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Published byKimberly Diaz Modified over 9 years ago
An Introduction to Community Budgets ELS SSP : 29-07-13
What are Community Budgets? The core idea of community budgets is that a broad range of partners should agree common outcomes, pool resources and join up activities to achieve those outcomes. Important dimensions are improving quality, efficient use of public money, promoting choice, localism, enabling civil society and prevention of social and economic problems.
The Policy Context Evolved and builds on the work of Total Place that ended in 2010. Total Place was designed to improve public services and save money by bringing organisations and their budgets together; A central theme of the scheme was a whole area approach that would reduce overlap and duplication by sharing objectives across multiple agencies. Following the General Election the Coalition stated that it wished to build on some of the lessons of Total Place with Community Budgets.
The Policy Context Community Budgets are linked to both the governments Open Public Services White Paper and the Localism agenda. Both are based on the premise that public services should be configured around meeting the needs of the individual and the community. Services that might be national in nature should be delivered directly to the citizen via a method as close to the citizen as possible. Open Public Services White Paper sets out five key principles behind the re-configuration of Public Services:
The Policy Context Choice – Wherever possible citizen centred choice will be increased. Decentralisation – Power should be decentralised to the lowest appropriate level. Diversity – Public services should be open to a range of providers. Fairness – We will ensure fair access to public services. Accountability – Public services should be accountable to users and taxpayers
Community budgets can help organisations that provide local public services to: make better use of their resources by establishing joint budgets and sharing local knowledge, community assets and voluntary effort; remove central rules and regulations so local professionals can provide better services that suit their area; give people greater control over their local public services; support local partnership and governance arrangements to create a unified approach for a given area.
Types of Community Budget Sixteen first-phase Community Budgets for families with multiple problems were announced in April 2011 as part of the effort to help turn round the lives of at least 10,000 families over 4 years. Following consultation, 2 further types of budget pilots were announced on 21 December 2011.
Types of Community Budget Whole-place Community Budgets test how to bring together all funding for local public services in an area to design better services and achieve better outcomes. Neighbourhood level Community Budgets give communities more power and control over local services and budgets whole-place Community Budgets
Whole Place Budgets May bring all funding on local public services from the area into a single pot, or pool and align different funding streams as appropriate to test how to create the right local financial set up to deliver better services that people want. Four pilot areas established (including Cheshire West and Chester and Greater Manchester) and business cases now developed. Challenge and Learning Network established to share learning of the pilots with others.
Neighbourhood Level Budgets Smaller scale Community Budgets that give residents a micro-local level say over the services they want and use. The local community play a leading role, working with the local council and other services, to shape the services they receive so they work from a customer's perspective. 10 pilots selected.
Whole Place Budgets Assume that all functions of national and local government, all public spending and all public services will be within scope. Breaking down barriers is key because the more control and flexibility local partners have, the closer they can work with communities and more flexibly respond to their needs.
Potential Barriers Multiple, uncoordinated funding streams at local level and savings not directly benefitting agencies investing. Reactive approaches – waiting until a problem becomes a serious issue instead of prevention and early intervention. Lack of understanding and use of evidence, and the ability to share information across organisational boundaries. Short term planning of public finances, with councils required to balance budgets in year. Lack of effective structures – e.g. if local partnerships have no legal standing does this prevent pooling on the scale required?
Factors for success An agreed clear vision between partners Common outcomes and outcome based approach. Local innovation and co-design. Local delivery mechanisms. Commitment to data sharing. Removal of barriers (organisational, sharing funding, legislation etc). Scaleable.
Pilots to date have: designed new models of service delivery; identified the changes needed to national policies; developed robust, evidence based business cases based on CBA; agreement on sharing both risk and savings across all partners; strengthened partnership arrangements and worked collaboratively to develop place based leadership.
Work-ready individuals – what will change : West Cheshire Day One Deliverables A number of multi-agency Work Zones featuring JCP, Council Employment and Skills, NCS, Housing and others Tailored offers for high priority cohorts New assessment process to drive joint working between employment and skills services New process to integrate work programme and JCP warm hand over in line with DWP operations directive New governance structure to ensure Employment and Skills provision is linked to the locality agenda
Lessons Learnt : West Cheshire 1. Pick a deadline and stick to it: Focus and ambition 2. Integrated where it makes sense: You cant make one budget for place, so its better to target efforts. 3. Avoid new silos: If you integrate on a project by project basis, you must make sure that you retain a view of the bigger picture. 4. Collaborative Leadership: All leaders from all partners have a role to play. 5. Invest in analysis: This can't be a nice to do. To make a difference it needs to be financially sustainable. Invest in cost benefit analysis to ensure every partner is clear on their return on investment and you can evidence impact. 6. Dont forget the community: Redesigning services and budgets only goes so far. A new settlement between citizen and state is required. 7. Keep up the momentum: Policy Commissions – Elected Members and partners identifying new solutions to future challenges
Where next? The Local Government Association commissioned Ernst and Young to review the potential for the aggregation of whole place community budgets. The report notes that community budgets have the potential to deliver better outcomes and realise substantial financial benefits by aggregating themes of health and social care, troubled families and work and skills; with the potential of a net benefit of five years of between £9.4bn and £20.6bn
Where next? The 2013 Budget statement confirmed that the Government are committed to extending the Community Budget concept Public Service Transformation network established with funding support as part of this to spread innovation and learning from the pilots. Councils and other local agencies were invited to express their interest in being one of a number of areas who will work intensely with the network. These areas will be announced in the summer
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