Eight councils win funding through LGA programme

The latest round of the Local Government Association’s Behavioural Insights Programme has awarded funding to eight councils.

The programme encourages innovation in local public services with the aim of changing behaviour to reduce demand on overstretched local services as well as improving residents’ lives. Behavioural insights is a scientific approach that helps people to make better choices for themselves and society through interventions or ‘nudges’.

In last year’s LGA-funded trial, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council increased the uptake of assistive technology by 27 per cent through their interventions using targeted mail to those with blue badges and assisted bin collections. Alongside this, staff were supported to offer assistive technology to service users.

Kent County Council, Kent Police and their commissioned support services increased the number of domestic abuse victims that seek and receive support by more than two per cent through the use of contact information cards. 

In the latest phase of the Programme, the LGA will provide the eight councils with a £20,000 grant each: Derbyshire County Council; Newcastle City Council; North Yorkshire County Council; South Gloucestershire Council; Sunderland City Council; Surrey County Council; The London Borough of Merton; and the London Borough of Redbridge. The LGA and the councils undertaking the work will be sharing learning and results as and when they come in for others to benefit from.

Peter Fleming, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “The LGA’s Behavioural Insights Programme was once again oversubscribed this year, demonstrating the popularity and interest in this innovative area of work. As part of the LGA’s wider sector-led improvement offer, organisations across the country can learn from other local authorities where the LGA’s Behavioural Insights Programme has been a success. Despite experiencing increased pressures on their budgets and services, councils have shown they are best placed to provide innovative and efficient services. We look forward to building on the success of the previous years.”