Councils to explore new partnership options
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 June 2014
LINKS between North Somerset and neighbouring councils could be made even stronger, as the authorities consider closer collaboration.
This month’s meeting of North Somerset Council’s executive will see councillors vote on whether to adopt closer working arrangements with neighbouring Bath and North East Somerset Council.
“The authorities will maintain their separate democratic and organisational independence.
But both councils will also still be able to scout out future opportunities to share with other councils and partner organisations, including external contracts with private companies.
Leader of North Somerset Council Nigel Ashton said: “We expect many benefits from this collaborative approach including better bargaining power for our contracts, sharing expertise, increased resilience and helping each other to deliver our respective community priorities and ambitions.”
New areas of joint working have been piloted over the past year with the aim of making best use of expertise and saving money in the process.
Cllr Paul Crossley, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “This approach makes sense.”
He added: “Working together and sharing resources means we can do our best to carry on delivering valued services, minimising the impact of reductions in government funding on our residents.”
The councils began working together almost 20 years ago in 1996, sharing resources in areas including libraries, planning and economic development, and most recently, audit and land charges.
North Somerset’s executive will consider the proposal at the meeting on Tuesday.