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Hertfordshire trio set to share

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Three councils in Hertfordshire could come together to share services if business cases show sufficient savings.

East Hertfordshire DC, North Hertfordshire DC and Stevenage BC are looking to share human resources, information technology, facilities and property management and exchequer and payroll services.

There is already a shared revenues and benefits service between East Hertfordshire and Stevenage, which East Hertfordshire leader Tony Jackson (Con) said “makes it clear that there’s a synergy between our councils”.

Applications for some £25,000 for each council are expected to go to Improvement East to support work on the business cases ahead of a possible start date in March 2012.

This initiative is separate from two other shared services projects in the county.

The former two-tier working pathfinder programme had led to a shared internal audit service due to start in July.

This would be hosted by Hertfordshire CC and also used by East Hertfordshire, North Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Welwyn and Hatfield BC and possibly Hertsmere BC.

Internal audit staff will transfer from each council to the county-wide service, with some redundancies expected.

Hertfordshire has also appointed contractor Serco to run human resources and payroll, facilities management, occupational health, financial transactional services and information technology from April.

A North Hertfordshire executive report said districts could enter call-off contracts from this with Serco but that “Serco have indicated that the first priority will be to get the county services working before they are in a position to take on district work”.

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