Laura Sharman 28 May 2014

Four councils set out plans for ‘most radical joint working’ in local government

Four councils set out plans for ‘most radical joint working’ in local government image

Four councils are proposing to launch a jointly-owned local authority company to transform the way they run services and save more than £55m over the next ten years.

Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils and Cheltenham Borough Council have launched their 2020 Vision for Joint Working.

The proposals, which will be considered by each council’s cabinet, suggest setting up a jointly-owned local authority company to provide the services required by each individual council.

Cllr Lynden Stowe, leader of Cotswold District Council, said: ‘The proposition set out in this report represents perhaps the most radical joint working approach in local government today.

‘It is a proper, considered response to a challenge not only of how to best use a smaller and reducing public subsidy but also how to make best use of technology, how to encourage and use a competitive market, and how to make smart use of managerial and other expertise.’

The four councils also said the plans would reduce operating costs across all authorities and increase the amount spent on frontline services, while avoiding the need for political mergers.

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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