Laura Sharman 28 April 2014

Shared services save councils £357m

Shared services have saved the taxpayer more than £350m with 96% of councils involved in some kind of sharing, according to the latest figures from the Local Government Association (LGA).

The shared services map shows that 337 councils are engaged in 383 shared service arrangements, resulting in £357m of efficiency savings. Back office shared services such as HR and legal saved £75m, while environment waste and transport saved £84m.

Cllr Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: ‘At a time when local government funding has seen huge cuts, it is positive to see how much councils have saved taxpayers by sharing services and how many councils have adopted this approach. Over the past year, the amount saved by sharing services has increased by £83m, to £357m, an increase which demonstrates the extent to which councils have taken sharing services on board.

‘The interactive map demonstrates the range and scale of service sharing by councils, and this year shows services shared with other public sector bodies too. However, while savings from sharing services are now worth more than a third of a billion pounds, they do not match the scale of the 40% cuts to local government during the life of this Parliament.’

According to the map, shared service arrangements are growing fastest in London and the south-east, and the biggest increase in savings last year were in adult services and culture, leisure and tourism.

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