Last week, in partnership with a number of charities and social investors, we submitted a proposal to the Spending Review calling for a Local Outcomes Fund to radically improve current approaches to supporting vulnerable beneficiary groups.
For too long, certain groups have achieved poor social outcomes and at a high cost to the taxpayers through the use of acute, expensive services. These include young people at risk of Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), households who are statutorily homeless or on the border of homelessness, people in contact with mental health services and children in care or at risk of going in care. For many of these groups, funding is split between multiple agencies and the benefits of early intervention accrue to different agencies operating at both local and national levels.
Our proposed Local Outcomes Fund would pool funding around outcomes for these groups and be accessed by local public sector bodies to commission for outcomes. The involvement of local areas will help drive a new, radical wave of devolution around public services. Charities and social enterprises are well placed to deliver services for these groups and making best use of their expertise and local intelligence is critical to the proposal.
This is not a new idea. Intervening early in social problems and pooling spending around the desired outcomes for a young person or an unemployed adult with mental health problems has been promoted by numerous academic studies and organisations working closest to the those individuals. Just recently 50 leading charities showed that the failure to do so costs more than £17bn a year.
The proposal was signed by
· Catch 22
Cllr Nick Forbes, Core Cities UK Vice Chair for Reform and leader of Newcastle City Council
“Core Cities UK supports Big Society Capital’s CSR proposals, particularly its recommendation for a Local Outcomes Fund – enabling areas to design integrated public services, based around the distinct needs of individuals. We know that complex, expensive-to-solve social problems cannot be tackled effectively by individual departments or single agencies at a national or local level.”
We look forward to the Treasury’s response and hope that the Spending Review takes advantage of the opportunity to improve the lives of thousands and deliver better public services at value for money to the taxpayers.