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Cover of Between a rock and a hard place

Between a rock and a hard place

Newly published CfPS report which explores the part that non-executives have played in the piloting of place-based community budgets, and the role they could play in the future

We think that accountability isn’t just about governance – it’s about helping to improve services. Focusing on improvement – making things better - provides the ideal opportunity to get non-executives on board and to take advantage of their perspective (which will be very different to that of decision-makers) in plotting out the future for local service delivery. It’s an approach that can help local agencies and bodies demonstrate that they can learn from their experiences, make decisions out in the open and be properly responsive to the concerns of the public. All of these things will be vital as we move into a public service landscape in the next few years that will be characterised by tightened budgets and tough decisions.

This report is about place-based community budgets, previously called Total Place. It explores the opportunities that it brings to agencies delivering public services locally, and how non-executives should be involved at the centre of moves towards greater operational efficiency and services more responsive to clients’ needs.

We have drawn on learning from some of our recent publications on the recession, on performance management and improvement, and on the future for accountability in the public sector.  Between a Rock and a Hard Place looks at how accountability can play a positive role in the development of Total Place, based on the experience of the pilots.

The publication:

  • looks closely at the learning from 13 pilots, plus other places that have developed innovative methods for joint working, speaking to members and officers at a range of different organisations involved in the process on the ground;
  • reads and analyses broader thinking around partnership working, the efficiency agenda, customer insight and the coalition Government’s plans, speaking to colleagues in other organisations carrying out research into this area.