Forward-thinking councils win efficiency award
Published on 1st April 2014
Innovative partnership work, between Cheltenham Borough Council and three other local authorities, is set to be given a further boost with a £500,000 grant from central Government.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis announced today (2 April 2014) that the four-authority Partnership comprising Cheltenham Borough, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire district councils are Transformation Challenge Award winners.
The Partnership, known as GO (Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire) Shared Services, has already started transforming local service delivery and is making huge financial savings by providing some shared back office functions. These include Finance, Human Resources and Payroll.
With this grant award, the councils will be able to investigate a range of additional joint efficiency savings initiatives.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Ambitious authorities such as those working with the Public Service Transformation Network have shown how local partnerships and a complete redesign of services around individuals, not organisations, can mean better outcomes for people.
“Residents’ satisfaction with local government is either constant or improved compared to 2010, and that trend will continue if others learn from the best and deliver better services and a better deal for local people.”
Separately, but within the Partnership, a number of other successful joint working arrangements are already taking place.
Cllr Steve Jordan, Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council said, “A lot of work has already been done with our partner councils to help us all become more efficient. While much of this is invisible to the public, the savings made mean we can protect the frontline services that matter most to local despite funding reductions.
“We welcome the grant award and the opportunity it brings to investigate what additional savings can be made through further joint working with three other forward forward-thinking councils.”
A report will be presented to each Council’s Cabinet to consider further joint working options during June/July.
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Notes to editors:
The bid put forward to central government by the GO partnership contained a range of initiatives that the councils are interested in investigating further. These include:
• Reviewing shared management structures and rationalising employment arrangements
• Extending the range of shared back office services
• Extending the number of Local Authority owners of UBICO Ltd, the environmental services provider (which is currently co-owned by Cotswold and Cheltenham Councils), and extending the range of environmental services offered
• Exploring a shared Public Protection Service.