The Community Budgets initiatives for dealing with families with multiple problems are still at an early stage, so rather than produce a full report at this stage the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has produced a brief report setting out issues which will provide a starting point for a full inquiry and report next year.
Announcing the short report published today, Chair of the CLG Committee, Clive Betts MP, said,
"Community Budgets are an important Government initiative with the potential to bring significant benefits and also to transform the manner in which services are managed and provided. But Community Budgets are still at an early stage of development and the results even of the pilots are some way off.
This report puts down a marker. It sets out the purpose of the policy as well as issues that both central and local government will have to address to take forward Community Budgets."
The Committee will continue to monitor the development of Community Budgets over the next year. It expects to issue a fresh call for evidence around this time next year when it will take further oral evidence and publish a report later in 2013.
Community Budgets were introduced in October 2010 as part of the Spending Review with the aim of giving
"local public service partners the freedom to work together to redesign services around the needs of citizens, improving outcomes, reducing duplication and waste and so saving significant sums of public money".
The Committee considered it premature to carry out a full inquiry and to produce a report. It decided, therefore, to carry out scrutiny of Community Budgets in separate stages. For the first stage, it invited written evidence, to hold a single oral evidence session and to set out an outline of the questions raised, which will assist its subsequent work on Community Budgets. The report contains no conclusions or recommendations to the Government.