Scottish council rejects ambitious shared service offer

I spend quite a lot of my time at the moment writing about shared services in one form or another.

There is a lot of activity in the public sector about shared services as a result of the need for public sector organisations to cut costs. Many are either moving to shared services to cut costs or being advised to.

In recent weeks tenders have been put out by Surrey County Council for a shared managed network service  and by four London boroughs that are looking for a systems integrator to support their plan to share a single instance of Oracle’s latest ERP software.

There was also news of seven Scottish councils joining up services in a move that is expected to save around £30m a year.

The participating councils include Glasgow, Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, and North Lanarkshire. Staff numbers under the new shared services model are expected to decrease by around 25% over time, which could see more than 100 IT roles go. IT is the most expensive function across the councils with a total cost of £58m per year. 

But it turns out that West Dunbartonshire will not be taking part as councillors voted against the plans.

Council leader Ronnie McColl is reported to have said: “I would like to acknowledge the detailed work undertaken across the Clyde Valley Partnership on the four proposed shared services workstreams. However, as councillors our first priority is always to do what is right for West Dunbartonshire, and regrettably these proposals were not in the best interests of this council or the local area.

“We believe there is far more potential in seeking local, bespoke partnership solutions for service delivery that can protect the quality of service, while providing better value for money for the taxpayers of West Dunbartonshire.”

So is the evidence of shared services success flawed. Read this from someone that thinks so.

Don’t forget police authorities are currently being encouraged to take the shared service plunge.