Councils make progress towards sharing services agreement

Stephen McCabe
Stephen McCabe

Progress has been made on the principle of sharing services across East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire Councils.

All three local authorities agreed to both the establishment of a Joint Committee, effective from 1 November 2016, and the terms of a corresponding Minute of Agreement.

The Joint Committee establishes the governance framework for the potential of sharing services and will consider any business cases developed to pursue this. The Committee will comprise four elected members from each council with equal voting rights and the positions of chair and vice chair will rotate every two years.

East Dunbartonshire Council will take on the role of chair and West Dunbartonshire Council the role of vice chair for the initial two year period.

East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie, who will chair the first Joint Committee Meeting, is pleased that this next stage of developing shared services has been reached.

She said: “We have established the principle of working towards sharing services to deliver the efficiencies that such an approach can achieve, and agreeing the governance arrangements is the next step on the journey.

“We are now looking at the data we hold across all three councils with a view to developing business cases in those areas where we feel the potential for sharing services can deliver the benefits and efficiencies we aspire to.”

Inverclyde Council leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Working in partnership with other public services is the right thing to do where it helps to ensure more efficient delivery of essential services to our community. The establishment of clear governance arrangements and a joint committee may, from the outside, look like administrative housekeeping. But, this is an important next step in examining clearly and sensibly the way forward. It is crucial that the local needs of each of the three councils are taken into account and that each council has a say in the future direction of shared service.”

West Dunbartonshire Council leader, Martin Rooney, added: “This innovative partnership offers us the opportunity to share our assets across council boundaries so we make the most of all our combined skills, talent, knowledge and equipment. I’m encouraged to see the progress being made and believe smart approaches such as this can help to protect key services for residents.”

A working group has been established with trade union and senior management representation from each of the three councils which will meet regularly to discuss developments going forward.

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