Total Place

Total Place weekly update: March

Posted on March 30th, 2010

Total Place weekly updates for March 2010

Weekly update 41 highlights:

Weekly update 40 highlights:

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Weekly update 39 highlights:

Weekly update 38 highlights:

Weekly update 37 highlights:

Total Place weekly update 41: 30 March 2010

National Members’ Event on Total Place

21st May 2010, Central Hall, Westminster

‘Total Place has the potential to bring about the most profound reshaping of central and local government in decades.  This is a vital matter on which elected members need to take leadership’.  The Bradford and Kent pilots are therefore jointly hosting a member event at Central Hall in Westminster and they would like to extend an invitation to elected members.  This is a national event where leading figures from national and local government will be setting out their thoughts on where Total Place takes us.  Speakers include Cllr David Parsons, Chair of the LGA Improvement Board and Leader of Leicestershire, and Helen Bailey, HMT.

Members from across the Total Place pilots, parallel places and other areas interested in this type of work will have an opportunity to hear feedback from the final reports and what we have learned, particularly about the blockages and barriers to change.

Formal invitations have been sent and in the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to attend, please contact John Jarvis on 0207 187 7385.

Total Place Summit: 25th & 26th May 2010

The Leadership Centre will be hosting the Total Place Summit which aims to bring public servants together regardless of their position in the system to broaden and deepen the Total Place approach.

The event, being held at The Honourable Artillery Company, London, will focus on three things:

  1. sharing the learning from phase one of Total Place
  2. developing the work of the next phase of Total Place in light of the learning
  3. broadening and embedding the practices of Total Place across the public sector.

We will be sharing the learning history document which brings together peoples experiences from the whole system creating a jointly told story of Total Place which we can explore together.

Post election, this time offers us the opportunity to develop the thinking, the support and the actions for the next phase of Total Place. Your experiences and knowledge are needed to ensure that this pioneering work is shared and developed together with all parts of the public sector.  For more details, please contact John Jarvis on 0207 187 7385

Audit Commission report: ‘Surviving the crunch’

This report is the third in a series of publications looking at the impact of the credit crunch and subsequent recession on local authorities.

It says that councils must think bigger and act quicker to reduce costs, or funding cuts will cause more damage to services and jobs than is necessary.  Most councils have not yet felt the worst of the recession because of the government’s three-year funding settlement.

Even though the timing and extent of cuts in government support are unclear, the report says that councils must prepare now for leaner times.  The report can be accessed at

Total Place press coverage

The Total Place report for Budget was featured in the mainstream press and trade publications.  A full roundup can be found on the ‘news’ page of the website

Please follow the links below to recent Total Place press coverage over the last few weeks.

Total Place and the Third sector

In response to the budget 2010 announcements, OTS has drawn together examples of third sector contributions from the 13 Total Place Pilots and other areas demonstrating Total Place ways of working.

“The economic climate is driving severe constraints on public finances. We need to find ways of working that enable us to address serious economic and social issues while at the same time delivering more efficient services. Total Place is about drawing on the frontline experience to find solutions that meet people’s needs and which deliver better value for money.

The third sector has a key role in Total Place through:

Facilitating community engagement and empowerment of citizens to be involved in design of their services

Using the sector’s own aggregated expertise on needs of individuals and communities and the solutions

As a service provider in their own right, making a practical contribution in redesigning and delivering services to be more efficient as well as more effective, and responsive to user needs.

Many of the examples in the report are from Total Place areas, many are not but demonstrate a ‘Total Place way of working’ – cutting across service or sector lines to design and deliver a holistic, efficient service around the needs of communities and individuals. We can learn from all these examples”.

The examples can be found at

LGA Group Total Place Conference – making local services better for people – lessons from the pilots

The LGA Group’s second conference on Total Place goes ahead today.  It will provide a timely opportunity to hear from pilot authorities about what they have learnt from the process, and from central and local government and their partners about how the findings can be used to improve services.

