Councils rise to Transformation Challenge

older womanSeventy three bids have won funding from the Transformation Challenge to improve local services - while aiming to save over £900m along the way.

Local government minister Kris Hopkins has announced a £89.4m investment in collaborative projects which aim to both improve the public services people receive and reduce the cost to taxpayers.

The majority of successful bids will use technology in one form or another to realise their vision, however, a number have a core focus on digital:

Hampshire County Council - Transforming Services Through Digital - implementation of the council's digital strategy. Funding will deliver a new, modern digital infrastructure, providing digital tools and capabilities to enable service improvements - transforming business processes and services across the council and its partners. Delivery will facilitate future savings for all partners and contribute to Hampshire's target to save £100m by 2017.

Norwich City Council - Transforming Service Access through Digital Inclusion - improve access to, and use of, digital technology for some of the city's most disadvantaged residents. To help them to make the most of new technology and become more self-supporting in the longer term. It will also mean, as they grow more confident, that some residents will need less direct support from a range of public services.

Essex County Council - Early Intervention: Transforming Essex - the Essex Partnership will create shared databases to identify those in need and act earlier for victims of domestic abuse. It will support partners to build resilience in communities through implementing social prescribing services that will see the health and social care system working collaboratively and allowing residents to take greater responsibility over their own health and wellbeing.

Copeland BC - Customer Services Transformation - the grant will help three councils implement an action plan covering customer services across the three sites to deliver: an improved customer centric services; more efficient service; more resilience across sites; and a Digital by Default ethos.

Calderdale MBC - Transforming Domestic Abuse Services - through integrated commissioning to shift the focus of activities to prevention; to utilise digital technology to improve case management; to address gaps in service; and to consider new ways of working to provide an earlier joint approach between agencies.

South Gloucestershire Council - Better Quality Care - to provide a new way of safely sharing social care, health and education information, enabling professionals to see a single electronic view of up-to-date case management information.

Other projects include:

  • supporting young people so they can make a good start in life, including £400,000 for the Kirklees Cares project where children in care are receiving peer support to prepare them for leaving care
  • keeping vulnerable and older people safe and well at home, including £1m for the Light Bulb Project in Leicestershire which will provide residents with a single point of contact for all their housing needs including aids and adaptations, energy advice and home maintenance
  • supporting people with mental health problems, including £1.5m for public bodies in Surrey which are boosting community support and sharing information more effectively for people in crisis
  • helping communities take control of the services that matter to them, including £1.4m for the Durham Ask initiative which supports local volunteers who want to run treasured community centres and libraries
  • helping ambitious places overhaul public services so all residents get a better deal, including £12.4m for Greater Manchester councils to create integrated, community services which will support people back into work, improve the life chances of children and young people, and improve residents' health

Said Hopkins, "The local authorities behind these projects have shown what can be done to improve the services people get, helping them to live independently and reducing demand for public services.

"By working with the local police, health bodies, Jobcentre Plus, voluntary groups and others they are eliminating waste and creating services which help people first time - not services which send people from pillar to post to get problems sorted."

All the bids were submitted by partnerships which set out how they would work together to eliminate duplicate services and provide more coherent support for people. In total, the 73 successful bids involve 287 partners including 122 local authorities and 165 other organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Further info:

View an interactive map of the 2015 to 2016 Transformation Challenge Award winners

Read the full Table of successful bids (PDF, 301KB, 8 pages)

The £89.4 million will be shared between 71 of the winners. Two further winners have been offered capital flexibility allowing them to spend the proceeds of asset sales for revenue purposes: Table of successful bids for Capital Receipt Flex (PDF, 125KB, 1 page)