local authorities

Services shared: costs spared? An analysis of the financial and non-financial benefits of local authority shared services

Report that focuses on the key themes that emerged from the research, specifically the nature and scale of the benefits delivered in practice by shared service arrangements. It also outlines an evaluation tool that has been developed to help identify financial and non-financial share service benefits and to monitor delivery progress.

Cost of alcohol harm profiles

Local profiles that provide a brief summary of the overall costs of alcohol-related harm to local authority areas in Scotland in 2010/11.

Families and personalisation project 'Better Lives': key learning outcomes summary for families, local authorities and support providers

Summary of a programme run in three locations - Suffolk, Calderdale and Wolverhampton. Each site recruited families who, primarily, were dissatisfied with how things were at the time, who had a vision for things being different and/or were worried about the future. Although each locality had done some information sharing with families, most participants were unaware of or deeply sceptical about personalisation.

Using cost information to improve performance: are you getting it right?

Report that highlights the importance of having good quality cost information to inform policy decisions and scrutinise performance, and identifies some of the guidance and cost measures that already exist. It also provides some case studies to illustrate how councils and councillors are currently using cost information.

Counting the cost of choice and control: evidence for the costs of self-directed support in Scotland

Study with overall aim to provide macro-level financial and economic evidence on the potential costs, benefits and impacts of an increase in the uptake of SDS in Scotland.

An overview of local government in Scotland: challenges and change in 2012

Report that provides the Accounts Commission’s perspective on local government in Scotland based on its recent audit work. It focuses on the challenges, risks and opportunities in 2012 and provides a short summary of resource management in 2011.

Social Care (Self-directed support) (Scotland) Bill

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to enable local authorities to provide support to certain carers; to make provision about the way in which certain social care services are provided by local authorities; and for connected purposes.

Meals and messages: a focus on food services for older people living in the community in Scotland

Report that outlines the main findings from a study by ODS Consultants commissioned by Consumer Focus Scotland and Community Food and Health Scotland. The study included a survey of all Scottish local authorities, three community organisation commissioned case studies, and focus group activity and telephone interviews with older people using food services.

Framework for the inspection of local authority arrangements for the protection of children

Document that outlines the framework for the inspection of local authority arrangements to protect children, including the effectiveness of early identification and help for children, young people, their families and carers. These inspections will focus on the effectiveness of the local authority’s child protection services, and the local authority’s leadership of strategic partners in their shared work to help and protect children and young people who are suffering, or likely to suffer, harm from abuse or neglect.

Performance differences across local authorities

Paper that comes in two parts. First Lesley Sutton shares her experience in looking at (some) data on local authority spend and performance in a few sectors. This is undertaken on the basis of published data, and the annex describes the key data sets that are available and touches upon the significant gaps. Her work does point to a major variation in performance but also emphasises that this is a data and policy minefield; great care should be taken before drawing any conclusions as to relative efficiencies, etc.