Cotswold DC - No 'Merger' With Tewkesbury

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Cotswold DC - No 'Merger' With Tewkesbury

Cotswold District Council has decided not to pursue the idea of sharing a management team with Tewkesbury Borough Council, it announced today.
The two Councils began working in partnership a year ago by sharing the cost and time of CDC’s Chief Executive Bob Austin who became interim Chief Executive at Tewkesbury.

The move aimed 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.

The two authorities commissioned a report by independent consultant Tribal to see how their partnership could take a further step forward. It recommended adopting a shared senior management structure, which might have achieved savings of £400,000 a year for CDC.

However, after further discussion and consideration of all the issues, Cotswold District Council’s Cabinet has now decided not to pursue that option.
Initially, CDC and TBC had planned to spend a further six months fully investigating the report’s recommendations while also working on separate alternative plans to examine other ways of making savings.

In a statement issued to counter press speculation of a ‘merger’ following a leak of the report, CDC Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said: “I anticipate that CDC will still be able to achieve the similar savings through other initiatives.

“We have learned a great deal about joint working from this arrangement and from commissioning the report.
“However, while we share similar financial challenges, it has become increasingly clear that the two councils are focusing on different outcomes in the longer term.
“There are differences in culture between the two councils – for example around our priorities and decision making - that have become more apparent as we have worked together on the finer details of the report’s recommendations.
“We have already set up some joint working arrangements with Tewkesbury which can stay in place and are optimistic that there will be more opportunities in future. However, at this current time we don’t feel that that we can support a move towards a joint management structure.
“Therefore, we do not think it is worthwhile to spend a further six months examining the report’s recommendations when the balance of probability is that it is not in the best interests of either authority to continue down this route.
“We still believe that the principle of joint working is the way ahead to help us deliver efficient, value-for-money services to our council tax payers. We will be looking to talk to other potential partners, as well as continuing to work with Tewkesbury.”

Cotswold will be offering the services of Mr Austin as interim Chief Executive at Tewkesbury while the recruitment process for his replacement is carried out.

Posted : 24/04/2008 20:17:51

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