Nearly all UK councils will share services to cut costs

Nearly every local authority is moving to shared service agreements to cut costs, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

Most councils (96%) are moving to shared service agreements in a bid to cut costs, according to a survey from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

Another 45% of local government authorities said they would outsource services with a commercial partner.

Of the 73,000 local council job losses calculated for this year, 70% will be in managerial and back-office roles, the survey of 166 councils found.

Yesterday the government announced its figures for reducing local government spend, with some of the most deprived councils facing cuts of up to 8.9%.

Grant Shapps, minister for communities and local government, said: "Local authorities need to get on with sharing services."

This should take priority over cutting front line staff, Grant Shapps told Channel 4 News.

However, Baroness Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, described the cuts as "the toughest local government finance settlement in living memory".

"We have been clear that the level of spending reduction that councils are going to have to make goes way beyond anything that conventional efficiency drives, such as shared services, can achieve. We have to face the fact that this level of grant reduction will inevitably lead to cuts in services," she said.

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