Abstracts: June 18th, 2003

Iain Roxburgh and Natalie ArendPublic sector bodies are faced with the challenge of bringing about a real shift in the quality of local services. One response has been for local authorities to work together, across geographic and institutional boundaries. Crossing Boundaries: New Ways of Working looks at how they are getting on.

This groundbreaking report reveals how councils involved in joint working are realising the many benefits to be had, through mutual learning, making the most of pooled expertise and resources and developing customer focused services. It also identifies how substantial savings are being made when procuring strategic partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors. Many barriers to joint working still exist and the report notes how issues of sovereignty – the ability to “do it ourselves” – remain a part of local government culture, with traditional rivalries and vested interests also apparent. The report examines ways of overcoming these serious inhibitors to joint working.

Published by the New Local Government Network http://www.nlgn.org.uk   ISBN: 1 903447 28 3. 20 pounds.