shaping the best value framework for delivering improved local
services, Hilary Armstrong, local government minister, has said.
Right across traditional local authority boundaries, the Best Value
resources of the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Announcing details of the pilot projects, which will be looking at a
range of measures from setting up public enterprises to asset
sharing, the minister said:
'The White Paper Modern Local Government - In Touch with the People
clearly sets out the government's commitment to introducing a new
duty of best value.
'The legislation we are preparing will provide a framework for best
value but there are many detailed issues left to be decided. This is
where the experience of the existing pilot projects can be so
valuable. To complement this I am pleased to announce that we are now
extending the programme to include six partnership networks.
'I want to create conditions where the private and voluntary
sectors can work with local government to deliver quality services at
a competitive price. The best value pilots and the partnership
networks will together play an invaluable role in shaping the
framework to ensure just that.'
The pilot projects will look at three main areas:
- Developing good procurement practice by drawing on a range of
expertise from both the public and private sectors. Promoting the
use of the market to get better value for local authority in-house
resources. The 'Hub' approach - joint provision of services and
sharing of assets to reduce costs and improve quality.
The minister said:
'We have identified projects that are proposing a variety of
different approaches to partnership in service delivery and in
establishing best practice. This will enable us to judge what works
and what lessons can be learned. Most importantly, we will be able
to share as wide a range of experience, with as wide an audience as
Ms Armstrong stressed the importance of evaluating the progress of
all the pilot projects and thanked Warwick Business School for their
work on the progress of pilots in the first six months.
The minister announced the appointment of Newchurch & Company, who
will lead research looking at the impact of local authority
partnerships on service delivery. This will include evaluation of the
best value network partnership pilots.
Details of the six pilot projects are outlined below.
Modernising Local Government - In Touch with the People (ISBN 010 140
1426), is available from The Stationery Office, priced£12.50. The
document is also posted on the DETR's website (see below). The department has commissioned Newchurch & Company to undertake a
three-year programme of research which will bring together lessons to
be learnt from the full range of local authority service delivery
partnerships. The research will assist the Department in its work in
encouraging and developing local authority partnership working, and
will also help and inform the Department, local government, the
private, voluntary and community sectors of the range of
possibilities available for working in partnership.
research comprises four key elements:
(i) a review of existing information on all forms of service
delivery partnerships between local government in the United Kingdom
and the private, voluntary and community sectors;
(ii) a survey of local authorities in England to establish the
nature and extent of their involvement in service delivery
(iii) a full evaluation of a sample of case studies of local
authority partnerships and companies, focusing on their operation,
cost effectiveness, impact in delivering service outcomes, reasons
for success or failure and long-term sustainability; and
(iv) a full evaluation of the pilot partnership networks, including
the process of establishing and maintaining the networks, their
operation, cost effectiveness, impact in delivering service outcomes,
reasons for success or failure and long term sustainability.
BEST VALUE PARTNERSHIP NETWORK PILOTS
THE CROSSING THE BOUNDARIES PROJECT: TRADING STANDARDS
The project will explore cross boundary collaboration between
trading standards departments involving the sharing of resources,
information and expertise. The partners commissioned an initial
report from Capita which concluded that there is great scope for
cross boundary working in Trading Standards to secure best value for
consumers and service users. A variety of options are currently
being considered and evaluated, these range from shared information
and training through to joint provision and management. The project
involves seven local authorities in the West Midlands with
Warwickshire CC (a best value pilot) acting as lead
partner. The other partners are: Shropshire CC; Staffordshire CC;
Worcestershire CC; Gloucestershire CC; Oxfordshire CC; and Sandwell
INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS TASKFORCE
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has formed a Taskforce with
11 consultants, three major contractors and 27 local authorities. The
main objective of the taskforce is to draw on expertise from the
private and public sectors to produce 'A Definitive Guide to Best
Practice in Advancing Best Value in the Built Environment'. As part
of this process the Institution of Civil Engineers Taskforce has
formed four working groups who will be focusing on Challenging
Services (including defining services, consultation, fundamental
service reviews, local performance plans); Performance
management/monitoring (including benchmarking, performance
indicators, monitoring and auditability); Procurement Processes
(including competition, forms of contract and procurement, legal and
accounting issues and constraints) and Implementation (including
management of change, training, staff development, trade union
involvement). The Taskforce is staging a conference on Best Value in
the Built Environment at the ICE on Monday 19 October.
