The DETR has put some fences around the flagrant use of the word partnership’ by local councils.The word featured in proposals for the ‘third way’ and as a result many activities are now attracting the label of being ‘partnerships’. Consultants Newchurch and Co., who have produced a definition of the word on request from the DETR, say some of these projects are a simple re-badging of something that was previously described in other ways.
The Newchurch study says that to be a true partnership, projects need crucially to bring together or uses partners’ resources more economically, efficiently and effectively.
They offer a full definition as follows: A local authority partnership is a process in which a local authority works together with partners to achieve better outcomes for the local community, as measured by the needs of the local stakeholders, and involves bringing together or making better use of resources. This working together requires the development of a commitment to a shared agenda, effective leadership, a respect for the needs of the partners, and a plan for the contributions and benefits of all the partners. The dynamic aspect to be evaluated, and the assessment of the continuing fit between partnership activities and community needs and priorities.