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Place-based budget bidders revealed

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A raft of councils have been in negotiations over the summer to become place-based budget ‘prototypes’, according to a list seen by LGC, with a final list widely expected to be unveiled in the spending review.

The Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) list (see below), compiled in early September, outlined which authorities have been liaising with Whitehall departments on offers in recent months.

Between eight and 12 bids are expected to get the go-ahead, meaning most of the bids will, for the meantime, be shelved.  

How much autonomy prototypes will be handed remains unclear. Senior local government figures said a clear roadmap for how a place-based budgeting programme might be rolled out to involve more than just the initial front runners would be a significant victory.    

Some 34 council bids are working with spending departments (see below), including the Department of Health, the Home Office, Department for Education. In addition, a number of bids have been put to the Treasury, while the Local Government Association has been working with around 40 councils, a DCLG document said.

The list:

DepartmentThemePlace
Department for EducationBudgets for 0-5 year olds, families in crisis, vulnerable young people and child povertyBlackpool, Torbay, Devon and Cornwall, Islington, Salford/Greater Manchester
Department for Communities & Local GovernmentRegeneration, economy and skillsKent, Leicester,  Manchester, Tees Valley  
Ministry of Justice and Home OfficeOffender management/reducing reoffending, neighbourhood policing, drugs and alcoholBradford, Lewisham, Manchester, West Sussex
Department of HealthIntegrated commissioning for health and social careLewisham, Lambeth, Hammersmith & Fulham,  Leicestershire, Sutton, Herefordshire, North East Lincs, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire  
Department for Work & PensionsWorklessnessLewisham, Worcestershire, Bradford
Cabinet Office with DCLGBig Society agenda and neighbourhood budgetsBarnsley, Blackburn, Cheshire West and Chester, Kingston-upon-Thames. Additionally Birmingham, Stoke, Newcastle, and Bassetlaw to learn about their experience of neighbourhood budgets

Many of the councils proposing bids, such as Kent CC, Lewisham LBC and Greater Manchester, were part of the original Total Place pilot programme (see full list below) while a raft of new councils, including districts are also in the frame.

Part of the broadening of the programme has been as a result of the Big Society agenda, which is largely been led out of the Cabinet Office.

Last month, LGC revealed news of the Cabinet Office-led Local Integrated Service programme, which is being led by Big Society adviser Lord Wei (Con) and involves Barnsley MBC, Blackburn with Darwen BC, Cheshire West & Chester Council, Kingston-upon-Thames LBC.  

The original Total Place pilots
Birmingham City Council; Lewisham; Bradford; Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole; Manchester City Region & Warrington; Kent CC; Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire; Worcestershire Luton and Central Bedfordshire; Leicester City and Leicestershire; Durham; Gateshead, Sunderland & South Tyneside and Croydon.

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