Councils told joint working is the way ahead

Joseph Bulmer

DEVON’S district council leaders gathered in Bideford on Monday night to hear Cllr Gary Porter, leader of South Holland District Council and Conservative vice chairman of the Local Government Group, speak about the benefits of joint working and Local Government Association membership.

Promoting joint working and spearheading progress nationally of shared services is top of Cllr Porter’s agenda. He believes that driving innovation and implementing new ways of working to share services across multiple partners for the benefit of customers is the future of local government.

A Statement of Intent has already been signed by the leaders of both Torridge and North Devon Councils and discussions are being had with other partners in order to drive the shared services agenda forward.

Barry Parsons, leader of Torridge District Council, said: “We already share a chief executive with Teignbridge District Council and we understand that by working with others, not just other local authorities, we will deliver the quality, low cost services that our residents demand. Torridge is not resting on its laurels, but is looking to improve efficiency by implementing creative and original partnerships in order to meet current financial challenges. Through listening to, and learning from, others such as Gary Porter, Torridge will continue to build upon its strong joint working foundations with partners that share a passion for working differently to achieve goals.”

Attending the informal meeting were Cllr Parsons, Cllr Brian Greenslade of North Devon, Cllr Peter Hare-Scott of Mid Devon, Cllr James McInnes of West Devon, Cllr Paul Diviani of East Devon and Devon County councillor Alison Boyle.