St Albans Council ready to share services with Harlow Council
Harlow Council / Mon 27th Jun 2022 at 08:09am
ST Albans City and District Council (SADC) is preparing to share some services with neighbouring local authorities to improve efficiency and the quality of services for local residents and businesses.
Members of the Council’s Policy Committee recommended the initiative at its meeting on Thursday 23 June.
SADC’s Planning Enforcement, Building Control and Legal Services will be shared with Watford Borough Council.
The Internal Audit service will be shared with Broxbourne Borough Council, Epping Forest District Council and Harlow District Council.
Among the aims is a transformation of services to ensure they follow best practices, are more cost-effective and consistent to enhance quality.
The services will also be more resilient because of greater capacity and increasing depth of staff while there will be better opportunities for staff development.
There will also be scope to make some financial savings although this has not been the primary driver of the move.
Councillor Chris White, SADC Leader and Policy Committee Chair, said after the meeting:
This is the culmination of a lot of work that has gone on behind the scenes with neighbouring Councils about how we can join together to improve the services we offer our residents and businesses.
The use of shared services is common amongst other District Councils as the greater scale provides stronger and more flexible services that can adapt to future challenges.
As well as the non-financial benefits, a more collaborative way of working will realise financial benefits, too.
This is an important consideration at a time when our Budget is under increasing pressure from rising inflation and the continuing impact on our finances of the pandemic. It is a demonstration of our commitment to give our residents value for money.
The Committee’s recommendations will go before a meeting of SADC’s Full Council next month for approval.
Planning Enforcement and Building Control shared services should start from Thursday 1 September, Internal Audit from 1 October or earlier and Legal from 1 January next year.
SADC will be the lead authority for Legal Services and Watford BC will be the lead for Planning Enforcement and Building Control.
SAD Cs ... really!