, not how agencies want to organise themselves.

We now want to take the same approach to all services, starting with joined up health and social care through our £3.8 billion Better Care Fund, which will help keep people out of hospital and provide high-quality care at home. This funding will help councils to transform their services faster and provide a better deal for the taxpayer too.

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis added that:

Ambitious authorities such as those working with the Public Service Transformation Network have shown how local partnerships and a complete redesign of services around individuals, not organisations, can mean better outcomes for people.

Residents’ satisfaction with local government is either constant or improved compared to 2010, and that trend will continue if others learn from the best and deliver better services and a better deal for local people.

Some of the authorities whose transformation plans will receive immediate support include:

  • Blackburn with Darwen – £750,000 for a shared service, involving 16 different agencies, which will tackle violence crisis points
  • Taunton Deane and West Somerset – £750,000 for the 2 councils, who recently appointed a joint chief executive and merged their management team, to extend their sharing arrangements to more services and potentially to more councils
  • West London (Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow) – £150,000 to transform employment and skills support including for young people and the workless residents, and for people in work on low pay
  • West Cheshire Altogether Better programme – £150,000 to support the expansion of ongoing service reforms including integrated early support for individuals and families with complex needs and a multi-agency programme to help those out of work find employment
  • Essex – £100,000 to further its public service reform programme, which includes joint work with health service partners to improve protection of domestic abuse victims and strengthen the evidence base to enable long term investment in preventative services
  • Greater Manchester – £100,000 to support the scaling up of public service reform, which covers areas such as tackling complex dependency, integration of health and social care and early intervention work to make sure that children aged 0 to 5 years old are ready for school

The bidding process for the £320 million Transformation Challenge Award has also opened yesterday (2 April 2014).

The £410 million funding is made up of:

  • £1 million in 2013 to 2014 for 9 local authorities working with the Public Service Transformation Network to speed up and scale up their transformation plans
  • £6 million in 2013 to 2014 for 13 local authorities who narrowly missed out on funding in the 2013 to 2014 Transformation Challenge Award bidding process
  • a total of £83 million of unused capitalisation provision has also been transferred to councils in 2013 to 2014 which provides additional revenue for every authority to invest in local service integration and transformation. The unused capitalisation provision will be distributed to all authorities in line with the formula for councils’ Start Up Funding Assessments
  • £15 million Transformation Challenge Award 2014 to 2015 to support local authorities working with partners across the public service to transform services, including smaller districts who wish to share management teams
  • £105 million Transformation Challenge Award 2015 to 2016 and £200 million capital receipt flexibility in 2015 to 2016, to support local authorities working with partners across the public service to transform services

The prospectus and bidding deadlines for the Transformation Challenge Award 2014 to 2016 will be published shortly.

Transformation Challenge Award 2013 to 2014: additional successful bidders

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