A ground-breaking deal between five councils more than 85 miles apart has been shortlisted for a prestigious public sector award.
The Five Councils partnership is the first time local authorities have looked beyond their immediate neighbours to share services.
The councils are Hart District Council, Mendip District Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and Havant Borough Council. East Hampshire District Council is also involved through services already shared with Havant.
The deal, which could save the councils around £40m, has been nominated in the ‘Most Innovative Service Delivery Model’ category of the LGC’s 2017 awards.
Cllr Brian Burchfield, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Customer Services at Hart District Council, said: “I am delighted and not surprised our pioneering partnership has been shortlisted for an LGC Award. It is one of the most ground-breaking initiatives I have seen in my years of local government service.
“The financial challenges facing the public sector are shared by every council in the country. If we are to carry on delivering the quality of services our residents expect, it is imperative that we find innovative solutions to these challenges.
“Councils that share services with neighbouring authorities are becoming more common but we have shown there is no reason why any group of councils that share similar values and common goals, even those that are geographically dispersed, cannot join forces equally as effectively.
“This complex partnership of councils, ranged across such a large geographical area, is one of national significance and one Government is watching. We are seeking other councils to explore the opportunity to join our collective group so they too can achieve the kind of savings we are.”
The partnership will present its model to a judging panel in January and will find out if it has won at a ceremony on 8 March.
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