Has local government worked in this way before? Yes, councils have been increasingly looking for new ways to engage with their communities at a neighbourhood level to design more efficient local public services and budgets that are more suited to the needs of local people.
The Our Place Pioneers, and now the latest iteration of Our Place areas have shown that councils and communities right across the country can adopt this community-led approach to service delivery and focus on preventing problems before they occur, not picking up the pieces at the point of crisis.
Our Place pioneers provide great examples of what success can look like and have shown that giving local areas more say in their public services is a good thing. It saves money and improves lives.
In Birmingham, they developed successful Our Place areas by replacing often complex and overlapping services with effective interventions, coordinated and influenced by local people. In Balsall Heath residents, in partnership with the police, developed fortnightly street patrols to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Their analysis shows that over five years, there was potential for savings of over £500,000 to be delivered.