Aylesbury Vale DC
The council launched Vale Lottery in 2015 to support good causes as its discretionary grants programme came under pressure. To date more than £110,000 has been raised at minimal cost to the council. Among the 169 registered beneficiaries are animal and health charities, disability groups, sports clubs and scout groups. Tickets cost £1 and 60p goes to the good causes, with the remainder devoted to a prize fund and running costs. Each ticket has a 1:50 chance of winning a prize each week, which includes a £25,000 jackpot. The lottery idea was proposed initially by staff in a council-wide ideas generation programme.
Finance Durham is a £20m venture capital fund that the council uses to act as an investor rather than grant giver for the county’s businesses. Durham takes equity stakes in businesses, taking a long-term view of investment and that will in time provide a financial return to the council via a dividend or share sale. The investment range is typically between £200,000 and £700,000. Over a 10-year modelling period, the fund is anticipated to return £6m after fund management costs with revenue of £550,000 for the council. Investments are expected in 70 companies, to create more than 2,000 jobs by 2027.
Full Circle service works with offenders with complex needs including substance misuse, mental health and learning disabilities. Essex felt a single integrated service could co-ordinate support across a range of vulnerabilities and criminal justice settings. Nowhere else is thought to have taken this approach. Service users said the innovative community approach, developed by Essex’s substance misuse services, was popular but should extend to other vulnerabilities. Full Circle went live in April 2016 and costs less than £1m a year. Some 96% of users have not reoffended and 33% reported improved psychological wellbeing. It works with mental health, learning disability and criminal justice commissioners, the NHS and the Prison Service.
Smoking cessation in dual smokers
Dual smokers are those that use both tobacco and vapes. While e-cigarettes are not risk free, Public Health England considers they cause far less harm than normal cigarettes and has urged local services to use them as part of smokers’ journeys to quitting tobacco completely. Use of e-cigarette and vape shops, including in deprived areas, has given Essex a cost-effective method of reducing smoking by identifying reputable shops whose staff could be trained in anti-smoking promotions. After nine months of the programme, 646 people had given up tobacco smoking. During the campaign it was noted that general practitioners began to refer patients to the trained retailers.
North East Procurement Organisation
Innovation in Professional Services
Professional services procurement is challenging for local government, with issues of reputational risk, controlling spend and demonstrating real outcomes. Led by the North East Procurement Organisation, the region’s councils (Durham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire CCs; Newcastle and Sunderland City Councils, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, South and North Tyneside Councils, and Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland BCs) created Nepro as a neutral vendor for professional services. Businesses that could not previously engage or work with authorities now had the opportunity to do so. Nepro’s systems ensure each project receives correct authorisation, open competition, contract management, delivery assurance and efficient payment. An average of 11% savings has been delivered, equating to some £20m on more than 3,000 projects.
North Warwickshire BC
Ediblelinks is a cross-sector, cross-boundary partnership addressing food poverty and diet-related ill health. It runs on grant funding of just £20,000 a year and is supported by retailer Ocado, which has moved from a Christmas food donation to daily supplies that have enabled Ediblelinks to grow and now also offer a fresh food service. The project now has 128 third-sector partners and has supplied 33 tonnes of food, split 80/20 between supporting community groups and food banks. It has demonstrated a significant impact on crisis prevention, school results and attendance, wellbeing and engagement while building resilience to unavoidable crises.
Suffolk Coastal DC
Port Health Interactive Live Information System
Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port but Suffolk Coastal officers were enforcing checks using an obsolete computer system. With no off-the-shelf replacement available, officers developed one in-house, which has since been licensed to four other ports (so it now manages 85% of food imports from outside the EU) and it has been adapted for live animal controls at Heathrow airport. A comprehensive information management system focuses on imported goods and enables visibility and control of the complete consignment lifecycle, from arrival to decision. The commercial success of the Port Health Interactive Live Information System supports the council’s aim of financial self-sufficiency.
Carolyn Downs, chief executive, Brent LBC
Sandy Hopkins, chief executive, East Hampshire DC & Havant BC
Steven Pleasant, chief executive, Tameside MBC
Tom Stannard, director of economy and skills, Oldham MBC