WLA is among PSTN members

The West London Alliance is among nine to be awarded funding to work towards “whole community budgets”, championed by the Public Services Transformation Network.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced the West London Alliance – a collaborative effort from the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow – would be one of the first to be funded during a speech at the Local Government Association Conference.

Mr Pickles said the areas would receive dedicated support to help them develop practical reforms and deliver better services for less at a local level. In his keynote speech, Eric Pickles said: “We’ve only just dipped our toes in the waters of the possible. Nationally, Local Government Association research found that the partnership approach could save billions not millions. So we are now expanding this in many more directions.

“Our Public Transformation Network will spread the opportunities created by Community Budgets around the country, leading to more joint working and shared services.

He said the areas would receive support to help them break down the barriers and “focus on people’s issues rather than public structures”.

The government says the network will be made up of people with expertise from across the public and private sectors to provide direct links between government departments, councils and local places.

The Public Service Transformation Network was first announced in the Budget in 2013. The government is committing £1.5 million towards the network, while each place working with the network will also to contribute towards its operating costs.

Four whole-place Community Budget pilots (Cheshire West, Essex, Greater Manchester, and in London the Tri-borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster) produced what the Government describes as innovative reforms to deliver integrated services better able to meet local peoples’ needs.

The other eight areas chosen are Bath and North East Somerset; Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset; Hampshire; Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark; Sheffield; Surrey; Swindon; and the Wirral.

There were over 40 expressions of interest covering more than 60 local authorities plus their partners.

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