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Support services is the latest Dorset County Council department to come under scrutiny as the authority looks to make savings.

A public consultation will be held to help decide which of four options will be used to deliver support services – human resources, legal, IT, customer services, business support and finance – in the future.

But although three of the options suggest changing the way things are done, the leader of the county council, Robert Gould, said it is too early to tell what impact this could have on jobs.

More than £6m has been saved already from the shared services budget in the last four years. The county council did not reveal how much more they hope to save.

Cllr Gould said: “It's too early to be clear about the impact on jobs -- we need to build a business case to understand the options, and then consider how they would be implemented and over what period.

"We have substantial savings to find across the council. Our support services make a significant contribution to our frontline delivery so, if we can make savings in the 'back office', we can spend more money on delivering services direct to residents. We will therefore look to save as much as we can by making our support services as effective as possible.

"In times of financial austerity, we have to look for savings in all areas and reduce expenditure wherever we can."

The review is part of the council’s Forward Together programme. Dorset County Council faces having to find £45m over the next three years.

The options are:

  • Continuing to deliver support services through council staff, buying in additional skills as required
  • Entering a shared service with other local authorities
  • Recruiting a single partner to work on a ‘risk and reward’ basis, meaning the partner is paid from the savings generated
  • Letting a contract to a partner to deliver the support services, which would mean outsourcing them to a private company. Share article

The public consultation runs until November 16 and the results will be considered by the cabinet on December 2.

To have your say, visit www.dorsetforyou.com/support-services-review

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sarah Cartlidge

Quelle/Source: Bournemouth Echo, 25.10.2015

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