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Community Champions to promote Community Budgets

Neil Euesden from Pinnacle PSG comments on Community Budgets

As part of their localism drive, the government is keen to introduce whole-place Community Budgets. These are very similar to the Total Place initiatives piloted by the Labour Government, and four whole-place pilot schemes were announced in December 2011:  Greater Manchester; Essex; West London and Cheshire West & Cheshire. 

These cover a much wider range of policy issues and services than earlier schemes and the aim, in the long term, is to create a single local funding pot to bring together different national and local funding budgets. These agencies would then work together as one co-ordinated organisation, with the local community, to deliver services. This should in effect drive down costs and improve performance and local accountability.

The key question in all of this is how will this succeed, where other schemes have failed? Should we now be looking at real “people investment” for long term future results? Perhaps creating a 10, 15 or 20 year plan for investment in people to improve communities in the same way, or in tandem, as we deal with regeneration of homes and buildings? This would allow early and prolonged intervention which survives local and national elections.

One driver, which could help to promote Community Budgets, is the emergence of “Community Champions”.  This will need to be somebody from the local community with the profile, urgency, drive and commitment to effect change. This could, for example, be a community leader, local celebrity or elected politician. This could also be a “group” initiative with local businesses or charities joining with communities to create momentum.

What also need to be addressed are the wider issues of how local and national government agencies work together with businesses and the third sector. The role of the business and third sectors is crucial to achieving the value necessary to reduce the deficit, create growth and jobs going forward.

Devising a business model that can be adapted to local circumstances and requirements, which brings together local and national government, the third sector and business would seem to be a prerequisite to success.

In our view, building a model out of our housing estates, which brings education, health and social care together in one local service, is the way forward. We believe linking housing, education, health and social care together with an agreed “champion” and the right business model will provide the platform for success, growth and new jobs. This will also provide a pathway to sustainable social inclusion and return pride and opportunity to our communities.


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Detailed Summary

Date Published
04 April 2012

Issue(s)
New Economies, Innovative Markets

About The Authors

Neil Euesden

Neil Euesden is Managing Director at Pinnacle PSG. After working in housing for the London Borough of Hackney, Neil left...