Business case development, data science and simulation modelling for engagement and evidence based decisions

Building the business case

Decision making

Detailed process simulation

Understanding the data that drives improvment

Engagement and Consensus Building

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... read more

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,... read more