Annual report 2010/11

  • By London Councils

This report marks the third year of support from Capital Ambition to London boroughs and their partner organisations, to support the delivery of key projects to further improve efficiency and/or deliver improvements in performance.

The portfolio of projects receiving funding from Capital Ambition is forecast to achieve efficiencies of £725 million by 2015, of which £584 million is directly attributable to Capital Ambition funding.

The portfolio includes a range of major collaborative initiatives to deliver significant savings and improve London’s buying power through better procurement. These developments are down to the leaders, senior managers and individuals within London boroughs and those of our partners, who have the foresight, energy and commitment to work together more effectively to deliver greater efficiencies, radically change the way services are delivered and/or engage more effectively with residents. A small number of examples of such exemplary work are given within this report, and more details can be found on other parts of this website. 

During the course of 2010/11, London boroughs have also worked together with support from Capital Ambition to develop the ground breaking London Performance Office - the first example in any region of all authorities openly sharing comparable performance and value for money data. For 2011/12 the London boroughs have agreed a new set of indicators, which they will share in order to continue the ethos of mutually improving performance and sharing best practice. Further work will see enhancements in terms of the forecasts of intended versus actual performance, and the sharing of data to provide a transparent assessment of corporate performance. 

In terms of improving the process of better procurement, the new ‘London Procurement Portal’, led by the borough of Westminster, has been developed for launch in 2011/12. This will provide a platform for all boroughs and suppliers to have open access to forthcoming contract opportunities, shared frameworks and a facility for a wider-tendering contract to reduce costs for all parties. It will also allow boroughs to stipulate local tender requirements to further support local SME access to contracts across London.

In 2010/11 a Capital Ambition funded project was also recognised with a national procurement award. The shared ‘Out of Hours’ service achieved the Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year Award at the Government Opportunities Excellence in Public Awards.

More and more projects show greater numbers of London boroughs working together to reduce back office costs. Programme ‘Athena’, led by finance directors across London, seeks to achieve greater integration across multiple suppliers rationalising systems for finance, procurement and HR processing. Working together, initially in groups of common customers, the boroughs are seeking to significantly reduce costs and, over time, develop a wider coherent approach across London.

These are just some examples of how London boroughs will continue to both preserve their own unique identity with residents and leverage scale efficiencies by taking more coherent approaches.

As the future financial climate continues to impact resources and available capacity, these and other examples of working together on more commonly specified requirements and of buying once, not many times, will be vital to the protection of key services to the most vulnerable in the community.

In December 2010, London leaders agreed a new governance arrangement for Capital Ambition. In light of the conclusion of the central government funding, the new Capital Ambition Board, led by members from across the political spectrum, seeks to support key projects with the remaining funds in order to continue to deliver significant efficiencies and provide the basis of more London-made approaches. We have agreed new key criteria to support this aim, details of which can be found in section 6 of this report and on the Capital Ambition website.