‘Whole Place’ could save £200m

Four areas piloting ‘Whole Place’ community budgets will produce estimated public spending savings of over £200 million a year between them over the next five years.

By CivilServiceWorld

14 Mar 2013

The figures are contained in a report released today by the National Audit Office, which said that the four areas have made a good start in evaluating their operational plans and business cases.

But the NAO added that more collaboration between central and local government and other partners is needed to monitor progress once the plans are operational.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: “The community budgets concept, like ‘Total Place’ before it, aims to use funding flexibly to meet local needs. The difference this time is that government is trialling this method properly.”

Community budgets aim to pool and streamline central government funding across different spending areas in order to drive efficiency savings.

The report found that the pilot areas have achieved reasonable consistency in evaluation methods through collaboration, but warned that not all the analyses contain a cost-benefit comparison with existing services, leaving a risk of inaccurate estimates of savings.

The four pilot areas cover 29 councils in Chester, Essex, London and Manchester.

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