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Total Place updates for September

An archive of Local Government Leadership’s email updates for Total Place and related working for September 2010.

Total Place update 54: highlights

Total Place update 53: highlights

Total Place update 52: highlights

Total Place update 51: highlights

Total Place update 54: 28 September 2010

Civic Pride, Big Society

Local government is facing a challenge to empower communities and individuals with a sense of civic pride for their place.  During this year’s conference season we will be launching three major new publications responding to this challenge from a Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative perspective.  The first ‘Community Politics in the 21st century: the challenges and opportunities for community politicians’ was launched at the Lib Dem conference last week and can be downloaded here

The second ‘Co-operative Communities: creating a shared stake in our society for everyone’ will be launched at Labour Party Conference this week and the third in the series, ‘Building a Civic Community: the ten principles to delivering the Big Society in Westminster’ will be launched at Conservative Party Conference at the end of the month.  We will update you with the links to these publications as they are released.

LG Group Submission to the Spending Review

The Local Government Group submission to Spending Review 2010 has now been published, following extensive consultation with the sector and contributions from around the whole LG Group.

The submission sets out the key pressures facing local government services while recognising that public spending will be reduced in order to tackle the deficit.  It reinforces that local budgets offer the best opportunity to make savings across public services while delivering the necessary savings.  It also calls for local government to receive a fair funding settlement alongside five essential commitments from central government: certainty about funding, removal of all ring-fencing, deregulation of fees and charges, freedom from administrative and regulatory burdens and a strong signal to discourage cost shunting by other public bodies.

The Spending Review is due to report on October 20, and the LGA will be hosting a conference the next day to offer our overnight analysis of what the outcomes mean for councils.  As an incentive for registration, the LGA is offering every Local Government Association member authority sending a paying delegate to the conference a personalised financial projection, showing how decisions in the Spending Review are likely to affect their authority.

You can view the LG Group submission to the Spending Review at or contact

“Total Place budgeting set for starring role in Spending Review”

By David Williams in Liverpool 23 September 2010

“Remarks made by the chief secretary to the Treasury at the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool this week suggested that joined-up budgeting is at the forefront of ministers’ minds as they prepare for the October 20 CSR.  During a fringe meeting on September 21, Danny Alexander said the single greatest source of waste in the public sector came from duplication between agencies at a local level.  ‘One of the best things we can do is break down barriers between departments, between different levels of government, get budgeting done locally at a place-based level, give someone responsibility for sorting out their problems, and let them get on and do it,’ he said. ‘We’ll save money, and people will be better supported.’  The following day, Alexander, together with Norman Lamb, chief political advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, visited a Total Place-style scheme in Toxteth, Liverpool.
Speaking to PF after the visit, Lamb praised the project, in which bodies including the police, the NHS, housing associations and Liverpool City Council share resources to tackle complex problems such as long-term worklessness.”

For the full article, please visit

Place based productivity events

“Place based budgets will create opportunities for councils and partners to bring together budgets, reduce costs and deliver better outcomes for local people”.  Joint Local Government Group and Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships events will set out how the Place Based Productivity programme will work.

Four events, aimed at Chief Executives and Directors will be held between 22 September and 11 October in Leeds, Birmingham, London and Bristol.  For more information, please contact

Healthy Places, Healthy Lives

On 10th September Healthy Places, Healthy Lives held its first learning event.  The event was attended by over 80 delegates from the partnership sites, NHS Institute and department of health colleagues. The initial feedback has been very positive and there will be a follow up event in January 2011.

Please find below the link to the Healthy Places, Healthy Lives pages on the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement website where you will find:

If you would like more information about the programme please contact

The Staffordshire Third Sector Commissioning Partnership

The Staffordshire Third Sector Commissioning Partnership has been signed up to at the highest level by all of the Public Sector Organisations operating in both Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent: Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, all eight District Councils, all three Primary Care Trusts, the Fire & Rescue Service, Staffordshire Police and the Probation Service.

