The Best Value initiative, which in time will replace Compulsory Competitive Tendering, has moved a step forward with the announcement of the selected pilot projects. 35 local authorities and 2 police authorities have been chosen to run pilots out of more than 150 bids. The life of the projects is expected to be 2 – 3 years. An early bonus for the winners is exemption from CCT requirements.The projects were selected on the basis that they are likely to deliver measurable improvements in value for money across a group of services, and that the authorities have a determination and a capacity to see the bids through. In order to maximise learning from the pilots, selection was spread across rural and urban areas and different types of authorities and political control. To this was added a broad geographical spread.
A further 16 bids were considered sufficiently interesting to warrant progress monitoring and there will be some relaxation of the CCT requirements.
Warwick University’s Local Government Centre, headed by Steve Martin, will carry out a research programme on the pilots.
Although the initiative has made a good start with a critical mass of authorities displaying interest and putting effort into their bids, it is disturbing that almost two thirds of authorities showed no interest. The new legislation placing a duty on local authorities to achieve Best Value will need to take account of the silent majority.
BEST VALUE PILOT AUTHORITIES
Birmingham City Council: Housing Services; Benefits; Services for the Elderly; Catering.
Bradford BC: Home Care & Domiciliary Service; Youth Justice; Youth and Community; Exclusions & School Security; Transportation Planning & Design Services; Tenancy development & Enforcement; Community Mediation; and Safe at Home.
Braintree DC: All Services.
Brent LB: Housing; Refuse & Cleansing; Highways Enforcement; Benefits; and Community Safety.
Bristol City Council: Corporate Framework; City Centre Strategy; IT in the Community; Transport Provision.
Camden LB: Education & Libraries; Transport & Parking; Parks, Open Spaces & Sports Centres; Youth Services; Council Tax; Development Control; Managing Capital Programme; Waste; and Commercial Property.
Carrick DC: Housing Services.
Cleveland Police Authority: Policing services in the Middlesbrough Police District.
Cumbria County Council: Residential Facilities; Supported Housing; Day Care; Home Care; Sheltered Employment; Education.
Exeter City Council: Housing Management & Maintenance; Housing Benefits; Neighbour Disputes; Allocation; Public Health; Energy Efficiency; Cleansing; Highways Maintenance; Parking; Community Care, Safety & Facilities; Leisure Management; Libraries, in the St. David’s, Pinhoe, Stoke Hill, Pennsylvania, Whipton and Polsoe wards.
Gosport BC: Building Control; Food Safety; Maintenance & Management of Housing Services
Great Yarmouth BC: Finance, Planning, Housing, Environmental Health, Economic Development, and Leisure.
Greater Manchester Police: Policing services in the Collyhurst, Longsight, Greenheys and Salford East sub-divisions.
Greenwich LB: Advice & Benefits Service; Domiciliary Care; Early Years Services; Education Inspectorate & Advisory Services; Housing Repairs; Libraries; Property Management; and Transport.
Harrow LB: Domiciliary Care Services; Special Needs Transport; LEA Administration and Support Services; and Financial Services.
Ipswich BC: Finance; Development, Building & Design Services; Theatre & Museums; Corporate Directors Team; Town Centre Management; Town Hall & Corn Exchange; Community Safety; Environmental Policy; Human Resources; and Transportation.
Leeds City Council: Advice & Benefits, Community Sport, Refuse Collection, Social Services and Housing.
Lewisham LB: Raising LEA Standards; Housing Provision & Benefits; VCT; Community Safety; External Resources; Catering PFI.
Lincolnshire County Council: Waste, children in care; Highways; Student & School Services; Home Care; Community Services; Fire and Finance & Resources.
Manchester City Council: Cross-service working will be based on 3 broad issues: physical appearance; education and family support; vandalism and crime.
Newark and Sherwood DC: Revenues, Benefits, Legal, Housing, Environmental Services, DSO and IT.
Newcastle upon Tyne City: Council Integrated Environmental Services and Council Tax Service.
Newham LB: All of the Authority’s services will be reviewed over 3 years.
Northamptonshire County Council: Highways & Transportation; Residential Care for Elderly; Waste Management; and Youth Services.
Oldham MBC: Housing Management & Maintenance, Crime Prevention, and the Maintenance of Streets, Grounds and Highways.
Portsmouth City Council: Education, Crime, Social Services, Economic Development and Asset Management.
Reading BC: Covers all services in which there are opportunities to enhance partnerships.
Redcar & Cleveland BC Covers: A Training & Development Initiative; Local Estates Service Initiative; Occupational Therapy; Council Tax Collection; and Housing/Council Tax Benefit Joint Service Delivery Initiative.
South Norfolk DC: Welfare Advice; Council Tax & Benefit Administration; Economic & Community Development; Housing Management & Maintenance: Leisure Services and Countryside access.
Southampton City Council: Crisis Prevention & Support; Night Watch Scheme; and the Home Safety Scheme.
Sunderland BC: Youth Justice; After Care; Housing; Leisure; Adult Education; Youth and Personnel Services.
Surrey County Council: Libraries, Adult Education; and Youth Services. Warwickshire County Council: Covers all services.
Watford BC Covers: Keeping the Town Clean & Recycling; Traffic Congestion; Building & Development Control; Environmental Health; Housing & Council Tax Benefits; Youth Services; Improving Quality of Life in a Local Area.
York City Council: Street Lighting, School Meals, Commercial Waste, Libraries, Personnel & Payroll, Independent Living, Transport Procurement, and Leisure Services.
Joint bid by City of Lincoln, Oxford City, Welwyn Hatfield, Ipswich & Cambridge Councils Covers 18 specific housing services.
Joint bid by Brighton/Hove Unitary Authority, Tandridge DC, and Wealdon DC Services covered: Revenues and Benefits service on a consortium basis.
In addition to this Brighton & Hove submitted bid which is to be viewed in conjunction with the joint authority bid. Projects will cover all service areas.