Published on 12th September 2014

Boy looking through some toy binoculars attached to a yellow climbing frame

Today the Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins announced that 80 local authorities will share £9 million investment as they join up services and reduce costs for taxpayers.

This sum includes an award of £400,000 to our own 2020 Vision Programme.

This is excellent news for Cheltenham Borough, Cotswold, Forest of Dean, and West Oxfordshire District Councils who have agreed the following vision for closer partnership working in the future:

Four independent councils determining their own policies, priorities and decisions supported by a small number of expert advisers who commission and monitor services either from the private and voluntary sectors or from local authority owned service delivery companies.

Current models for shared Chief Executive and management team arrangements could not simply be extended to cover four district councils which collectively represent over 400,000 residents across a geographical area of 934 square miles. That is why the partner councils have commissioned work by independent specialists to identify the most appropriate interim shared management arrangements which would have the authority and responsibility to deliver the 2020 Vision across all of the councils. 

The detailed business case for the 2020 Vision along with management arrangement proposals will be reported back to each council later this year which, subject to agreement by each council, could enable implementation to be completed before the end of the financial year.

Subject to agreement in the autumn this would result in an interim integrated shared management team across the four councils, with sustainable annual savings of at least £500,000 per year from April 2015. The funding award that has been announced today would be used to fund the one-off costs of implementing those shared management arrangements.

Councillor John Rawson, cabinet member for finance at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “We are currently undertaking an engagement process with members and officers about how we could implement the 2020 Vision. If the four councils can agree on an approach in the autumn then this funding will help to support the implementation of our vision for public services whilst delivering significant savings.”

Contact: For further information or comment please contact Cllr Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, telephone 01242 235614 or Cllr John Rawson, cabinet member for finance, telephone 01242 227955.