Councils look to combine services

COUNCIL chiefs are considering proposals that could result in millions of pounds worth of services being privatised or merged in a bid to save money.

Hartlepool and Darlington Borough Councils are set to debate a range of options, one of which could save them a total of £8m by combining some of their services.

If approved, the preparation of a business case will be completed over the next twelve months.

It will explore the potential of shared services across children’s and adult social care, education services and other areas.

Other proposals include expanding partnership arrangements, giving work to private companies and voluntary groups or the creation of charitable trusts.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “Following the unprecedented cuts in central Government funding, the council is having to explore new, innovative ways of working to help protect key public services in the future.

“One of the options that we have been exploring over recent months is how we can work together with other organisations in delivering services together and this has included some initial feasibility work with Darlington council.”

He added that the work is now at the stage where Hartlepool council’s cabinet will be asked to approve that further, more detailed work is carried out to fully explore the benefits.

Hartlepool council’s cabinet committee is due to discuss the issue on Monday, November 7.