In April 2015, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) completed a programme of work aimed at supporting its members to reduce demand on place based services. The programme involved three phases; a research phase; an initial prototyping phase with two councils; and a final phase that expanded the prototyping to six further councils. The third phase was supported and sponsored by Ringway, who brought the vital perspective and active involvement of a private sector service provider. Eighteen months on from the end of the formal programme, ADEPT and Ringway commissioned a short follow up study to monitor progress and consolidate learning.
This programme originated from an urgent need to explore how demand for services could be managed better and costs reduced. Through its emphasis on innovation and experimentation, the programme has enabled and built on approaches across a range of local authorities. Those approaches have demonstrated clearly that:-
- Innovation can help to control demand for services
- Cheaper and better community based solutions can be found as communities meet their own demand
- Productivity increases with the piloting of new techniques, particularly using digital technology
- Clearer accountability, which can include the community, reduces costly delay and confusion
- Placing risk management and the pricing of risk at the right place in the system can save you money
- Scaling up is entirely possible, provided you scale up the learning process, not the product.
To read about the results, the document is here. Many thanks to Ringway for sponsoring this piece of work.