East London boroughs Havering LBC and Newham LBC have green-lighted a shared service agreement that has the potential to deliver £40m savings over the next five years.
The ground-breaking deal to share support services including HR, ICT, finance, benefits, council tax and business rates was approved late last week by the cabinets of Labour-run Newham and Conservative-controlled Havering.
Subject to approval at Havering’s full council meeting later in the month, the boroughs will establish a shared service centre that brings together more than 1,300 staff and a combined £64m budget.
The new system will operate under a joint-committee model which will be put in place next month and is due to be fully operational in April 2014.
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: ‘Both Newham and Havering have faced considerable financial pressures in recent years and we expect funding cuts across the public sector will continue for some years.’
‘By reducing costs and making savings we can protect those frontline services residents say are important,’ Sir Robin added.
Havering leader, Cllr Michael White, said: ‘Havering and Newham are showing that political differences are no barrier to sensible councils making sensible decisions’.