How innovation and transformation is taking place in local government
Author: Steven Howell |
Changing Places – how innovation and transformation is taking place in local government
Local government has handled very substantial reductions in government grant pretty well so far. But there is more of the same to come, while an aging population inexorably increases demand for public services – we are moving to a very different world for local government. The result is that there has never been a more pressing need to innovate and transform the way the sector operates, to think big and think radically about what councils do and how they do it, and the sort of relationship they have with their residents.
This report looks at how ready the local government sector is to meet this challenge. It highlights the new approaches councils are taking, and what’s standing in the way of further innovation.
A full list of recommendations is on page 20 of the report, but our key recommendations include:
- Local government must continue to press the case – both locally and nationally – for greater partnership and collaboration across the public sector, working with partners across geographic and organisational boundaries to secure robust evidence of the efficacy of partnership concepts
- Local government, as a sector, must consider how to assist those authorities that are unable to innovate and transform themselves into authorities fit for the future
- Local authorities should take the best approach for each given service, considering the core needs and drivers, and, based on this, consider who is best placed to deliver them
- Local government as a sector should consider how it could resolve the lack of clarity in sharing best practice
- HM Treasury should work with local government on overcoming barriers to the transition to new delivery models more generally, e.g. the seemingly discouraging wider tax and regulatory framework
- Local government needs to do more to prototype and pilot new models, building up a stronger evidence base. This will improve buy-in from partners and scale up new approaches to increase the benefits
- Local government should continue to investigate and develop the use of customer insight data, as a way of better understanding their residents and complementing other methods of insight/intelligence
- Local agencies and agents of national bodies/departments to consider local information sharing hubs where practical and appropriate
- The Commissioning Academy needs rapid expansion and fast tracking of local government employees, as it is they who are at the forefront of the commissioning agenda.
This project was kindly supported by Civica, whose ‘Public Knowledge’ microsite can be viewed here.