District neighbours to do more work together in bid to boost savings

Chorley and South Ribble Councils have agreed to share more services between the two boroughs.

Sunday, 23rd September 2018, 6:26 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd September 2018, 9:17 pm
South Ribble Borough Council has shared some of its services with neighbouring Chorley for several years - and the arrangement has now been broadened.

The authorities are set to share their legal and human resources functions, having worked together across their financial and assurance teams for several years. That arrangement is currently saving the neighbouring councils £500,000 per year between them - and could be deepened under the new plan.

Four new shared posts will be created, with a director and assistant director being recruited for the existing and new areas of co-operation. Papers to be presented to councillors in South Ribble next week reveal that internal candidates will be sought, before an external recruitment process takes place.

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There are no details of any impact on jobs at the two councils. Chorley Council confirmed that there would be some further changes to its structure, but said the detail would be determined over the coming weeks and months. South Ribble Council was approached for comment on the issue.

The extended agreement has been made public after the plan was given final approval when members in Chorley voted in favour of it in a confidential meeting earlier this week.

Chorley Council leader, Alistair Bradley, said the sharing of services provided “better value for money for residents”.

“We’ve been sharing our financial and assurance services team for a number of years and this has led to improved ways of working - and saves both councils a significant amount of money, year on year.

“We’ve identified legal and human resources as the next set of services to share and, while that is being implemented, we’ll be looking at how we can better set up each authority to be in a position to share more services, should we wish to do so, in the future,” Cllr Bradley added.

South Ribble Council approved the new roles as part of a restructure at the authority.

Council leader, Mary Green, said: “We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Chorley Council, sharing services with the benefit of creating capacity and resilience - and also seeking further opportunities for efficiencies, whilst retaining our own independence and sovereignty.”