Shared services plan advanced

Council leader Rhondda Geekie
Council leader Rhondda Geekie

Plans to share services across three different council areas have taken a big step forward with the creation of a special committee.

Representatives from East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire councils will sit on the Joint Committee, with the positions of chair and vice chair rotating every two years.

East Dunbartonshire Council will take on the role of chair and West Dunbartonshire Council the role of Vice Chair for the initial two year period.

The elected members will consider what services could be reasonably shared and the framework for delivery.

East Dunbartonshire Council Leader Rhondda Geekie, who will chair the first Joint Committee Meeting said: “We have established the principle of working towards sharing services to deliver the efficiencies that such an approach can achieve, and agreeing the governance arrangements is the next step on the journey.

“We are now looking at the data we hold across all three councils with a view to developing business cases in those areas where we feel the potential for sharing services can deliver the benefits and efficiencies we aspire to.”

Inverclyde Council leader, councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “Working in partnership with other public services is the right thing to do where it helps to ensure more efficient delivery of essential services to our community.

“This is an important next step in examining clearly and sensibly the way forward. It is crucial that the local needs of each of the three councils are taken into account and that each council has a say in the future direction of shared service.”

West Dunbartonshire Council leader Martin Rooney said: “This innovative partnership offers us the opportunity to share our assets across Council boundaries so we make the most of all our combined skills, talent, knowledge and equipment. I’m encouraged to see the progress being made and believe smart approaches such as this can help to protect key services for residents.”

A working group of trade union and management representation from the councils will meet regularly to discuss developments.