Agenda item

Shared Services Update

Joint report of the Chief Executives of South Ribble and Chorley Councils attached.


Chorley and South Ribble had recently agreed in principle to significantly expanding their shared services and had previously agreed to share a series of senior management posts (including Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer), and sharing policy, communications, legal, HR and financial and assurance services. The aim being to move away from a traditional transactional focused managerial way of working to one that is strategic, flexible and resilient, developmental and focused.


Following the more detailed work that was undertaken in respect of the operating models for the extended services it became clear that it was possible to provide an alternative Senior Management Structure that was more cost effective and allows each individual organisation to maintain their own approach to the transformation stage. The new proposed structure would mean that the Deputy Chief Executive for Resources and Transformation will not now be shared as most of the transformation work will be done individually, although the two councils will look to work collaboratively where appropriate.


In addition due to the scale and nature of sharing predominately transactional elements it is also possible to combine two of the Directors roles into one as there are limited opportunities to share Policy and Communications resources at this time. The shared services Directors will be the statutory Officers for both Councils, with one Director post having some responsibilities for non-shared service roles.


Therefore the shared services agreed to being in scope for phase one (2018) are:

  • Legal Services
  • Finance and Audit
  • HR (transactional)
  • Business continuity
  • Emergency Planning


In addition Democratic Services for both council’s will report into the Director of Legal Services. This is considered to be a well-established Leadership approach for both Shared and non-Shared Services operations and high performing teams. The approach maximises leadership capacity and also facilitates review and alignment of services that the councils may wish to bring under the shared services umbrella in the future.


Whilst staff will continue to be employed by their current employing council, a new Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement will be established and will clearly define how the employment contract for shared services employees is to be managed and resourced.


Each sovereign Council will need to manage its own transformational change agenda, developing new service delivery models, in line with resident need and political desire. Once this direction is understood, further discussions will take place to explore further opportunities to create efficiency of a shared service approach. Members agreed that it would be prudent for each Council to scope out a set of services that could be considered and agreed on by this Committee with the aim of progressing wider shared services proposals.


Some Members were disappointed that progress had slowed although it was accepted that there were different approaches by the two authorities. However, there was still a joint aim to develop a full shared services agenda at some point and both Councils agreed to discuss a joint programme of sharing opportunities at a future meeting.


Members also agreed that more meetings would improve relations and help each authority to better understand each other’s direction of travel.


Before the vote was taken Councillors Paul Foster and Matthew Tomlinson stated that they wish to abstain.




1)         The report was noted.

2)         The operating model outlined in the report was noted.

3)         Approval for the respective sovereign Councils to implement the alternative shared senior management restructure as detailed within the report.

4)         Approval to the convening of an urgent meeting of the new Shared Services Appointments Panel to agree the process and timescales for the two Statutory Officer and respective deputy posts.

5)         Approval of two reserve Members for each sovereign Council to be appointed to the new Shared Appointments Panel

6)         That subject to the appointment process, approval that detailed business plans for each of the services identified in section 5 be developed and brought forward to the Shared Services Joint Committee by early summer 2018.

7)         Approval to expand the scope of shared services as detailed in Appendix A of the report.

8)         Approval that both Councils develop a joint programme of sharing opportunities to discuss at a future meeting of the Shared Services Joint Committee in line with the previous aim for the two Councils to agree a joint aim to develop the full shared service agenda.