The conference will hear from a range of speakers involved in Total Place, including Lord Bichard of Nailsworth in the County of Gloucestershire, Irene Lucas, Cllr David Parsons, as well as senior representatives from a range of local services. The conference is aimed at all local public service providers, including councils, PCTs, police and others.  For further information please visit

IDeA Total Place seminar series: ‘Doing the Deep Dive’

The IDeA ran its final seminar in the Total Place series last Friday.  The seminar covered the use of financial mapping and customer insight tools and techniques to develop a Total Place approach.  Delegates from parallel places and pilots were joined by speakers from Peterborough City Council, Birmingham (CACI Ltd), Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole (PWC) and CLG covering insights into and practical aspects of the ‘deep dives’ carried out in pilots, with a focus on how to deliver the benefits of collaborative change.

Speaker presentations will be available on the community of practice

Lastly, Total Place now has its own ‘Facebook’ page.  The page is just starting to develop so please do visit and contribute

Total Place update 40: 25 March 2010

Total Place report for Budget 2010

‘Total Place: A whole area approach to public services’ is published by HM Treasury and Communities and Local Government today.  The report is available at

The report sets out a range of new freedoms for places building on the huge amount of work undertaken by pilots and parallel places over the last year.  All places will benefit from new reductions in ringfences, indicators and burdens, and Government will look at new mechanisms to ensure all partners are delivering for local people.

In addition, the highest performing local areas and those with strengths in particular themes and services that agree to deliver better outcomes and additional savings across partners (above those expected of all areas) will benefit from further freedoms.  These ‘Single Offer’ and ‘Innovative Policy Offers’ will be co-designed by places and Government, and the first agreements implemented in April 2011.

The report also sets out new freedoms to support collaboration, including 11 Total Capital and Assets Pathfinders across the country, steps to improve joint working between local authorities and Job Centre Plus, and Government developing standardised arrangements to support pooling of individual budgets.

Further announcements include trialling the first social impact bonds, developing Neighbourhood Agreements to support safer neighbourhoods, new flexibilities for places to shape spending on skills, and reforms to the regional tier of Government.

Treasury and CLG would like to thank all the places and partners involved in Total Place and hope that this is the start of a different way of working with Whitehall – one that puts place much more strongly into national decision making.

John Atkinson, Managing Director of the Leadership Centre, said “Today’s Total Place report marks a significant change of direction. It shows that by starting with local people’s experiences and working effectively together to improve them, local leaders and their central government counterparts can create radical change. The opportunity now exists for all councils to broaden the work of Total Place and for some to fundamentally deepen this ambitious process of change”.

‘Total Place: a practitioner’s guide to doing things differently’

The Leadership Centre for Local Government launches its practitioner’s guide to Total Place today.  The document brings together the wisdom of a number of people who have been on the Total Place journey and provides a menu to dip in and out of covering theories and models of change, practical processes and insights on the human dynamics of change.  The thirteen Total Place pilots have each undertaken a unique journey over the past nine months or so. It is abundantly clear that there is no single set of rules to follow and that there is more work to be undertaken – the story is far from over.

The practitioner’s guide can be found at this link .

Using Social Media: A Guide for 21st Century Councillors

The Leadership Centre and IDeA’s social media guide website was launched yesterday. This guide is meant as a brief introduction to social media for councillors, outlining how social media can be used to:

People are now turning first to the web to find everything from information about days out, entertainment, shopping, to making connections with friends and colleagues. People expect to be able to comment and contribute on everything from online versions of newspapers to items they purchase from online retailers like Amazon. Citizens will increasingly expect that local government will be able to provide its services online with the same level of interactivity that they find everywhere else. It wasn’t that long ago that email was a novel way to contact your councillor. Already many councillors are interacting with the people they represent online through social media, and it won’t be long before this is common expectation, too.

The website is live at and the guide can be downloaded there.

