Incentives are being offered to councils and partners to make exceptional savings and to pursue the total place approach. The reward will be freedoms and flexibilities for all, but for those who make big savings, a proportion will be retained locally.
High performing councils and partners will receive a ‘Single Offer’ to make savings above the norm. They will be asked to work together to set out a range of ambitious savings, above those that will be required of all areas over the next spending period. There will be a negotiation process on such issues as retention of savings, reduction of ringfences, agreeing a small number of outcome targets and indicators with assessment and reporting focused only on these targets. The first Single Offers will be implemented from April 2011.
For those who are not high performers, but have real strengths in delivery of services within a particular policy area, there will be an ‘Innovative Policy Offer’. This will bring devolved responsibility to places within an agreed delivery theme. The rewards will be similar to the ‘Single Offer’ but restricted to the policy area and savings will not be retained.