The project involves mapping existing investment by those organisations in the Voluntary Sector and rationalising the commissioning and procurement processes across all partners by adopting a “Total Place” or Area Based Approach:  Data has been received from 16 Public Sector Organisations and it reveals an investment of at least £70 million in the sector across Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent, including approximately £10 million in concessions. Investment has been made into 1,000 individual Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations.

Of the £70 million, 65% goes to 20 “nationally branded” organisations e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK, etc., with 76% of the investment into 29 organisations, of which 24 are funded by more than one Public Sector Organisation.

For further information on this project, please visit

Whitehall cuts: learning from Canada and Sweden

“The Spending Review is looming large over Whitehall.  It is no surprise the current focus of attention is what the numbers are going to be. However, looking ahead, the bigger question will be how to implement the cuts”.  The Institute for Government has looked at the very different approaches to reducing public spending taken by Sweden and Canada.

In Sweden, the focus was on reducing the cost of transfers (such as unemployment insurance), but leaving departments and agencies largely untouched in terms of staff numbers and service delivery.  The Canadians reduced some transfers and subsidies too. However they took a more fundamental look at what the government should no longer be doing or could do differently. This led to a radical re-think of how several federal departments operated.

For further information, please visit The comments attached to the blog are particularly informative.

Councils can generate income without turning motorists into cash cows

Councils that are offering MOTs rather than wielding the wheel clamp and waging war on motorists are showing how it is possible to earn income and save their residents money, says Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Visiting a council MOT test centre in Wandsworth South London Pickles said:

“MOT schemes show that there are plenty of opportunities for councils to raise extra income without turning motorists into cash cows.  With a little bit of innovation and creative thinking councils can use the skills and resources already at their disposal to charge and trade in a way that boosts town hall coffers whilst helping rather than hitting the pockets of drivers.

There is nothing inherently wrong with councils making the most of opportunities to generate extra cash offering and charging for services. In many cases this is happening as an add on to their normal business.”

Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis said:

“The feedback we’ve received from council run MOT centres is fantastic, as people tend to find their vehicle passes with far less fails.  The fact councils don’t offer repairs and therefore have no vested interest in erring on the side of fails has a lot to do with it.”

Council MOTs are just one example of local authorities using their resources to generate income.  Across the country there are hundreds of council run MOT test centres which are used to check council vehicles like buses for their safety and roadworthiness. These centres can also open their doors to the public and because these council run garages only offer tests, not repairs, customers can feel assured that there is no hidden agenda for extra trade.  For a handy map of council run centres, visit!2139

Lastly, the Big Society community of practice is looking for facilitators.  Basic duties are to look out for interesting and helpful information and post it to Library or Wiki or forum or a combination of them – or you could actually come on board and help them work as a team to make this community even more helpful and effective.  Follow this link for more information

Total Place update 53: 21 September 2010

Supporting the case for Place-based Budgets

As you know, over the summer LG Leadership, LG Improvement and Development and the LG Association have been gathering evidence from councils to help support the case for place-based budgets being made to Government in the lead up to the Spending Review in October.

We have gathered evidence from over 25 councils on the way they anticipate a place-based budget would work in their area, the potential thematic scope of a place-based budget, potential governance models and the savings it could realise.

The evidence was presented to the Total Place High Levels Officials Group chaired by Lord Bichard on 8 September, and it will be used to support elements of the LG Group’s ongoing campaign, including a second publication on place-based budgets and lobbying of Ministers and senior civil servants.

The LG Group is calling upon the Government to implement place-based Budgets in all places that want them as part of the Spending Review in October. Some individual councils are also holding discussions directly with the Treasury and other Government departments. The LG Group’s view is that place-based Budgets are an option that should be available everywhere.

For further information please contact me at

“Pickles gives CSR hint on place-based budgets”

“Communities secretary Eric Pickles has provided the strongest indication yet that chancellor George Osborne is ready to introduce place-based budgeting through next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review.  Mr Pickles told the Commons’ CLG select committee on 13 September that the chancellor, who will deliver his CSR on 20 October, is ‘as keen as mustard’ on the concept of place-based budgeting, likely to become known as ‘community budgets’ under the coalition government.

