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Tag Archives: communities

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Families facing multiple challenges: NAO report

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report (“Programmes to help families facing multiple challenges”) examining the design, implementation and performance of two separate government programmes to help families address a range of challenges; the DCLG’s ‘Troubled Families Programme’ and DWP’s ‘Families with Multiple Problems Programme’.
The NAO believe that the rationale for both programmes is strong and while it is too early to assess their value for money it did find evidence that they are beginning to help some families address complex challenges.
But while local authorities have so far exceeded central targets in turning around families, they could have attached more families to the programme; and DWP has only achieved 4% of its employment outcomes target and is operating with only 26% of its expected volume.
There is limited evidence for the DWP’s expectations that its programme will lead to work for over a fifth of participants, while local authorities will need to invest further in order to meet their own targets.
The report points out that the two departments did not work together enough when designing and implementing their programmes. Consequently there is considerable overlap between them.
More could have done to understand the risks of the payment by results model, for example through piloting. Neither department is likely to achieve all the potential benefits of using payments‑by‑results
This briefing will be of interest to cabinet portfolio members, scrutiny members and senior officers for children’s services and housing as well other officers and councillors with an interest in the Troubled Families Programme.

LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards 2014

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The shortlist for the 2014 LGiU & CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards has now been announced.

Preparing the public for individual electoral registration

In recent weeks Electoral Registration Officers have been overwhelmed with regulations, guidance and advice in the lead-up to Individual Voter Registration. This briefing concentrates on preparing the public for the change. It is intended to familiarise elected members, and officers with corporate community and communications responsibilities, with the broad framework.

Connected Localism

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Connected Localism, a new collection of essays published by LGiU today argues for radical public service transformation through networks of local innovation.

House of Commons debate : Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013

* This briefing highlights the key issues affecting local councils raised in the second reading of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013.
* The Bill received general support for its overall ambitions. Criticisms focussed on the efficacy of the new generic rather than ‘behaviour-specific’ framework. The details are now being considered by Committee.
* The anti-social behaviour powers will be available to unitary, county and district councils. Lead members and officers responsible for social care, children and young people, neighbourhoods/communities, environmental services and housing will all be interested in their development.

Scrutiny: unleashing the power of individual voices

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Jessica Crowe, Executive Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, talks to LGiU about what makes ‘good scrutiny’.

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013

* This briefing summarises the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013 which is now before the House of Commons.
* The Bill introduces a suite of new powers, rationalising and extending local authorities’ capacity to tackle anti-social behaviour. It also gives victims and local people a greater say in the approaches being taken locally.
* Other measures in the Bill relate to dangerous dogs, forced marriages and firearms, and policing standards in England and Wales.
* The anti-social behaviour powers will be available to unitary, county and district councils. Lead members and officers responsible for social care, children and young people, neighbourhoods/communities, environmental services and housing will all need to keep abreast of the changes.

Social Justice: transforming lives one year on

* The document: Social Justice: transforming lives one year on (available here), is an update to the original document published in 2012. It is in part a progress report and in part a re-iteration of the guiding principles of the Government’s strategy for social justice.

*Key to the strategy is local delivery, with civil society playing a central role. There is an update on progress in developing what is described as a ‘social investment market’, including the creation of social impact bonds and the Big Society Capital Group.

*The strategy is aimed at families, young people, helping people into work, and disadvantaged adults, with a particular emphasis in the last of these on tackling drug addiction and rehabilitating ex-offenders.

*This briefing will be of particular interest to members and officers involved with children and families, social care, housing, employment issues, voluntary and community groups, and strategy.

Individual Electoral Registration: An Update

The introduction of Individual Electoral Registration has begun, and the first steps are being taken to ensure the scheme is in place by the end of 2014, with some important landmarks this summer.

This briefing provides a snapshot of the current position, and revises the outline of what can be expected over the next 2-3 years given in an LGiU briefing in August 2012 (which can be found through the accompanying link).

It will be of interest to all elected members, and officers with corporate community and electoral responsibilities.

Much ado about…whole place community budgets

‘Whole place community budgets’ have been lauded by the coalition government as a flagship policy to put major principles of localism, ‘customer first’ service integration, public services reform, and deficit reduction into practice. They also tend to be supported enthusiastically by local government in both community leadership and local results delivery roles. This briefing looks at the progress made (or lack of it) on community budgets since the submission of the four whole area pilots business cases in October 2012 – covering the:
– Business cases themselves;
– ‘Scaling up’ and analytic work undertaken by, amongst others, the LGA and NAO;
– Response from the government around the Budget; the launch of the government’s ‘transformation network’; and
– Issues being raised regarding the role of community budgets in the impending Spending Review, due to be announced on June 26 2013.

It then considers the implications of the results to date for local government as a whole, and individually. This briefing will be of interest to senior politicians, officials and our partners across the local government ‘family’, as well as specifically for policy officers involved in community budget and related work streams.