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Shared chief councils form lobby group

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The LGA is to set up a special interest group for councils with shared chief executives in a bid to strengthen their lobbying power.

Shared chief executives and leaders met together for the first time this month and have resolved to ask LGA executive members next month to approve the creation of a special interest group, or ‘SIG’.

Gary Porter (Con), leader of the LGA’s Conservative group and one of the leaders at the meeting, said the creation of a formal group would give sharing councils a louder voice with ministers.

“We are doing what they want us to do, they want more people to do it and we need to be leading the charge in getting things changed to make that easier,” he said. Issues the group wanted the government to address included barriers to staff mergers such as the use of capital resources to fund redundancy costs.

After a spate of new sharing arrangements last year, the number of councils pairing up to share chief executives and senior management teams has dropped off significantly.

Cllr Porter  admitted the agenda has gone “really quiet” and said there was “a whole list of things” government could do to encourage more councils to take the plunge. “If [ministers] genuinely want to see more councils sharing we have got a lot of things that would make it easier at the start and to carry it on.”

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