9. Community justice resources
9.1 Currently, transition funds of £1.6m have been approved to support the transition process and made available to local authorities (£50K p.a. per local authority) to allow Community Planning Partnerships to co-ordinate initial community justice activity for a three-year period from 2015/16 on behalf of the statutory partners. The funding and use of resources is being reviewed annually, to advise Ministers how this resource is being deployed.
9.2 Although funding has been agreed to 2017/2018, the Scottish Government recognises that further support may be required after the new model has been fully implemented, to help coordinate and maintain partnership working and reporting.
9.3 The Scottish Government will continue discussions with COSLA and review the take up and use of existing resource to make a case if necessary to Ministers should additional funding be required longer term.
Strategic Use of partnership resources
9.4 Strategic use (or leverage) of partnership resources is a key feature of the new model. Given financial and resource constraints facing statutory partners achieving this will require significant commitment to joint working.
9.5 The Scottish Government and COSLA in their agreement on joint working published in 2013 outlines ways of achieving this, by:
- sharing resource planning information and budget assumptions with each other at an early stage
- jointly agreeing outcomes and priorities for the local authority area which will assist in identifying where resources may be combined to achieve positive outcomes
9.6 The greatest benefits may be realised by using partners' wider resources such as staff, buildings or other assets.
9.7 Audit Scotland has identified some examples of partners sharing resources such as jointly funded roles, or shared properties such as the partnership centres in West Lothian. It has also highlighted the challenge in scaling this work to a level to transform service provision.
9.8 There may also be some potential for other resources in terms of staff expertise, or facilities or procurement expertise etc. to be made available by statutory and/or non-statutory partners to support local community justice activity. Creating strong links between the wide range of community justice partners may mean that there is an opportunity to influence future resource decisions to help achieve shared outcomes. This process does not happen overnight and what may begin as a matter of expediency may develop into a situation of trust.
9.9 An example of an approach to developing joint working to achieve strategic use of resources is given below:
- "Common business" discussed at regular meetings between partners
- "Case Planning" conducted inter-agency
- Efforts made to identify strategic overlaps
- Relationships start to develop
- Partners agree to share with/rent from each other
- Meetings start focusing on higher level cases - involving all partners' resources.
- Daily Partnership "Hub" meetings contract much operational business - saving money
- Protocols developed to support information exchange
- Staff committed to shadowing/support roles
- Partnership strategy meetings to understand priorities/pressures - and possible solutions
- Pragmatic commitment of resources - cost avoidance [Buildings shared; equipment; staff]
- Joint proactive projects agreed - and resources committed. Real targets set
- Projects are successful. Partnership "works"
- Staff groups think of each other as partners - looking for the next joint enterprise
- Case/Project planning across partners now standard
- Key strategies worked out between partners
- Agreed actions reflect agreed key priorities
- Resource implications of implementing these are identified and owned
- Partners' money then follows the agreed actions/projects