Total Place

Total Place weekly updates: December

Posted on December 3rd, 2009

Total Place weekly updates for December

Weekly update 29 highlights

Weekly update 28 highlights

Weekly update 27 highlights

Weekly update 26 highlights

Total Place weekly update 29: 22 December 2009

Sir Michael Bichard’s high-level officials group meeting: 17 December

The meeting of the Bichard Group last Thursday was very productive once again.  Peter Gilroy, Chief Executive of Kent County Council and Kevin Sheehan, Head of Strategy, London Borough of Lewisham, presented an update on the work of Total Place in the Kent and Lewisham pilots respectively.  The presentations provoked a good conversation which was followed by a discussion on a ‘lessons learnt’ paper given by Sue Goss of OPM addressing the question ‘what can we learn from previous initiatives in order to make TP a success?’ After discussion, Sue left a final challenge with the Group – how will they sustain this dialogue beyond Budget? And can Whitehall learn from and use some of the tactics/methods which TP pilots have used and benefited from?

There was also an update on Smarter Government and PBR from Helen Bailey & Andrew Campbell, and a brief update from Director Generals’ on their workstreams.

The next meeting will be held on the 18th January and focus on the drug and alcohol misuse theme.

QIPP & the NHS

Following a number of requests from pilots for further information on QIPP, please find attached a link to the document on QIPP which was published last week:

In addition, the link directs you to the NHS Operating Framework for 2010-11 which makes reference to Total Place under planning and partnerships.

Lastly, the link below takes you to a ‘Guide for World Class Commissioners – Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Reducing Inequalities’.  This Guide has been developed by the Royal Society for Public Health in partnership with the National Social Marketing Centre, with funding from the Department of Health.  It is designed to assist Commissioners to make the most of the best methods of promoting health, using the latest understanding of how we can support people to make healthy choices as individuals within the social and environmental contexts in which they live. The Guide may also be of value to Providers in giving insight into the Commissioning process.  It provides a practical approach to planning including some theory and also worked examples of service specifications, checklists etc.

To download and for more information, please see:

Power Lab programme: 21 to 26 March 2010

The Power Lab will run in Europe for the first time 21-26 March 2010 in Stroud, England.  It is a unique, total immersion systems leadership development programme, one of the most innovative and demanding in the world.

The programme is a training ground where participants develop their intellectual, emotional and practical competence to work more effectively with the forces of power and leadership at the organisational and community levels. The ability to see and influence these dynamics – vertically and horizontally within a single organisation and across networks and partnerships – determines how effectively leaders can bring about whole systems change.

The programme has three unique aspects:

The Leadership Centre has negotiated a significantly reduced fee for up to six participants on a first come first served basis.  The reduced fee of £4,950 plus VAT will include participation on the Power Lab programme 21-26 March 2010, five coaching sessions for each participant with one before the Power Lab and four following it. In addition there will be two group-coaching day sessions in the six months following the Power Lab to consolidate learning and provide support in participants’ ongoing leadership of whole systems change.  Completed application forms should be sent back to John Watters highlighting you are applying through the Leadership Centre for Local Government no later than Monday 18 January

For further information on the Power Lab please contact John Watters, Managing Director of Living Leadership on 01273 823811

CLG ‘making local public expenditure data public’ report

This CLG report sets out the Government’s broader aims for the future of Local Spending Reports in the context of the next generation of public services and the work to make public data public. The report mentions Total Place throughout and is attached to the update and on the community of practice

Prevention and health inequalities conference: achieving cost-effective and evidence-based solutions that will have an impact on whole populations

30 March 2010, 9.30am-4.30pm, The King’s Fund, London

‘Prevention is high on the political agenda, so it is important that those working in health and social care understand what interventions work best in terms of being evidence-based and, in the current financial climate, representing good value for money. This conference, run in partnership with the Department of Health’s Health Inequalities National Support Team and The King’s Fund, will look at how prevention initiatives can be evaluated and will explore what is currently working in practice’.

