Hundreds of English local councils are sharing services as government cuts force them to fund new ways of providing services.
According to figures from the Local Government Association, at least 337 councils across the country are engaged in 305 shared service arrangements – resulting in £263m of efficiency savings.
“At least 95% of all English councils are sharing services with other councils,” according to the Local Government Association's national shared services compendium and map.
The Cabinet Office’s next-generation shared services strategic plan outlined how public sector will share functions such as human resources, procurement, finance and payroll to deliver potential annual savings of between £400m and £600m in administration costs.
The South East and East Midlands have the most shared service engagements between councils, with 64 each.
Speaking in December 2012, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “There is absolutely no need for departments and arms-length bodies to have their own back-office functions and duplicate efforts, when they can be delivered more efficiently by sharing services and expertise. Plus, it will save the taxpayer half a billion pounds a year.”
Shared services by region of England
- South East – 64
- East Midlands – 64
- East of England – 64
- London – 34
- West Midlands – 33
- North West – 28
- North East – 8