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Surrey pan-county services move closer

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Surrey CC’s bid to create a pan-county shared back-office services project was set to move forward this week with the creation of a committee to oversee partnership working.

All 11 districts and Surrey Police Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the Surrey First joint venture company.

The new joint committee will identify the services that could be covered in the proposals, predicted to provide potential savings of up to £18m a year. Initial scoping work suggested human resources, asset management, IT, waste management and joint procurement were the most likely contenders.

Surrey CC leader Andrew Povey (Con), left, said he expected that the first of the joint venture projects should be up and running in 2011-12, and that it would be up to the new committee to identify what to push ahead with.

“Not all 11 districts will sign up to everything - some will have other arrangements but the vehicle will be there, and that vehicle will move further as future opportunities arise,” he said.

Cllr Povey said that if seven or more councils took part in any one venture he would be happy that “just over half” of the partners supported it.

He added that he believed the incorporation of a private sector partner in the joint venture was a “long way down the line”.

The Surrey chief executives’ group is to be the principal adviser to the committee. Woking BC will serve as the accountable body to manage its affairs.


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