IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES, RICHARD GAWTHORPE EXAMINES HOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE WIDER PUBLIC SECTOR CAN RESPOND TO RISING DEMANDS ON THEIR PROPERTY SERVICES WHILE GRAPPLING WITH CAPACITY CHALLENGES WITHIN THEIR ORGANISATIONS.
At a recent Local Government Chronicle (LGC) round table event, a high-level panel of local government officers reflected on what the best partnership models might be.
And LGC editor Nick Golding, chairing the discussion, said: “Partnerships have been absolutely at the centre of local government’s response to Covid and are now at the core of so much local government does.”
Long-term solutions addressing capacity and the skills gap are available to Local Government whether they are with private or public sector partners – and these partnerships can be extremely effective.
They can absorb the transient workload during peak times, upskill existing staff, bolster against the unforeseen and offer senior officers the time and space to look to the longer term.
Furthermore, they allow flexibility in responding to priorities; bring job stability and security and offer community sustainability, helping to keep jobs and any financial surpluses within the local communities.
This is another area that we at the Norse Group, a 100% local authority-owned company, are very experienced in, especially via our multi-disciplinary property consultancy Norse Consulting.
Since 2007, Norse Consulting has had a long-term partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, delivering built environment professional skills, and supporting social infrastructure, schools and corporate buildings.
The joint venture (JV) and its supply chains have created between 30 and 70 jobs per year since 2007; approximately £70 million has been invested in schools and more than 4,000 new school places have been created.
Norse Consulting has supported the council in delivering over 1,200 high-quality new homes, including 134 affordable new homes delivered on 21 brownfield or garage sites, alongside providing expertise to its housing delivery company Sixty Bricks and capital delivery teams.
Now named Evolve, the JV and its operating model has been reset again under a new five (plus five) year agreement, which will continue to provide professional services supporting the council’s ambitions.
This article is part of the Rising to the Challenge series. For more information on creating capacity within your own teams contact Richard Gawthorpe via Richard.Gawthorpe@norsegroup.co.uk or call 01603 706140.