Southwark Early Action Commission

Southwark Early Action Commission

Margaret Hodge MP to lead Southwark's ground breaking Early Action Commission

An independent Early Action Commission, chaired by Margaret Hodge MP, is leading the way in preventing stubborn and costly social problems in the south London borough of Southwark. 

The commission, which is the first of its kind, will look at how the council, NHS, police and voluntary sector can work together to prevent problems that damage people’s lives and trigger demands for expensive services like hospitals and prisons – with ultimate savings for the taxpayer. 

The commission will bring together experts from across the public and voluntary sectors. It will examine the importance of early support where risks have been identified and at critical life stages.

Margaret Hodge said “I am very pleased to have this opportunity to help turn the idea of early action into real change.   This is a common sense idea that most sign up to in principle.  The challenge is to embed it – as a matter of priority - in decisions about investing resources and taking practical action.”

Community Southwark, which supports Southwark’s voluntary sector, kick-started the process which led to the commission being established by Southwark’s Health and Wellbeing Board - the Commisison is being funded by Southwark Council, Southwatk CCG and Community Southwark.  The New Economics Foundation (NEF) has been appointed to manage the work.  Chair Margaret Hodge MP leads the influential Public Accounts Committee (House of Commons).

The focus will be decided in the initial stages of the commission’s work.  Early research points to three areas where early action is needed:  education and employment; well-being, isolation and socialisation; and housing, social spaces and networks.

Gordon McCullough, Chief Executive of Community Southwark said:

“I hope the commission will prompt a paradigm shift in how we design and use public services. I would like to see a move away from providing expensive, last minute crutches to people in crises, and towards focusing on services that prevent those crises from emerging in the first place. The voluntary and community sector has a large amount of preventative capacity.”

The commission is due to report in March 2015.

For further information contact

Ross Haig, New Economics Foundation,

Adrian Bua, New Economics Foundation,