iNetwork’s vision is to enable local public service organisations individually and collectively to deliver more innovative and cost effective services to their users and communities.
Over the 2012-13 I have been delighted to see more and more people engaging with, benefitting from, and shaping iNetwork as they strive to tackle the challenges of austerity and service reform. In particular:
- The expanded range of 65+ expert led, CPD accredited seminars, workshops and conferences – the full range of which is shown opposite.
- The new Summer Conference and the bigger Winter Conference, bringing senior civil servants, thought leaders, and policy experts to the North.
- The growth of the ICT Warning Advice and Reporting Point service and community, providing us with greater resilience in critical infrastructure.
- The final lean Business Improvement Techniques cohorts being completed, taking the total number of people trained to over 2,000 people.
- Increasing engagement with Government enabling better discussion and challenge in areas like mutualisation, transparency, welfare reform, individual electoral registration and digital by default.
2012-13 was a year in which many of us stepped outside our comfort zones and had to make tough decisions. This has not been easy and we increasingly value those rare opportunities to take stock and find safe spaces for reflection are vitally important, although they are becoming squeezed by time and resource constraints.
I am therefore delighted to see that iNetwork is “adding up” for its members and indeed is growing with increasing NHS engagement and councils in Yorkshire and Humberside and the West Midlands becoming more engaged, adding to the richness of the communities.
Looking ahead the 2013 programme focusses on helping colleagues address difficult, persistent challenges and working with our partner agencies. I believe the 2013 programme is our most comprehensive yet.
Quote from Members
Colleague from Lancashire County Council: “Useful information sharing through the events prompted us to review our data gathering and performance monitoring arrangements – we made use of Manchester’s work on this.
Colleague from Trafford Council. “The [Welfare Reform] session gave vital information on how local authorities can react and plan corresponding activities relating to data sharing and best practice, it also helped to signpost delegates towards the residents that would potentially be at most risk.
Lynne Shackley, Senior Policy Advisor, Information Commissioners Office< “The unusually low number of penalties and undertakings given to North West councils is because of the support that is provided by iNetwork.”
Colleague from Lancaster City Council. “We have particularly gained from free training, network sessions and useful tools to help with Business Improvement/ LEAN, PPM, commissioning and the broader Change agenda. iNetwork has created an ideal platform that facilitates contacts with other public sector organisations and we have found that working together with others and sharing our learning and resources is extremely effective as well as cost effective in helping us to improve our efficiency and performance.
Colleague from Salford City Council. I am convinced that the lobbying power of the network was instrumental in driving forward/raising the profile of the necessity for data sharing between the DWP and Local Authorities and led to its inclusion in the Welfare Reform Act. This was a significant piece of work that led to improved outcomes for my team by reducing some of the barriers to information gathering.
Colleague from Cheshire Fire & Rescue .I have found the [Procurement Hub] meetings to be informative and an excellent network for sharing ideas and best practise. Examples of this are the Contract Management Principles Model that was produced as a result of a piece of worked commissioned by Manchester City Council and now shared with the wider group. Also, it is useful to understand new frameworks as they become available and how to access them, these are really useful tools for Procurement Managers.
For more information on benefits of membership please see our 2013-14 support document: Click here to download
The primary benefit of iNetwork membership is the way in which we enable colleagues to collaborate with peers and engage with government to help local public service organizations improve the quality and cost effectiveness of services for their customers, patients and communities.
- Providing approximately 60 focussed and relevant forums a year across the North of England with 160+ speakers for policy review, comparison of good practice, sensitive dialogues, and CPD accredited learning.
- Creating space for colleagues working in councils, police, fire and rescue, NHS and voluntary and community organisations to work together.
- Making opportunities to directly engage with government departments and agencies such as the DWP, DCLG, DOH, MOJ, Cabinet Office, ICO and LGA on topics such as welfare reform, troubled families, dementia referral and diagnosis, information management and security, social value, place based budgeting, national infrastructure, procurement and digital strategy.
- Training and developing staff through our new “TIME for Lean” service improvement courses and rapid improvement projects.
- Sharing resources to avoid duplication, mistakes, fines, costs and reputational damage in areas like information sharing and governance, social fund management, and local council tax schemes.
- Hosting and providing information security alerts and advice through our Warning Advice and Reporting Point.
If your organisation isn’t a member of iNetwork but you think it might benefit please get in touch for a chat. Membership fees are paid annually and enable anyone from a member organisation to attend all our activities without additional costs. In the first instance email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Current Members
North West Councils:
Barrow in Furness Borough Council
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Burnley Borough Council
Carlisle City Council
Cheshire East Council
Cheshire West and Chester
Cumbria County Council
Fylde District Council
Lancashire County Council
Lancaster City Council
Liverpool City Council
Manchester City Council
Salford City Council
South Lakeland District Council
South Ribble Borough Council
Warrington Borough Council
West Lancashire District Council
Wyre Borough Council
Yorkshire and Humberside Councils:
Bradford City Council
Sheffield City Council
West Midland Councils:
Birmingham City Council (until Sept 2013)
Worcester City Council
Any NHS organisation that is a member of the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQUA) http://www.advancingqualityalliance.nhs.uk/
Cheshire & Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit https://www.cheshiremerseysidecsu.nhs.uk/
Greater Manchester Police
Fire and Rescue:
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Greater
Manchester Fire & Rescue Service
Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service