Whether you like the term “total place” or not, the idea of providing services around the citizen rather than through organisational boundaries makes sense. The issue that Birmingham has highlighted is the 1-3 year funding model:
pound Birmingham spends on early intervention in child welfare saves £4
over 15 years, Lowther said – but three quarters of those savings will
accrue to organisations other than the city.
Councils already have long-term commitments (waste contracts, for example) so wouldn’t it be better if they could negotiate (not sure with who: local advisory panel, Treasury?) longer-term activities around total place? That said, any payback period longer than a few years is essentially meaningless, as things will have changed once the payback comes to be measured.