members of the taskforce are; (contractors) Amey Facilities
Management; John Doyle Group; Ringway Highways Services;
(consultants) Babtie; Brown and Root; Halcrow; Mott Macdonald;
Mouchel, Parkman; Pell Frischmann; Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick;
Thorburn Colqhoon; TPS Consult; WS Atkins; (local authorities) ; LB
Barking and Dagenham; LB Barnet; Bedford BC; Bournemouth BC;
Canterbury City; Caerphilly CBC; Corporation of London; Dorset CC;
Gloucestershire CC; Kennet DC; Kent CC; Kingston upon Hull City;
Lancashire CC; Lincolnshire CC; Norfolk CC; North Yorkshire CC;
Northumberland CC; Poole BC; Rotherham MBC; Salford CC; Sandwell MBC;
Staffordshire CC; Stockport MBC; Stoke on Trent City; Sunderland
City; Swindon BC and West Sussex County Council.
Information: Andrew Crudgington. Tel 0171 665 2212. Fax
0171 233 1806 e-mail email@example.com
The Public Sector Plc (PSP) Partnership Network has been initiated by
the private sector and involves a number of local authorities.
Specific local authority projects will be examined to consider public
private partnership options. As one of the options, the PSP will
review a 'third way', 'PSP Enterprise', which will promote the use of
the market to enhance the value of local authority in-house
resources. In this option, local authorities would be empowered to
set up a 'public enterprise' in which private companies would be
invited to bid for a stakeholding in the enterprises for a capital
sum. Local authorities will identify specific projects to be
considered by the network.
the PSP network will develop templatepartnership models for
the areas of environment, leisure, information technology,
assets/resource management, care provision for the elderly and
possible projects relating to civil engineering and housing, and
leisure to examine a wide range of existing public private
partnership issues and to consider the extent to which the PSP
enterprise approach could add value and innovation.
Private sector partners within the PSP network are Onyx (UK)/Vivendi,
KPMG, Anthony Collins Solicitors, Bull Information Systems, David
Cross Leisure, Manpower, Bank of Scotland, Arthurand Thames Water
(Brophy), ABROS, Scotia, and Chelgate.
Authorities partnerconsidering projects for the network include
South Lanarkshire, Warwickshire CC, Watford DC, Wrekin DC, LB Tower
Hamlets LB Kingston, Portsmouth City Council, East Sussex DC, Dorset
CC and Harborough DC.
Trade unions participating are Unison, GMB and Transport and
General Workers Union.
Dorset CC, East Sussex DC, Surrey CC, South Lanarkshire,
LB Tower Hamlets, Telford & Wrekin DC, Watford DC Chiltern DC, LB
Kingston, Warwickshire CC and West Sussex CC. Information: Richard
HUB - A NEW CONCEPT FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES
and Barony plan to establish Local Franchise Partnerships with
local authorities in which all three parties have an active role in
managing service delivery within a commercially-based environment.
will concentrate their activities on revenue collection, housing
benefits and other large scale administrative processes where the
efficient and innovative use of information technology can provide
significant benefits to both the Councils and the community they
operational model for the Local Franchise Partnerships developed
by ICL and Barony has two main components - the interface with the
local community (which conceptually forms a spoke in a wheel), and a
central processing centre or hub. Each hub will be capable of
serving several local authorities.
Department will provide up to ten local authorities with
appropriate exemptions from CCT to allow one Hub to be piloted.
However those local authorities must satisfy themselves that this
approach will represent best value and agree to participate in the
YORKSHIRE AUDIT PARTNERSHIP
is a partnership between Ryedale DC, Scarborough BC and Selby DC for the provision of
Internal Audit Services through a consortia approach. The project
will involve joint arrangements for client services for the
procurement, monitoring and performance measurement of the Internal
Audit Services. The partners will also establish a 'contractor'
function which will involve the merger of all current internal audit
staff within each organisation under one Internal Audit Manager. The
aim is to create a depth of professional expertise, particularly in
the context of pressure on budgets and the introduction of best
value. The partners expect that value will not only be added in
terms of economies of scale but also in greater flexibility in
resource allocation, staff development and further business
opportunities with other local authorities
network is currently being explored in parallel with other
options by three unitary councils, Bath and North East Somerset,
Bristol City (a best value pilot) and South Gloucestershire Council.
The proposal is to create a Partnership Network with a private sector
partner to secure best value in the operation of a combined payroll
service. The first stage of the partnership would be the transfer of
existing staff to a selected private sector partner. After an
agreed transitional period payroll services would be provided on a
joint system from a common location by a combined team of staff. The
three authorities would work with the chosen contractor to develop an
agreed service level and it is anticipated that the Network would
include a benefit or profit share arrangement with all risks inherent
in the arrangement shared by the private sector contractor.