Localism will fail without work between Govt and Local Institutions
- 04 Dec
The report on the localism act argues that despite lack of resources, localism could still be a success if the government and local institutions work together.
The publication examines the role of housing associations in transforming localism and warns that if the disconnect between the government and local insititutions is not overcome, then the localism agenda will fail.
Acting on Localism: The role of housing associations in driving a community agenda, looks at the act and specific case studies, to examine the localism changes one year on from the introduction of the Localism Act.
The report, published by ResPublica with Chester and District Housing Trust, found that many communities do not have the resources for the opportunities that the Localism Act creates. However this can be overcome if the government works with local institutions such as housing associations, so that they are able to enable social impact, and they also need to take this role on; the local institutes need to monitor their social impact, support local organisations and enable community ownersip, but will need help from the government to do this.
The main recommendations from the report are:
- Government to extend the provisions of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to require housing associations to report on their social role.
- Government to extend the Tenant Empowerment Programme to include non-tenants so that housing associations are accountable to the wider community.
- Government to remove barriers to community ownership of partnership companies that work at a local level.
- Government to remove barriers to market entry for community-based public service partnerships to enable them to be established before being subject to full competition.
- Housing associations to assist smaller civil society organisations to 'scale up' and form consortia to enable them to bid more effectively for contracts to deliver public services.
- Housing associations to train their in-house commissioning teams in how they could most effectively procure services that will deliver the most social value for their communities.
- Housing associations, in partnership with the local authority and other asset holders, to compile an asset register for each locality where they have concentrated stock, revealing to nearby communities any opportunity for potential community ownership and control.
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Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services