25 November 2010 | Angeline Albert
Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) is to collaborate with four other authorities in Worcestershire to save up to 10 per cent off the total spend of each one.
MHDC chief executive Chris Bocock and the chief executives of Bromsgrove District Council, Redditch Borough Council, Wyre Forest District Council and Wychavon District Council signed an agreement with the aim of improving value for money for tax payers.
Although the rest of the councils are yet to confirm their total spend, Redditch Council expects to make a saving of £200,000 out of a £2 million total spend.
An informal agreement has already seen the councils save money, including £55,000 on a CCTV camera maintenance joint contract and £90,000 on trade waste collections.
The councils have signed joint deals before, for example by combining resources to save £212,000 on insurance, a move which saw the authorities scoop a national award in 2009 from SOPO (Society of Purchasing Officers). However, the authorities now plan to make collaborative purchasing a matter of routine, jointly seeking contracts for goods and services and sharing expertise across their boundaries.
In a statement, the chief executives of the five councils said: “Reducing our costs, without reducing front-line services is very important to [our councils]. This shared agreement is an excellent opportunity for us to pull together and provide best value for our residents.”