William Eichler 01 June 2016

Councils propose joint management to make savings

Two councils on the south coast have announced plans to share senior management in a bid to make substantial savings.

Gosport Borough Council has approached neighbouring Portsmouth City Council and requested the latter provide senior managerial support for the authority.

The move comes as both councils are looking for measures to reduce costs.

Gosport leader Mark Hook said: ‘I would expect that over time, through seamless partnership working with Portsmouth, economies of scale and refreshed working practices across the two councils will mean that Gosport will be able to continue to provide good quality services as cuts to funding continues.’

Two other councils in the south - Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council - have been working with a joint management arrangement since 2009 and recently announced they save almost £4m a year between them.

Cllr Hook reassured residents that should the plans go ahead, the council would remain ‘entirely independent’ and frontline services would continue to be provided by Gosport council.

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council said: ‘Whilst nothing is formally agreed yet, I am delighted by Gosport's confidence in our management team.

‘It is important that both councils are comfortable with any arrangement. Each council will maintain its political independence but the move would help draw us together and open up opportunities for savings for both councils and their taxpayers in the future.’

If an agreement is reached, it would come into effect in October 2016.

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