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Delib - Spending Review Briefing Paper

Delib - Spending Review Briefing Paper

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Published by Delib_e-democracy
This briefing paper outlines three ideas on how public sector organisations can use the internet to build consensus and trust whilst they reshape their service provision to local residents and stakeholders.
This briefing paper outlines three ideas on how public sector organisations can use the internet to build consensus and trust whilst they reshape their service provision to local residents and stakeholders.

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Published by: Delib_e-democracy on Oct 28, 2010
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Comprehensive Spending Review 2010
How to make gains at a time of loss
On the 20th October 2010, the UK Coalition Government announced wide ranging spendingcuts across all areas of government, inevitably leading to significant job losses andreduction of services across the public sector.At Delib, we appreciate the huge changes this is likely to bring to the public sector, but alsothe opportunities this provides for public bodies to ensure that they are shaping the lossesto fit local residents needs, and to provide more for less.This briefing paper outlines three ideas on how public sector organisations can use theinternet to build consensus and trust whilst they reshape their service provision to localresidents and stakeholders.
Idea 1 - Talk to people
The shape of spending over the next few years may now be fixed, but the detail of itcertainly isn’t.The best spending cuts at a local level are going to be decided in partnership with as wide arange of people as possible, from local residents to employees themselves.After all, the government itself ran a national dialogue on the spending cuts themselvesbefore finalising the results of the spending review, a dialogue which produced 46,000ideas for how to save money or spend it more effectively.Other local authorities, from Warrington Borough Council to Norfolk County Council, arenow following this example to ensure that they identify all of the savings they possibly can,and allocate spending in the right areas.All of these processes have been run using our Dialogue App (www.dialogue-app.com), aproven model for running engaging public dialogues on difficult issues. You’re welcome toset one up for free to get your local dialogue started and see what a useful tool it is forcollecting ideas whilst raising engagement levels.
Example projects
The Spending Challenge National Dialogue -http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_188773Our case study on the Spending Challenge -http://www.delib.co.uk/dblog/spending-challenge-wraps-up-government-takes-ideas-forward/Warrington Borough Council’s budget dialogue -http://warrington.dialogue-app.com
Copyright Delib Ltdhttp://www.delib.co.uk info@delib.co.uk0845 638 1848
Idea 2 - Set out the facts, let them decide
Dialogue on spending decisions is a useful way of building trust and uncovering ideas forsavings that can be made. Sometimes it’s useful to run a more definite exercise alongsidethis, providing a range of information on specific service areas, including their costs, andencouraging local residents and stakeholders to prioritise spending on each area.For the last 5 years we’ve provided over 40 local authorities, from the UK to New Zealand,with a simple platform for running budget consultations that engage, educate and allowparticipants to say how much they would like to be spent on different service areas.These can run alongside budget dialogues, like Warrington Borough Council are doing atwww.budgetsimulator.com /warrington_dev, and can also incorporate budgets that can onlybe cut, not raised, a situation most local authoritiesfind themselves in at the moment.Whilst the government announced budget cuts for local authorities in their spendingreview, it was also announced that authorities would be given greater control of thosebudgets. Thus now more than ever it falls to authorities to decide where cuts may takeplace. Councils who have used Budget Simulator to consult specifically on their budget cutshave already found that residents facing cuts to service provision value the opportunity tobe make their priorities known, now more than ever.Budget Simulator is aproven tool for involving residents in a budget consultation. It issimple, informative and gets relevant feedback on which services they prioritise whenfacing cuts. If you’d like more info about how Budget Simulator has worked for othercouncils please emailadam.cardew@delib.co.uk 
Example projects
Wycombe District Council video case study -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIe_B_UKk1UWycombe Budget Simulator -http://www.budgetsimulator.com/demo_wycombeGloucestershire County Council Budget Simulator -http://www.budgetsimulator.com/demo_of_gloucestershire/
Copyright Delib Ltdhttp://www.delib.co.uk info@delib.co.uk0845 638 1848
Idea 3 - Is your existing service provision cost effective?
Many local authorities are already providing opportunities for local residents to have theirsay online, but are they providing sufficient value for their cost?www.citizenspace.comhas been developed as a collaborative project between the UKGovernment’s Central Office of Information and digital democracy company Delib, and hasbeen designed to help government departments to run their consultation processes moreefficiently and effectively.We know that some local authorities aren’t even joined up internally at the moment, usingone system for their planning consultations and another for all other consultations.Citizen Space meets the needs of both types of consultation, and has been developed as anopen source platform with UK central government over the last year, meaning there are noannual license fee costs and only aminimal one off setup cost of £5,400, meaning costsavings could be made within the first year.One method for increasing efficiencies and reducing costs in this area is for local authoritiesto share and co-ordinate their online consultation activities with neighbouring authorities.There is no additional cost for a local authority if it wishes to allow partner organisations touse their system as well.Cumbria County Council have led on this recently, using our Citizen Space platform toprovide a single point of access for all consultations run by any organisation in the county.They were also able to split the cost of the platform across organisations, whilst ensuringthat consultation activity is joined up to prevent duplication and waste.Public sector organisations use Citizen Space software as a low-cost but powerful way fortheir in-house teams to manage all their citizen engagement and policy consultationprocesses. If you’d like to speak to us about how it can be a cost-effective solution for yourteam, please emailgez@delib.co.uk 
Example projects
www.opinionsuite.com/cumbria- a platform for co-ordinating consultation across Cumbriawww.askderbyshire.gov.uk- a similar platform for co-ordinating consultation between threeauthorities in Debyshire
Copyright Delib Ltdhttp://www.delib.co.uk info@delib.co.uk0845 638 1848

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