Latest Public Sector News

03.04.14

New £410m fund for council service transformation

Funding worth £410m is being made available to help councils transform the way they run,  and reward authorities that cut duplication and build services around the needs of local people, local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

The total funding package, which will be rolled out in a staggered manner until 2016, is made up of a number of different programmes. Firstly, £1m has been made available in 2013 to 2014 for nine local authorities working with the Public Service Transformation Network to speed up and scale up their transformation plans. PSE looked at the work of the PSTN in our February/March 2014 edition here.

A further £6m, in the same period, has been awarded to 13 local authorities who narrowly missed out on funding in the 2013 to 2014 Transformation Challenge Award bidding process. A total of £83m of unused capitalisation provision is said to have been transferred to councils in 2013 to 2014, which provides additional revenue for every authority to invest in local service integration and transformation. The unused capitalisation provision will be distributed to all authorities in line with the formula for councils’ Start Up Funding Assessments.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)has stated that £15m will be made available for the Transformation Challenge Award 2014 to 2015 to support local authorities working with partners across the public service to transform services, including smaller districts who wish to share management teams.

In 2015 to 2016, £105m will be available as part of the Transformation Challenge Award and there will be £200m capital receipt flexibility, during the same period, to support local authorities working with partners across the public service to transform services.

If this seems a little confusing, not that it should, according to the DCLG, Pickles explained: “This £410m funding package will help to fundamentally change the way local public services are delivered to residents.

“The Troubled Families programme has led the way in showing how services can be improved by building them around what people want and need, not how agencies want to organise themselves.”

The prospectus and bidding deadlines for the Transformation Challenge Award 2014 to 2016 will be published shortly. However, it is expected that thefunding will be made available to areas with ambitious plans for improving services that could include integrating health and social care; getting the unemployed back to work; or early intervention to get children ready for school.

Some of the authorities whose transformation plans will receive immediate support include

Blackburn with Darwenwhich will receive £750,000 for a shared service – involving 16 different agencies – aimed at tackling violence crisis points. Taunton Deane and West Somerset will receive £750,000 for the two councils, who recently appointed a joint chief executive and merged their management team, to extend their sharing arrangements to more services and potentially to more councils.

Transformation Challenge Award 2013 to 2014: additional successful bidders

Authority(s): 

  • Vale of White Horse - Shared services - £750,000
  • Havering - Extending shared services - £750,000
  • Plymouth -Shared service-IT - £500,000
  • Hampshire - Shared services - £500,000
  • Taunton Deane - Shared services - £750,000
  • Cheltenham - Shared services - £500,000
  • Blackburn with Darwen - Shared services - £750,000
  • Maidstone - ICT - £100,000
  • Central Bedfordshire - Shared service - £75,000
  • West Suffolk   Assets - shared sites - £42,000
  • Westminster City Council -Extend shared services – workforce - £500,000
  • Kingston upon Thames - Shared services - £485,000
  • East Sussex - ICT and assets - £420,000

Awards made to further the work of places working with the Public Service Transformation Network:

  • West London (Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow) -£150,000
  • West Cheshire Altogether Better programme - £150,000
  • Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark - £125,000
  • Greater Manchester - £100,000
  • Sheffield First - £100,000
  • Essex - £100,000
  • Surrey  - £100,000
  • Swindon - £100,000
  • Wirral  - £75,000

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