The keynote speaker will be Sir Michael Marmot, Chair, Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post 2010 (Marmot Review)

For further information please contact

Total Place Community of Practice:

The Total Place online community of practice has defied the weather and continued to provide a valuable forum for discussion about Total Place.  In the December poll, ‘All I want for Christmas is…’  ‘Stronger, more productive partnerships’ beat the ‘White Christmas’ option to come top of everyone’s wish list; indicating a strong commitment to the Total Place agenda.

We have a couple of useful, un-answered questions on the CoP.  If you’re able to help, please follow the links below.

And finally….

Don’t forget Sir Michael Bichard is in the CoP ‘hot seat’ in January.  Select here to ask him a question on the programme to date, or the future of Total Place.

Total Place weekly update 28: 15 December 2009

Putting the Frontline First – Smarter Govt

Emerging findings from Total Place formed the core evidence base for the commitments in Putting the Frontline First: smarter government on frontline flexibilities. The second chapter of the document set out a series of steps for how Government will recast the relationship between the centre and the frontline, including:

  1. let local areas guide resources, e.g. by reducing the level of ring-fencing, publishing plans to bring together the most fragmented funding streams, supporting use of pooled budgets and piloting single area-based capital pots.
  2. let local areas set priorities, e.g. streamlining the national performance framework by reducing the number of targets and national indicators, and better aligning sector-specific performance frameworks (e.g. local government, health and police).
  3. reduce the cost and impact of burdens on the frontline, for example by coordinating timing of assessments and inspections, reviewing the work of different inspectorates).

Putting the Frontline First: smarter government also sets out a challenge to Total Place pilots and parallel areas: the next few months represent an outstanding opportunity to take this agenda further, based on the solutions and evidence in the February local reports, and the work that pilots are doing with Whitehall to develop ambitious proposals to overcome barriers to collaboration.

Total Place Learning update 2

Following on from our last update on ‘Learning from difference’, the theme of this month’s learning update is ‘Changing conversations to change value’.  As the title of the recent Total Place Senior Leaders meeting on 6th November suggests, Pilots are now grappling with the question of ‘Are we being bold?’ – are we learning and changing what we do to create better public value at an acceptable cost to the taxpayer?

In this edition, we offer four pieces that start to address this question. John Benington from the Warwick Business school challenges us to review our thinking about ‘Public Value’ rather than ‘service provision’ and outlines some useful questions to examine value creation and value destruction in our systems. Barry Quirk talks about how Lewisham are focussing on ‘overlaps’ as a way of examining collaborative working by agencies in the Borough. This leads into a piece from Phil Swann looking at how Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth are thinking about the shift in expenditure from ‘Intervention to Prevention’ with all the fiscal and political dilemmas that brings. And finally, Tony Reeves offers us his Leadership Polemic on how Bradford City is using Total Place to rethink the relationship between citizens and the State in the context of their Gateway programme.

The full document is  on the CoP

Total Place: MJ supplements

The first three MJ supplements are now available on our website:

Others will be added as they are published and the next one, focusing on children, is due on Thursday this week (17th December).

Total Place ‘counting’ workshop: 11th December

It was great to see colleagues at the counting workshop in Coventry last Friday.  Many thanks again to Cat Parker for hosting the day and to those who attended.  Further feedback will follow shortly and also be featured on the community of practice website, Search for ‘total place’ if you have yet to register.

There will be a follow up counting workshop on the 22nd January 2010 involving ‘parallel places’.  It will be a practical workshop aimed at those undertaking or thinking about undertaking a high level count in their area.  There will be input from the Birmingham and Worcestershire national pilots, Tribal Group plc and CLG on the pilot high level count and from London Councils and Improvement East on alternative methodologies.

Total Place comms update

Total Place continues its momentum in terms of press interest, with more publications covering the project and the trade press sustaining interest and coverage levels. There is an increasing number of mentions and discussion of Total Place in blogs both political and non-political.  This is by no means a comprehensive round up but some of the main pieces of coverage:

Guardian Public piece ahead of the PBR:

Public Servant piece post-PBR quoting Andy Sawford saying the Chancellor “missed the opportunity presented by Total Place”

PublicNet had a dedicated Total Place special, offering a good range of news and feature articles:

LGC ran an article on Total Capital, a spin off from Durham’s Total Place housing pilot with CLG and HCA.

