Cabinet Office applauds West London Alliance
Thu 27 November 2014, 5:45 pm
The government has endorsed the work of the West London Alliance (WLA) and praised its drive and ambition.
“We’ve seen real positive signs and elements to be proud of, in terms of collaborative leadership across different partners in the voluntary sector and academic sector as well [as across councils],” said Joanne Fearn, managing partner for engagement and communities at the Cabinet Office’s Public Services Transformation Network.
Fearn was speaking at an event last night (27 November) to mark the launch of the Vision for Growth by the WLA boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow. The Vision for Growth (available here: http://www.westlondonalliance.org/wla/wla.nsf/pages/WLA-124 ) includes measures to support start-up business survival and growth, improve success rates for employment programmes, deliver at least 71,000 homes, and improve town centres.
Fearn applauded the boroughs’ investigations into how services can be delivered in ways that improve outcomes and reduce costs. “They’ve all given their time to developing thinking around how we can do things differently, and developing the evidence base and analysis for that, all of which is to be commended and sets this Vision for Growth in really good stead for the future,” she said. “We need strong collaborative leadership and a clear vision, like the one we’ve heard about today.
Describing a future in which more “long-term government funding” is “devolved to the local level”, she asked: “Wouldn’t it be great if all government funding was in one place and you didn’t have endless bidding rounds?”
She added: “We’re lining ourselves up to be in the best position to influence what are the best options on how things are done.”
Barnet Council chief executive Andrew Travers responded: "There is a moment now when these issues are being very seriously considered and real change is afoot. Groups of boroughs are seen as being integral to that. The WLA is positioning itself as being ready to take that forward, going with the grain of policy development to make changes that will really improve outcomes for residents across the boroughs."