For several years now I have been a member of the LGA Improvement board.
The Improvement Board has responsibility for Local Government Asociation activity relating to the support of local authorities in improving their performance and relations with the central bodies contributing to that process.
to challenge poor performance in local authorities and supporting poor performers to improve
to get the most from the new governance and funding proposals for localities such as local area agreements, local public service boards (LPSBs) and local public service agreements (PSAs)
to influence the performance framework within which local government operates to achieve significantly less inspection, intervention, and central targets and more self-regulation through a combination of self-assessment, peer review and user assessment.
To find out more about our work, take a look at our business here
Improvement Board membership for 2011/12:
Peter Fleming, [ Chair], Sevenoaks District Council Rod Bluh, Swindon Borough Council Michael White, London Borough of Havering Council Richard Stay, Central Bedfordshire Council William Nunn, Breckland Council Teresa O'Neill, London Borough of Bexley Council
Tony Jackson, East Hertfordshire Council Jonathan Owen, East Riding of Yorkshire Council Peter Britcliffe, Hyndburn District Council
Ruth Cadbury, [ Deputy Chair], London Borough of Hounslow Council Tony McDermott MBE, Halton Borough Council Tim Cheetham, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Helen Holland, Bristol City Council Judith Blake, Leeds City Council
Theo Blackwell, London Borough Camden Council
Liberal Democrat (2)
Jill Shortland OBE, [ Vice-chair], Somerset County Council Edward Lord OBE JP, Corporation of London
Sir David Williams CBE, London Borough Richmond upon Thames Council Independent (1)
Jeremy Webb, [Deputy Chair], East Lindsey District Council
John Taylor, Northumberland County Council
(14 member Board)
I am also their lead member on Data and Transparency. An open civil society, technical advances on the internet and greater accountability and efficiencies in delivering open public services drive the opening up of public sector data. Open data means the data is free to access, use and reuse and is available via the internet, based on the open government licence.
Publishing performance, financial and other data that support democracy leads to greater accountability and scrutiny. Open data enables self-improvement and better performance, empowers communities, citizens and businesses and leads to greater productivity, social and economic growth and a sustainable environment. The transition to a local open government should be driven by local needs and demand.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has agreed a work programme to develop a sector-led approach to data transparency which puts local authority data into the public realm in ways that provide real benefits to citizens, business, councils and the wider data community. Available outcomes include: