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Total Place update: August

An archive of Local Government Leadership’s Total Place updates for August 2010.

Place-based budgets

Over the summer we requested detailed information from the 49 original responders to further develop the proposal that place-based budgets form an integral part of the spending review.  As part of the place-based budgeting work, we are identifying those places that can work with departments to consider the potential for place-based budgets building on existing activity in the following policy areas:

We also asked places to submit information on:

  1. The estimated level of savings place-based budgets could deliver on total public spending against current 2010-11 baselines and how those savings are constructed;
  2. Government officials would like to know what financial dividend (which could be expressed in absolute or percentage terms) would result from a place based budget, compared to reduced funding being either aligned or coming through separate funding streams
  3. The level of savings on the benefits budget that could be achieved, and how these savings could be measured (against a counter factual) and shared between Treasury and local government
  4. Any cost-benefit analysis that places are undertaking in relation to particular outcomes or across multiple outcomes where place-based budgets would help you deliver services more effectively at less cost

It’s important that places demonstrate what additionality place based budgets might bring as opposed to ‘business as usual’ and how the savings might actually be cashed.  In the ‘numbers’ workshop last week it was stressed that we shouldn’t let ‘best be the enemy of good’ – the more evidence we can gather, however caveated, the stronger the argument will be to influence the spending review.

cheap price cialis

The findings from this and themed workshops with DfE and DH last week will be taken to Lord Bichard’s high-level officials group meeting on the 8th September.  We will endeavour to keep everyone up to speed as things progress with this agenda.

National productivity programme

Led by Local Government Improvement & Development (LGID) this programme of work serves two purposes, first to help councils save money in line with the results of RSG consultation and secondly as an assurance programme that more councils will be in the position of driving productivity and efficiency to take on place based budgets in future years.  The joint government/LGG steering group have met and good progress is being made.  Over the next few weeks meetings will be held with all nine champions in order to establish milestones and priorities for the work groups.  Work is now taking place on the governance of the programme and on communications/events around the issues to be confronted in improving local authority productivity and what the role is for champions and leading Members in doing this.

Big Society

Local Government Leadership will be launching three publications at respective party conferences this autumn.  We are planning some follow up work and an event later focussed on the Big Society policy later in the year.  This work is also featuring prominently in our 21st Century Councillor programme as it rolls out

The case for Foundation Councils

Cllr Colin Barrow, the leader of Westminster City Council, has started a series of articles on Conservative Home outlining proposals for Foundation Councils:

“Councils are hampered in their ability to innovate and provide good quality low cost services by three factors:

An onerous, centrally-imposed performance framework – despite the welcome end of the CAA and Audit Commission, we still have the onerous regimes of Ofsted and CQC plus the ‘control freakery’ from Whitehall departments with directives, guidance and data demands requiring us to produce numerous plans and strategies implementing Government priorities. This leads directly to the next factor and leads to Whitehall telling local authorities how to run their services.

The solution:

We believe that the solution to these issues is the creation of Foundation Councils – a concept that has been jointly developed by three authorities with a long established track record of delivering high-quality, value for money services – Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth and Westminster.

Foundation Councils would automatically be granted powers to:

We believe that the establishment of Foundation Councils would:

Over the next few days I will be setting out further details of how Foundation Councils could work and the sort of powers and areas that we believe they could make a genuine difference to delivering high quality, cost effective public services”.–an-onerous.html

Non-emergency 111 health number to be piloted

‘Trials of a three-digit telephone number for those needing non-emergency medical care in England have been launched in the North East.  NHS County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trusts are to pilot the free 111 number, to act as an alternative to 999, followed by Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Luton.  The government service will not initially replace NHS Direct, but may do so in the longer term if successful.

People calling 111 will be able to get health advice and also information about local services such as out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour pharmacies.

It is hoped it will take the pressure off 999 calls, amid estimates suggesting that up to half of these calls do not need an emergency response.  But anyone calling the number with an emergency will have an ambulance despatched without the need for the call to be transferred’.

“It is essential that we improve access to, and understanding about, urgent care services, which includes out-of-hours care,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. “At present, too many people are confused about who to contact and how to do so.  By putting in place one, easily memorable 111 number for all urgent enquiries to run alongside the emergency 999 number we will simplify NHS services for patients.”

Professor Stephen Singleton, medical director of NHS North East, said: “The introduction of the NHS 111 service in County Durham and Darlington is an important part of our regional vision to improve access to urgent healthcare for local people.  Most importantly it will help improve efficiency across the whole health care system by reducing unnecessary waste and making sure people get access to the right service, first time.”

The full story can be found at

Local Enterprise Partnerships

The LGC have released a handy roundup of LEPs as they stand, including a draft map of the UK produced by LGID.  Follow this link for more information;

CIPFA Performance Improvement Network: Shared Services and Total Place

CIPFA’s Performance Improvement Network has developed a series of workshops that will focus on the ways in which the Shared Services agenda and Total Place can help organisations towards identifying, achieving and managing efficiencies.