He said the chancellor supported prime minister David Cameron’s ambition to devolve large chunks of public funding down through localities to neighbourhood level, although he warned that bespoke neighbourhood funding would take ‘a long time to put together’.

Although he did not reveal whether council co-ordinated place-based budgets would be piloted extensively or rolled-out in full next month, Mr Pickles added: ‘I think you might be able to see the very beginnings on the 20th of October”.

For the full article, please visit

From Social Security to Social Productivity: a vision for 2020 Public Services

The final report of the Commission on 2020 Public Services is now available.  The report calls for a complete reconfiguring of public services around the needs and capabilities of citizens, based on the principle of social productivity.  It argues that our public services are increasingly unsustainable.  The Commission calls for a new deal between citizens and the state, based on social productivity – greater social responsibility and more intelligent collaboration between citizens and public services.

“Public services ‘under threat’ from ageing population”

Mark Conrad writes following the release of the 2020 report

“Coalition ministers should consider ways to increase, not cut, investment in local ‘early intervention’ programmes – such as public health and social care – if public services are to cope with an £80bn hike in the cost of Britain’s ageing population, a comprehensive new study has warned.

The final report of the cross-party Commission on 2020 Public Services, published on 14 September, calls for a complete reconfiguration of public services ‘around the needs and capabilities of citizens’ and based on the principal of ‘social productivity’.
The Commission, chaired by former Audit Commission chief Sir Andrew Foster, warns that the UK’s current public services are ‘increasingly unsustainable’ and under threat from the impact of an ageing population that is expected to require an annual funding increase estimated at 4% to 6% of GDP – up to £82bn – over the long-term.”

For the full article please visit

Commissioning Support Programme

“Ten local areas are now using the new Outcomes & Efficiency model to plan and implement their cuts.  Another 60 have expressed an interest in doing so.  This update is about how you can get the model for free and access free support.  The climate we face in local government is unprecedented and whilst there are lots of emerging solutions such as Total Place, commissioning, Big Society, systems thinking, etc, the big question is how to practically implement these ideas to get the savings?

The Outcomes & Efficiency model originated in Children’s Services and is now being used by Directors and CEs to radically redesign corporate services.  It brings together approaches from commissioning, system design, change management, new models for government, leadership and staff management into one pragmatic programme which can redesign the whole system in 6 to 9 months.

Surrey County Council is using the model in children’s services and say “This is the approach that works best with our Politicians”.  Outcomes & Efficiency is one of the only practical models for delivering Total Place.”

For more information, visit or contact Richard Selwyn at

See IT in Action: Efficient Services, Improved Lives

Wednesday 6th October 2010 • 9.00am to 4.00pm • Rich Mix, London E1

“The combination of bringing local organisations together around the needs of the vulnerable, and looking through a technology lens to produce new approaches, provides the potential to address the fiscal challenges of the next five to ten years.

See IT in Action is a free market place event, supported by Communities and Local Government, local authorities and civil society partners, demonstrating how public sector providers across the country are making creative use of ‘off the shelf’ technology to improve outcomes and deliver more for less.

It will show how we can make efficiency savings while ensuring the most vulnerable are not disadvantaged, and explore new government priorities around increasing internet usage, the Big Society, and data transparency, openness and accountability.”

Find out about the stalls, workshops and speakers and register your place at, or telephone 020 7592 9490.

Policy Network: new Social Democracy Observatory

“Policy Network is delighted to launch its new Social Democracy Observatory.  Serving as a platform for an international network to debate and contest the key ideological and policy dilemmas the centre-left is currently facing, it brings together facts and figures, innovative ideas and critical thinking from across the world.

Together with the new Policy Network website, the observatory will complement substantial work programmes currently in preparation on social democracy, immigration and political trust, the future of the EU, social protection and social model reform, and sustainable globalisation, as Policy Network seeks to drive forward the progressive agenda over the coming months.”

