Four partner Councils Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils have created Publica Group Ltd to deliver more efficient and improved services.
In November 2017, employees from Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils, transferred into Publica although they continue to provide services for local residents. The Councils will continue to be responsible for the standard of services that are provided as well as setting strategy, policy and making decisions.
So why are the Councils doing this?
The purpose is to create more value through improving efficiency and reducing costs, while at the same time improving services.
Creating one company with staff from each Council reduces the cost of management and administration and provides the opportunity to share workloads, learn from each other and benefit from shared expertise and knowledge.
Ultimately, our aim is to deliver a better more cost effective service.
The benefits of partnership and shared services aren't new to the Councils.
This autumn was the 9th anniversary of a very successful partnership with West Oxfordshire and Cotswold to share a Chief Executive and subsequently share a range of managerial and support services with combined savings subsequently growing to around £1.9m a year.
In 2012, the Councils took the partnership a stage further by creating Gloucestershire & Oxfordshire Shared Services (GO Shared Service) along with the Forest of Dean and Cheltenham Councils. GO Shared Service provides a shared human resources, finance and payroll function.
In 2016, the shared services were extended to include ICT, public protection, building control, legal, property and customer services and moved into a Joint Committee established to oversee the partnership and to take it on the next stage of its journey.
During the last decade, the Councils have learnt how to make the most of collaboration and partnership, they’ve seen the savings it can generate while benefiting the services they offer.
Realising that this was the way to deliver the savings required of local authorities, without services suffering, the Councils have created Publica and that’s where their partnership journey continues.
What does this mean for residents?
Residents will not see a difference in the way that their services are delivered, who they contact and how they contact them.
What does this mean for Council staff?
Employees of the Councils have now been transferred to Publica and are now looking at how the services they provide can benefit from the new company set up.
Publica has already started recruiting new employees to join the team, and is moving away from the traditional public sector pay and benefits package by offering something new with greater choice for new employees.
The Councils together are expecting to see savings of around £5.6 million per year by 2020, and £41 million in total over the next ten years.
Our Leadership Team