England

Reigate and Kent council partnership plan 'to save £4m'

Reigate Town Hall
Image caption The majority of Reigate council staff would still operate from the town hall

A Surrey council aiming to save £4m may team up with Kent County Council to deliver some services.

Partnership plans are being considered by the executive of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council on Thursday.

The agreement would see shared working in revenues, benefits, finance, information technology and personnel.

Council leader Joan Spiers said the move could affect Reigate council jobs, but the authority would try to to minimise redundancies.

She said the majority of Reigate council staff would continue to operate from Reigate Town Hall in the short term, but locations may change over time.

Services which needed face-to-face contact would remain in the borough, she added.

She said: "If this way forward is agreed, clearly it will have an impact on the number of staff employed by the council.

"However, we would seek to minimise redundancies and redeploy staff where possible, including within the wider partnership."

Councillor Spiers said Reigate council needed to save £4m over the next few years, but the savings target was likely to increase.

'Impressive track record'

Reigate had looked at alternative service delivery options and found that a partnership with Kent County Council would be the most cost-effective way of delivering some services.

She said: "Kent County Council has an impressive track record of these types of partnerships already.

"A partnership with them will mean that these services will remain in the public sector for the foreseeable future while we benefit from the economies of scale that a larger partner can bring."

If the plans go ahead, the partnership would be governed by a joint member board including councillors from both local authorities.

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