Launch of the NLGN report ‘Greater than the sum of its parts’

The New Local Government Network (NLGN) launched its report on Total Place last Thursday at Portcullis House.  Speakers at the launch included Helen Bailey (HMT), Cllr David Parsons (Chair of the LGA Improvement Board), and Dave Smith (CX, Sunderland City Council).  NLGN’s report argues that major change is needed at the centre to break existing top-down models and cultures of accountability and service delivery, which lead to significant inefficiency and wastage in public services. NLGN’s analysis shows that major benefits can be unlocked by a more collaborative approach to public sector assets and building services around the citizen at a local level.

The report advocates the setting up of a new Department for Devolved Government to subsume CLG and the Cabinet Office and the Scottish and Welsh offices to drive devolution across Whitehall and release greater freedoms and powers for locally elected politicians to coordinate activity and decide how and where services are delivered. As part of this, accountability for public health budgets and local policing should be devolved immediately to all local authorities.

The report builds on the pilots’ and parallel places’ reports to HM Treasury’s budget by capturing some of the enormous volume of work over the last year and helping to make sense of it. At the Leadership Centre for Local Government we have a strong interest in what has been learned throughout Total Place and seeing that put into the public domain. This needs to come from a variety of trusted perspectives so people can make their own sense of it and take their own learning. This report serves this end well and we extend our thanks to the authors, Nigel Keohane and Geraldine Smith.

The Impact of Offenders and Prisons on Kent’s Public Services

Commissioning this work coincided with Kent being selected as a Total Place pilot area. This review has not been one of the local pilot themes but there are strong similarities between the approaches taken – that is to say, taking a whole-systems or ‘helicopter’ view from the user or customer perspective.

In the spring of 2009, Peter Gilroy, Chief Executive KCC, commissioned the report to set out an overview of what the consequences are for Kent’s family of public services as a result of having a significant number of prison establishments located in Kent. There are 10 in all, a higher number per head than any comparable place in the UK, we believe.

This is not a review of the prisons or the probation service. It is a look at how public services work with the prisons and respond to the canadian pharmacy needs of offenders before, during and after their sentences, in the context of prisons being a key component within the wider justice system.

The report can be found at

BBC Election timeline

The BBC’s suggested time line of the election is below.


After the long Easter weekend, Mr Brown is expected to announce the date of a general election as 6 May. He will already have gone to the Palace to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April.


MPs and peers stop sitting in Parliament after traditional scramble by party bosses to see what legislation can be saved. Parliament continues to exist until it is formally dissolved the following Monday. After dissolution there are no longer any MPs, although ministers keep their jobs during the election campaign. Local returning officers receive election writs.


Parliament is formally dissolved and writs are issued for elections in the UK’s 650 constituencies.


ITV hosts the first of three 90 minute prime ministerial debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, which are likely to form the centrepiece of the campaign. The theme will be domestic affairs, although as with the other two debates it will broaden out into a general discussion with questions from viewers. Alistair Stewart is in the chair.


Deadline for delivery of nomination papers/withdrawals of candidature/appointment of election agents at 1600 BST. Nominations announced at 1700 or as soon as any objections settled. Last day to apply to register to vote. Last day to apply for a new postal vote.


Sky’s turn to host the prime ministerial debate. Adam Boulton asks the questions and the main theme is foreign affairs.


Last day for receipt of late applications for people who cannot reach a polling station and want to vote by proxy (deadline 1700 BST).


The BBC hosts the final of the three televised debates. David Dimbleby is in the chair and the main theme is the economy.


Election day, with polling stations open between 0700 and 2200 BST.

2020 Public Services Trust on the future of public services

This report from the Public Services Trust argues that as a nation we will not be able to afford to continue to fund public services to the extent we are used to – due to the economic crisis on the one hand and the ageing population on the other.

It advocates 3 shifts:

  1. in culture – from social security to social productivity;
  2. in power – from the centre to citizens; and
  3. in finance – reconnecting finances with the purpose of public services

The report can be found at .

Total Place community of practice: now over 845 members strong…

Alexandra Marshall (IDeA) placed the ‘Putting customers at the heart of Total Place: the role of customer insight and social media’ event on the CoP last week.  The event was held at the Holiday inn Bloomsbury on the 18th March.