Please visit their website at

Total Place: Problem, Purpose, Power, Knowledge, Time & Space – follow on research

Professor Keith Grint’s final research report drew some provisional conclusions from the ‘Total Place’ project.  We are now conducting further longitudinal research over the next six months to look at what has happened since the pre-election budget and the leadership implications of that.  We’ll bring you further information on this as it unveils.  In case you missed it in July, here’s the link to Professor Grint’s report again

Building the Big Society

Lord Wei, Government Adviser for Big Society, gave the following presentation at the Institute for Government’s Big Society Public Services Seminar Series.  It’s a handy summary of the Big society concept.

For the full presentation, please visit

Lastly, John Atkinson has announced he has been appointed Director – Local Government at KPMG and will be taking up that position at the end of November.  Lord Smith of Leigh, chairman of Local Government Leadership has thanked John for his huge contribution to identifying and developing the role of leadership in local government.  LG Leadership will miss John immensely but we wish him all the very best – we’re especially pleased he will continue to work with local government in the future.

Total Place update 52: 14 September 2010

Place based budgets

The proposals discussed at Lord Bichard’s high level officials group last week sparked a lively debate.  Following on from the meeting, MPs from all parties have been invited to attend a parliamentary reception tonight organised by Local Government Leadership to promote proposals for devolving spending decisions to local government through place-based budgets.

The LGA is completing its final submission to the Government’s spending review this week.  The submission will build on a huge amount of work over the past months to influence Ministers as they draw up their spending and reform plans.

The LG Group will be at the three party conferences making the case for reform on the fringe and in one-to-one meetings with key political figures.  The media have been briefed extensively as they explore what the new financial world means for public services.

105 Town Hall regulations that should be scrapped

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have sent the Government a long list of bureaucratic burdens that they propose should be lifted.  If the changes were made they estimate the council would save a minimum of £500,000 (or £200 million across the country).  They say “nine million council officer hours a year would be saved across Britain not counting the millions of hours that residents and business spending on dealing with the red-tape their end”.

Some examples from the list include: the requirement to have a Sustainable Community Strategy, National Indicators, burdens created by government relating to grant conditions and oversight, multiple regulatory regimes, and streamlining the National Curriculum.

For the full list, please visit

Department for Education Family Savings Calculator

The Family Savings Calculator is a tool to help local authorities who are managing intensive support services for families with multiple problems, to quantify the cost benefits saved by services and agencies from a family at risk undergoing and successfully completing an intensive intervention. The aim is to give a broad estimate based upon a list of specified unit costs.

This tool is based upon the reduction in risk analysis and estimate outcome costs listed in the annex of Guidance Note 03 of the Think Family Toolkit (2009). These costs have been taken from the research paper Family Intervention Projects: Assessing potential cost-effectiveness, S. Parrott and C. Godfrey, Department of Health Sciences, Alcuin College, University of York (2008)

The reduction in levels of risk listed in this annex has been determined from data collected by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). The percentage in reduction of risk has been calculated from looking at the percentage of families engaged in a particular negative outcome at the start of the intervention and then at the end of the intervention.

The link to the family savings calculator can be found here:

The LIFT Council

“Effective infrastructure asset management is essential in delivering the aims of Total Place – better services at less cost – and The LIFT Council is working hard to put that vision into reality. A failure by the public sector to understand what assets it uses, the levels to which those assets are being utilised and how to get the most from them risks billions of pounds being wasted. Via innovative public private joint ventures, drawing on the investment of the private sector and the accountability of the public sector – LIFT companies throughout England have the necessary property skills to work with their public sector partners and initiate asset reviews for their areas. Through this approach many public bodies will reap an immediate financial benefit and then longer term benefits of facilities that are better located, more appropriate and of the right standard. Total Place’s excellent work is neatly aligned to this and we believe the public sector can achieve even more by looking closely at its infrastructure and asking the question, could we be using this better?”