The MJ‘s next Total Place supplement will be published this week, on 17th December. This month’s supplement has a dedicated theme for the first time, children and young people. It will be available to view online at

There will be a supplement in both January and February, but the MJ has yet to decide whether it will continue with them after the Budget.

After the Downturn – Managing a Significant and Sustained Adjustment in Public Sector Funding: CIPFA/SOLACE report

SOLACE have been working with colleagues at CIPFA over recent months to produce this report (click here).  The report lays bare the challenge facing public services.  The need to pay off the UK’s significant debts will mean that public services will no longer be able to continue in their current form. Greater efficiency alone will not be enough to deliver the transformation that is needed.  The report argues for a new deal in public services where people matter more than process and local decision makers are given the freedom to lead.

The report sets out the potential scale of the funding cuts and puts forward three interdependent strategic options that, if taken seriously, will provide the transformation we need:

The Government of the day will make some important choices; but we pin our hopes on local democratic systems being able to stimulate and shape this debate in the real places where people live.  We hope you find the report of interest

Senior leaders networking event: Gateshead, 15th January 2010

The South Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland Total Place pilot are hosting the next senior leader’s event on the 15th January 2010 from 10am to 3pm at the Baltic Centre in Gateshead.

Facilitated by the Leadership Centre, this is the last occasion to get together before the final Total Place reports are put forward and the day provides a real opportunity to shape what will be said about Total Place and provides a chance to influence the shared report that will be produced alongside the Budget Report documents. Helen Bailey, Irene Lucas, other members of the high levels officials group and senior leaders and officers from the pilots and parallel places will be joining us.

Crucially, the timing provides an important opportunity to influence the potential open doors of radical reform around how local government, national government and local agencies work together in the future.

This invitation is for local authority Chief Executives, elected Leaders, Chief Executives of your local partner organisations and other local leaders.

Total Place weekly update 27: 08 December 2009

PBR, high level count data and potential FOI requests

As you know, the Pre Budget report date is tomorrow, 9th December.  We anticipate that it will generate significant interest in Total Place and especially on the high level spend count.  If your high level count data is not already public you may wish to consider a release policy.  To avoid press speculation about Total Place CLG are considering publishing a high level update on the spend count.  This would only use data that is already public supplemented by Tribal’s analysis across all the returns, and it would approved by pilots before its release.

DWP: data sharing websites

An “A to Z” of all statistics published by DWP is available on the DWP statistics page of the website  Local partners may find the following sites useful in terms of accessing data that is readily available from DWP:

Data on benefit claimants at low spatial levels is available on the NOMIS website above.  The site permits the user a capacity to specify the analysis that they require from a range of menu options and can develop bespoke geographies by combining areas.

Where NOMIS does not provide sufficient level of detail, an online tabulation tool has been developed by DWP that allows partners to produce their own tables and analyses of DWP data.  This can be accessed using the link above.

DWP will shortly be releasing a ’how to’ guide to data sharing.  Details on all of these links and the ‘how to guide’ will also available on the community of practice

BIS: real help now on innovation

As we know, our public services are currently facing real pressure to deliver better for less.  Innovation in both policy making and service delivery is one of the keys to tackling the complex policy challenges that we are all facing as well as to meeting the ever-rising expectations of citizens.  We need to be innovative in these difficult economic times in order to maximise the value from every pound spent.  The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is helping to build capability and a culture for innovation across the public sector in order to support fresh thinking in both policy making and service delivery.  In association with key delivery partners, please find details of those activities that BIS believe to be of particular use to the Total Place pilots in achieving better for less below:

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of the BIS team about how we can support you to be more innovative, then please contact Claire West, Assistant Director, at or on 020 7215 5499.

Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) seminar report: ‘the importance of being local’

This report covers the second seminar in a three-part series on the role of FE and skills providers in local economies and societies. This series attempts to place FE in a new political and administrative context, a world where all parties are devoted to a greater degree of localism and partnership working. It will also explore the role of FE in providing more efficient public services at the local and sub-regional level, an increasingly critical consideration given the state of the public finances.  It has good support links to the Total Place agenda and we hope you might find it useful.

