Professor Richard Kerley on shared services
31 August 2011
CSPP Board Member Richard Kerley was interviewed today on Good Morning Scotland. Responding to news that Councillors from West Dunbartonshire will vote to reject plans to set up a joint agency for back office functions, Professor Kerley said:
"It is curious that West Dunbartonshire Council, who actually led some of the scoping work, have appeared to pull back at the last moment. Yet, they are not the first to do so with South Lanarkshire already withdrawing from the process."
"The fundamental factor underlying this is there are so many councils involved in complex and difficult discussions. Perhaps, it works better when fewer councils are involved in these deliberations."
"Shared services have become one of the mantras of local government efficiencies and is a route strongly encouraged by the Scottish Government."
"However, it is not the only way forward and the projected savings of implementing the Clyde Valley plan are modest compared to overall council spend."
What does the future hold for the shared services agenda?
The Big Event began to paint an emerging picture of public service reform. It highlighted how some councils are proposing and delivering real change to public services, what we label a "quiet revolution".
First, Clackmannanshire and Stirling Council are demonstrating that integrated front line services can deliver and obtain political buy in.
Second, Leader of Orkney Islands Council, Stephen Hagan, is driving forward the concept of the single public authority (SPA) for Scotland's Islands.
And third, Cllr Iain Robertson of West Dunbartonshire is arguing that you can merge services & functions in a "one council" lite body, while retaining local identity.
Find out more by watching our public service reform session.