Innovation and Efficiency

28.06.18

Over £800m saved by councils sharing services

In a new analysis by the LGA, more than £800m of public money has been saved by councils sharing services.

In its national shared services map, it shows that there are 555 separate shared services arrangements across England, providing £840m cumulative efficiency savings – something the LGA says reinforces councils’ reputation as “as the most efficient part of the public sector.”

In terms of cash savings, co-procurement ranked highly across all the savings through shared services arrangements, followed by shared back office services and management teams.

The LGA’s analysis also suggested that up to a fifth of the arrangements were not originally set up to make savings, but did so all the same.

The analysis also saw a rise in the number of councils sharing counter fraud services – pooling of resources and focusing on prevention saw significant savings made.  

Cllr Paul Bettison, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “Our latest shared services map shows once again that when it comes to making efficiency savings, there is none better than local government.

“Shared services are no longer just something the most innovative councils do, but have instead become the norm for councils to improve services, increase resilience and save money in times of significant change, reinforcing councils’ reputation as the most efficient part of the public sector.

“But while councils have done an outstanding job in making efficiency savings in the face of severe budgetary pressures, there is only so much they can do.

“Efficiency savings alone will not plug the £5 billion funding gap facing local government by 2020. Without new funding, local services could soon reach a point where there is nothing left to share or collaborate with.”

 

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