Total Place

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Posted on February 22nd, 2010

Luton and Central Bedfordshire

Organisations involved

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) and Luton Borough Council (LBC) are the joint leads. Partners also include: Bedfordshire Police, the Probation Service, Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Courts Service, Luton and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, NHS Luton and NHS Bedfordshire, the Chamber, Department of Work and Pensions, JobCentre Plus, HM Revenues and Customs, together with a wide range of local third sector agencies and organisations.


The theme for this area is ‘from dependence to self reliance’. It embraces a range of entirely new proposals for how all public agencies, not just councils, can better address key community issues.

A series of widely-attended workshops last summer sharpened our focus on two distinct sub- themes: access to benefits and integrated offender management.

Both reflect some major concerns for local residents, where partners felt a real impact could be made on the lives of people in this area. Significant partnership working has already taken place on these issues which could be developed further.

We are confident that improvements to service quality and delivery are achievable and that opportunities exist to make efficiency savings across the wider public sector, at both local and national level.


The joint aspirations for the Total Place pilot is that it will:
>have significant impact
>be deliverable within time and resource constraints
>be of interest across local organisations
>be customer focused
>change the way we do business
>deliver efficiencies

The opportunity this work affords is the chance to send out a strong message to central government about the cost-effectiveness of partnership working, our collective ability to find new and better ways of doing things and the necessity, when assessing community needs and the availability of resources, of looking at the totality of public spending in any given area.

What are Luton and Central Bedfordshire currently doing?

Rapid progress has been made within an extremely tight timescale.  Over four consecutive weeks during November, an intensive schedule of workshops – involving over 250 stakeholder representatives – analysed the current position for both sub-themes and proposed a range of models for service improvement, cost savings and a better customer experience.

Both sub-groups have studied, in sharp detail, the current way of working in terms of access to benefits and integrated offender management, looking particularly at the weaknesses, duplication and problems within the current system. In looking for ways to re-design and improve working methods to remove these weaknesses, they have also identified challenges that will be presented to government.

Our approach has been to employ a ‘lean thinking methodology’, involving decision-makers and senior managers from all the partner agencies, to sharpen the focus on clear, well-evidenced and considered recommendations for real, deliverable change.  We have also used powerful marketing research tools to ensure that all proposals for improvement are built firmly around the customers’ perspective.

Many of the recommendations can be delivered locally. Others will require change at government or legislative level. Some of our proposals will be radical and could involve significant service restructuring and re-engineering.

Our final report was delivered to Whitehall in early February.  Download a copy of the foreword and executive summary here. You can also download February’s briefing note.

Further resources from Luton and Central Bedfordshire:

You can download the latest briefing note for Memberspdficon_small and the latest briefing note on their counting workpdficon_small.

For more information, download a December 09 briefing note from Luton and Central Bedfordshirepdficon_small . You can also download the December news releasepdficon_small and slides from a recent presentationpdficon_small on their latest work.

These PDF documents require Adobe® Acrobat®, a free programme that you can download from the Adobe® website. get_adobe_reader


Programme director- Robin Porter

telephone: 07870 676787

Project sponsor- Richard Ellis, Director of Business Transformation, CBC

telephone: 01462 611423

Project sponsor- Steve Heappey, Director of Customer & Corporate Services, LBC

telephone: 01582 546281

Category: pilot