Resources for local councils are scarce and need to be used carefully to provide the best outcomes for local residents.
As well as looking after scarce resources, attracting new sources of support and developing new and innovative ways to improve delivery of public services are key to improving our city.
‘A Better Brighton & Hove’ is one way in which we are trying to do this. ‘Better’ is a new initiative involving: Brighton & Hove City Council; The Pebble Trust; Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership; the University of Sussex; the University of Brighton; smaller private businesses; and larger businesses including American Express and Legal & General. It also involves social enterprise and community representatives .
‘Better’ exists to provide support and capacity to improve local services by providing expert input and challenge to the way in which we might think about services currently.
It can also provide grants to allow organisations to test out new and innovative ways of delivering services which can lead to long-term improvements for residents of the city.
The expert and influential nature of the board has proved useful in attracting input from market-leading businesses, smaller innovators and parts of government in a way that we would not be able to do without the extra capacity provided through ‘Better’.
This in turn will, we hope, lead to the development of new approaches, forged through bringing together different perspectives on issues that affect us as residents, our families and our friends.
One example is testing out the effectiveness of Telehealth interventions in reducing hospital visits and admissions for those in our community with long-term health conditions.
Another is looking at ways we can understand and support some of our young men who are vulnerable to engagement in, and suffering consequences of, criminal behaviour.
We are also looking at issues relating to transport and clean air, as well as mobile connectivity on trains to allow commuters to work seamlessly as they travel.
Several more initiatives are under review, some being proposed by the council and some being brought forward by board members.
All of these are projects which, if successful, will help to provide long-term solutions for our city’s problems.
We don’t profess to have quick fixes for what are often long-term, complex issues, but through this innovative, new organisation, we aim to deliver practical, tangible solutions to make things Better in Brighton & Hove.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon Newell is the head of policy, partnerships and scrutiny at Brighton and Hove City Council