Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Whole Place Community Budget?

A new approach to public services that has been developed and is being piloted in four areas across the country: Greater Manchester, Essex County Council, three West London boroughs and West Cheshire.

These four areas face different local issues and challenges, but share a belief that public services can be better delivered through improved partnership working between the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. A Whole Place Community Budget gives local partners across an area the freedom to work together to re-design public services to deliver better for less.

A Community Budget allows local public services to work together to see how services can be better delivered in partnership, how shared funding can be managed and how improved outcomes can be delivered. Community Budgets are designed locally and provide local public service providers with the opportunity and freedom to redesign services together and across organisational boundaries to solve complex, multi-agency problems to deliver better outcomes for residents.

In West Cheshire we have called our programme ‘Altogether Better’. This programme gives partners the opportunity and independence to design local services around the needs of citizens and improve outcomes. This integration of services will reduce duplication and encourage early intervention, bringing with it significant savings.

Why become a Community Budget area?

There are a number of reasons why West Cheshire applied to be a Community Budget area. We believe this programme can bring about real and lasting change. We want to tackle the root causes of longstanding problems, look at early intervention and deploy our resources in ways that will have the most impact. The Community Budget pilot gives us the freedom to do this.

Too often our role has been to react and respond, serving the problem, not solving it. Altogether Better will see public services delivered in a different way that is both innovative and effective. This opportunity captures West Cheshire’s ambition to deliver efficient and customer focused services across a range of local partners.

Altogether Better means genuine collaboration between partners and, above all, a focus on outcomes for our citizens, and not organisations.

West Cheshire was selected as one of the four pilots in a competitive national process ahead of many other areas. This reflects the Government’s high regard for work of the local partnership and its ability to deliver innovative and effective services for residents.

What will this mean for me as a resident?

Altogether Better will see your local public services improve, as partners work together towards outcomes that benefit you. You may also see power given back to your local community through increased involvement in certain services and assets. Altogether Better will put you at the heart of public services, by focusing on and responding to your specific needs, and delivering better outcomes through new delivery models of services that are both innovative and effective.

The programme will improve partnership working, which will reduce waste waste and duplication, resulting in more effective and efficient services for you. By reducing referrals between different agencies and integrating services between partners locally, you will benefit from improved services and better value for money. We aim to tackle the root causes of longstanding problems, promoting early intervention and deploying resources in the most effective way.

To find out more about the specific projects and approaches the Altogether Better programme is working on, as well as the benefits and outcomes we aim to achieve, please take a look at our six Business Cases:

Who are the Public Services Board (PSB) Members?

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