SHARING services has helped two local authorities save almost £4m a year between them.
Six years ago East Hampshire District Council and Havant Borough Council joined together in a ground-breaking partnership.
The truth is, being one of the smallest councils in the county, we would not have survived without itCouncillor Terry Hart
Senior management roles were cut and Havant’s chief executive Sandy Hopkins was made the head of both authorities.
The two councils share a number of back office services, including finance, human resources, procurement, IT and payroll.
It has meant year-on-year savings of £2.5m for East Hampshire and £1.3m for Havant.
Councillor Ferris Cowper is leader of East Hampshire District Council.
He said: ‘Our partnership with Havant Borough Council has been hugely successful and is going from strength to strength.
‘It has enabled both councils to deliver high quality services and deliver them more efficiently.
‘I’m keen for us to look at every aspect of the council’s business and see where we can be more innovative and creative so that we continue to provide services that are the very best that they can be.
‘And, where possible, we are keen to provide services to others. We will be working with Havant to see where this might be possible for mutual benefit.’
But Councillor Faith Ponsonby, from Havant Borough Council, questioned why East Hampshire’s savings were double that of Havant’s.
She said: ‘It may be they were not as efficient as us in the first place.’
And Cllr Ponsonby added that the transition had ‘not been without pain for the council officers’.
‘To a certain extent they are not able to provide the same amount of work,’ she said.
But Councillor Terry Hart, leader of the Havant Labour Party, supports the partnership.
He said: ‘The truth is, being one of the smallest councils in the county, we would not have survived without it (the partnership).
‘It has allowed us to redevelop the civic offices and they are now used commercially.
‘It has been very successful.’