Tendring: Leaders due to share public services best practice at Westminster


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Representatives from Tendring District Council (TDC) are heading off to Westminster to talk to MPs about innovative ways that public services can be delivered differently and more efficiently.

Leader Peter Halliday and chief executive Ian Davidson have been invited to provide evidence to the Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee on how a new approach to dealing with problem families can provide better outcomes as well as save public money.

They are due to address the committee on June 18 about the council’s experience of operating community budgets, working in partnership with Essex County Council and other public sector organisations.

TDC took the lead in a pilot to deliver improved outcomes for families with complex needs – a particular problem in the district, where responding to the needs of around 320 families costs public sector organisations about £45million a year.

The TDC-led approach involves early intervention with support workers put in place to co-ordinate work with each family. The council says this reduces duplication among the various agencies and brings down costs significantly.

Councillor Halliday said it has been a ground-breaking piece of work of which the council and its partners are proud. “It is a bold new way of doing things – being proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “Our aim is to both reduce the number of families in chaos and stop others finding themselves in that situation in the first place.”

Some of the early outcomes from the Tendring approach have now been adopted across Essex in the Family Solutions Teams, the Essex response to the national Troubled Families Programme.

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“We are delighted to have this unique opportunity to inform MPs of the lessons we have learnt through this trial project,” added Mr Halliday.

“We hope that it will be a catalyst to change the way that public services operate to bring about much better outcomes for residents.”

Mr Davidson said the information provided by Tendring will allow the Parliamentary Committee to explore the way a two-tier community budget approach can operate.

He added: “It is very gratifying that TDC’s innovative work in this area has been recognised by being invited to address the committee.”

The news comes after the New Local Government Network (NLGN) – an organisation that promotes modernisation in local government – flagged up TDC’s as an example of best practice to be followed by others.

The NLGN is keen to see district councils establish funding to help community benefit projects.

The TDC-led pilot was highlighted in a report by the NLGN which was presented to a national meeting of the District Councils Network in London earlier this year.