Merging administrative services is putting two county councils on track to save up to £500,000 a year.
Surrey and East Sussex have pooled their payroll, pensions and accounts functions to reduce overheads and streamline management systems while also agreeing to share Surrey’s data centre.
The initiative comes after the two councils joined forces to strike better deals with contractors in a move expected to save millions of pounds annually and were one of 10 councils nationally to win the government’s ‘best councils to do business with’ award.
Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Services Denise Le Gal said: “In these challenging times, our innovative agreement shows how authorities can achieve savings by working together.
“Pooling these functions makes good business sense as they will help to provide a better service internally and deliver shared savings of around £500,000 a year for taxpayers.”
East Sussex County Council Deputy Leader David Elkin said: “In the current economic climate, there’s a greater need than ever for local authorities to find new, innovative ways of improving their efficiency.
“Pooling these functions is a sensible solution to the budgetary constraints all councils are facing and will also have the benefit of providing a leaner, more efficient service for both authorities.
“The joint accolade given to East Sussex and Surrey in being named two of the best councils in the country to do business with is proof of the value of neighbouring authorities working more closely together in the future.”
Between them, the councils process more than a million payslips and pension payments each year.