Councils offered funding for efficiency projects

10 January 2012

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10 January 2012 | Adam Leach

The Local Government Association is offering a total of £100,000 to councils to support ideas to save money in social care, property, highways, waste and corporate services.

The local authority representative group will provide seed funding of up to £20,000 per project to support councils who aim to make savings. In return for the money, authorities must agree to publicise both the successful project and its findings and demonstrate a willingness to share what they have learnt. The estimated five grants of £20,000 could be altered in size in response to the strength of proposals offered.

A report explaining the initiative, said: “The objective is to stimulate a small number of approaches to procurement that will drive savings with the five categories identified ... producing concepts that can be replicated within the sector on a local, regional or national scale.”



Proposals will be assessed on the grounds of efficiency (50 per cent of the assessment), ease of replication (30 per cent) and innovation (20 per cent).



“The intention is that this money would help to support the successful bidding council to develop and implement a pilot,” said Peter Fleming, chairman of the LGA Improvement Board and a councilor for Seven Oaks District Council. “Our wider aim is to promote efficiency, using concepts which are innovative and that can be replicated within the sector on a local, regional or national scale.”

The LGA has identified collaboration between councils, in areas such as social care commissioning and asset management, as an effective method to drive down costs. This week, Chorley Council announced it saved £300,000 over two years by joint purchasing goods and services such as wheelie bins, insurance brokerage and graffiti removal with South Ribble Borough Council.

Councillor Peter Goldsworthy, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are seeing more and more public sector organisations sharing services and we decided to set up a joint procurement strategy.”

Update, 6 February

The deadline for applications has now passed.

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