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Building bridges: bringing councils, communities and independent funders into dialogue

Author(s)

GILBERT Abigail

Publisher(s):

New Local Government Network

Publication year:

2017

This report highlights the need for collaboration between local organisations and local government in order to secure the wellbeing of communities at a time of increasing pressure facing local government budgets and increasing demand for services. The report found that councils need to work more closely with other funders of civil society, and communities, to enable change. It shows that effective collaboration between independent funders and local government can result in more intelligent, inclusive commissioning, more innovation at scale, better distribution and use of assets within localities, and more participation and engagement with communities. It also identifies potential barriers to collaboration, which include: a lack of a shared sense of purpose; a lack of consensus on what effective prevention looks like; and both councils and funders wanting to maintain their independence and reputation. The report makes a number of recommendations to improve collaboration. These include: for local authorities to have a senior officer responsible for developing funding; for elected members to building bridges between the council and independent funders; and for independent funders, such as charitable trusts, to work collaboratively with councils in order to define what ‘good’ service delivery looks like. Although the evidence for this report is focused on London, many of the findings and messages will be relevant to a wider audience. (Edited publisher abstract)


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