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Place-Based Public Service Budgets: Making public money work better for communities place-based public service budgets

England’s public services are in crisis. Cuts and underinvestment have left services understaffed and underresourced, with those who rely on them paying more and getting less.

Amidst a bleak outlook of public finances and with one in five English local authorities reportedly facing bankruptcy within 15 months, it is clear the current funding settlement for public services is unsustainable.

If the next government is to revitalise England’s public services, a new approach must be taken which ensures public money goes further, outcomes improve and the local communities where services are delivered are not sidelined, but brought in.

Inspired by the Total Place pilots of the last Labour government, this new report from New Local with The Future Governance Forum proposes decision making be brought down to the local level, with Whitehall and local government working together to coordinate investment.

Pooling existing public service budgets across a place will not only overcome the waste and fragmentation that defines in the current model of provision, but ensure services better meet the specific needs of different communities