How do local councillors feel about STP implementation?
Local councillors claim they have not been involved in ‘shaping, commenting on or approving’ the sustainability and transformation plans being created in 44 ‘footprints’ around England.
A Local Government Association (LGA) survey, published to coincide with its annual conference this week, revealed just 21% of respondents from the 370 councils in England and Wales felt sufficiently engaged in their STPs. Only a quarter of respondents are confident STPs will deliver on their objectives. Worryingly, not one respondent said that their full council had been ‘very engaged’ in the STP.
The LGA says that if STP plans continue as they are, they will not work. It wants the plans to be more democratically accountable through local health and wellbeing boards, which should also be given the legal power to sign off the plans. STPs aim to redesign health and care services while saving money and increasing efficiency.
- STPs have been controversial since they were first mooted. Critics say the plans are unrealistic and that the funding available is insufficient to make them work. This survey is worrying as local authorities have a big part to play in STPs’ success. If councillors’ morale is low this could affect implementation of the plans, the timeframe for their operation and industry’s relationship with customers