New Tewkesbury and Cotswold Partnership Announced

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New Tewkesbury and Cotswold Partnership Announced

Tewkesbury Borough Council has announced that it is to enter into a shared working arrangement with Cotswold District Council. CDC Chief Executive, Bob Austin, is to become interim Chief Executive at Tewkesbury Borough Council.

The two councils unveiled the innovative partnership after it was agreed by both sets of Members. Mr Austin will replace Teri Turner, who is due to retire after the May elections.

In a joint statement, the Councils said the move was a unique opportunity for closer working that could benefit both authorities and bring improvements to services for residents for both Councils who will look to share the good work undertaken at each.

Tewkesbury decided on the special arrangement after considering a number of options, including appointing a full-time replacement for Mrs Turner, who has been in post for six years.

Mr Austin, who became Chief Executive at Cotswold in 2003, having worked for the Council since 1991, will split his time between the two councils for an initial period of six months. The cost of his employment will be shared.

Mike Stymiak, Mayor of Tewkesbury Borough Council said: "We are delighted to be going forward with this partnership with Cotswold District Council. Bob has a strong track record in local government and he and his senior team will work closely with our directors to guide us through the next stage of improving our services.

Bob Austin said: "I'm delighted to be offered the chance to take up this exciting challenge. I believe it could bring many advantages to both authorities as we have shared aims and serve similar communities. I'm looking forward to getting to know Members and staff at Tewkesbury and pooling our skills and knowledge."

Mr Austin said the partnership reflected the Government's call in its recent White Paper for local authorities to work more closely together.

Both authorities have agreed to build on the work already being done by the Joint Improvement Board, made up of the seven Gloucestershire councils, which aims to improve efficiency while continuing to deliver good quality services.

Cotswold Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe, who also chairs the Gloucestershire Joint Improvement Board, said: "I think this is a great opportunity for both Councils. We are facing similar challenges and serve similar rural communities. We share a border - indeed there are some towns in the north of our district that are closer to Tewkesbury than they are to Cirencester.

Both councils hailed the move as "a positive first step to what we believe will be an approach other authorities will consider in the future."

Once the initial interim period is complete, the two authorities will discuss how they wish to plan for the future.

Posted : 09/03/2007 13:53:44

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