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Staff share funding 'will lead to £100m saving'

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Funding totalling £9m is to be invested in enabling councils to share staff and services on a range of projects which participants claim will save more than £100m in a decade.

Among the winners of grants from the Transformation Challenge Award, announced by the government today, is North Dorset DC, which has been awarded £600,000 for it to share a chief executive and senior management team with West Dorset DC and Weymouth & Portland BC.

In total 33 winning bids, which bring together 80 local authorities, have been awarded a share of funding after convincing ministers they intend to both improve services and reduce costs.

More than half of the winning bids focus on redesigning frontline services. Proposals include improving access to training and employment, co-ordinating support for vulnerable members of the community, reducing crime and improving waste services.

Among the winning bids are:

  • £624,000 to get earlier and more effective support to families and individuals by integrating health, social care and other services in Norfolk as a way to help new mothers and prevent children from going into care. It is estimated that will save £760,000 in the long run;
  • £191,000 to use technology to save time on administration for family support workers and health visitors in Wolverhampton. Savings could reach £10.5m;
  • £163,000 to help Hounslow residents improve their skills, find and stay in work by co-ordinating support from schools, colleges, employers and Jobcentre Plus. That is projected to save £2.1m.

To see all of the winning bids click here.

Local government minister Kris Hopkins said: “By joining forces with neighbouring councils and other organisations they are not only cutting costs but also making sure their residents get the very best service.

“Councils and their partners predict they will be able to save more than £100m over the next five to 10 years, a significant return for the government’s £9m contribution.

“This is further proof that local government can deliver significant savings at the same time as making sure that public satisfaction with services improves.”

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