COLLABORATIVE ARRANGEMENTS'PROTECT COUNCIL AUTONOMY'
Chairman of Council Amanda Martin told members at the recent meeting of Full Council that collaborative arrangements with Cornwall Council will protect the status of the Council of the Isles of Scilly as an autonomous Local Authority.
This statement came on a day when new arrangements were formalised with Cornwall Council to share a Section 151 officer and an interim Director of Public Health.
Mrs Martin said: “There’s been some disquiet on some fronts that we are seeking to erode our status as a Unitary Authority. Quite the reverse is true. We are trying to protect our status by enabling the authority to continue to function.”
She added that sharing functions delivers better value for money in service delivery.
Chief Executive Theo Leijser said: “Over the last five years we have witnessed a surge in collaborative arrangements between local authorities across the country.
“Our current arrangements include things like the library, trading standards and buildings control, and a number of statutory roles such as the Chief Fire Officer and Monitoring Officer.”
He then made reference to a shared services map on the Local Government Association website that details over 1600 collaborative arrangements, some of which involve up to four councils sharing a single service.
A spokesperson for the LGA told This is Scilly: “Shared services are no longer just the realm of the most innovative councils, but rather, standard practice for councils to improve services, increase resilience and save money in times of significant change, cementing councils’ reputation as the most efficient part of the public sector.”