News

Sutton and Kingston Councils share more services

A new Human Resources service, to kick off in the spring, is the most recent addition to the collection of services shared by Sutton and Kingston councils.

In recent years, Sutton and Kingston have been at the forefront of the shared service approach to reduce overheads and relieve the pressure of cuts to frontline services.

Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

“The huge budget cuts to local government means there is a new landscape for the public sector. Sutton has been at the forefront of sharing services. We now share 15 services with other councils and that has saved us £8m.

“Kingston is a great partner because it shares our commitment to providing excellent services. By working together we can innovate with the aim of maintaining high quality services while also saving money.

“This will not exclude consideration of other partners when looking at how to best deliver high quality efficient services to Sutton residents. However we are delighted that our Kingston colleagues share our view that we can maintain the special character of our two different boroughs while still working more closely together. We all believe that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.”

Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, said:

“The pressures on Kingston, like on all local authorities, are increasing fast and we must find ways to secure our future while ensuring the best possible outcomes for our residents. With less money and a growing demand for services, finding new and innovative ways to collaborate with our neighbouring councils, like Sutton, makes good business sense.

“We now share five different services with Sutton and have more in the pipeline. Working in this way has allowed us to streamline processes, increase resilience to our front line services and secure significant savings for our residents. Importantly, in Sutton we also have a partner who shares our desire to protect the important identities of our unique and individual boroughs in the process.”

The councils currently share ICT, Legal, Highways, Regulation and Enforcement services and our Emergency Duty Team of social workers (some of which include additional partners).

The two boroughs also have a shared HR/Payroll system and regularly meet at a senior officer level to exchange learning given some of the geographic and demographic similarities of the boroughs. The councils are also working on the implementation of a shared planning system.

There are a number of further projects in the pipeline, including exploring opportunities around:

  • Development Management and Building Control
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • Customer Contact
  • Finance (including a four borough service for Internal Audit shared across the councils of Kingston, Richmond, Merton and Sutton).