Councils share services to cut costs

8 August 2011

Cornwall targets savings using shared services

Collaboration warning

 

Surrey to share best practice

 

NAO urges collaboration in government training

 

Whitehall issues first central procurement notice

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8 August 2011 | Angeline Albert

Purchasing operations at a housing provider and four UK councils will be streamlined as part of an agreement to share back office functions. 

Cotswold District Council, the Forest of Dean District Council, Cheltenham Borough CouncilWest Oxfordshire District Council and council housing provider Cheltenham Borough Homes have agreed to share procurement, finance, HR and payroll operations. 

Just under 100 staff working in these areas will be affected by the plans. They will be transferred under Tupe regulations (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) to Cotswold District Council, which is acting as the lead local authority.

A spokesman for Cotswold District Council said: “Talks began around 18 months ago. We had more authorities involved in the beginning. Each remaining authority has been looking ahead and realising it can make some savings. We are streamlining operations, so redundancies can’t be ruled out.”   

The organisations expect to collectively save £650,000-a-year from October 2012 as a result of the move. They hope to make at least £80,000-a-year as a result of procurement savings. Utilities and insurance are two of the categories that will be purchased jointly.

Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council and Cheltenham Borough Homes will share HR, finance and procurement from April 2012. The Forest of Dean District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council will start sharing these services from November.

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