This report by the University of Birmingham’s INLOGOV centre argues two-tier working has stood the test of time and calls for strong action and leadership from district councils to drive public service reform and economic growth in shire areas.
The academics identified five key themes that influence effective collaboration: leadership; selflessness; trust, momentum and risk.
The report also recommended councils should pay heed to three key factors which influence collaborative performance at an individual, organisational and structural level.
Firstly this would require districts to nurture talented leaders able to drive collaborative working.
Secondly, improved performance would also depend upon an organisational culture of cross working with agencies across the board – including counties, central government departments and agencies, the voluntary sector, Clinical Commissioning Groups, commercial operators and Local Enterprise Partnerships.
And finally, on a structural level, this would involve district councils working together to face down and overcome regulatory and national policy hurdles.
To spread best practice the report contains 10 carefully selected case studies of successful collaboration across broad service areas – economic development health and wellbeing and service transformation.