Working in partnership is a key area for local authorities and other public bodies. The number of partnerships is growing, both in response to central government requirements and as a result of local initiatives. Working in partnership can be a productive way of achieving more efficient and effective use of scarce resources.
Since local councils have been charged with the duty to promote the economic, social and environmental well being of their area, the scope for partnership working has increased enormously. However partnership working can be difficult to do well, it can be costly if not properly managed and it may not deliver the desired outcomes if the aims and objectives are not clear.
External reviews of the Council have commented that the Authority "punches above its weight" in connection with the partnership agenda but it is important for the Council to ensure that any new partnerships it enters into "add value" to the workings of the Authority and existing partnerships are regularly reviewed in this respect.
The principal purpose of this guidance is therefore to provide a framework against which to "test" potential new partnerships and examine existing ones, to ensure that the Authority can be reassured that the partnership under consideration is one which contributes positively to its agenda.