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Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils save more money with partnership

PUBLISHED: 09:49 05 April 2012

Waveney District Council Leader Colin Law.

Waveney District Council Leader Colin Law.

Archant

THE operational partnership between Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Councils is in line to save more money than previously expected it has been revealed.

Both councils share a chief executive, Stephen Baker, and a senior management team and have joined services such as coastal protection, human resources, ICT, environmental protection and parts of the revenues and benefits team.

There has also been sharing of expertise in other areas such as building control, regeneration, tourism, sport development and play areas.

In August the councils announced the operation partnership was projected to save in the region of £4.5m in the period to 2015,

But the two councils have now revealed that further ongoing and planned integration will actually help save a total of around £6.m to 2015.

It has also been revealed that savings for 2012/13 are expected to reach £1.5m when they had originally been projected at £900,000.

In a joint statement Colin Law, leader of Waveney, and Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal, said: “We are always careful not to make unrealistic assumptions about the money we expect to save, however, as projects develop, we can now be more certain about the financial benefits of some ongoing initiatives.

“This, coupled with further, new plans, allows us to be confident of even greater savings during the next three years.”

“The pressures on local government to deliver essential services at greatly reduced cost have never been more intense and the changes being delivered by our shared services programme will not solve all the problems that councils have to face up to,”

The latest extension of the shared partnership will affect the planning service of the two councils.

Development management, building control and planning enforcement officers will work closely together across defined geographical areas in a move that is intended to ensure an improvement to overall performance, better communication on local matters as well as bring shared savings of more than £800,000.

Mr Baker has been chief executive of both councils since 2008 and the shared management posts were introduced in 2010.

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