Transforming Delivery of Local Government Services

A radical transformation of service delivery by local authorities is being driven through the Delivering Differently programme.
This joint initiative between the Cabinet Office (the Contracting Authority), the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), is a conduit for driving change.
The programme has been designed to support councils in the selection and implementation of new models of delivery for some of their public services. It includes a £1m Challenge fund, which will support 10 pioneering local authorities, either individually or in partnership, by providing bespoke professional support.
There are a number of key drivers for Delivering Differently and the projects selected. These include budget reductions, a greater emphasis on clients/service users, focused involvement of stakeholders and partners, and new delivery models including employee-led mutuals. 
To support the authorities concerned, the advice encompasses an options appraisal and an implementation plan but, significantly, it does not include support to actually implement the chosen solution. 
The 10 local authorities selected to participate in Delivering Differently, and a brief description of their proposals, are as follows:
  • Walsall Council is exploring the options for transforming the Walsall Adult and Community College.
  • Hull City Council wants to redesign adult social care, moving away from traditional dependency to create services that enable the people of Hull to benefit from modern, innovative services which promote independence, choice and control whilst ensuring value for money and aligning with the commitment to integration.
  • Manchester City Council is examining options for a new delivery model for Domestic Violence and Abuse services. It wants to move from a complex, reactive model to a new delivery model that will enable the service to be proactive tackling the root causes of abuse, supporting and empowering victims, managing the perpetrators and reducing costs.
  • Kirklees Council is examining options for sustainable, community-led approaches to maintaining public and open spaces in the borough.
  • Devon County Council is examining options for how youth services; library and information services; and, day opportunities for older people and people with a learning disability, can be better delivered through a new local delivery model. 
  • Dover District Council, working with English Heritage, wants to explore sustainable options for operating models for its museum and tourism service. The Council is keen to group heritage assets together in a new model, working in partnership with Dover Town Council and the Dover Harbour Board, to also unlock heritage assets on the port estate, and to increase voluntary and community sector involvement.
  • North East Lincolnshire Council is looking at a new delivery model for most of its environment services functions, under the working title of ‘Enterprising Communities’.
  • Portsmouth City Council is exploring new delivery models with the city's flagship organisation, the “Safer Portsmouth Partnership” (SPP). SPP is the local community safety partnership.
  • Nottinghamshire County Council is examining how it delivers Children’s Disability Service. The Council wants to create a more customer-focused and user-driven service which is more responsive to the changing needs and demands of both customers and stakeholders.
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council and Wirral Borough Council are examining delivery options for school-traded services, including School Improvement Services, the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Outdoor Education and Catering and Cleaning services. They propose creating a collaborative organisation in conjunction with local schools and local parents to deliver traded services through a new delivery model.
Owen Willcox, Senior Associate, Geldards LLP
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