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In 2014, the Local Government Association (LGA) People and Places Board commissioned RAND Europe to prepare nine case studies of local authorities in England (UK) where LGA knew a pooled approach was being used for service delivery. The objective was to describe the development of different initiatives and to comment on what appeared to be the enablers and barriers to progress.

The specific initiatives implemented by local authorities using a pooled approach covered different services including health and social care, skills and vocational training, regeneration, economic growth, troubled families and the management of public assets.

To undertake the project, RAND Europe gathered evidence from a number of sources. The team conducted a review of the relevant literature on community budgets, pooling and public service reform conducted interviews with key representatives involved in the initiatives, and conducted a workshop with representatives from all nine places to discuss emerging findings. RAND Europe was able to draw conclusions on general lessons about the factors that appear to be influencing collaborative working for service delivery.

Based on this evidence from the nine initiatives LGA asked RAND Europe to make recommendations for what a 'public sector reform deal' — a series of 'asks' of government and 'offers' from places — might look like.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the Local Government Association (LGA) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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