Shared services plans for West Sussex councils

Arun, Chichester and Horsham District Councils are exploring plans to share services in a bid to save £2 million a year and improve services.

The councils are believed to be considering sharing human resources, legal, and internal auditing services, with Chichester and Arun District Councils also looking into the possibility of sharing revenues and benefits, customer services, and information and communication technology.

The cabinets of all three councils have been working together since March and are set to further consider the findings this month.

Cllr Tony Dignum, leader of Chichester District Council said: "In the current economic climate we have to constantly look for new ways to make savings. This approach has been successfully adopted by many councils across the country and is tried and tested. This project offers us an opportunity to explore how we can work more closely with our partners in order to continue to deliver quality services, while also delivering best value for our council taxpayers."

Ray Dawe, leader of Horsham District Council, added: "Many councils are already involved in sharing services in some form or other and it makes sense for us to further this process wherever we can. We have identified these particular services as areas where we believe we can maintain existing service levels, increase resilience and save money in these times of significant change in local government. At the same time we shall continue to look at other areas where we can achieve a similar result."

Leader of Arun District Council, Gillian Brown, concluded: "Many councils are involved in shared services in some form, and it makes sense for us to work together to improve services, increase resilience and save money in times of significant change for all public services."