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Colchester & Braintree in sharing talks

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Colchester BC and Braintree DC are to look into the possibility of a shared chief executive and management team.

The leaders of the two Essex districts have asked their respective chief executives to produce a scoping paper for cabinet members and full council to discuss next year.

Neither council is expecting to have a vacancy in the near future and Braintree leader Graham Butland (Con) said a lot of work was needed before anything could be agreed.

“We don’t want to rush into something which is a five minute headline and nothing materialises,” he said. “We would rather spend time before working through things, rather than have tears afterwards.”

Braintree is also set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Essex CC and Brentwood DC, who share a joint chief executive in Joanna Killian, over plans to share services starting with their enforcement and trading standards services.

Cllr Butland said shared management with Colchester made sense because they were neighbours and were of a similar size. “It isn’t a huge district subsuming a smaller one,” he said.

Last month, Essex leaders met and discussed the creation a federal management model covering Essex and including the county and districts.

However, Cllr Butland said development of shared management teams and shared services was likely to take an organic approach with “different federations of councils for different services”.

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