Latest Public Sector News


Oxfordshire councils explore ‘breaking new ground’ in ambitious joint working partnership

Two Oxfordshire councils reaping the benefits of a “groundbreaking” joint working partnership which includes sharing staff and services are proposing to expand the partnership to a host of other services.

Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council currently share a large section of their senior leadership teams, driving senior management costs down through joint-working whilst also retaining capacity in the county.

One of the only such partnerships between a county and district council in the country, the authorities currently share a joint chief executive, lead officer for HR and director for law and governance and share assistant directors for regulatory services and public protection and for housing.

The two authorities are now working on business cases for sharing a number of key services, and the assistant chief executive Claire Taylor said the “ambition and extent of our joint working is genuinely breaking new ground.”

The proposals are for shared services in law and governance, finance, HR, communications, policy, consultation, research and regulatory services.

The councils are also in the early stages of exploring how aligned services in areas such as IT, children’s social care and housing would work.

Taylor said: “Undoubtedly these are fascinating times as we chart a way forward and break new ground with a project that has a real national significance.

“People in central and local government throughout the country are monitoring how our project is developing.”

She said Cherwell DC has a track record for innovation in housing and regeneration and the county council has proven history of attracting infrastructure linked to housing, with the ambition being to maximise those skills, resources and funding to make the most of housing and economic growth.

Taylor added that the partnership’s wider ambition was to “trigger a broader conversation throughout the country” about how councils and other public bodies can work better together.

“Many parts of England retain a two-tier structure of local government with district and county councils. There is huge potential in combining these two different approaches into a closer partnership and we believe the results will be powerful.

“We all face the same challenges and we serve the same residents - so collaboration makes good sense. It is our experience so far is that real tangible improvements can be delivered to the benefit of our residents, both as taxpayers and service-users.”


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >