Thomas Bridge 12 September 2014

Winning councils named for £9m shared services fund

A £9m Government fund has been divided between 80 councils to support joint service improvements, including three districts set to share a chief executive.

The Transformation Challenge Award is designed to support town halls across the country to launch collaborative projects, with forecasts suggesting more than £100m will be saved in the long term.

East Devon District Council was handed £970,822 to unite ICT staff from three local authorities and construct a single new data centre in Exeter, which will supply services to all partners involved.

Some £623,395 has also been given to Norfolk County Council to help health and social workers improve their support for mothers with serious conditions.

Local government minister, Kris Hopkins, said: 'I am delighted to announce that 80 far-sighted authorities are being rewarded for focusing on the needs of council tax payers and the people who use their services.

'By joining forces with neighbouring councils and other organisations they are not only cutting costs but also making sure their residents get the very best service.

'More than half of the winning bids are focused on redesigning front line services so they provide a better deal for the people who use them. Proposals include improved access to training and employment, coordinated support for vulnerable members of the community, reducing crime and improving weekly collection waste services.'

The Transformation Challenge Award is part of a £410m fund to help councils transform the way they deliver local services.

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