|Shared Council Services Must be More Open and Responsive|
Improvements recommended by Critical Friends Board
A new independent board chaired by Lord Adonis has recommended improvements in the way Hammersmith & Fulham shares services with Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster councils.
The Critical Friends Board appointed by Hammersmith and Fulham’s new Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan was asked to test the quality and effectiveness of existing shared services among the three councils, often referred to as the "tri-borough" and to explore the potential to widen arrangements between them.
Lord Adonis says: " Massive cuts in funding pose a huge challenge to local government. Shared working among councils is important and it should continue in West London. However, the tri-borough arrangements needs to be improved to promote leaner management and stronger accountability.
" It is important that the sovereignty of the individual boroughs be respected. We recommend that each of the boroughs appoints its own chief executive to ensure the best possible value for money in future joint working."
The tri-borough arrangements were launched in 2010. Under them, the three councils share back office and management across children's services, adult social care, library services and public health. H&F also works with RBKC on a bi-borough basis for environment, leisure, residents services, transport and technical services.
"I hope this report marks the start of a new generation of shared services that includes the three Councils but reaches across London and delivers better savings, greater value and services that work for residents.
November 5, 2014