The Cabinets of Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council are to consider proposals to protect frontline services and deliver up to £2.9m savings per year by 2019/20 through wider sharing arrangements.
Councillor Andy Smith, Acting Leader of Lewes District Council, said, “We are already sharing many resources with Eastbourne Borough Council, which has a lot in common with Lewes District.
“We’ve made considerable savings through sharing senior posts and support services, and these arrangements are working well. We are therefore keen to explore further opportunities to share, with the aim of providing greater value for money for residents whilst delivering sustainable local services.”
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “We are committed to safeguarding frontline services while saving money through efficient practices.
“We already share some services with Lewes District Council and this report examines extending our working partnership further.”
Both councils need to save around £3m per year by 2019/20. Indicative figures show that this strategy could deliver about half of these savings.
At this stage, the report simply presents an outline business case by Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise (iESE). If the strategy is adopted, iESE will draw up a more detailed business case including timelines.
Both councils are committed to full engagement and consultation and ongoing communication with residents, business and staff throughout the process.
This initiative builds on existing shared services arrangements between Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council which have seen legal, printing and HR services being shared since April 2015.
National policy points clearly to the need for local authorities to integrate, collaborate and share in order to deliver sustainable services and a greater “strategic presence” within an area.
Integration has already happened at some other authorities such as Adur and Worthing and Dorset councils.
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