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Boroughs partner with Ernst & Young to set up public-private ‘brokerage’ service

Released on 25 February 2013

Capital Ambition, the improvement and efficiency programme for London’s boroughs, has partnered with Ernst &Young to help councils work with the private sector to make savings and deliver better services.

The new programme, London Ventures, will seek to better understand local service needs in London and match the right private sector partners with local authorities. By acting as a broker between the public and the private sectors, the programme will help drive opportunities for innovation and ensure savings are realised.

London Ventures is the next step in the success of the Capital Ambition programme. Between 2008 and 2013, Capital Ambition has helped fund projects in all 33 London authorities to achieve savings of over £75m. By 2016, the programme is forecast to have saved £357m. This means that by collaborative procurement, sharing services, redesigning services, improving productivity and supporting major policy initiatives, for every £1 of funding, Capital Ambition will have delivered savings of around £10.

Over the coming months, London Ventures will bring together the expertise of leading figures from both the private and public sectors. It will be responsible for identifying and developing a portfolio of efficiency projects to secure savings on top of those being achieved through existing projects.

In awarding the service contract to Ernst & Young and launching the new service, Edward Lord OBE, the Chair of London Councils’ Capital Ambition programme, said: “This is a challenging yet exciting time for London’s councils. With increased pressure to deliver more with less, we all recognise that every chance to explore opportunities with private sector partners is crucial to providing Londoners with the public services they need over the next few years.”

Darra Singh, Associate Partner at  Ernst & Young, said: “London Ventures is a unique collaboration which will foster innovation in public services and build on the legacy of Capital Ambition. Identifying the right private sector partners that meet the needs of diverse  boroughs is going to be crucial as we seek to deliver innovation and better services for London residents.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

London Councils’ Capital Ambition is the regional improvement and efficiency programme for London.

The Capital Ambition Board is chaired by Edward Lord OBE JP of the City of London and includes four other elected members from different councils around London. They are accountable to London Councils Leaders’ Committee and are supported by a panel of London local government advisors.

Over the last five years, the Capital Ambition programme has been responsible for directing around £40m in grants from Department for Communities and Local Government. The larger part of the grant funds have been spent directly on delivering a programme of improvement and efficiency projects in London councils. Projects had to meet at least one of the five Capital Ambition funding priorities: enhancing collaborative procurement; developing shared services; supporting service redesign and improving productivity; workforce planning and productivity; or supporting major policy programmes. Projects aimed to realise efficiency savings representing a return on investment of at least 5:1. The current programme is forecast to realise savings of over £357m by March 2016 or around 10:1.

Having spent and committed much of the grant funding, Capital Ambition chose to commission a new ‘future model’ to ensure continued support to London councils in their drive to realise further efficiencies. Following a competitive tendering process, Ernst & Young were successful with a bid to run London Ventures. The service was launched on 25 February 2013 and is expected to run for three years.