Improving the quality of public services lies at the heart of the LGA's work. Even the Prime Minister has acknowledged that councils are the most efficient part of the public sector.
Our recent work has included a partnership to integrate neighbourhood policing and local authority services to improve the effectiveness of community safety activity. We are therefore well placed to work with the new professional police body to drive up performance across the wider policing and community safety agenda.
We will work with police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to develop our work to help to improve performance through periodic corporate peer challenges. We know that peer challenge is a proven tool for improvement. Since April 2004, almost 70 per cent of councils have had a peer challenge and during the comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) and comprehensive area assessment (CAA) era, councils that had a peer challenge improved their ratings to a greater extent than those that did not.
It is crucial that individual organisations have the best possible tools to manage their performance and drive their own improvement. LG Inform is a free online service, developed by the LGA, which allows users to access, compare and analyse data about their local area and present their findings. Such intelligence will assist in making the right decisions about local areas and the services that are provided to residents.
Local Government Inform (LG Inform) is a service designed to give you easy access to the most up to date, publically available data in one place. Police and Crime Commissioners Association (PaCCA) members will have access to LG Inform to help them understand their area and the performance of local services. There are currently 800 data items pulled together within the tool, and this number is growing. It not only includes local police recorded crime data from the Home Office, which is updated quarterly, but also other information to help you understand your local area, such as age profile and unemployment rate of residents. The strength of LG Inform is that it provides access not only to crime data, but also contextual data and information about other local services, which all local partners will have access to.
The service offers an easy way to tailor data and information to meet your specific needs. It allows you to create bespoke reports so you can make decisions using the best possible information.
The next version of LG Inform will also allow the public to access this tool: and will provide a way for PaCCA members to present data to the public in clear, helpful terms. This can help citizens understand, scrutinise and challenge local politicians and public services. Used creatively, such dialogue should help PCCs and other local service providers better meet residents' needs and priorities.
26 September 2012