The first round of a major package of Government funding to re-engineer more user-orientated public services has been allocated today.
The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced £90m will be distributed immediately to some councils to improve public services, prevent duplication and increase councils' efficiency, continuing until 2016.
The funding is part of a larger pool of Government funding of £410m to help councils transform the way they run local services and "put the user first".
Organisations which have received the funding for immediate support include Blackburn with Darwen Council for a shared service involving 16 agencies to tackle violence (£750,000) and six London boroughs working jointly to boost employment and skills support for young and unemployed people and those on low pay (£150,000). GO Shared Services - an amalgam of four councils in the South West - was awarded £500,000 to further develop savings from their joint back-office system.
In a statement, the Department's Secretary Eric Pickles said: "This £400m funding package will help to fundamentally change the way local public services are delivered to residents".
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis added: "Ambitious authorities have shown how local partnerships and a complete redesign of services around individuals, not organisations, can mean better outcomes for people.
A further £320m is to be made available to local authorities in 2014-15 and 2015-16. This will be comprised of £120m via the annual Transformation Challenge Award and an additional £200m for improving business practices and service delivery such as integrating health and social care and getting the unemployed back to work.
The Awards are part of DCLG's policy 'giving local authorities more control over how they spend public money in their area'.