Press release

New independent panel to advise on services that put people first

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

Announcement of an independent panel to look at how public services are delivered.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Local Government Secretary have today (2 April 2014) announced the creation of an independent panel to look at how public services are delivered.

The new Service Transformation Challenge Panel will be part of the government’s continued commitment to create public services which look at individuals and families rather than working in traditional Whitehall silos.

Already councils and services working with the Public Service Transformation Network have shown that working in partnership to join up services can meet the needs of individuals and change people’s lives for the better.

The Troubled Families programme and Better Care Fund represent significant steps in the right direction. The announcement of the extension of the Troubled Families programme in 2014 to 2015 at the Budget as well as a £410 million transformation funding package to support local places demonstrate the scale of government ambition.

The Service Transformation Challenge Panel will advise on what needs to happen both locally and nationally to increase the pace and scale of transformation within public services. Where there are barriers to transformation, the panel will make practical recommendations on how we can address such issues.

It is expected that the panel’s recommendation will help government to accelerate the delivery of better outcomes for local people and support local places to go further and faster with their change plans.

Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said:

The Community Budget pilots showed we can create better services that cost less. If the approach were adopted nationally, it could save billions of pounds.

I want to see local authorities with more power to deliver better services for people in their area. The new panel will help identify and accelerate the changes local areas need to make to support vulnerable children and young people, prevent crime and get people back into work.

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:

Every bit of the public sector needs to do its bit to reduce the budget deficit, by focusing on cutting waste and making sensible savings to protect frontline services.

The Troubled Families programme and the Better Care Fund both place individuals firmly at the heart of public services, and we need to see that approach applied across the public sector.

Public services designed around the individual, rather than the organisations delivering those services, not only deliver better outcomes but also eliminate wasteful duplication.

We are now building on that with Public Service Transformation Network and the announcement of £400 million to accelerate delivery this new panel will make sure we use that to keep the work going in the right direction so resident and taxpayers benefit from better and more cost-effective public services.

Further information

The panel will have joint chairmanship under Derek Myers and Pat Ritchie, both of whom will bring significant policy, delivery and leadership experience to the role.

  • Derek Myers - Chair of the Board of Trustees of Shelter and non-executive member of Public Health England’s advisory board. He is the former Joint Chief Executive of Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham councils and a former Chairman of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives
  • Pat Ritchie - Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council and a former Chief Executive of the Homes & Communities Agency

A full list of panel members and a formal call for evidence will be published shortly.

The panel will report back to government in the autumn.

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