Magazine article Public Finance

Arrival of the Fittest

Magazine article Public Finance

Arrival of the Fittest

Article excerpt

The past few weeks have seen me help to judge the Public Finance Innovation Awards. Th is new set of awards aims to highlight and celebrate the best of fi nance and governance across the public sector. We announced the shortlist in February - you can see a list of fi nalists on pages 16 and 17 - and we'll be handing out gongs to the winners at a gala dinner in London on 20 April.

Reading the submissions was constantly inspiring, exciting and surprising. What came through vividly was the huge range of innovation out there on the front line, from a youth-led video project to liven up an Almo's annual report and accounts to a procurement partnership to keep the city of Edinburgh and its historic buildings supplied with a stream of skilled stonemasons.

It is clear that public sector organisations are changing: forging partnerships, establishing trading companies, sharing services and management teams, issuing bonds. Across a whole range of fronts and the full gamut of sectors, a new set of relationships within and between public sector bodies, as well as private sector and third sector partners, is being created.

Among these new relationships are combined authorities. Our cover feature (page 24) examines progress, with a focus on the so-called Midlands Engine and the objectives of the West Midlands Combined Authority. From Joseph Chamberlain to Sajid Javid, the West Midlands has a strong Tory heritage that off ers an interesting counterpoint to the more radical Manchester, the last administration's favoured test bed. …

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