Sir Michael Bichard posed the question “Public services have improved over many years – but why don’t our customers perceive it as so?” in his keynote speech at this sell out event.  The potential for savings and customer service improvements was revealed in presentations from Total Place pilots and Customer Led Transformation projects at the event.  For example, the identification of 22 agencies offering 70 different services funded by eight different agencies to drug addicts in Birmingham or low income families in Greater Manchester having to complete 16 different application forms to access the services that could help them.

A key aspect of the event was the use of social media tools throughout the day to enable people to participate and comment via the web.  The conference had an online presence at and was joined by a social reporter updated the site with content, blogs, vox pops, photos and commentary during the day.

Delegates were encouraged to Tweet their responses and questions for the panel discussion using hashtag #localinsight as the event progressed.  Speaker and workshop presentations have also been uploaded on

All information available on the website can also be accessed via the Total Place and Customer Insight CoPs

For future events, please check the IDeA website

Customer insight: through a Total Place lens

Starting with the customer is increasingly recognised as the most productive way of designing or re-designing services. Basing developments on a real insight into customer needs, aspirations and behaviours should produce better services, as well as providing a solid platform for cross-organisational collaboration.

This report, produced by IDeA in collaboration with Communities and Local Government, sets out to:

The report draws on the experience of the original Total Place pilots and is illustrated by examples from a range of local authorities and their partners.  Download the report.

Total Place update 39: 16 March 2010

Budget: 24th March 2010

At the Total Place project board meeting last Wednesday an update was given on the consolidated Total Place report for Budget.  Thanks to Emily Arch (CLG) for providing the detail to the meeting.

The report is getting clearance from places and Whitehall over the next week.  It will be published as a supplementary paper to the suite of documents forming the Budget.  The work on customer insight and counting has been included and the commitments included in the Smarter Government white paper have been woven in to it.

The report reflects that Total Place builds on a history of ‘this type of work’ – the powerful difference this time is that it has started from the customer at the heart of service redesign.  There’s a large chunk dedicated to a compelling ‘the case for change’ based on the pilots findings and the headline message is that the pilots’ work will continue with place and central government commitment.  The role of the DG Champion will also continue and further work is needed around what some of the proposals actually mean (e.g. data-sharing).  Preventative, targeted action is imperative and the improvement & support architecture will be key in supporting places to get to a point where they can work in a ‘Total Place’ way.

There’s a strong commitment to taking this work forward locally and centrally and we would encourage you to continue your conversations. We will keep you informed of developments as Budget draws closer and once released, the report will be available on this website.

Total Place on the BBC’s Politics Show

On Sunday 14 March, the BBC’s Politics Show South spoke with John Denham about the latest news from Total Place.  The Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole pilot featured in the programme as one that had looked at adult social care.  You can hear a discussion of the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole pilot’s work, and a case study of shared services from Adur and Worthing councils.  You can watch the show on BBC iPlayer, or read a summary article.

Total Place and the Third Sector

As part of ongoing work to explore the role of the third sector in Total Place, the Cabinet Office and IDeA are running a third sector Total Place event on 23rd March. Bringing together key individuals from central and local government with the third sector this event will aim to:

The event is taking place between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm at Savoy Place, London. Sir Michael Bichard has been confirmed as the mornings key note speaker. Irene Lucas, Director of local government and regeneration at CLG and Helen Bailey, Director of Public Services at HM Treasury will be among the other speakers on the day.  There are a small number of places left. If you would like to attend please contact Rachel Bickerton at IDeA

PM Gordon Brown: Total Place savings ”not unrealistic”

Friday, March 12, 2010

“The adoption of Total Place across the whole country could lead to budgetary savings of 15 per cent in the public sector”, according to the Prime Minister, wrote Dean Carroll last Friday.  Asked if Total Place could deliver 15 per cent savings everywhere – in his fifth appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee – Brown said: “It has a great deal of scope to yield these savings and I think that 15 per cent is probably not unrealistic.” For the full article, please visit

District Councils Network and Total Place

It was reported at the newly-formed District Councils Network (DCN) executive meeting in early March that 165 local authorities had joined the special interest group.  Alan Goodrum, chief executive of Chiltern DC, writing in his article for said “this is an exciting time for districts, where we will have a much stronger voice and play our full part in two-tier local government.”

