Does 'working together' work in practice asks Local Government and Regeneration Committee

09/11/2012

How local authorities and other public bodies can work together to benefit communities across Scotland is to be explored by the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee.

As part of its inquiry into public service reform, the Committee has today (9 November 2012) launched a call for evidence to help it examine progress on the development of shared services and it will look at whether this is working in practice. It will also look at other ways in which the strengths and skills of the public sector can be harnessed to deliver real changes.

Launching the call for evidence, Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP said:

“How public services are delivered in communities across Scotland is of vital importance, and making sure that these are provided in the most efficient way possible can bring benefits for everyone.

“But it is about more than shared IT or shared procurement systems, it is about working together and having a common goal that will make real improvements in the lives of those using public services.

“We want to hear from those who work in public services as well as those living in communities about their experiences of shared services – good or bad – and what more needs to be done for shared services to work in practice.”

The committee is keen to learn what local authorities, their community planning partnerships and other public bodies, are doing to develop shared services and how these operate. To help the committee’s consideration, it is asking a series of questions to help inform its consideration of the inquiry, including: 

  • What is hindering moves toward developing shared and innovative service delivery models? In areas where moves to alternative service delivery models are not being pursued, what efforts are being made to standardise, streamline and simplify existing methods of delivery?
  • How are the tensions between potential savings and possible job losses being resolved?
  • What has been learned from elsewhere, for example Nottingham Early Intervention City or Birmingham total place initiative?
  • In what ways can innovative delivery methods and collaborative arrangements (as mentioned, for example, in the Christie Commission report) help to improve outcomes and tackle embedded social problems?
  • In what ways are Community Planning Partnership’s being involved in driving the move toward new service delivery methods? What is hampering their involvement and how can it be overcome?

Background

This call for evidence sees the committee begin its third and final strand of the inquiry into public services reform.  The first strand ¬examined how local councils work with their community planning partners like the police, NHS boards and local communities. While the second strand focussed on benchmarking and the process of comparing performance in the same service across different councils.

The remit and further information about the committee’s inquiry can be found on the committee’s webpage.

The closing date for submissions is 20 December 2012. Responses should be sent to psrandlocalgov.inquiry@scottish.parliament.uk or to:

Clerk to the Local Government and Regeneration Committee
Committee Office
Room T3.60
Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

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