Laura Sharman 16 July 2014

Early action could avert cash crisis in services, finds taskforce

Early action could avert cash crisis in services, finds taskforce image

A cash crisis in local government could be averted if more money was invested in early action rather than focusing on reactive spending, according to a new report.

Towards Effective Prevention: Practical steps for the next Government, published by the Early Action Task Force, calls on the government to free itself from the ‘stranglehold’ of short-term planning and invest more in early action, which can ultimately save money.

It said that only 6% of government spending went on early action, even though it could cut public spending and provide better value for money for the taxpayer.

The report calls for a new investment strategy, including a ten-year government planning perspective, combined with five-year budgets in every spending review. It also wants a £250m Early Action Loan Fund - funded by a new tax on ‘social polluters’ like alcohol and payday lending - to promote better working across different budgets and agencies.

David Robinson, chair of the Early Action Task Force, said: ‘The political agenda is too often set by short-term considerations and the focus is on current concerns rather than the future. Prevention and early action are just not happening at the moment and it is costing us dearly.

‘Our proposals have the potential to save us all billions a year as well as helping people live healthier, happier lives, including in their later years. An effective investment strategy for early action should be a vital element of a ‘two term' strategy for an incoming government to bring social and economic aims together in a positive programme for the future.’

In response to the findings, local government minister Brandon Lewis, said: ‘There is great scope for councils and other local bodies to work more closely together and share services, both to help tackle the deficit left by the last Administration and to improve the targeting of frontline support.

'Evidence shows early intervention can be of enormous benefit to those needing help by ensuring public services focus on the needs of the user, while spending taxpayers’ money more effectively.’

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Assistant to the Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£33324 - £35751 per annum + n/a
Communities, Environment and CentralCorporate Governance & Democratic ServicesSenior Assistant to the Leader, Leader's Office PO1 (£33,324- £35,751) T England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Early Support Consultant

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£31,346 - £33,782
We are looking to hire candidates with experience of Whole Family Working and the Supporting Families program to join us as... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Governance Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£23,080 - £24,491
As a Governance Officer, you will work as part of the Homes and Neighbourhoods team that... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Head of Finance and Customer Services (S151)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary to £67k (plus £3k car allowance)
As a large and successful district council, North West Leicestershire has every reason to be confident about the future. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Community Co-Ordination Manager

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£37,890 - £39,880
Do you want to be a part of a high performing team, developing creative projects that benefit the community? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue