Consultation launched by West Oxfordshire District Council on sharing key services

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Residents are being invited to have their say on West Oxfordshire District Council’s (WODC) 2020 Vision Programme, which aims to reduce costs without cutting services.

The council proposes to work with local authorities in Cheltenham, Cotswold and the Forest of Dean to share management, staff and improve their usage of IT. So far the group of councils are proposing to initially share services including IT, Public Protection, Building Control, Property, Customer Services, Revenues and benefits and HR, finance and payroll.

At the same time, the WODC says it will maintain the full range of services it currently provides and retain its own distinct identity. The role of councillors in decision-making will remain unaffected.

Detailed proposals are going to each council in September and October this year. Before those meetings take place, the Councils are consulting with their local residents.

Cllr Barry Norton, Leader at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “Shared working is already well-established and proving to be extremely effective. Three years ago we formed a joint finance, accounts, human resources and procurement service with the 2020 partner councils and since then we have seen our administration and running costs fall dramatically; this is helping us to save money and safeguard services that matter most to residents. Furthermore, our actions have enabled us to balance our budget for the last three years, maintain the same level of Council Tax for five years consecutively and continue setting our own priorities to serve the best interests of local people.

“We are now looking at further opportunities to make efficiencies and would like the local community to let us know what they think about the proposals to share more services.”

Have your say

You can have your say on these changes by emailing WODC at feedback@2020partnership.uk, including details of where you live. You can also write to Communications - 2020 Vision Office, West Oxfordshire District Council, Woodgreen, Witney OX28 1NB.

The council wish to know if residents agree with their approach, and if not how additional savings could be made.

The 10-week consultation runs until Tuesday 15 September and more information can be found at www.westoxon.gov.uk/2020consultation.