Swansea Local Service Board – What Difference Does it Make?

Earlier this week the Partnership Overview & Scrutiny Committee had a close look at Swansea’s Local Service Board.  They were particularly keen to find out what difference it makes and had asked for two presentations to help them find out.

This is the first one, given by yours truly, that tried to set the scene with some definitions, some history and some of the challenges.  It’s a bit of a tricky topic so I thought it would be better to stick to questions rather than answers!

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Questions following the presentation focused on whether the membership was right, whether the projects were making a difference and who was providing assurance for the projects.  The question of accountability was also raised – how exactly is the LSB held to account?

The second presentation looked at a specific LSB project – one that has now finished its involvement with the LSB – that focused on Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).  Ian James, Head of Education Effectiveness gave the presentation.

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The discussion raised a number of issues:

  • The difference made by the LSB in giving the project clout and bringing together the many existing services and action plans
  • The impressive results in terms of reducing the number of Young People who are NEET in Swansea
  • The importance of partners talking to each other and the difference that this can make
  • Have the number of NEETs who end up claiming Job Seekers Allowance reduced?  Are there figures available?
  • Are the other LSB projects as successful as this one?
  • The fact that help is targeted at young people as individuals – not at schools
  • The relationship between the number of young people who are NEET and levels of deprivation
  • The size of the problem that still exists
  • The need for more detailed data

In terms of the NEETs project I think the Committee were very happy with how it had gone – it was clearly the most successful one that the LSB had adopted.  The presentation on the LSB, on the other hand, raised more questions than answers.  For this reason the Committee want to hit the ground running when they start meeting again in June and will be looking to scrutinise one of the other LSB projects then.

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  1. […] purpose of the visit was to follow up their scrutiny of Swansea Local Service Board. Specifically the idea was to test some of the things they had been told about the Local Service […]

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