“Agendas at the DCN tend to be focused on the recession – and the problems it creates for our communities, spending cuts and the vexed question of concessionary fares, but we are increasingly thinking about where we go from here.  One such discussion took place around Total Place. As the 13 pilot areas have reported, this is topical. The areas tend to have an urban feel about them, and only four involve two-tier areas which gives the initial programme a rather unitary feel.  Districts have an essential offer to make to Total Place. We are close to the people, focused on place, and our purpose is central to Total Place aims.”

BBC ‘facing the cuts’ survey

The findings of this BBC commissioned survey were released at the beginning of March.  CLG have highlighted that from the Total Place pilots, Wigan and Warwickshire lead the way on expected reductions in headcount over the next few years.  For the full survey and more details including maps, charts and financial data please visit

Shadow Justice Team & Total Place

On Wednesday the 10th March, representatives from the London Borough of Lewisham, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Luton and Central Bedfordshire pilots met with Dominic Grieve MP, Alan Duncan MP and Henry Bellingham MP to discuss approaches to Criminal Justice.  The meeting was facilitated by Kate Priestley, Chair of the Leadership Centre for Local Government and Christina Dykes, political adviser for the Leadership Centre.

Pilots gave presentations to the MP’s setting out the problems faced in places with regards to offender management and rehabilitation.  They then proceeded to give details about proposed plans and actions taken to help reduce reoffending and aid reintegration with a more holistic approach.

Feedback from the MP’s has been very positive with requests for further information from the pilots.

Reviewing Inspectorates meeting

Representatives from the Bradford, Coventry. Solihull & Warwickshire, Leicester/Leicestershire and Central Beds & Luton pilots, Westminster CC and Suffolk met with representatives from HMT, Audit Commission, CLG, DCSF and others for a fruitful discussion about the government’s performance frameworks on Thursday 11th March.  The discussion was focused around place based initiatives and work that has been going on in localities to reduce the burden of inspection.  More detail on the outcomes of these conversations will follow.

Lastly, the learning history interviews are going really well and we wanted to extend our thanks to pilots, departments and other key people who have kindly given up their time to take part in them.  As you might imagine, a variety of perspectives and insights are coming to light.  The findings will be presented at the Total Place summit on the 25th and 26th May.  We very much look forward to seeing you there.

Total Place update 38: 9 March 2010

Total Place Learning update 4

As the first phase of Total Place comes to an end, learning update 4 addresses three key questions that people involved in the process have been asking themselves:

1. What have we learned from our work together over the last nine months?

2. How can we articulate what we have learned to assist colleagues across the public sector in their own collaborative work?

3. What could we do next to build on what Total Place has taught us?

Each of the three guest articles addresses one of these questions, preceded by an editorial that examines the (at times) confusing and conflicting conversations happening about the future of Total Place.  The update is available on the website.

National Members’ Event on Total Place: new date of 21st May 2010

Central Hall, Westminster

‘Total Place has the potential to bring about the most profound reshaping of central and local government in decades.  This is a vital matter on which elected members need to take leadership’.

Following the submissions from the 13 pilots to the Treasury, we are at a critical point in this initiative and the debate around it.  The Bradford and Kent pilots are therefore jointly hosting a member event at Central Hall in Westminster starting at 9:30 am, and they would like to extend an invitation to elected members.  This is a national event where leading figures from national and local government will be setting out their thoughts on where Total Place takes us.  Speakers include Cllr David Parsons, Chair of the LGA Improvement Board and Leader of Leicestershire, and Helen Bailey, HMT.

