LGA announces Behavioural Insights Programme has awarded funding to eight councils

In last year’s LGA-funded trial, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council increased the uptake of assistive technology by 27 per cent through their interventions using targeted mail to those with blue badges and assisted collections. Alongside this, staff were supported to offer assistive technology to service users.

Sector-led improvement

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The latest round of the Local Government Association’s Behavioural Insights Programme has awarded funding to eight councils.

As part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer, the programme encourages innovation in local public services with the aim of changing behaviour to reduce demand on overstretched local services as well as improving residents’ lives.

Behavioural insights is a scientific approach that helps people to make better choices for themselves and society through interventions or ‘nudges’.

In last year’s LGA-funded trial, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council increased the uptake of assistive technology by 27 per cent through their interventions using targeted mail to those with blue badges and assisted bin collections. Alongside this, staff were supported to offer assistive technology to service users.

Kent County Council, Kent Police and their commissioned support services increased the number of domestic abuse victims that seek and receive support by more than 2 per cent through the use of contact information cards. 

In the latest phase of the Programme, the LGA will provide the eight councils with a £20,000 grant each:

  • Derbyshire County Council – reducing the number of repeat applications to the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund by increasing uptake of budgeting support.
  • Newcastle City Council – increasing the number of families engaging positively with early help services following an initial report of concerns to children’s social care.
  • North Yorkshire County Council – Improving school readiness by encouraging more parents, families and community support networks to read with their children to assist with speech and language development.
  • South Gloucestershire Council – to deploy a strengths-based approach with adult social care service users in the local hospital in order to prevent, delay or divert demand.
  • Sunderland City Council – increasing rates of breastfeeding to improve health.
  • Surrey County Council – increasing sustainable travel amongst local business employees.
  • The London Borough of Merton – reducing the number of vehicles idling outside schools.
  • The London Borough of Redbridge – reducing the demand for on-street prostitution in the local area.

The LGA and the councils undertaking the work will be sharing learning and results as and when they come in for others to benefit from.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“The LGA’s Behavioural Insights Programme was once again oversubscribed this year, demonstrating the popularity and interest in this innovative area of work.

“As part of the LGA’s wider sector-led improvement offer, organisations across the country can learn from other local authorities where the LGA’s Behavioural Insights Programme has been a success.

“Despite experiencing increased pressures on their budgets and services, councils have shown they are best placed to provide innovative and efficient services.

“We look forward to building on the success of the previous years.”

Notes
The LGA has learnt a huge amount about how local authorities can use ‘nudge’ theory to change outcomes for local residents and to make efficiency savings. To find out more about the LGA Behavioural Insights Programme, please visit the website.