News

Cash award for Kingston and Richmond children’s initiative

Kingston and Richmond Councils have been successful in their joint bid for government funding to support the transformation of services for children and young people across the two boroughs.

The councils have been awarded £500,000 to support the innovative Achieving for Children initiative under the government’s Transformation Challenge programme.

The innovative company model of Achieving for Children (AfC) is set to provide better social, educational and community outcomes for children in Richmond and Kingston.

Based on the principles and values of social enterprise the AfC model will:

  • place greater emphasis on children and families
  • increase partnership working to provide a whole-person and whole-family approach at reduced cost
  • increase the capacity and resilience of public services
  • provide a centre of excellence and innovation that will be available to other authorities and public service providers, including help to authorities responding to improvement notices

“Achieving for Children provides an exciting new model for how we can deliver public services in the future and creates an inspiring environment for people working with young people in the two boroughs.

“Our aspirations are founded in pragmatism rather than idealism. We simply want what is best for our children, young people, parents and council taxpayers, and we share a commitment to make change happen. We have already successfully come together to share our HR and audit services. Achieving for Children will go wider and further.”

Councillor Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council

“I’m glad that Richmond Council is again at the forefront of improvement in education and children’s services and that this has been recognised at the highest level. This is tremendous news for children and parents across Kingston and Richmond. Our two boroughs are working in a very innovative partnership to secure the very best outcomes for the children and young people. Not only are we achieving greater resilience for the future we will be making essential savings for our local taxpayers.”

Richmond Council Leader, Lord True

The transitional cost of delivering Achieving for Children will be £1.5m in 2013/14 and 2014/15 with savings of £6m over three years from the initial merging of services. It is likely that wider efficiency benefits for the services will be driven out as different opportunities and ways of working are fully developed by the new organisation.

The Transformation Challenge award will be used to help fund ICT development; establish the centre of excellence/graduate internship programmes and to accelerate organisational development and cultural change across the boroughs. With this award in place the two authorities will be able to provide the match-funding needed to support national work on exemplars.

The Department for Communities and Local Government funding will be available to Kingston and Richmond from April 2014.

For more information about today’s announcement by the Department for Communities and Local Government go to GOV.UK.