Headlines: February 17th, 2000

More than 45% of the Invest to Save Budget for 2000/01 has gone to local councils. Over 50 funding awards were made out of more than 200 submissions from councils. When the budget was launched last year only central departments and their agencies were eligible to apply for funding, but the scope has been widened to include councils, the health service, police and fire authorities and non-departmental public bodies.Successful council led projects include an information and advice service for 14-25 year olds under development by Worcester County Council and a multi-agency approach to tackling anti-social behaviour being piloted by the London Borough of Southwark. Health service led projects include the use of video conferencing and diagnostic equipment by Greenwich NHS Trust and Belmarsh Prison to improve prison healthcare.

The Invest to Save Budget is a modest cost change lever to support the Modernising government agenda. Bids must be made by two or more public bodies so that the projects further the move towards joined up working. Projects must also address a customer need rather than improving administrative efficiency.