Milton Keynes Property and Services plan, Milton Keynes
Greater London North
Following a review that benchmarked Milton Keynes Council’s performance against its local authority peers, Perfect Circle was appointed via Scape Group’s National Built Environmental Consultancy Services (BECS) framework to assess opportunities to improve performance and financial efficiency across a wide range of services within the Place Directorate.
The services Perfect Circle was appointed to assess included: regulatory services; parking; passenger transport; development control; and property and facilities management.
Many of the opportunities identified were regarding enhancing outputs and revenues, while others were focused on improving service quality and reducing risk without a direct financial benefit.
Milton Keynes Council wanted to explore whether it would benefit from a more expansive joint venture arrangement from a service delivery partner. The property and services improvement plan was developed following the conclusion that the opportunities were best delivered internally.
There were a number of challenges associated with this project, including identifying and assessing the full range of opportunities to enhance outcomes, and filtering these to ensure finite resource investment is made in those that are expected to yield the best outcomes
Encouraging “buy in” by internal team leaders for delivery of benefits, using internal skills and capacity to drive delivery wherever possible to fuel ownership was also a significant challenge.
The nature of the commission required a dynamically applied skillset. In developing the performance improvement programme, there was a significant element of flexibility required in Perfect Circle’s resourcing proposition to reflect the emerging improvement themes and the ability of the council’s internal teams in order to resource and drive forward activities to secure business benefits.
Perfect Circle provided an independent voice outside of the day-to-day departmental challenges, ensuring that the focus on benefits realisation across all work streams is maintained throughout the accrual period without distractions. Perfect Circle and Scape’s BECS framework provided the ideal vehicle for facilitating this.
The improvement plan is expected to deliver in excess of £10m financial benefits to the council over the next five years. In addition, several efficiency improvements were realised by the council teams that have improved working outcomes and reduced workloads for team members. The programme also delivered a number of opportunities for the public to engage with the council in alternative and more personalised ways.
“The Perfect Circle team has been instrumental in the council identifying and realising substantial long-term benefits. Their input has been invaluable in defining and management a benefits framework that equips and empowers the council teams to achieve better results and feel proud in owning the outcomes realised.”
Tom Blackburne-Maze, service director (public realm), Milton Keynes Council