VIEWS are being sought on plans for Stratford District Council to share services with neighbouring councils – in a move that could save £27 million.
From 2012 the authority began exploring the possibility of joint working with Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council.
The three councils have since agreed to share a number of services and this has led to them being rewarded with two cash windfalls from government – totaling more than £1.5million.
But faced with increasing pressure on their budgets and as demand for services grow, the authorities are now looking at ways to save more money by reducing their running costs.
The three district councils have prepared a draft business case setting out options for joint working including a variety of scenarios, which assess different services that could be considered.
The option to continue joint working through sharing services is expected to generate savings of £5.1 million for Stratford over a ten year period from 2015 – together with £4.8 million for South Northamptonshire and £8.9 million for Cherwell.
And as well as shared service approaches, the draft business case also reviews alternative options such as outsourcing services, budget and staffing reductions and establishing council-owned companies.
One option would see the creation of a structure known as ‘confederation model’ that could provide the potential to trade and work with additional partners.
This model would not affect the governance of each authority, which would continue to operate as independently.
But it could see potential savings of around £7.8 million for Stratford, £7.1 million for South Northamptonshire, and £12.2 million for Cherwell and – around £27million in total over the same period.
Cherwell District Council and South Northamptonshire Council have already agreed in principle to explore both joint working and the ‘confederation model’ option.
But Stratford District Council is currently only considering the possibility of sharing services through joint working.
The proposals will now be subject to a period of public consultation and the feedback included in a final business case, which will be put to each council next year.
Stratford District Council leader, Chris Saint said: “I am pleased to be part of a process to establish shared services with these two councils.
“We’ve been working hard with them and are fully committed to build on work agreed so far as well as expanding the scope for joint services.”
The consultation is set to run until February 6.
Residents can visit https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=141874811511 to express their views.