Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins announced today (12 September 2014) that 77 local authorities will share £9 million investment as they join up services and reduce costs for taxpayers.
Successful bidders to the Transformation Challenge Award are:
- getting earlier and more effective support to families and individuals by integrating health, social care and other services, including £624,000 to help new mothers in Norfolk and prevent children from going into care
- helping residents improve their skills, find and stay in work by coordinating support from schools, colleges, employers and Jobcentre Plus, including £163,000 to help low skilled residents in Hounslow to access better paid employment
- reducing crime and keeping residents safe, including £500,000 to keep isolated and elderly Durham residents safe in their homes
- reducing Council Tax bills by sharing chief executives, management teams and back office services, including £600,000 for 3 Dorset districts planning to share a single chief executive.
The 32 winning bids, which bring together 77 local authorities through joint collaborative projects, have been rewarded with the funding because they have set out how they intend to improve services for residents at the same time as reducing the cost of those services.
The winning local authorities have predicted that their proposals will save more than £10 for every £1 of Transformation Challenge Award money invested.
Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said:
I am delighted to announce that 77 far-sighted authorities are being rewarded for focusing on the needs of Council Tax payers and the people who use their services.
By joining forces with neighbouring councils and other organisations they are not only cutting costs but also making sure their residents get the very best service.
Councils and their partners predict they will be able to save up to £100 million over the next 5 to 10 years, a significant return for the government’s £9 million contribution.
This is further proof that local government can deliver significant savings at the same time as making sure that public satisfaction with services improves.
More than half of the winning bids are focused on redesigning front line services so they provide a better deal for the people who use them. Proposals include improved access to training and employment, coordinated support for vulnerable members of the community, reducing crime and improving weekly collection waste services.
Other bids will cut down costs by merging back office teams and sharing chief executives and senior managers – including 1 trio of councils who are set to be the first to appoint a permanent chief executive across 3 councils.