If you would like further information on LIFT then please contact or visit our website,

Total Place community of practice update

There’s a great discussion about place-based budgets and the third sector in the forum. There are also a number of new documents in the library, including a paper on local public services in Wales, and more detail about place-based budgets.

Big Society CoP

The Big Society CoP is growing fast. If you’re already a member of the Total Place community, why not join up? Current topics include – examples of volunteering strategies; research on shared delivery models; and a wiki on ‘what the leaders are saying about Big Society’.

The top 10 search terms across the platform for August were:

  1. census
  2. Total Place
  3. big society
  4. 2011 census
  5. local enterprise partnerships
  6. housing
  7. LEP
  8. MSTAR
  9. shared services
  10. tell us once

Counties urged to seize Total Place agenda

Mike Burton

“The stalled momentum for Total Place is set to be kick-started in the autumn comprehensive spending review and counties must seize the agenda, the new chairman of the County Councils Network (CCN) has predicted.

Cllr Robert Gordon, leader of Hertfordshire CC, told Localgov that Total Place, or its successor community budgeting, would ‘be in the mix’ in the CSR, adding: ‘I’m quietly optimistic it will come out the other end as it will save the public purse a chunk of money. There will be a call for pilots and I expect a number of counties to be at the table.’ He added: ‘I hope the Government grasps the nettle on Total Place as there are significant savings to be made.’

Mr Gordon, elected on November 8 at the CCN’s AGM, said he did not anticipate a large number of schools opting out to become academies nor did he see opt-out as a hostile gesture.
And he rejected calls by CLG secretary Eric Pickles for executive leaders saying: ‘Where Eric is right is where he says political leaders cannot hide behind their professional local government servants. When I first became a councillor the council’s lead spokesman was the chief executive. Now it must be the leader. Partners look to me not the chief executive for leadership. But we need professional support. You can’t have a big organisation run by politicians.”

For the full article please visit

Which companies might want to sponsor a town?

By Jonathan Isaby

Kent Online reports that Conservative-run Kent County Council has a new money-spinning idea:

“Your village or town – and grass verges near where you live – could be sponsored under plans by Kent County Council to raise cash. The scheme is an extension of an initiative to allow companies to advertise on roundabouts, which started in 2007 and already makes thousands of pounds for the authority.”

Cllr Roger Gough, the cabinet member for corporate services, explains:

“There is a revenue potential here which is not to be sniffed at and it will offer a platform for local businesses to advertise. Obviously, we will want to strike a sensible balance and we do have the power to veto anything we think might not be appropriate.”

For more information, please visit

New Permanent Secretary for Communities and Local Government

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, has announced the appointment of Sir Bob Kerslake as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Sir Bob, currently Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, will take up the post on 1 November.

The appointment has been approved by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State.  It follows Sir Peter Housden’s departure from the Department in June to become Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O’Donnell, said:

“I am delighted Bob has been appointed as the new Permanent Secretary at Communities and Local Government. He will bring a wealth of experience and credibility to the role, driving forward the new Government’s agenda for devolution of power and autonomy to local councils and neighbourhoods.  I would like personally to thank Irene Lucas, who has done a tremendous job leading the Department as Acting Permanent Secretary since Peter Housden’s departure.”

Commenting on his new role, Sir Bob Kerslake said:

“I am honoured and excited by the opportunity to manage a major government department and drive forward the Government’s localism agenda.”

The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles MP, said:

“I am delighted with Sir Bob’s appointment. He has an impressive track record in local government and I know he will make an invaluable contribution to the Department at a crucial time. I look forward working with him closely in the coming months.”

Sir Bob Kerslake was the first Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which he joined in March 2008. The Agency is the national housing and regeneration body for England, and has an annual budget of more than £4bn.

From 1997 to 2008 he was Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, the fourth largest in England. The Council achieved 4-star status under his leadership, and was Council of the Year in 2005. Previously, Sir Bob worked for the London Borough of Hounslow initially in the post of Director of Finance and then for seven years as Chief Executive. Before that he worked for the Greater London Council, handling transport finance, and the Inner London Education Authority, where he was responsible for more than £1bn of spending.

