Research into the working of partnerships between local authorities and private and voluntary sector organizations has resulted in an upbeat assessment of what they can help to achieve and led to a call for all councils to consider strategic partnering as an option for delivering services.The call came from the Local Government Minister, Nick Raynsford, as he launched the final report of the Strategic Partnering Taskforce. The document is the culmination of two years research work into the feasibility and scope of partnerships. The Taskforce has brought together representatives from central government and seconded a range of experts from leading private sector companies, and professional organisations as well as from local authorities.
Having completed its work the Taskforce will now be disbanded and a new Procurement and Partnerships Team will take on further work to promote and support partnership working both with local authorities and across Whitehall.
At the same time the Knowledge Programme, an ‘A-Z’ guide on how to set up and manage strategic partnerships to achieve benefits in service delivery has been published. It has been developed as part of the Taskforce’s work, to support local authority leaders and project managers in developing partnerships regardless of their size and previous experience.
Examples of successful strategic partnering highlighted with the publication of the research, include seven new service centres in Worcestershire, linking county, district, police and health authorities; a scheme in Durham to deliver building and civil engineering services and a partnership in Barnsley that provides integrated health and social services.