28/06/2012 - Permalink

Tri-Council partnership to save money and protect frontline services

Related topics: Democracy / Partner organisations

Three West Midlands councils have announced a new partnership to find innovative ways of working that save money and protect frontline services.

Staffordshire County Council, Shropshire Council and Worcestershire County Council officially launched the Tri-Council project at the LGA Conference in Birmingham on Wednesday 27 June 2012.

The three councils will work together on five key areas: economic growth and connectivity (including broadband and local transport); fostering, adoption and residential care; education services to schools; IT; and contract management and procurement.

Staff across the three authorities will share best practice, innovate and explore ways of working together, with extensive potential for improvement, savings and growth in their local areas.  The work will complement and strengthen existing transformation programmes taking place at each local authority.

For instance, the three councils together spend over £725m a year.  Combining this buying power would create economies of scale to rival many multinational companies and help drive down costs of goods and services they buy, to give residents greater value for money.

Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:

“Here in Staffordshire we are constantly looking at new ways to deliver the services our residents and businesses need.

“Its vital those services are sustainable and offer local people real value for money.

“Over the last three years we have made a number of major innovations. This partnership – the largest in the country in terms of population and area – will give us the shared expertise and financial clout to take this work even further.

“It’s about exploring ways to make savings in the back office, for example in the way we buy goods or services, that protect the frontline services local people rely on.”

Keith Barrow, Leader of Shropshire Council, welcomed the partnership:

“Each of the three councils is already a leader in a number of fields –Staffordshire in health sector collaboration, Worcestershire in property management and Shropshire in children’s services and community development.  This partnership will enable us all to deliver high-quality services and value for money to our residents, despite severe constraints on our funding.

“We have to think differently and I truly believe that by working closely with our partners in Worcestershire and Staffordshire, we can all deliver better outcomes for local people.”

Adrian Hardman, Leader of Worcestershire County Council, said:

“We have a good track record in Worcestershire of delivering services with our district councils and this partnership takes this successful approach to a larger scale.

“This work complements Worcestershire’s Better Outcomes, Lean Delivery (BOLD) transformation programme.  Whilst making necessary savings we are always exploring new opportunities of what we can do differently to benefit local people, and I believe that this approach will help us to do exactly that.

“By working together, this will strengthen our position to deliver value for money for our businesses and residents.  This will also help us to protect frontline services that we know are what people in Worcestershire value most.”