Pickles applauds ‘innovation’ of London tri-borough partnership
Senior job cuts across three London boroughs will save the authorities £40m in shared service management costs by 2015/16.
After uniting £300m of services, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster City Council are on track to make shared yearly savings of £7.7m in this financial year.
A progress report after a year of the three-way partnership found that 175 senior posts have been lost across the town halls, with 62 senior and middle management roles already going within children’s, adult social and library services.
The combination of environmental services in the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea has seen the authorities shedding seven senior management posts and sharing a chief executive.
The ‘One Year On’ report also showed that the partnership has supported the transfer of local power, with employee mutuals being launched to support schools and youth services within the boroughs.
Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, said that the work done to avoid the reduction of frontline services through administration cuts was admirable.
‘The success of the tri-borough approach is testament to the innovation and forward thinking of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.
‘No council should even contemplate cutting services before they have considered following this example of how to join forces with neighbours to share back office services, procure better, slash in-house management and cut overhead costs,’ Pickles added.
Any claims made by Kensington and Chelsea have to be treated with scepticism. They are noted for the spin they apply to their actions.They recently spent ?22.4M on Exhibition Rd redevelopment a gross waste of at least ?15M of taxpayer's money on this 800m roadway.To celebrate its opening and the Olympics they are going to spend ?1M of taxpayers money on a 9 day jamboree held on the road at the end of July. Residents objections have been ignored.Gordon Taylor Chairman West London Residents Association, Added: Wednesday, 20 June 2012 12:59 PM
I am wondering that if similar shared services are rolled out across 32 London boroughs with the GLA as the managing partner, would there be annual savings in public expenditure following set-up in the region of ?80m?Nicholas Hall Chartered Landscape Architect, Added: Monday, 18 June 2012 04:55 PM
As the NAO reports have shown shared services have a record of poor performance. The savings are claims until there is an independent and objective audit of the arrangement that takes into account real set up costs and whether some savings have been achieved at the expense of service levels (e.g. increased charges/waiting times etc)Patrick Newman, ex local government, Stevenage, Added: Monday, 18 June 2012 03:54 PM
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