Members from across the Total Place pilots, parallel places and other areas interested in this type of work will have an opportunity to hear feedback from the final reports and what we have learned, particularly about the blockages and barriers to change.

This new date replaces the original event planned for the 18th March.  Formal invitations have been sent and in the meantime, if you have any questions, please do contact John Jarvis on 0207 187 7385.

Total Place: CIPFA & the IDeA

CIPFA and the IDEA are working together on a national programme of training for Commissioners and Finance staff from local authorities and other public service bodies focused on improving awareness of how such bodies might more effectively engage and increasingly work with third sector bodies.  Funded by the Office of Third sector, they are offering a range of training programmes at various regional centres across the UK open to practitioners whom might benefit from increased awareness of the third sector. There is no charge for attending these specific training events.  For further details please visit

CIPFA Total Place Event: 17th March

“Total Place is an ambitious initiative that takes a whole area approach to public services in order to deliver better services at a lower cost. It requires a new way of thinking, and challenges the silos that exist within individual mindsets, organisations and across public sector bodies. What matters most are real outcomes, so whether you are involved in the Total Place pilots, maintaining a watching brief, or are one of the number of organisations developing innovative approaches to meet this agenda – this conference is for you”.

Speakers include Steve Freer (CIPFA), John Atkinson (Leadership centre), Peter Gilroy (Kent), John Tizard and Tony Travers

For full details and to book, please visit the CIPFA PIN website at:

Achieving Total Places event: 25th March

The Inter Authorities Group, a non-political, non-profit making association of local authorities and other public bodies are running a seminar on Thursday, 25 March on ‘Achieving Total Places’ This conference, in the lead up to the General Election, will focus on local authority experiences in moving forward on this complex agenda.  Speakers will reflect on the Total Place Pilots, the likely future of Local Area Agreements, and the next generation of Comprehensive Area Assessment.  What Caroline Spelman has described as ‘horizontal cooperation’ [LGC 9 November 2009] sounds attractive, but as we know, is hard to achieve.  More information on the work of the group can be found at

For further information on this event, please contact Jane Weaver on 07970 251854 or

Total Place Summit: 25th & 26th May: save the date

The Leadership Centre will be hosting the Total Place Summit at the HAC, City Road, London on the 25th and 26th May.  The summit aims to bring public servants together regardless of their position in the system to broaden and deepen the Total Place approach, generating space to create the next phase of Total Place post-election, and sharing with delegates the learning from the Total Place Learning History, as well as experiences and knowledge of others involved in the system.

Total Place update 37: 02 March 2010

Putting the Frontline First: Meeting the Local Government Challenge

A new report setting out ten decisive steps that all councils should act on to protect vital frontline services in an era of tighter public finances was welcomed by Communities Secretary John Denham today.  The ten steps, recommended by an expert taskforce, include creating customer focused ‘Total Place’ councils cutting out waste and duplication, sharing back office roles like HR and IT, reducing the number of municipal buildings and having a chief executive that manages more than one public body.  The Task Force, chaired by Sir Steve Bullock, the Mayor of Lewisham, and Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, looked at the best ways to share resources to invest in frontline services; to make frontline innovation a reality and how to restructure councils so they can deliver more efficiently.  The report concludes that councils can no longer continue with the status quo relying on tried and tested approaches to reduce budgets – they need to make a more radical and strategic shift to protect services for the customer.

Full details of the Putting the Frontline First: Meeting the Local Government Challenge report can be found on our news pages.

Total Place Local Learning workshop

The second Local Learning Workshop took place last Monday 22 February.  Lesley Cramman facilitated the event and we were joined by Deborah Szebeko and Ivo Gormley from thinkpublic who ran an informative session on ethnographic research, and Professor John Benington who discussed the benefits and challenges of collaborative leadership.  Colleagues from Total Place pilots and parallel places were in attendance and gave good feedback, with the different approach to subjects within Total Place being welcomed.  There are pictures up on the Total Place Community of Practice.