Nationally, he has been a non-executive board member at the Department for Communities and Local Government. He also served on the Equalities Review Panel and the National Employment Panel.

CLG – departmental business during recess

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr Eric Pickles, has updated fellow MPs on the main items of business undertaken by his Department since the House rose on the 27 July 2010.  The list expands on the work done on transparency, localism and people power.

For the full update, please visit

Lastly, Lord Nat Wei has started a blog, if you’ve not already seen it visit and for all the Londoners or visitors here on Friday, here’s a list of road closures whilst the Pope is visiting

Total Place update 51: 07 September 2010

Place-based budgets

A big thank you again to every place that gave us further details on their proposals for place based budgeting over the past week or so.  The information that places have sent through and the findings from the themed workshops with DfE and DH last week will be taken to Lord Bichard’s high-level officials group meeting tomorrow, 8th September.  We hope to have feedback quickly from that meeting and will endeavour to keep everyone up to speed as things progress.

Lincolnshire ‘Excellent Ageing’ project launched

“Lincolnshire has an older population that is increasing at a faster rate than the rest of the country.  Already 28% of our population is over 60, compared to 22% in the UK as a whole, and this is set to rise in Lincolnshire to 36% by 2030. The Excellent Ageing programme is looking to put in place long term solutions which will enable people in Lincolnshire to enjoy an active and happy later life.

Excellent Ageing is a project which is bringing together public, private and voluntary sectors to work with communities and individuals to improve opportunities for older people. It will look at how a wide range of services used by older people can be radically re-shaped to deliver better outcomes for customers and reduce social and financial costs. It will also focus on the contribution which older people can make to the county and the role of communities in supporting well-being in later life. It is difficult to determine the benefits at this early stage as these will emerge as we work together to develop ideas, but our aim is that any new solutions should:

The project was launched on the 1st September.  For more information or to find out more please call us on 01522 553953, email or go to

21st Century Welfare consultation

Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, set out his plans to completely change the benefits system in the paper 21st Century Welfare.  This was published on 30 July 2010. He proposes to help people move into work by letting them keep more of their earnings. This would make sure that the advantages of work are clear and easy to understand. There would be a major reform of the range of credits and benefits available, and how help from these will reduce bit by bit as people start and progress in their work.

The proposals for a simpler benefits system could:

People would be encouraged to get a job as they would not lose benefit until their earnings reached a certain level. Over this level benefits would gradually reduce as their earnings increased. As support is not linked to the hours they can work, people will also be able to progress their careers.

A modern automatic payment system will be introduced. This will allow a fast and flexible response to changes of circumstance. So people can be sure of getting the right support even if they take on temporary work.  This simplified system will reduce mistakes and fraud, and will mean that customers need to spend less time filling out forms when a job ends.

Overall the ideas will aim to provide an affordable welfare system for the future. In doing so this will guarantee that those who cannot work get all the support they need. There will be a consultation period on these changes from 30 July 2010 until 1 October 2010. The full paper is available online at:

MyPolice – helping the police and the public to talk

“MyPolice is an online feedback tool that enables the public and the police to have a conversation.  It fosters constructive, collaborative communication between people and the Police forces which serve them.  MyPolice helps communities identify weaknesses and opportunities in Police services.

In providing analysis and data for the Police to act on, MyPolice challenges policy decisions that are made and ensuring that service users have an active part in changing the Police for the better.  You can give your opinion at a time when you feel strongly about an encounter with the Police and feel that the service offered by the Police could be improved. It’s the place where you can see how your thoughts translate directly into action”.

For more information, please visit

Right to Control Trailblazer – making choice and control a reality for disabled people

“The Right to Control Trailblazer represents an innovative project that seeks to bring together a whole range of funding streams so that disabled people have more choice and control over how they use the funding they’re eligible for.  The trailblazer has 3 aims; the first is to ensure that the services and resources a disabled person accesses, and the systems and processes they have to navigate to secure those resources, are organised around the individual.  This rather than the more typically found arrangements in which individuals have to fit around service providers, sometimes changing their behaviour to do so.

