This project, funded by the UK Local Government Association, sought to explore potential collaboration across UK Local Government Councils and recommend ways of building a collaborative economic development model between Cherwell, South Northants, Stratford on Avon and Aylesbury Vale District Councils.
The project involved a considerable amount of desk based research, analysis of current situations and options for the future, plus internal and external stakeholder engagement.
The project raised the profile of economic development across all Councils and informed a comprehensive service review of Economic Development. Supporting and growing the local economy is now viewed as a key priority amongst local politicians. It also provided a platform for considering how to strengthen business growth and forge a new closer relationship with businesses in each District – to retain existing companies, grow local businesses and attract new inward investment.
The project explored each Council’s key strengths and achievements and potential/aspirations, in order to consider the most effective mix of service options via the best of each Council’s approach. It also explored the move from a single Council to a ‘pooled, mix and match’ approach that provides resilience across the Councils, where collaboration binds together and exploits best practice in each Council and is also designed to be capable of aggregation across more than the Councils in question
It was planned to translate the outputs into a Framework (or Action Plan) to guide business engagement in each District, across each Council and across all Council services (waste, regulation, planning, finance etc)
The key output, a comprehensive report prepared by Deyton Bell identified 5 key steps of which commercialisation is probably of most relevant across all services.
The project and it’s outputs have been used to inform other Councils via the publication of key details in a Local Government Association Case Study.