A joined up approach to planning will save tax payers £150,000

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A proposal that will save the tax payer £150,000 by joining up two council planning departments has been approved by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC).

On Monday, 12 June SNC's cabinet approved the business case to join the council's development management team with that of Cherwell District Council (CDC) whose executive committee gave their go ahead to the plan on Tuesday, 6 June.

The two councils have been reducing running costs and have saved millions of pounds since they started sharing personnel and services in 2011.

Cllr Roger Clarke, SNC's portfolio holder for planning and environment said: "In 2011 we started making big savings by sharing a chief executive between the two councils.

"That idea was applied to all the senior managers and then gradually to each council department, and planning is the last piece of that jigsaw.

"The SNC team has recently been shortlisted for a national award and I'm sure both teams will be eager to share best practice and to build upon their existing achievements."

The plan, approved on Monday, 12 June, reflects changes to the business case following a period of consultation with staff, which ran from Wednesday, 5 April to Wednesday, 3 May 2017.

The shared service is set to be implemented in three phases; the first phase would see the delivery of a shared staffing structure, the second would focus on income generation and efficiency savings, phase three would cover the harmonisation of IT and other systems.

There will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the business case.

The Cabinet's decision did not cover the details of staffing issues; these will be considered by the joint commissioning committee later this month.