North and North East Lincolnshire councils merge services

Two councils are to share some tax and benefit services in an effort to save an estimated £1.3m.

Officials at North and North East Lincolnshire Councils have agreed to the deal to share housing and council tax administration.

The move is expected to see 21.4 full time equivalent posts cut within the two councils, although employees would be offered redeployment.

Work on the shared services is expected to be in operation by July 2012.

The scheme would see the work take place in-house across the two sites, with employees staying at their current work base, but working as one team.

Data access

Officials at North Lincolnshire Council said that "designated employees" from both councils would have access to any necessary data in accordance with the Data Protection Act. But each council would maintain its own records.

Telephone calls will continue to be routed through each council's individual call centres.

Councillor Neil Poole, who is responsible for finance, procurement and IT services at North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Increasingly, we have to think of smarter ways to work and it makes sense to share these services with our neighbours.

Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "The partnership we are about to create between ourselves and North East Lincolnshire Council signifies a major step forward to providing a more joined-up approach to providing key services."

Councillor Chris Shaw, the leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, added: "Taxation and benefits are vital services of local authorities, so it is important that we run them efficiently and effectively.

"By working together with our partners in this way, not only do we bring about significant cash savings, we also expect the services overall to run more efficiently, which will be better for our residents."

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