In a recent report by Grant Thornton LLP it has been highlighted that, whilst joint ventures are often perceived as a way forward for local government to protect the provision of services when confronted with financial pressures, the success of such ventures is far more fragile than perceived at a glance.
Regarding the need for shared goals as well as proper governing of such ventures as of incredible import, the report warns local authorities that, whilst joint ventures can indeed succeed, it is of incredible import that due consideration is given towards partnerships and the relative objectives of these – effectively, representing a case whereby partnership models must be assessed to ensure the capacity to deliver upon the original aims.
In fact, whilst the report is critical on the note of proper planning, it is also highlighted that there have been some incredibly successful joint ventures experienced over the past few years. In fact, with the right level of trust, and proper governing, joint ventures can be highly successful; concern, instead comes in with the notion that a joint venture can just “manage itself”.
A potential way forward in ensuring proper management and planning for joint ventures has, in fact, been highlighted in the form of public to public joint ventures, whereby like-councils may be seen to work alongside one another. Most specifically, this can see the partnership of two local government authorities, neither of which focused on the profitability of any given joint venture, but moreso on achieving the end goals and community benefits originally sought after.
Additionally, partnerships between local authorities could also see collaboration between organisations which have extensive experience in understanding the various benefits of consequences of projects from the perspective of the local resident. This, in effect, would then allow for an extra layer of due consideration afforded to areas of end-goal and ambition.