The report is available on the LSIS website here

Total Place and sustainability

The Sustainable Development Commission has over the last few weeks engaged with a number of national and local stakeholders to discuss barriers and opportunities to local sustainability and the Commission has over the past years worked on a number of local sustainability projects.  One of the key themes of Total Place is its potential ability to enable councils to deliver sustainability. If colleagues would like a discussion about how the SDC might engage, please contact Nico Jabin, Policy Analyst, Sustainable Development Commission Tel: 0300 068 6281

HMT Green Book guidance

Many thanks to Joseph Lowe of the HMT Public Services and Growth Directorate who joined colleagues at the programme lead and project manager’s event last Thursday.  It was agreed that pilots would not be expected to produce business cases that are hundreds of pages long but there is a good set of guidance on how to develop and write a business case that can be accessed via the Treasury’s Green Book web pages.  For colleagues who wish to understand the Green Books approach to appraisal, business cases and how to appraise wider social benefits on one hand and public sector costs on the other please see the following websites:

There is a guide to how to develop and write a business case at:

There are also some templates that can be used at:

The best overview is given by the short plain English guide on how to assess a business case which is available at

November online update headlines

Thanks to everyone who completed the online update last month.  Headline feedback for November is:

The online update will take a break over Christmas but there’ll be a new one in mid-January.

Total Place Community of Practice:

An interesting discussion on data sharing emerged on the community recently and we tried (somewhat successfully) to address the issue by inviting Joseph Clease from DWP to the pre-pilot/current pilot sharing event in Leeds.  There’s still some work to do; so log in here to have your say and voice your concerns.  We will be posting the DWP ‘how to’ guide as soon as we receive it in the next week or two.

The blog section of the CoP has gathered pace recently and we’re starting to see a few interesting insights emerging.  Select here to see what Total Place colleagues have been working on and their impressions of recent events.  If you’d like to start blogging and you need some help getting started, please contact for a written guide.

There was an excellent segment on ‘You and Yours’ recently about the Tough financial choices facing the world of local government’. If you would like to listen to the programme, select here to stream it directly from the CoP.

Sir Michael Bichard in the ‘hot seat’

Sir Michael Bichard has kindly agreed to sit on the Total Place ‘hot seat’ on the 14th of January.  Questions can be about anything Total Place related and we encourage questions from non pilots that are embarking on the work themselves.  If you have any questions you would like to pose or comments you would like to make please login and post them here.  Or email them directly to

Finally, you may have already seen Total Place has been mentioned in the ‘Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government white paper yesterday.  You can access the full report here

Total Place weekly update 26: Wednesday 2 December

Total Place event round-up

As many of you will know, there have been a flurry of Total Place events over the past week.  Here’s a quick round up:

Wednesday 25 – Thursday 26 November 2009: LGA Group improvement and innovation conference and exhibition

Cllr David Parsons, Chair of the Improvement Board and Leader of Leicestershire County Council, welcomed councillors and officers from across the country to the LGA Group Improvement and Innovation Conference in Manchester, which focused on delivering better for less.

The continuing good work by councils and their partners was highlighted at the launch of the new Local Innovation Awards scheme at the conference last week, which recognises the very best practice.

Cllr Parsons also opened a keynote plenary session featuring Helen Bailey, HMT and Joyce Redfearn, chief executive of Wigan MBC and Chair of the NWIEP who gave a presentation entitled Delivering Better for Less: sustaining improvement in difficult times highlighting the experience of Total Place from a regional perspective, how Total Place can assist public sector reform, and key messages and future plans from the Manchester City region.  The panel then took questions from the floor.  Joyce’s presentation along with others from the conference can be found on the LGA website.

Wednesday 25th November: National Members Conference, Bradford

Bradford MBC welcomed Sir Michael Bichard as its keynote speaker at the first national event for elected members.  He was joined by Cllr Adrian Naylor, Regeneration & Economy portfolio holder, Tony Reeves, chief executive, and Neil Moloney, assistant chief officer, West Yorkshire Probation Service who all presented their perspectives on Total Place and the challenges and opportunities it brings.  A follow-up event will be organised in January 2010 – more detail soon.

