To help drive forward joint work being done by Surrey County Council, including with emergency services, and to build on existing initiatives with East Sussex County Council, Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has awarded £750,000 of funding.
Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “I am delighted to announce that Surrey and East Sussex have been successful in their highly innovative bid to expand shared services as part of closer collaboration across emergency services and local authorities. This has the potential to significantly reduce costs and improve outcomes for local residents.”
Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge said: “It’s fantastic that the government has recognised the great work we’re already doing together to transform services. The public sector should be seen as one team co-operating to save taxpayers’ money wherever possible and this funding will help us continue to find new and innovative ways to provide excellent services.”
Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “This funding will provide a significant boost to our collaboration with our public sector partners in Sussex and Surrey. It will build on the very successful partnership between our two county councils, and allow us to extend the initiative by working with the two police forces.”
Surrey Police Chief Constable Lynne Owens said: “I’m pleased to receive this funding for the collaboration we are scoping with our emergency service partners as it will support us in developing detailed plans for improving how we respond to the public’s emergency needs.
“All Surrey’s emergency services have been experiencing some degree of changing demand, therefore we need to transform how we work in response to this. We also want to reduce our costs by removing the overlaps that currently exist between us. As the whole of the public sector sees its budget cut, it is crucial we look at delivering our services differently, more efficiently and more effectively so the public have emergency services which remain fit for purpose and fit for the future.”
The joint bid was submitted to the government’s Transformation Challenge Award in July.