Headlines: March 22nd, 2002

As the Chancellor tightens demands on public services to perform better with less, a new series of funding awards is a reminder that many sectors are already queuing up to offer innovative ideas that also cut long-term costs.Seventy-five local and national partnership schemes have been awarded a total of 68 million pounds under the Invest To Save Budget (ISB), a shared responsibility of the Treasury and Cabinet Office.

These projects pilot new ideas with seed money, with two or more bodies working together to test out better and more cost effective ways of delivering services. Schemes chosen not only have to be innovative, but take effective approaches to risk identification and management.

The 75 projects receiving new funding this year include a project to reduce violent and property crime in at least four schools and three hospitals across England and Wales. It will make use of existing and emerging technologies to make hospitals and schools a safer and more secure environment.

‘E-Pal’, created by a leading games software house will offer a virtual personal adviser via pc screen or text messages to young people trying to find jobs, work placements or training.

And a project linking the Environment Agency, the Meterological Office and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council aims to provide advance public warning and information systems for severe weather via e-mail, internet, SMS text messaging, digital TV, mobile and fixed telephones and fax.

Details of all the winning projects and contacts for further information about them can be found on the ‘News’ page of the ISB website at: www.isb.gov.uk