Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis announced today (9 October 2013) that 18 local authorities will share a £6.9 million reward for radically overhauling how they do business, a part of the government’s pledge to transform public services.
Successful schemes will:
- accelerate integration of local health care services
- create shared finance and HR for emergency services
- create a shared asset management company partnership
- use service data to drive efficiency and better delivery
The winners of the Transformation Challenge Award will receive funding for demonstrating their ability to remain at the cutting edge of service transformation, while delivering efficiency savings.
Today’s award paves the way for further support for councils radically transforming local service delivery, enabling better outcomes to be achieved for less. In particular, as announced in this year’s Spending Review, in 2015 there will be a £100 million Transformation Fund to help even more councils to set up shared services, combining their operations for service delivery, including with other public and private sector service providers.
The Transformation Challenge Award will support some of the best performing councils who are at the cutting edge of innovation and leading by example in developing best practice for the rest of country to follow.
Reforms will also establish a service model that fits the public rather than forcing the public to fit a service model; ensuring residents get a better experience too.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said:
While councils have a vital role to play in tackling the inherited deficit, the government has always been clear councils should not close services. Instead councils should demonstrate the best in innovation and ministers will champion councils that successfully redesign services.
The tide of change that began with chief executives and sharing management teams is now going further to include shared service delivery across council boundaries. These reforms will be key to protecting services while reducing costs to the taxpayer.
Ministers know that starting the ball rolling can be the hardest part and this money will help 18 councils with the initial outlay they need to get shared service projects up and running.
Successful bidders have proved that they can be examples for others. The government will be looking at opportunities to spread their knowledge and expertise throughout the country.
By implementing reforms now, local authorities will be able to tackle complex issues that place heavy demands on local services or that can help boost local growth and business rates income.
This will allow them to invest in changes to their management structures, procurement methods or service delivery with the long term savings these reforms generate giving a better deal to local residents.
Local government has been exempt from further reductions in 2013 to 2014 at the Autumn Statement. This important protection will give local authorities time to drive through further savings reforms by:
- transforming front line service delivery
- growing their local business rate income
- improving procurement practices
- completing complete back office changes
Councils who are already pursuing particularly innovative reforms may already be receiving Efficiency Support Grants. If these councils demonstrate that they have gone even further and faster on efficiency savings then they will be eligible for a further award of up to 25% of their Efficiency Support Grant allocation.