Troubled Families: Is Lily The Pink Dead?

Jason Lowther

Whatever happened to the Troubled Families Programme (TFP)?  Three weeks before last year’s general election purdah period, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles heralded the Government’s three year programme as “a triumph…[that will] turn around the lives 120,000 of this country’s hardest to help families…[saving] the taxpayer over a billion pounds”.  After the election, Prime Minister Cameron announced the success rate had been 99% which had “saved as much as £1.2 billion in the process”.

Fast forward a few months and the headlines have taken a rapid reverse:

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Reimagining the public service ethos

Steven Parker

There are many ways to imagine the public service ethos – as an old-fashioned approach to public service delivery, or one that can be improved by closer working between different sectors.  A recent example of this is a report on ‘the new public service ethos’ (Localis 2016). The report noted a clear perception of the public service ethos among public sector staff, but that a lack of awareness between the public and private sectors had led to a perceived ‘cultural misalignment’ between them. It concluded that different sectors need to work together more closely to provide value for local public service delivery.
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How many public servants does it take to organise Christmas?


Catherine Mangan

As 2016 draws to an end, INLOGOV would like wish ‘Happy Christmas’ to all the inspirational public servants we have met and worked with over the past year.   The work of INLOGOV brings us into contact with a range of people dedicated to improving the lives of their citizens.  These include the graduate trainees who have just joined local government; our part time Masters students, juggling full time, demanding jobs with gaining a qualification that will stand them in good stead for their future careers; senior leaders who are working across organisations to develop innovative solutions to our most challenging ‘wicked issues’, and front line staff who continue to support residents in a variety of innovative and thoughtful ways, in spite of budget cuts.

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Ministers say they’re pro-devolution, but don’t they listen even to themselves?

Chris Game

The signs are that we’ll be seeing fewer overseas students in Birmingham in the future. Which is regrettable in so many ways and deserves public airing and protest – but it isn’t, I confess, the real prompt for this blog. The best link I can manage is to suggest that, were students from a pretty high proportion of the 150-odd nations represented on our campus to read some of this week’s media headlines, they’d surely be surprised at how centrally dominated and fiscally weaker even England’s biggest local authorities (like Birmingham City Council) seem than sub-national governments in their own, often reputedly less democratic, countries.

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Can we commission for outcomes?

Anniina Tirronen

‘Outcomes-based commissioning’ has become the dominant approach to commissioning services in the United Kingdom, with similar concepts such as value-based purchasing and payment by results being explored in the United States and Australia.  Instead of determining the volume or exact nature of services, outcomes-based commissioning focuses on desired ‘outcomes’, such as changes, healing or other effects that take place as a result of services, allowing producers and clients to shape the way targets are reached.  But what effect does commissioning for outcomes have, and is it a better way to commission services?

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