Shaping Hampshire by working differently together
Friday, 11 April 2014
A Hampshire town that is paving the way for how public services will be delivered in future was the setting for discussions by Hampshire County Councillors around joint working with communities.
One of the ways the Council plans to manage the next round of public spending cuts by Government is through closer partnership working and changing the way people access frontline services, particularly via the use of buildings and spaces, like the Havant Plaza, where county and borough services come under one roof.
Hampshire County Council's Policy and Resources Select Committee met at the Plaza yesterday (10 April 2014), to learn more about local service demand, service provision and the opportunities being explored for stronger collaborative working between public service agencies and the voluntary sector.
Discussions focused on improving the co-ordination of services, placing the customer at the heart of service design to make accessing them easier, providing support at the right time and in the best way. This includes making the most of the experience and expertise of the voluntary sector and community groups to build strength and self-sufficiency in local areas.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry said: "With all parts of the public sector having much less money while facing increasing demands, it's more important than ever that we work in collaboration with partners. We need to do this in a way that makes it easier for people to receive the support they need, when they need it and in a way that doesn't require them to contact a variety of organisations.
"There are ways we could improve how services are managed and reduce demand for them, by acting earlier to help avoid problems at a later stage, or even through empowering communities to do things better themselves. This is essential if Hampshire is to continue to reduce its costs and still invest in the things that matter to residents, while keeping Council Tax one of the lowest in the country."
It's these different ways of working by Hampshire County and Havant Borough Councils along with their partners, that are aiming to deliver improved outcomes for residents. Some of the work across Hampshire's towns and villages that is already having a higher impact at a lower cost, includes:
- empowering local volunteers to takeover the running of their community library
- working with more than 1,600 families (200 in Havant) to tackle truancy, crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment through the Supporting Troubled Families programme
- using community response teams to enable older people to live in their homes independently for as long as possible
- re-introducing the role of the parish lengthsmen - giving local communities more say in the upkeep of their village environment
- exploring how the county and district councils can combine resources to best support voluntary organisations, and give the voluntary sector more say in service development.