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Shared services changes to save council £128,000
12:51pm Monday 29th October 2012 in News
UNRAVELLING of controversial shared services would save £128,000 for Richmondshire District Council, members have been told.
Leader of the council John Blackie said they were now “lean and mean” but they believed they could deliver.
Shared services – which largely meant shared staff with Hambleton District Council – fell apart earlier this year with the departure of joint chief executive Peter Simpson.
The shared services system reportedly saved the two councils more than £2.4m over the past three years, but now councillors have been told that the management structure is in a better working state and able to make savings.
Councillor Blackie said the senior management team was now down to four whereas in the old days there were 12. He told the full council meeting they were desperately trying to avoid redundancies.
Coun Linda Curran said: “I sat here while we were told we had to be in partnership because that was the only way we were told we could save money so we split things and we upset lots of things, and now we are unravelling we are still being told we are saving money.
“I just can’t work out the sums – is there going to be a point where the unravelling unravels?”
And Coun Rob Johnson asked if it meant that staff workloads would increase and they would be put under greater pressure.
Coun Blackie added: “We are recognising it is lean and mean but we will deliver.
“The test is that we should deliver the same, if not improved, services and it should be value for money.
“It is looking very good and we have a saving of £128,000 to the credit.”
Coun Mick Griffiths said: “We were described by inference as the weaker partner.
“What we brought to shared services was vacancies, and of course the vacancies have been brought back, that is why we don’t have the double whammy.”
Members were told savings included £17,500 in business support services, £11,000 on democratic services, £23,000 on housing options and £30,000 on business and community services.
Coun Blackie added that savings would be made only where it was appropriate and not where it would be detrimental to services provided to the public.
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