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Cherwell council service-sharing deal could spread to include Stratford council
11:00am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
A COUNCIL is looking into proposals to pool its services with a third council to save money.
Cherwell and South Northamptonshire district councils already share a chief executive and senior management team.
Now the two councils are in talks over backroom services such as finance, IT and human resources with Stratford-upon-Avon District Council.
Senior councillors and officers from the three councils have had several meetings and a business case is currently being prepared. Proposals are expected to go before councillors within six months and then consultation would take place with staff and unions.
Unison, which represents staff at Cherwell, said it was unable to comment as it had no information.
But in 2010 the union said it was concerned the move to shared management could be the tip of the iceberg for job losses, and could ultimately lead to cuts in services.
Cherwell’s leader Barry Wood said: “Being a forward-looking authority we are keen to continue to drive out financial savings through partnership working.
“Our partnership with South Northamptonshire has delivered significant savings but we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to seek new partnerships so that we can share services, and therefore costs, further.
“All three councils work to the same philosophy of protecting frontline services while looking for innovation and savings for the council tax payers.”
Cherwell and South Northants agreed to share a senior management team in 2010 and the move led to six job losses at Cherwell.
The councils said they jointly saved more than £1m – Cherwell saving £686,000, and South Northants £360,000 – by sharing 15 key staff instead of a total of 31 people.
If the latest proposals are approved by all three council the changes could be put in place by April, 2014.
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