Introducing Folio

Folio is our brand new software product for those that have more projects or work than budgets and resources. Take the politics and guesswork out of prioritising and sequencing portfolios of work through our evidence based solution that guarantees to arrange the projects to give the best possible results. For more information and to request details on pricing, our unique on-site support and introductory offer just drop us a line! Share...

Putting the evidence into policing domestic abuse

As most people know domestic abuse has an appalling and devastating impact on the lives of too many men, women and children. In response, we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to provide detailed problem profiles for some of the UK’s largest police forces and have been working away on this for the last two years. We can’t share too much about this for obvious reasons but suffice to say, it turns out that much of what we thought we knew about this terrible crime turns out to be wrong. Its a lot more complex and subtle than many of us feared and the emerging threats and trends are not what anyone would want to see. A series of academic papers describing some of this work will be published in the near(ish) future and we’ll be sure to post more details as soon as we are able to. We’re very sure this will be of substantial interest to those working in the field as its already winning awards for innovation. Meanwhile, its been an enormous privilege to be working with some incredible, dedicated public servants who are among the brightest and most inspiring people its been our joy to work with.  More importantly we are absolutely sure that this work has already saved substantial distress, fear, injury and even lives among those impacted by domestic abuse. It also happens to be saving police large amounts of resources, (which is very nice but somehow does that really feel like it’s the point?) Share...

Development Management Insights for delivering the customer experience while meeting the financial challenges

Finding the little extras that can transform Development Management What do you do to improve the efficiency and customer experience from Development Management when you’ve already looked in all the usual places? Look in some new ones of course! We’ve been working hard with a number of LPAs recently looking to improve the Development Management (DM) process in local authorities and a few things have struck us. This short series of mini insights highlights just a few points that we hope might help others looking at improving efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes from DM. If you have any comments or ideas please let us know, we’d love to highlight them here for others to learn from. Insight 1 – How to get better results for your customers and residents by improving agent performance Insight 2 – If you aren’t blessed with high quality applications are you destined to under achieve? Insight 3 – Is the planning portal costing you and your applicants more than they realise? Insight 4 – Are you one of the top fastest improving authorities? Insight 5 – Which authorities have the greatest challenge with planning enforcement and what IS it about London?   For more information about our range of services to support Development Management including our unique on-line DM process simulation tool and data insights packages please contact us via the link below. Name(required) Email(required) Comment(required) Share...

Helping to fund regeneration the smart way.

It’s a statement of the obvious to say that reducing deprivation is a Good Thing and that it can be very helpful to local authorities since council tax collection may increase as areas develop. Indeed this is at the heart of current policy in business rate retention. What may not have been considered so much however is a secondary by-product of reducing deprivation. The chart below shows how income deprivation is intimately related to council tax collection rates. The greater the deprivation in an area, the lower the council tax collection rates. Its not the only factor influencing collection rates but its certainly a very important one. This has important implications when it comes to benchmarking performance of course and may challenge perceptions of how is doing well, or not, on this indicator. But it also means that as income deprivation drops there should be a corresponding increase in collection rates. To give a sense of this, the council marked below is not doing particularly well on council tax collection on the face of it. But when taking account of income deprivation it is performing EXACTLY where you would expect it to be since deprivation is quite acute here. However, this council would achieve an additional £2m of income per year through improved collection alone rates if deprivation levels improved to something like the lower 40% percentile. It’s a big ask to have this much impact on income deprivation but an additional £2m a year will certainly help to fund this important work and is certainly worth considering. Share...

How to save money in the public sector the right way

We were running a series of workshops recently and have been really struck by a few emerging themes about making savings well, and how this impacts on those who are required to manage through the turmoil. At one session, we were discussing some of the amazing things that they are doing in Manchester and the work we’re supporting on domestic violence. Assistant Chief Consultable Rebekah Sutcliffe has been leading this along with Chief Superindent Neil Evans (two of my absolute public sector heroes, seriously these people are inspirational and the work is among the highlights of my career!) with fantastic support from the PCC, Jamie Hopwood and funding from the Home Office. We were talking about how the new model that is being driven is a once in a career opportunity to build a brand new service from the ground up based on evidence and data that fundamentally changes the system and tackles genuine need, probably for the first time ever. Oh and it also happens to be substantially cheaper. Those at the workshop were truly inspired by this and quite right too (“Now I remember – THIS is why we came into the public sector – to make a difference to citizens, residents and communities”). But… in their context this wasn’t how it was. One comment was “great stuff, but for us we’re down to banning post-it notes and cancelling training courses”. Now this can work, after all British Cycling has transformed the sport by focussing on all the minor details (the 1% ‘marginal gains’ that add up to a big impact). We’re great fans of this model,...