More than half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money has been saved by councils sharing services, new research reveals.
The latest shared services map from the Local Government Association (LGA) shows there are now 486 individual shared service arrangements across the country,
In total, this has resulted in £643m of efficiency savings.
‘Our latest shared services map confirms that councils are working together to successfully save money,’ said Cllr William Nunn, chairman of the LGA’s improvement and innovation board.
‘Shared services are no longer just the realm of the most innovative councils, but rather, standard practice for councils to improve services, increase resilience and save money in times of significant change, cementing councils’ reputation as the most efficient part of the public sector.’
The LGA found many councils are sharing back office functions as well as delivering services jointly — often beyond their historical boundaries and sometimes with other public sector bodies
However, it found procurement and commissioning still generates the highest levels of savings for authorities.
Despite the positive news, Cllr Nunn said there was still much more to do.
‘We’ve come to the point where best practice must move beyond councils’ boundaries and start permeating the public sector,’ he said.
‘There is much to be learnt about how to deliver more efficient and effective services through greater collaboration and councils are ready and waiting to share their knowledge.’