Shared services ''will save boroughs millions''
26 September 2011
Westminster Council has claimed that it will save more than £7m by 2015/16 by sharing various back-office functions with two neighbouring councils – Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea.
The services include human resources, finance and procurement, property and asset management and management information. At the same time a joint deputy director of finance will be appointed.
The three boroughs' finance teams will be combined for existing shared services such as children and adult services and libraries. These moves are expected to make combined savings of £2.3m. Westminster plans to make £1.2m of savings through outsourcing some HR services while Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea are set to combine their HR teams from April 2012. And by combining the way IT services are delivered, the councils hope to save £2m.
Andrew Havery, chairman of the finance scrutiny committee, said: "These are bold and ambitious plans which will help us and our colleagues in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea to deliver more than £7m worth of savings to local taxpayers through streamlining corporate services over the next three years.
"By taking these plans forward we have set a significant course for the future which will directly benefit the residents we serve tomorrow and in the months and years ahead."
Each of the councils will retain their own councillors and decision making processes. Services key to local areas, such as housing management, licensing and planning will be not be combined.