Portsmouth and Gosport councils reveal plan to partner up and share senior management staff

Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook and Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones on board the Gosport ferry

Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook and Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones on board the Gosport ferry

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COUNCIL executives from Portsmouth are set to take on work in Gosport in a bid to save both local authorities more than £500,000 a year.

Gosport Borough Council’s senior management team are stepping down later this year.

The big benefit to Gosport will be helping it to thrive, speed up regeneration and infrastructure plans and help in its housing delivery.

Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council

Rather than pay for new full-time roles, it’s been proposed that three senior executives from Portsmouth cover the posts part-time on top of their duties in the city.

Both councils would save more than £500,000 a year between them as Portsmouth would bill Gosport each time its senior management staff were used. Gosport would save cash as it would not need to pay senior staff full-time.

Officials from both councils marked the planned partnership on board the Gosport ferry yesterday. The move still needs the agreement of the Gosport full council and Portsmouth’s Tory cabinet.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said it was the first partnership of its kind between a unitary and borough council in the country.

She added: ‘Gosport Borough Council has got to make £1.5m worth of savings over the next three years. It approached us about five to six months ago and started discussions with us about the possibility of a shared senior management arrangement.

‘This would be the first town and city in the country with a shared chief executive.

‘The big benefit to Gosport will be helping it to thrive, speed up regeneration and infrastructure plans and help in its housing delivery.’

Portsmouth’s chief executive David Williams, city solicitor Michael Lawther and finance boss Chris Ward would be tasked with helping Gosport. Mr Ward is already helping Isle of Wight Council with its financial matters.

Cllr Jones said the move would also ‘complement’ plans for local councils to link up and form a Solent combined authority.

Cllr Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘This partnership is a tremendous opportunity and it’s important we make the most of it.’

The move would not affect the duties of elected councillors, who would continue to serve their own wards.

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