Workshop objectives:

Workshops will be held at the following regional locations:

For queries regarding the programme of these events, please contact Wendy Williamson, CIPFA PIN Advisor on 01543 410 412 or email at

NW Efficiency: Shared Services & Total Place Projects

Funding has been made available to NW local authorities to bid for shared service or Total Place project. Sixteen shared services and twenty Total Place bids and were received and were evaluated by a small panel. As such the following have been funded:

Shared Services

Total Place

For more information, please visit

PQASSO quality system

“Developed by Charities Evaluation Services, PQASSO is the leading quality system in use in the voluntary sector.  It is an award-winning system encompassing all aspects of an organisation’s performance including good governance, effective risk and financial management, and a focus on outcomes.

PQASSO is a self-assessment tool – organisations measure themselves against the quality standards using an evidence-based method to ensure reliability.  Organisations can go beyond self-assessment and be externally assessed by independent reviewers. Those that opt for external review and are successful are awarded the PQASSO Quality Mark.”

If you would like to find out more please visit our website or contact the PQASSO team on 0207 0789392 or

SURF – Mainstreaming Regeneration Initiatives Learning Point

This learning point highlights key messages from a participative workshop discussion on how local authorities in Scotland can use mainstreamed resources to support improved approaches to tackling poverty in their most deprived communities.

The event was delivered in partnership by the Scottish Government, through its Community Regeneration and Tackling Poverty Learning Network, and SURF, Scotland’s independent regeneration network, in June 2010.  It brought together a range of relevant practitioners from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to draw on their experience and knowledge in order to explore key issues and lessons for mainstreaming of effective regeneration activity.

It was recognised that, historically, the record of successful mainstreaming examples could be strengthened across the UK. It was also recognised that the current financial context will throw up more challenges for mainstreaming, perhaps as well as some opportunities. The main focus of the workshop was to therefore use the differing UK experiences in order to try and draw out some useful practical lessons and strategies that we can all benefit from.

For further information, please visit

CLG Localism inquiry

The Communities and Local Government Committee has launched an inquiry into localism.  Interested parties are invited to submit evidence by Friday 1 October 2010.

Terms of reference for localism inquiry: the Communities and Local Government Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into the Government’s plans for localism and decentralisation of public services.

The Committee will be considering:

• The extent to which decentralisation leads to more effective public service delivery; and what the limits are, or should be, of localism;
• The lessons for decentralisation from Total Place, and the potential to build on the work done under that initiative, particularly through place-based budgeting;
• The role of local government in a decentralised model of local public service delivery, and the extent to which localism can and should extend to other local agents;
• The action which will be necessary on the part of Whitehall departments to achieve effective decentralised public service delivery;
• The impact of decentralisation on the achievement of savings in the cost of local public services and the effective targeting of cuts to those services;
• What, if any, arrangements for the oversight of local authority performance will be necessary to ensure effective local public service delivery.
• How effective and appropriate accountability can be achieved for expenditure on the delivery of local services, especially for that voted by Parliament rather than raised locally.
The Committee would be particularly interested to hear of examples, from the UK or overseas, of models of decentralised public service delivery from which lessons could be learnt for further decentralisation in England.

For further information, please visit

“Councillors are key to local project success”

New research shows that community campaigns benefit greatly from the involvement of local councillors.  A new joint publication from bassac and Urban Forum, ‘Local Action: The Handy Guide to Communities Working with Councillors’ shows that councillor involvement is key to the success of local community projects.  The Handy Guide looks at how to get local councillors involved in community projects and highlights the benefits that councillors can bring.

It finds that getting councillor support for a community project can greatly improve access to councils, attract publicity to a campaign, introduce valuable contacts, add credibility and help to secure funding.

This guide is available online at or for a free hard copy contact

A review of government websites

This review is borrowed from the Bates, Wells & Braithwaite weekly review of websites.  Some of the stories are more than likely ‘old news’ but I hope the links to government content is useful.

This week, funding and cuts & public services and local government:

Healthy Places, Healthy Lives

“Tackling health inequalities is one of the most complex and important tasks facing primary Care Trusts and local authorities.  This DH funded programme, aims to identify, develop and spread joint public service and commissioner-led actions that lead to greater impacts in improvements on the determinants of health – and by doing so improving World Class Commissioning and Local Area Agreements outcomes.

The programme will work with the early adopter sites and specifically seek to address the recommendations of Sir Michael Marmot’s review of Health Inequalities post 2010”. Newsletters can be found at

‘Total Place’ in the news: August

Here are some links to what people were saying about Total Place in August 2010.

Pickles’ localism is not what it seemsGuardian, 04 August 2010

How Lansley’s NHS can keep sharing in, 04 August 2010

Place based budgeting gets top level backingPublicNet, 03 August 2010

A golden opportunity to shareGuardian Public, 03 August 2010

Public health must not be sidelinedPublic Finance Opinion, 03 August 2010

The economics of value and localism – John Seddon in Public Service, 03 August 2010

Peak stateBe ready for change, 03 August 2010

Lost! Local government – last seen in the vicinity of the Big SocietyToby Blume’s Posterous, 03 August 2010

There’s been a request to bring this update back on a weekly basis so from today’s issue that’s what we’ll do.  If you have something you’d like featured in it which has relevance to any place-based work, please do let me know at

Category: event