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County/district partnership approved after joint chief appointed

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Cherwell DC has formally approved a new shared services partnership with Oxfordshire CC, after the district’s chief executive was appointed to take on a joint role with the county council.

Cherwell, which has ended a joint working arrangement with South Northamptonshire after seven years due to doubts over its future, agreed a section 113 order at a meeting of full council on Monday. Oxfordshire approved the partnership, which will begin in October, earlier this month

LGC reported in May that Yvonne Rees, who was also previously joint chief executive at South Northamptonshire, was set to take on the role at Oxfordshire following the expected retirement of Peter Clark.

Her appointment was formally approved last month.

Cherwell has previously opposed Oxfordshire’s proposal for a single unitary council spanning the county has said both organisations would “retain separate councillor bodies, budgets and decision-making processes” under the partnership.

Under the new arrangement, Cherwell and Oxfordshire will initially share trading standards, environmental health and licensing.

Cherwell leader Barry Wood (Con) said: “We already know about the service improvements and savings that can be made from a strong partnership, and we are confident that residents will see real benefits from joint working with the county council.”

South Northamptonshire leader Ian McCord (Con) said the council is “resolute that none of our services will diminish as we go through the uncoupling process with Cherwell smoothly and calmly.”

South Northamptonshire is set to be absorbed into one of two new unitary councils spanning the county, as a result of a recommendation by government-appointed inspector Max Caller following the section 114 notice issued by Northamptonshire CC in February.



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