Since 1993, Croydon has taken a distinctive route to working in public/private partnership.
Croydon Economic Development Forum began as a functional response to an unprecedented challenge to its economy, motivated by a belief that working together would be more effective. Building on the practical benefits gained, the Croydon Partnership has developed as a major policy initiative of the council and is acting as the umbrella network of private, public and community partnerships through which the regeneration of the borough is being delivered.
Substantial investment and joint ventures have resulted, on a scale not known prior to the partnership. Just as significant are the less tangible benefits of pooling resources and expertise and focusing energies on collaborating on agreed strategic objectives.
Partnerships are at the heart of Eastleigh's way of working. The council's headline objective is to improve the quality of life for all local people. We have reshaped our entire organisation so it is community focused, enabling local people to shape their futures, and passionately believe in innovative practice, first class customer care and citizen involvement. Our strategy headlines are health, prosperity and the environment and we realise successful town centres contribute to a feeling of belonging - and to sustainable communities.
We are proud of our strong partnership with Hampshire CC, the voluntary sector, residents and the business community. Environmental improvements, greatly enhanced community safety, attracting homes back into the town centre and creating an attractive ambience have all contributed.
The thriving daytime and rejuvenated evening economy which has transformed Eastleigh town centre underpins our bid for Public Private Partnership of the Year l999.
Highland Council and ICL Outsourcing have entered into a 10-year partnership for the provision of IS/IT services. The arrangement brings a radical improvement to the quality of IT systems and services and the cost performance of providing them. We recognise that IS/IT is critical to the future success of all council services.
The partnership is delivering systems and services to support strategic goals and agreed objectives.
The contract has resulted in cost reductions of 20%, thereby allowing the council to acquire new systems and improved services within demanding cost reduction targets.
A service desk now provides advice to users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and work is under way delivering major new systems.
Performance is measured and reviewed thoroughly to ensure targets are met and continuous improvement is a philosophy we embrace.
May 1998 Kent CC and BT (Syntegra) signed a strategic partnership agreement for a period of seven years and valued at over£20 million - the first of its kind in the country. The partnership is an agreement to work towards a win/win outcome for both parties.
While the partnership is based on joint teams working at all levels, the value for money and the value of the partnership of each project is carefully considered by both partners. Within the first six months of the contract the key infrastructure requirements have been signed and are in progress. The partnership can already draw on some examples of partnering bringing added value, such as work on the IS strategy and the council's medium term planning process. Practical experience from Syntegra is proving invaluable to implementing changes in Kent.
Windsor & Maidenhead BC
In March 1997, after a short pilot, the council in partnership with local businesses and Thames Valley Police launched Community Radio.
During its first year the crime rate fell 3%. This was on top of the large decrease recorded during the previous year - the first year of the council's CCTV system.
Between October 1997 and September 1998, 2,347 incidents were dealt with by the council's control room, 1170 of which involved use of Community Radio.
During the same period, out of 459 arrests recorded by the control room 157 were made as a direct result of Community Radio.
The number of organisations belonging to Community Radio rose from 28 to 70 over this time.
Award sponsor - Capita
'The Capita Group plc is pleased once again to be supporting excellence in local government through its involvement in the LGC Awards. As a leading professional support services organisation, we have worked closely with local government for more than 10 years, creating and delivering solutions to provide continuous improvement in our service and in our customer care.
The public/private partnership of the year award is particularly relevant to modernisation in local government. Partnership between public and private sectors will be key to supporting the evolution of local government into the next century.
Capita provides a smooth path for change, creating tailored solutions to enhance service quality and efficiency built on a wide diversity of skills and depth of market knowledge. Partner to more than 50 local authorities, Capita has skills in a wide range of areas such as revenue collection, benefits administration, financial and treasury services, education, housing and personnel administration services. Capita is a natural partner for facilitating change, either as advisers or as suppliers of quality services.
We are delighted to play a part in supporting partnership between private enterprise and local government and look forward to applauding the efforts of all those concerned.'
Rod Aldridge, chairman and chief executive, Capita Group plc.