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The background to Publica

The Publica journey

How we came to be

Publica was set up in 2017 as a not-for-profit company owned by Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Cheltenham Borough Council to share resources, deliver more for residents and businesses and reduce costs. It was an evolution from previous shared services between some of the partners over the previous years.

We are a Teckal company meaning the four councils own the company and are the shareholders. By owning the company between them it means we can share on management, support services and other areas to make the council operations more efficient. It also allows us to explore new and innovative ways to better deliver local services.

Delivering more for less

Publica has a track record of delivering more efficient services – and delivering results. We have made cumulative savings of £14m three years ahead of the schedule in our initial business plan. That's £2.9m for each of our partner councils that can be reinvested in council priorities or go towards meeting the challenging financial environment local government currently finds itself in. 

By the end of the forecasted period up to 2028, it is estimated the partnership will have saved £63m, a tenfold return on the initial investment of £6.1m from the partner councils.

We have done this through the principle that by sharing services they can be more efficient and by making savings in management and back office functions while maintaining good quality services.

person on laptop
staff member sorting files

How we operate

Our operating model allows us to make council services more efficient and resilient enabling us to provide better services for our residents by combining easy-to-use digital solutions and collaboration across our partners. 

The principle is simple: we want to answer the large majority of enquiries and cases at the first point of contact and where possible provide digital solutions that don't require multiple contacts and can be dealt with automatically.

This approach frees up our technical specialists to focus on the big projects for the districts and also provides a better experience for residents who get quick and precise responses, whether that's buying a garden waste licence, submitting a planning application or reporting a fly tip. 

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