Three neighbouring councils have agreed to develop a detailed business case for sharing some support services, in order to save up to £750,000 and improve services for residents.
At meetings of their respective Executives, North Herts District Council, East Herts Council and Stevenage Borough Council all agreed to approve the development of a detailed business case for sharing elements of:
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Human Resources and Payroll
- Facilities Management
- Print Services
North Herts and East Herts also agreed to develop a detailed business case for sharing Estates Management services. An initial suggestion to include Exchequer services (creditors and debtors) in the scope of the project was not deemed viable for partnership at this stage.
Each service will now be examined in depth to see what savings can be made and how the changes will improve efficiency. As well as significant financial savings, it is hoped that the potential economies of scale achievable through sharing could enable a higher quality of service and level of resilience that is not achievable individually. Staff in affected services will be consulted and fully involved in the process as the detailed business case for each area is developed.
The final detailed business plan should be available by March 2012 ready for consideration by all three councils. Only at this stage will a decision be made as to whether a partnership should definitely go ahead.
Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said, “To enable our councils to deliver excellent frontline services to our communities, we must ensure we have professional and resilient support services to rely on. Working together in this way strengthens our three councils’ support services and is better value for money for our council tax payers.
Cllr Lynda Needham, Leader of North Herts District Council, said, “This is a really positive step which reinforces our commitment to finding new ways of working which can deliver significant financial savings and ensure the services we deliver remain effective and sustainable for the future.”
Tony Jackson, Leader of East Herts Council, said: “I am heartened that we are doing all we can to work in partnership for the benefit of huge numbers of people in Hertfordshire, building resilience and strength which we would struggle to do on our own. Staff involvement going forward will be key to the success of the final business case.”
Notes to Editors
Copies of the Shared Support Services Business Case can be found on the websites of the three authorities.
For press enquiries contact:
Lucie Culkin at Stevenage Borough Council on 01438 242168 email lucie.Culkin@stevenage.gov.uk
Sarah Dobor at North Herts District Council on 01462 474552 email email@example.com
Lois Prior at East Herts Council on 01992 531688 email Lois.Prior@eastherts.gov.uk
For political comment:
Labour Ralph Raynor 01438 726118
Conservative Margaret Notley 01438 222754
Liberal Democrat Robin Parker 01438 724746
The information contained in this press release was correct on the date of issue.