Abstracts: December 5th, 2007

The new local government performance framework seeks to improve the quality of life in local communities and promote better public services. By reducing the number of indicators demanded by Government to 198, the way is now open for performance to be driven from the bottom as well as from the top.

The framework brings together national standards and priorities set by Government, through local area agreements, with local priorities informed by the vision developed by the local authority and its partners. The agreements provide a basis to take the next steps in the improvement of public services in crime, health, education, economic development, the environment and beyond. They also provide a strong platform for local leadership in collaboration with partners to bring a strong shared vision for the area and to take decisive action to resolve blockages and create new opportunities.

Local partnerships need to be the main managers of performance. No single organisation can achieve success on the complex issues of improving public health, reducing poverty, tackling crime or sustainable economic development. And the challenges are too complex and the needs often too local for all solutions to be imposed from the centre. Everywhere, solutions will need effective co-operation. Strong partnerships will also encourage choice and user involvement in the design and delivery of services.

The new framework, with the strengthened commitment to local as well as national priorities, also provides a basis to reconnect citizens with government. The empowerment of citizens through engagement in the design and delivery of services, citizens’ juries, community ownership of assets and the ability to hold service providers to account will all provide impetus to improved service quality and citizen satisfaction.

The framework is available from Communities and Local Government. http://www.info4local.gov.uk/documents/publications/552651