Publica Group is one of the case studies in a new national ‘Transformation in Localities Toolkit’ launched at the District Councils’ Network Spring Assembly.
The District Councils’ Network toolkit aims to provide district councils with a practical evidence base to work together. Publica Group formed in November 2017 from four partner councils (Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils) to deliver both more efficient and improved services to customers.
The comprehensive guide, developed in partnership with Grant Thornton UK LLP, offers pioneering solutions and examples of best practice from District Councils, including those involved in Publica Group, to respond creatively to funding reductions from central government.
David Neudegg, Managing Director of Publica Group, who attended the launch said: “We are really pleased to be recognised as a model of good practice. By creating a new employment approach we believe we can offer our councils access to a wider range of specialist advice and our staff better opportunities to develop their skills and experience.”
Cllr James Mills, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council who also attended, said: “The evolution of Publica will see its partner councils save £41m over the next decade without any detrimental impact on frontline services.
“It is a real innovation in local government and can easily serve as a blueprint for council service provision across the country so it is little wonder that it is already being recognised as an example of best practice.”
Cllr Tim Gwilliam, Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council added: “Over the past decade the Forest of Dean District Council has welcomed the move towards sharing services. We have learned about the benefits of partnership working and collaboration, which allows us to draw on a much wider pool of experience and expertise. As a result we have generated substantial savings without any detrimental effect to the level of service that we offer to the customer. The formation of Publica builds on this successful formula and enables us to make further savings while continuing to improve our services.”
Cllr Nick Parsons, Deputy Leader of Cotswold District Council said: “During the last decade, Cotswold District Council has learned how to make the most of collaboration and partnership, and we’ve generated substantial savings without any detriment to the services we offer. The formation of Publica builds on this successful formula and enables us to make further savings while improving our services. We are also enjoying the benefits of drawing on a much wider pool of experience and expertise.”
Cllr Steve Jordan, Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council added: “A major advantage of Publica is that it combines the ability to get high quality of service with economies of scale by sharing services but also allows the flexibility for individual councils to opt in with the services that work for them.”
You can read the toolkit on this link: http://districtcouncils.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-05-16-GT.1260-District-Councils-Network-toolkit-.pdf