Bristol City Council
Bristol’s ‘Think Family’ programme has achieved a 50% reduction in unauthorised school absences, a halving of the number of police call-outs and a significant drop in adults requiring anti-social behaviour intervention. The programme uses predictive analytics and big data to identify families at risk of breakdown and enable intervention before issues become entrenched. The result is a beacon of best practice, attracting substantial government interest and nearly 50 other local authorities already learning from it.
Cheshire East Council
Cheshire East Council embraced a gaming approach entitled ‘Seeds’ to make information governance training a fun experience for staff. Involving a range of services, learners and subject experts, the project team first developed a board game that used the concept of gardens and allotments. A friendly gardener character helped players to make memorable connections between the game’s story and new information. Development of the game into an online training tool and mandatory completion by staff helped to achieve high standards of information governance.
The People’s Gateway service was established in April 2015. It aims to provide an innovative, holistic, multidisciplinary and preventative response to households heading towards crisis, rather than acting in an ad-hoc or piecemeal manner as is often the case in local authority interventions. Initially, the Gateway service brought together housing needs assessment, emergency accommodation, welfare rights, financial support and employment and training services. A second development phase will broaden the Gateway to include a range of customer journeys within adult social care, supported housing and children’s services.
East Sussex CC
National Trading Standards initially created the Scams team as a pilot hosted by East Sussex CC in 2012, with funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (formerly Business, Innovation & Skills). Since 2014, its work has become a national priority. The team works across England and Wales with Trading Standards and partner agencies such as the Royal Mail to investigate and identify scams and help protect potential victims.
Harrow’s ‘My Community ePurse’ is a digital platform for people with personal budgets to access a range of services. It brings together an online social care marketplace with dynamic purchasing capability. It has more than 1,000 established users. The platform is the centrepiece of a suite of solutions being developed including for self-funders. As the owner of the intellectual property rights of ePurse, Harrow is now co-developing a suite of similar solutions with IBM to bring it to a global market.
Merton, Sutton and Richmond upon Thames LBCs and Kingston upon Thames RBC – South London Legal Partnership
Council lawyers spent thousands of pounds on printing paper bundles and faced tight deadlines due to the need to courier them to court. A digital solution seemed simple but it was a systemic challenge that required collective action, a developed IT solution, a party willing to lead and a sustainable business case. The South London Legal Partnership has overcome this challenge, bringing together Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton LBCs and Kingston upon Thames RBC, two IT suppliers and a number of London family courts.
Newcastle City Council
Councils spend significant amounts on home-to-school transport for young people with special educational needs - £3m per year in Newcastle – because parents worry they will get lost travelling alone. Newcastle has developed a smartphone app, MyTrav, which guides travellers through journeys. It can be personalised to meet their needs and prompts them when they are near landmarks. Parents can log onto a secure carer portal to see the real-time location of their child, and receive text alerts if the young person goes off-route.
Peterborough City Council - Asteria
Asteria is a data product developed by Peterborough City Council that enables users to match people and address data across many systems. Users can also add extra details around ownership, income or services. Peterborough spent a significant amount of time on the product’s engine and the way it could intelligently match and understand. Conceived, designed and created internally, Asteria, which uses advanced methodology and technology, fundamentally changes the role of local government from a consumer of software to a developer.
Peterborough City Council – Empower Peterborough
Peterborough offers residents free solar panel installation for their homes. Residents also receive free energy from the solar panels, saving an average of £200 in energy bills per year, while the income from feed-in tariffs, uniquely, are split between the council and a local community fund. The income to the council will protect frontline services whereas the community fund will deliver new projects as directed by the residents of the city.
Teignbridge DC was the first authority nationally to include a custom- and self-build housing policy within its adopted local plan, which requires a percentage of plots within the plan be provided for custom- and self-build. This requirement has become known as the ‘Teignbridge Rule’. Its focused approach is laying foundations so shovel-ready sites come forward, the economy remains supported and affordable housing needs are met. This policy has resulted in planning consents for 102 self-build plots with a total of 450 expected by 2033.
Jonathan Bunt, former strategic director of finance and investment, Barking & Dagenham LBC
Carolyn Downs, chief executive, Brent LBC
Richard Flinton, chief executive, North Yorkshire CC
Laura McGillivray, chief executive, Norwich City Council