County Council, Fire and Police mark key milestone in joint working
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL, HAMPSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE, AND HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY
The first phase of joint working arrangements between Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary is set to begin this Spring.
A programme of joint working has been agreed across a number of the three organisations' support functions to protect and improve frontline services, and save money. This will allow them to develop new and innovative ways of working as well as responding to reduced levels of Government funding and additional operational pressures. Identifying opportunities for efficiencies and service improvements, and sharing resources is key to this.
April marks the first phase of collaborative working when three areas from the three organisations will combine as 'early adopters'. The County Council, Fire and Rescue Service, and Police will merge their finance, procurement and property services functions, as these areas have been identified as being able to be delivered more quickly. Individual teams for each area will now begin to work jointly, ahead of future full integration across the range of combined services.
The overall joint working programme is exploring opportunities and developing plans to share various service areas that each organisation currently manages separately, within an integrated structure:
- Procurement (early adopter)
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT) *
- Finance and Payroll (early adopter - Finance)
- Human Resources
- Occupational Health and Wellbeing
Joining up these functions could deliver combined savings of up to £4million each year, which would then be used to lower each organisation's overall costs and protect frontline services.
The three partners are also taking forward proposals for cooperative working within:
- Transport and Fleet Management
- Estates and Property Management (early adopter)
- Facilities Management
- Training/Learning and Development
- Media and Corporate Communications
Research and Analysis
These would expand joint working and could deliver combined annual savings of up to £300,000.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: "Our three organisations have a strong track record in partnership working and these 'early adopter' functions illustrate the early benefits that can be achieved from this successful, established relationship.
"Joint working is vital to creating a sustainable future for all three of our organisations and builds on our individual transformation programmes which for the County Council, has already seen us balance our budget and deliver a significant savings programme. £130million of recurring savings have been achieved over two and half years by modernising and reshaping our services to make them more efficient, protecting frontline services, and driving down costs, in response to ongoing reductions in our funding from Government, and at a time when many public sector organisations are simply cutting services."
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Simon Hayes, said: "The work this Spring to implement these first three support functions is positive progress towards fully integrated joint working and its objective to protect the high standards of policing delivered by Hampshire Constabulary and secure future resilience by closer cross-agency working, reducing running costs and improving support services. This early progress in combining our property functions in particular, has allowed us to begin a significant area of work with the support of our County Council colleagues, to review and re-evaluate our built estate which will see a comprehensive strategy developed over the coming months."
Royston Smith, Chairman of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority added: "This is the first example of joint working of this type between a Police Force, a Fire and Rescue Service and a County Council in England, and by sharing our support functions we can improve overall services together, reduce our costs and significantly increase the resilience of our organisations in the long term. This will benefit all Hampshire residents."
A phased approach to the design, build and implementation of each service is currently underway which is expected to take between one to three years to complete.