Government backs council transformation plans to save over £900m

27 Nov 14

Local government minister Kris Hopkins has today awarded grants to 73 public service integration schemes that are expected to lead to more than £900m in efficiencies across the public sector.

Announcing successful bids for funding from the Transformation Challenge Award, Hopkins said that proposals to integrate services, which had come from across 122 local authorities, would eliminate waste by ensuring services helped people first time.

The biggest award of £12.4m was made to a consortium led by Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council to implement plans for public service reforms in Greater Manchester.

This initiative will integrate provision for individuals and families with complex needs across ten local government organisations, including measures to improve services to get people back into work and boost early intervention programmes for young people.

Among the other awards is £5m to a consortium led by Warrington Borough Council to tackle the root cause of crisis in families in Cheshire by building a team of staff from across public sector organisations to provide tailored support to families. The group also includes Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Halton borough councils, as well as local police and fire services.

More than £4.9m has also been awarded to an 11-strong group led by Stoke on Trent City Council to improve services for vulnerable individuals across the city, while Suffolk County Council has been awarded £3.3m to develop new cooperative working models with groups across the county.

A group led by Essex County Council has also been awarded £3.3m to implement the Essex Partnership plan with seven other public sector organisations. This plan will create shared databases to identify those in need and act earlier for victims of domestic abuse, as well as putting in place early intervention systems intended to reduce the cost of the health and social care system over the long-term.

The awards come two days after the Service Transformation Challenge Panel set out proposals to make it easier for integration to take place between local public sector bodies.

Hopkins said the authorities behind these projects had shown what could be done to improve the services people get by helping them to live independently and reducing demand for public services.

‘By working with the local police, health bodies, Jobcentre Plus, voluntary groups and others they are eliminating waste and creating services which help people first time – not services which send people from pillar to post to get problems sorted.’

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