Thursday 26th November: Improvement East ‘Leadership of Place – across the East – across the Country’

Cllr Richard Stay, Chairman of Improvement East and Deputy Leader, Central Bedfordshire, welcomed a variety of speakers including Sir Michael Bichard, Steve Beet of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Maryantonett Flumian ‘live by satellite’ from Service Canada, Stephen Taylor of Taylor Haig and Sir Neil McKay, chief executive of the East of England Strategic Health Authority at the East of England’s flagship event on Total Place.  Key messages from the day were:

For a comprehensive round-up and comment on the event, including highlights from the speakers and key issues discussed during the round table panel discussion, read the blog posted by the day’s resident blogger, Mark Lloyd, CEX of Cambridgeshire County Council

Monday 30th November: Leadership Centre pre-pilot sharing and learning event

We were joined at Oulton Hall, Leeds by colleagues from Norfolk, Suffolk and Herefordshire yesterday who have all undertaken an earlier version of Total Place to talk about their experience of where current pilots now are on the journey and their understanding of what happens next.  A write-up and more detail is available on the CoP and a follow up event will be held in February 2010.

CLG publication: ‘Measuring and valuing public services at the neighbourhood level’

As part of the national evaluation of the neighbourhood management pathfinders (NMPs), Cambridge Economic Associates (CEA) have been working with neighbourhood managers to explore the feasibility of measuring public service performance at a neighbourhood level.

This report explains why measuring the changing performance of public services at a neighbourhood level matters. It presents the findings of a pilot exercise to gather data for a range of community safety services, and the lessons that can be learnt from this and an earlier pilot study on street cleansing services. It also presents the conclusions of new work on valuing the benefits of neighbourhood management. The report looks at the direction that public service performance measurement is taking and concludes with some important messages for policy makers.

Download the full document in PDF format from the CLG website.

Audit commission publication: ‘Nothing but the Truth’

‘The high-profile failure of public authorities to both safeguard Baby Peter in Haringey, and prevent the high number of deaths in Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, has directed attention to the accuracy and reliability of the data underpinning local service delivery.  It is not a matter of quantity; we have more data about services than we can realistically use. Yet the public lacks trust in the institutions that govern and serve it – and this mistrust extends to the information they provide.

The Audit Commission exists to reassure the public that local public bodies are spending their money well and achieving positive outcomes in local communities. The Commission has a role in assessing the quality of data in local public services and we have made a public promise to help improve it.

This paper sets out important issues as the basis for discussion on how to ensure data about local public services is fit for purpose.  It asks if citizens, along with frontline staff, managers, politicians, central government and local public service regulators, can have confidence in the data they rely on. And if not, what needs to be done about it?’

Download the full report from the Audit Commission website. It  is also available on the CoP.

Pre-budget report microsite

This year’s PBR takes place as the global economy recovers from the sharpest and most widespread downturn in more than 60 years.  On 9 December, the Chancellor will set out further details about action to support jobs and growth and invest in frontline public services, and will provide an update on plans to manage the public finances.  The pre budget report microsite is now available at

Social return on investment website

SROI is an approach to understanding and managing the impacts of a project, organisation or policy.  It is based on stakeholders and puts financial value on the important impacts identified by stakeholders that do not have market values.  The aim is to include the values of people that are often excluded from markets in the same terms as used in markets, that is money, in order to give people a voice in resource allocation decisions.  SROI is a framework to structure thinking and understanding. It’s a story not a number. The story can show how you understand the value created, manage it and help prove it.  This approach has resonance with Total Place – further information can be found at

Finally, ‘parallel places’ information has gone live on the Total Place website. Across the country, other places are starting to use the principles of Total Place to develop their own cross-sector initiatives. Information about these places can be accessed through the links on the website for each specific place.

  • DWP: data sharing websites
  • BIS: real help now on innovation
  • Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) seminar report: ‘the importance of being local’
  • Total Place and sustainability
  • HMT Green Book guidance

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