Community Budgets: Delivering transformative change and significant savings?

Whole Place and Neighbourhood Community Budgets are central to the government’s drive to let communities make empowered choices regarding their local services. There is huge potential to transform how communities can direct funding towards local needs and drive savings through joint budgeting. Some reports have suggested over twenty billion pounds can be saved if Community Budgets are adopted around the country, but others have highlighted the persistent confusion around how these savings can be delivered. Certainty is needed if Community Budgets are to be successfully implemented.

This event will allow delegates to get the hard won practical insight drawn from the latest round of pilot sites and gain clarifications from senior politicians on the pace and funding for the scheme. Particular emphasis will be placed on how central government will provide coherent interdepartmental support for the budgets and the steps necessary for realising the savings joint budgeting promises.

Provisional agenda

9:30 Registration

10:00 Keynote address: Progress toward national adoption

Speaker: Brandon Lewis MP
With response from Cllr David Finch, Leader, Essex County Council

10:30 Keynote panel: Lessons from the pilot sites: Investment, innovation and new delivery models
Sharing the key learning from the pilot sites and what community budgets have delivered in terms of new forms of innovation, new forms of delivery and investment models.

Geoff Little, Deputy Chief Executive, Manchester City Council
Nazeya Hussain, Head of Customers, Policy and Partnerships, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion and Equalities, Birmingham City Council

11:30 Morning break

12:00 Break-out session: The new Community Budget trailblazers
Members of the new transformation network discuss their plans for the new phase of community budgets, and the challenges and opportunities of the task ahead.

Speakers: Representatives from Surrey County Council and the West London Alliance

12:30 Closing Panel – Community Budgets – Are they enough and how much central government do we need? From Community Budgets to Place-based deals
Is there sufficient momentum behind Community Budgets for them to have an impact before 2015? Will savings be enough to offset funding restrictions? Can only operational and political integration solve local government’s long term funding shortfall?

Joanna Killian, Chief Executive, Essex County Council
Daniel Goodwin, Executive Director Finance & Policy, Local Government Association
Patrick White, Director of Local Government Policy and Productivity, Department for Communities & Local Government
Norman Mellor, Head of Client Management – Local Government, O2

13:15 Lunch

14:00 Close