Audit Commission urges greater freedom for councils

The Audit Commission has called on the government to allow councils more freedom after reviewing the results of its first round of Comprehensive Area Assessments.  The local authority watchdog released its first national overview of CAA on the 24th February, having published its first set of results in December.  It concludes: ‘The principal message for government from the first year of CAA is that local public bodies need the freedom to tailor local solutions to local problems.’  The commission says that many successful innovations involved some local adjustment to programmes, approaches or interventions that operate nationally.

The report also echoes the approach of the Total Place pilots, which seek to identify savings by joining up local service spending, in urging the government to ensure that public bodies are not obliged ‘to seek multiple sources of funds for the same activity’.  Although the commission says that somewhere in England, a council is finding innovative and effective ways to tackle ‘every one of the major challenges society faces’, it says there is inconsistency across the country.  Audit Commission chair Michael O’Higgins said the CAA results show ‘much progress has been made, although stubborn problems persist, including pockets of bad health, inadequate housing and inequality’.

An independent report evaluating the CAA and its costs is due to be published in the spring.

IDeA communities of practice

We received the 3rd edition of Community Connect last week.  This is a round-up of all that’s been happening on the IDeA Communities of Practice web pages over the last three months.  Featured articles include:

CoP of the year winners 2010

The CoP of the year awards are designed to recognise some of the best CoPs and work by facilitators over the previous year. There were three categories with one overall winner:

Innovation and creativity category Winner: Strategic Commissioning CoP Special commendation: Equality CoP

Efficiency through collaboration category Winner: Project and Programme Management CoP Special commendation: EU Services Directive

Effective facilitation team category Winner: Workforce Matters CoP Special commendation: Web Improvement and Usage CoP

Overall CoP of the Year Award Winner: Project and Programme Management CoP

Congratulations to all who won awards.

Since the last newsletter the 50,000th member of the website had joined.  Reaching this milestone was a tremendous achievement for a site that has been going for little more than three years.

The Total Place community of practice can also be found on this site

The forum has been active this week with some very informative posts.  You can read ‘Putting the Frontline First – Task Force report’ in the forum here.  And if you have some time to spare, the videos from the MJ conference are well worth watching.

Some of the content from the recent Local Learning event has been put on the CoP here and Nick Payne’s graphic recording of the day can be found in the library here. If you attended the day and you have any thoughts, please do add them in the event space.

There’s an interesting ‘blessay’ from Adrian Smith about the activity in Cambridgeshire – “Copernicus, Heifetz and the Meerkat revolution!” and the usual selection of interesting blogs here.

Community Allowance

The ‘community allowance’ is designed to encourage community organisations to be able to pay local people to do work that strengthens their neighbourhoods without disrupting their benefits. This is described as a ‘win-win-win proposal’ that helps individuals make progress to become more independent, gets the work that needs doing in poor neighbourhoods done by the people best placed to do it, and channels the energy and trust of civil society towards the big aim of using our welfare spend as an investment in social change rather than a net that traps people in poverty.

For further information, please contact Naomi Alexander on

‘One-Stop Shops’ conference

Friday 19th March 2010 – Central London

“In a year when the public sector must focus on spending cuts and efficiency gains, investing in One-Stop Shops, to deliver more, with less, seems a wise choice”.  Joe Simpson, Director of Politics and Partnerships, Leadership Centre for Local Government will be chairing Capita’s 2nd national conference designed to bring together national and local figures interested in examining the achievements and outcomes, challenges and lessons learnt from different One-Stop Shop ventures to date.  Speakers include Inspector Richard Hughes, Project Manager, Contact Management Lancashire Constabulary; Lesley Seary, Executive Director for Customer Services, London Borough of Lewisham; and Lyn McDonald, Programme Director, Tell Us Once.

For further information, please call Andrew Beevers on 0207 202 0585 or email

Lastly, nominations are now open for the local government Council Worker of the Year Awards 2010 sponsored by Local Government Employers (LGE).  Council employees and the general public are invited to nominate their favourite and most inspiring council workers in one of six categories.  Visit for more details.

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