It is the trend in local authority land to share certain back office functions and services with other local authorities.  A sort of Unitary arrangement without the loss of Councils own independent status or the threat of Councillors losing out in terms of office and their expenses allowances.  The case for financial savings is often compelling as Councils can decrease staff levels and use the combined purchasing power of several local authorities for the benefit of all. 

However our esteemed Councillors at BDC are only participating in two of these arrangements as follows:

Partnership Name
Organisations Involved
Shared Building Control
Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk; Broadland District Council; Norwich City Council; South Norfolk Council
Norfolk Legal Services
Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council; Broads Authority

The forecast savings in these ventures are a predicted £568,000 over four years for Shared Building Control and circa £250,000 expected for Legal Services.  This equates to £35,000 and £50,000 for each council if the expected savings for legal services are per year.  Hardly breathtaking when considering that the Essex Pan Public Sector Procurement Collaboration across seven organisations in Essex are predicting savings of £20,000,000 a whopping £2,800,000 recurrent savings for each organisation each year.

So we say come on BDC lets see some real evidence of partnership working and savings.  A quick look around the East of England will show partnerships in the following areas:

Anglia Revenues Partnership
East Suffolk Shared Services
Sharing Corporate Services (a design guide)
Potential District Council Merger
Essex Legal Services Partnership
Essex Revenues & Benefits
Home Improvement Agency Shared Service Feasibility Project
Homechoice Administration Services
Ipswich Building Control
Joint Waste Services
Management and Operational Service Integration
Mid-Suffolk Revenues & Benefits
Norfolk Revenues & Benefits
Watford and Three Rivers shared services
Essex Local Postal Network
Improvement East Asset Management Project
Essex Pan Public Sector Procurement Collaboration
Shared Waste, Regulatory and assets (vehicle & transport)
Bury St.Edmunds Public Service Village
Cambridgeshire Legal Services
Essex Strategic HR Partnership
Sharing a Chief Executive Across Tiers of Local Government (WE LIKE THIS ONE!)
Stevenage & East Herts Back Office
Public Library Services

Incidentally there is no public record of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership in this register of Partnership Working.  Is that because there are no savings to be had and that the actual cost of this unelected QUANGO far outweighs any economic savings?


  1. Interesting that that the GNDP is not registered. What do you have to hide I wonder! Also interesting that South Norfolk District Council are not in the Norfolk Legal Services shared services. I wonder what that will mean for the response to SNUB's legal challenge!

  2. How much money is needed for the NDR?

  3. Rackheath resident11 May 2011 at 21:04

    SNUB taking on the running of BDC ???
    Whats this got to do with Sprawl ?

  4. edith crowther15 May 2011 at 15:13

    This is very interesting, and useful. Accountants catch a lot of thieves - from the likes of Al Capone and Lord Black to much smaller forms of "creative accounting".

    Forensic accounting is also very hard work! If it wasn't, I would suggest someone have a look at the books of the big developers too, looking for tax evasion. Central government hopes to collect some tax from house building - someone should tell them this is not going to happen however many houses are built.

    I am sorry to say "thieves", but it wasn't me who first used the word "theft" of land in connection with the JCS.