Ministers reveal £9.2m shared services fund
Ministers have announced a £9.2m cash pot to encourage councils to team up in delivering front line services.
Leading a Commons debate on local government finance, local government minister Brandon Lewis said the new Transition Challenge Award was inspired by the success of the West London tri-borough initiative.
Mr Lewis said the Government wanted troubled authorities like West Somerset to become ‘super savers’, and urged councils to go further and faster in sharing operations and management for the benefit of residents.
Among examples Mr Lewis cited South Oxfordshire DC and Vale of White Horse DC as a successful case where a joint chief executive and management structure was in place. He also mentioned attempts by South Holland DC, Luton and Breckland DC to share a chief executive across party boundaries.
‘Those who follow suit will now get extra credit. Literally,’ Mr Lewis concluded.
However, as part of their pre-Budget lobbying efforts, the tri-borough council leaders wrote last week to chancellor George Osborne urging cabinet ministers to give more visible encouragement to public sector innovation.
The letter penned by Sir Merrick Cockell, Cllr Nicholas Botterill and Cllr Philippa Roe urged the chancellor to ensure Whitehall departments make data sharing the norm across the public sector, and called for greater support for collaboration between health and social care, stronger local influence over skills funding and training and more flexible criteria for the troubled families in the next spending review period.
Epic naivety!Patrick Newman, ex local government, Stevenage, Added: Monday, 18 February 2013 11:55 AM
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