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Council shared services save £357m in 2013 – LGA

English councils have saved an extra £83m since last year by sharing services such as adult social care, the delivery of special educational needs and back office support, a new study by the Local Government Association (LGA) has reported. 

The study also highlighted that 96% of all English councils (337) have been engaged in shared services across 383 separate arrangements, resulting in £357m of efficiency savings. 

This year's shared services map shows more than £11m was saved by councils sharing services and management with other public sector organisations, particularly in the health sector. 

In total there have been £84m of savings from environment, waste and transport, while £75m of savings come from back office shared services such as legal, audit and HR. However, the biggest increases last year were in adult services and culture, leisure and tourism. 

A successful case study includes Havering and Newham councils which have brought together 21 separate support services, including HR, payroll, ICT, legal services and asset management, and 1,350 staff together into a new single shared service called oneSource. 

According to the authorities, setting up oneSource will allow them to save over £40m in the next five years with the savings being used to protect both councils' frontline services for residents. 

Cllr Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA's Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “At a time when local government funding has seen huge cuts, it is positive to see how much councils have saved taxpayers by sharing services and how many councils have adopted this approach. 

“The interactive map demonstrates the range and scale of service sharing by councils, and this year shows services shared with other public sector bodies too. However, while savings from sharing services are now worth more than a third of a billion pounds, they do not match the scale of the 40% cuts to local government during the life of this Parliament.” 

To view the shared services map, click here


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