Think tank report celebrates ‘unsung heroes’ of local partnerships
7 Jul 2005
- Local-Regional Partnerships: Lessons for the next generation -
For more details contact Duncan Stroud at the RDA National Secretariat on 020-7654 1516.
Exceptionally driven social entrepreneurs may grab the headlines, but more modest virtues of loyalty, commitment and a willingness to set aside personal goals are key building blocks for successful partnership working, according to new research commissioned by England’s RDAs from the New Local Government Network. The research, which will help inform partnership working through Local Area Agreements, found:
- Councillors can deliver for their communities – The local knowledge and democratic accountability of local authorities and their elected members are critical to delivering projects people want.
- Go native – Successful partnerships depended on individuals being willing to shift loyalty from their employer to the partnership.
- Agree a vision and delivery will follow - The most important phase of the partnership is the goal-setting process at the outset.
- Leave financial risk to those equipped to bear it – Successful partnerships avoided the legal structures required to take on financial risks, relying on the existing mechanisms of their members.
- People shape partnerships – Individuals carry the ‘genetic code’ of partnerships and have the understanding of the relationships within them that make things work.
Pat Ritchie, Strategy Director of RDA One NorthEast, said:
“Partnership working is central to the RDAs. It’s the only way we can get things done. This project highlights how the personal determination of people at the sharp end of partnership working, from local authorities, RDAs and others, is critical to delivery. The challenge is to see how the lessons learnt from our successes so far can be applied to the more formalised strategic partnerships of today and tomorrow.”
Warren Hatter, Head of Research at the New Local Government Network said:
“RDAs and local authorities don't always get it right but when they do, effective partnership has led to positive outcomes for communities. It is particularly important to learn the lessons from the good partnerships, because delivering on regional economic strategies is becoming more difficult over time. Local authorities, RDAs and other partners will need to learn how to align their objectives, not only work together on flagship projects.”
A further report from the NLGN later in the summer will consider how the lessons learned to date can be read across future partnerships.