Press release

Ministers back plan for better local services

Ministers have backed proposals to extend the approach of the successful Troubled Families programme into other local services.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Troubled family

Last year the independent Service Transformation Challenge Panel called for troubled families-style reforms - where local services are built around the people using them- to reach into other areas such as employment, early years and social care.

And, as new figures this week showed that the government’s Troubled Families programme has now turned around more than 105,000 families while saving taxpayers an estimated £1.2 billion, ministers gave their formal approval of the Panel’s recommendations, with a commitment to go further and faster in the coming years.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

The Troubled Families programme has shown how joining up local services can save money and change people’s lives for the better, and we are extending the programme to 400,000 more families from April. It makes sense to take the same approach in other areas such as jobs, skills and early years, as we are already doing with health and social care through the Better Care Fund.

The panel have given us a blueprint for better services in the years ahead, with plans that put people first by joining up what they do around the user. That’s an approach that gets better results and costs less too and I’m pleased that we are now pushing it forward.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

The success of the Troubled Families programme in turning around the lives of more than 105,000 families so far while saving taxpayers an estimated £1.2 billion in the process is proof that we can do more with less. We know there are other areas where money is wasted and vulnerable people don’t get the support they need.

That’s why I’m delighted that the Challenge Panel has laid out the next steps for transforming local public services to deliver better results for the most vulnerable people. I look forward to seeing the principles underpinning this life-changing programme extended across public services in the future.

The government has today set out next steps based on the panel’s report, including:

  • plans to identify the total cost of providing support to individuals and families with multiple complex needs in order to inform thinking ahead of the next spending review
  • a review of how funding for transformation can be improved in the next parliament
  • agreement that different places should receive different levels of responsibility according to local circumstances; this commitment builds on the command paper on the implications of devolution for England published in December
  • £5 million funding to increase the Public Service Transformation Network’s capacity to work with local areas including Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds
  • commitment to exploring whether additional capability is required locally and nationally to ensure that evidence of what works is used more effectively by local commissioners
  • work with interested parties on the creation of a national Virtual Leadership Academy

Read the full response document.

Further information

The Panel’s report, Bolder, braver and better: why we need local deals to save public services, was published in November.

The government issued an initial response at the time but indicated that it would provide a fuller response at a later date.

More background about the panel, its membership, their visits and evidence gathering can be found on the Public Service Transformation Network website.

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Published 16 March 2015