New inquiry on Community Budgets

22 November 2011

The Communities and Local Government Committee has been closely following the development of Community Budgets and plans to carry out a major inquiry into their operation later in the Parliament.

The programme that the Government has developed has two arms:

  • Community Budgets for families with multiple problems which, the Government has said, aims to create better public services by bringing together all local priorities and public money so agencies can find the right solutions to issues in their area in a new and co-ordinated way. Following sixteen pioneer areas that put in place plans to support 10,000 families, around fifty more authorities will get Community Budgets this year and then at least a further sixty in 2012-13.
  • Four new Community Budgets pilots, which will include two Whole Place pilots that will explore how communities can have greater control over services through a single budget from Whitehall, as part the Government's review into local government finances. As preparation for the inquiry later in the Parliament the Committee has decided to take evidence on the operation of Community Budgets for families with multiple problems.

The Committee invites evidence from interested parties, particularly from local authorities involved in the original 16 pilot areas and from councils joining or intending to join the programme, on all aspects of Community Budgets for families with multiple problems, especially on:

  1. the administrative arrangements for operating a Community Budget and the support that has been provided by central government departments;
  2. what are the most significant barriers that have been overcome, and what barriers remain to put in place the desired services;
  3. what are the emerging implications for local governance of services and who is accountable for the money spent though Community Budgets; and
  4. what lessons have been identified for operating more comprehensive community budgets and what lessons the troubled families pilots will have for Community Budgets in other policy areas, and the ‘Whole Place’ Community Budget pilots ?

Memoranda addressing any or all of these issues are invited by Friday 16 December 2011.

Each submission should:

(a) be no more than 2,000 words in length;

(b) begin with a short summary in bullet point form;

(c) be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible; and

(d) be accompanied by a covering letter or email containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked "Community Budgets".

It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter or email. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

View guidance on giving evidence to Select Committees.

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.
  • Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until formally accepted by the Committee. The Committee has authorised the publication by witnesses of their evidence, but such publication should await the formal acknowledgement of acceptance of the submission as evidence to the Committee.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

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