In the never-ending, and now more important than ever, effort to do more-with-less, a new initiative has come out of Whitehall: OneTotalLocalPlace.

There have been quite a number of initiatives that have been focussed on getting the best value for money our of local spending. These have included:

– Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) – these are meant to focus the efforts of all local service providers

– Local Area Agreements (LAAs) – these are like LSPs, but with money

– Comprehensive Area Assessments, or as they are now known, OnePlace – these are run by the Audit Commission and are supposed to measure results across a local area.

– Total Place – this is a new ambitious programme run by Treasury and DCLG to examine spending patterns across an area and see if the money can be better allocated, or cut, whilst producing the same or better results.

In an effort to join all this up, the Government has now announced OneTotalLocalPlace (or OTLP).

OTLP will be a powerful new organisation with substantial powers over local budgets, priorities and responsibility for determining and achieving outcomes. It will coordinate and allocate resources for maximum impact. Priorities will be fixed by a revolutionary new system, involving directly elected representatives of local communities. Some have suggested an alternative, simpler name: Local Government.

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