Street crime, domestic violence and climate change are just some of the tough issues that will be tackled head-on by councils selected for the latest Design in the Public Sector (DiPS) programme, which begins on 3 October 2019.

Led by Design Council and the Local Government Association (LGA), this flagship 18-week innovation programme harnesses the power of design to transform key public services.

This year’s programme – with its focus on preventing specific local issues escalating – will see eleven council teams, key partners and local people come together with some of the most distinguished designers in the UK to explore local challenges and consider how to create lasting positive change.

All participating councils will benefit from a series of design-led workshops and dedicated coaching support. Throughout the programme, DiPS participants will learn how to apply Design Council’s revolutionary framework for innovation – including its world-renowned Double Diamond design methodology – to focus relentlessly on people’s needs, reframe their challenges and respond in new and unexpected ways.

Design tools and methods already learned through DiPS have been adopted by more than 60 councils since Design Council partnered with the LGA in 2015. The councils and challenges on this year’s programme are:

  • Camden Council: testing, learning and scaling ways to improve daily lived experiences of those worst hit by violent crime.
  • Cornwall Council: establishing a long-term spatial strategy to 2050 and beyond to address climate change issues locally.
  • Croydon Council: better supporting adults living with a disability to remain in tenancy or in supported living accommodation.
  • Hull City Council: co-producing the disability short breaks (DSB) offer with families, the Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull City Council social care to improve outcomes for children and young people in Hull with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham: developing a multi-agency approach to tackle serious youth violence, including knife and gang crime.
  • London Borough of Lewisham: developing a ‘Curriculum For London’ which will deliver a common set of skills, aptitudes and attitudes that will be essential for to work, live and thrive through the 2020s.
  • London Borough of Merton: understanding the Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) pathways and consider how these can be more closely aligned to provide improved victim care.
  • Manchester City Council: developing a clear, strengths-based and accessible support offer to enable 'eyes and ears' staff and volunteers to better support their local communities.
  • Salford City Council: reducing the waste levy and improve recycling rates across Salford via various methods, from communication to education in primary schools.
  • Warrington Borough Council: creating a vision and model, involving a range of organisations and community representatives, for prevention in Warrington to maximise the health and wellbeing of adults to promote and maintain their independence.
  • Wiltshire Council: providing clear joined up advice on planning applications that saves the council and the developer time and cost, whilst achieving a better outcome for the environment and community.

Cllr Peter Fleming OBE, Chairman, LGA Improvement and Innovation Board said:

“Design is crucial in every part of our lives. The LGA and Design Council’s ‘Design in the Public Sector Programme’ has seen many councils equipped with the design skills and techniques to apply to the challenges they and the communities they serve face.

“The programme, which forms part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer, shows that councils are in the best position to deliver and lead on services locally.

“With over 60 councils adopting design tools and methods through ‘Design in the Public Sector’ to date, we know that this year’s programme will help more councils on their improvement journey.”

Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive, Design Council said:

“Design is a critical tool to help transform vital local services across the UK and beyond, as Design Council’s and the LGA’s hugely successful Design in the Public Sector programme shows.

“Design Council has an excellent track record in enabling local authorities to harness the power of design, as they bring professionals and local people together to explore challenges fully, think creatively and develop quality services that promote healthier, happier and safer lives.

“I am once again delighted to welcome our newcomers to this year’s programme and look forward to hearing about the solutions they find to some of the toughest societal and economic challenges they face.”

Click here to find out more about our Design in the Public Sector programme

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