Jobs could go as councillors weigh up sharing services in bid to cut costs

Councillor Jason Ablewhite.

Councillor Jason Ablewhite. - Credit: Archant

Huntingdonshire District Council is to consider plans to share IT, legal and building control services with two other councils in a bid to make more than £1million worth of savings a year.

Business cases published yesterday (Wednesday) detail how the services at Huntingdonshire District, South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils could operate with single management from October.

Under the plans to be presented to councillors at all three authorities this month, a lead authority to drive forward each proposal has been chosen with shared service managers to be appointed.

The move, which will be considered by councillors this month, could lead to job losses across all three authorities - although council officials insist that they hope to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.

Around £5 million is currently spent by the three councils on IT, with a further half-a-million on building control and £1.4 million on legal services.

The proposals could save about £1.1 million a year in 2016/17 onwards as the councils can “share expertise, capacity and systems”.

In the last four years, Huntingdonshire District Council has made £7 million in savings to meet the demands of reduced grant funding from Government.

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Councillor Jason Ablewhite, leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said: “By collaborating with like minded neighbouring councils, each council can continue to deliver valued services to residents in a more efficient, cost effective way.

“We will retain our independent identities but by sharing expertise, we will get better value services. The approach we have taken to shared services is very sensible – we want to take a good hard look at services and work together where there is a robust business case to do so.

“IT, legal and building control are great examples in my opinion as we can reduce costs while finding ways to make the services more resilient and competitive.”

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