Headlines: November 10th, 2003

Managing local strategic partnerships presents a range of new challenges and in a move to improve the patchy performance the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has produced a performance model. Local Strategic Partnerships were designed to bring joined up government to the sharp end of service delivery.They bring together councils, the health service, central departments as well as the private, business, community and voluntary sectors. A major issue in managing partnerships is their complexity. Up to 40 public bodies may be providing services in any one locality and the partnerships have to find ways to bring it together so that people receive a seamless service.The model provides a structure which has been lacking in the governance of partnerships. It provides for management information set out in a systematic way so that the partnership board have an overview of progress against targets, how the member organizations are integrating and how the partnership is functioning overall. It then provides for these sets of information to form the basis for identifying weaknesses and deciding where to concentrate resources.

Partnerships are urged to give prioriity to national and local targets covering the areas of crime, education, health, housing and employment and the `liveability’ agenda. The agenda is a cross cutting theme which encompasses a cleaner, safer, green living environment.

All the planning information should be made available to the public and the measures of success should include how well the partnership is engaging with the community and voluntary sectors through the Community Empowerment Network and black and minority ethnic and other minority communities.

Links: http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/formatteddoc.asp?id=559 http://www.neighbourhood.gov.uk/formatteddoc.asp?id=558