Oxford

West Oxfordshire and Cotswold councils share services

An Oxfordshire council has agreed to share more posts with a neighbouring authority to save money.

West Oxfordshire District Council has been sharing some resources with Cotswold District Council since 2008.

Councillors have now agreed to begin merging IT services in January 2012 and sharing legal services from April.

The authorities have also agreed to share a strategic director for environment, head of customer services and a principal engineer.

The Conservative-led West Oxfordshire District Council said there would be no redundancies as a result of shared working.

A spokeswoman was unable to say how much money overall would be saved by the changes but said about £200,000 a year would be saved from IT services alone.

The two councils began sharing resources in November 2008 when a joint chief executive was appointed. Other senior management and several officer posts became shared as posts became vacant.

A spokeswoman said an efficiency programme had already produced savings of £2.1m.

The authority also said it will begin using a new shared system for finance, procurement, human resources and payroll in 2012.

The GO (Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire) programme is a joint project with three other authorities - Cotswold, Forest of Dean and Cheltenham, a housing association and an environmental services company.

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