Manchester City Council

Harder Than It Looks

Back to the subject of Greater Manchester's Whole Place Community Budget pilot. Much of today and yesterday has been taken up with looking in detail at work currently taking place in Manchester as part of the city-region wide effort.

Yesterday we looked at work with Troubled Families, today at Transforming Justice and later Skills and Worklessness. As I've said before, the basic aim is to get the whole of the public sector working together in an integrated way to tackle some of the most intractable problems we face today. The objective is better lives for Manchester people, healthier communities, a better use of public money, with both short and long-term cash savings.

Each of the workshops contained a number of real examples of where integrated interventions, new delivery methods, were making a positive difference to a lot of people's lives. None of them are yet operating on a scale that they need to. The pilot areas raise major questions about case management and key workers, about accountability and (professional) conflict resolution, about the inflexibility of national programmes, and about the right balance to sticks and carrots.

We plan to rerun the workshops in late September, just before proposals for change arising out of the six month project are due to be submitted to government. The idea of everybody pulling in the same direction seems a pretty obvious one. When you have a large number of agencies with different cultures, operating to different priorities and measures, and over different geographical boundaries, doing it is harder than it looks. But we are making progress and we are I believe asking the right questions.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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