The second is to ensure that the services and individual accesses are personalised to their requirements, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

The third and final aim is, as far as possible, to put choice and control in the hands of the individual instead of the service/professional (the idea of “professionals on tap, not on top”).  This includes cash-quantifying a service and working towards giving an individual this cash equivalent amount in lieu of the service to achieve the same results/outcomes.

For more information, please visit

Coventry City Council & iMPOWER – putting people and communities in charge

Coventry City Council and iMPOWER Consulting are hosting an interactive learning event for senior professionals across all sectors, charged with delivering better services in challenging times.  The event is a chance for people to hear about how the personalisation agenda can make difference to both outcomes and efficiencies.  It will be held on the 30th November at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.  To register your interest, please email

Labour’s commission calls for alcohol ‘floor price’ (31 August)

“A UK-wide ‘floor price’ for alcohol should be established to reduce consumption, according to a commission set up by the Scottish Labour Party.  The alcohol commission recommended a UK-wide ban on alcohol sales below the total cost of production, duty and VAT.  It said a levy on alcohol retailers should also be considered, to help pay for alcohol-related services”.

For the full article please visit

Partnerships Bulletin roundtable event: From Total Place to Big Society

13 September 2010, 8:30am to 1:30pm, Executive Boardroom Suite, Hilton Tower Bridge

“The new government’s obsession with reducing public debt will mean lean years for local authorities. But councils are still being tasked with delivering better public services and reducing duplication between organisations. New initiatives need to deliver on both counts by using a ‘whole area’ approach to lead to better services at less cost. New initiatives, such as Total Place, are reporting encouraging results but what needs to happen to encourage a countrywide roll out of the scheme? And how can the private sector help deliver shared services on the ground?”

Partnerships Bulletin is a monthly magazine and website with a circulation of 2,500 central government, local government, funders, contractors and advisors involved in public private partnerships.  You can find out more on

For more information about the event, please contact Amanda Nicholls on 020 8675 8030 or

‘A simpler way of making it simple’

This article is from Harvard Business Review’s daily blog bulletin.  It has an interesting take on Tesco’s rules about innovation and simplicity.

“Before rolling out an enterprise innovation, Tesco insists that it must meet three conditions.  The first is that innovation must in some way be better for customers; second is that it should ultimately prove cheaper for Tesco; and, finally, the innovation must make things simpler for staff”.

For the full article and others, please visit

LG Group Research Update – September 2010

This monthly update from the Research Team brings you the latest information and key findings from a selection of their current and recently completed projects.

This month it features:

For more information, please visit

BWB weekly review of websites: Funding and funding cuts

“See IT in action: Efficient Services, Improved Lives”

6th October, Rich Mix E1

See IT in Action demonstrates how councils and partners can use technology to transform the delivery of public services, improve outcomes, and help achieve more for less.

This is a free event, supported by Communities and Local Government, local authorities and civil society partners. It targeted towards all those who commission or manage local public services, who are looking to make their work more efficient, cheaper, and targeted at supporting those most in need.

With local government facing severe financial pressures, there is the need to look for urgent and innovative ways to make efficiency savings, while ensuring the most vulnerable are not disadvantaged. Incremental change and individual cuts are unlikely to meet the challenge, therefore it has never been timelier to examine services and outcomes and ask whether there are more effective and efficient alternatives to ‘business and usual’.

See IT in Action will bring together examples of best practice from local government, to show how public sector providers across the country are making creative use of existing ‘off-the-shelf’ technology; improving outcomes and delivering increased value for money across a range of front-line local services. The event provides a timely forum to explore new government priorities around increasing internet usage, the Big Society, and data transparency, openness and accountability.

For more information, please visit

Lastly, a bit of a challenge for last thing on a Friday (as tweeted by Stephen Fry)

Category: event