Abstracts: July 1st, 2004

This paper outlines a set of ideas for improving the delivery of public services and strengthening joined up governance in local areas. The ideas have been developed through a 15 month dialogue amongst councils on the Innovation Forum, and with government and other bodies. The ideas and vision are about ways to produce a gear shift in building on and working through Local Strategic Partnerships.The prospectus looks at ways in which some areas might make their LSPs more effective. The vision describes a number of elements that when brought together could help to achieve that aim and it focuses on changes in roles, relationships, and the processes of government. It also describes how best to achieve such change through transformational leadership at local level through the creation of ‘local partnerships with teeth’ or Local Public Service Boards. Council-led Boards would provide a way of local partners working together as an accountable body to commit resources and capacity to deliver real improvements on targets and services that affect people’s quality of life.

The main change envisaged is that Local Public Service Boards would be bound together by pooling funds and capacity as a normal practice, rather than just for individual projects. It is argued that powerful community and political leadership would be able to marshal the resources of all relevant local agencies and deliver radical changes for the better. A simple solution is being sought for agencies to create a streamlined form of local governance rather than add to the existing complex and somewhat uncoordinated structures.

Published by the Local Government Association and available from http://www.lga.gov.uk http://www.lga.gov.uk/