ISSUED ON BEHALF OF HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY, HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL AND HAMPSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
A pioneering joint working partnership that will see Hampshire County Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary combine their key support services to save millions of pounds has become official.
Equally governed by the three organisations, the public partnership was formed on 1 February 2014, and a new name adopted - 'H3'.
H3 is the first example of its type between three such authorities in England and could deliver combined savings of up to £4 million each year. Savings will be used to lower each organisation's overall costs, increase flexibility and resilience and to better protect frontline services and jobs.
The services included within the new H3 partnership, which will deliver key support to three of the county's largest public bodies, are:
The transition to deliver these corporate services to each organisation, in a modern, efficient and effective way, is being phased between now and November 2014.
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, said: "H3 will deliver key support to three of the county's largest public bodies. With continued pressures on public finances, we have to work together to find new ways of operating, and this programme aims to deliver the best value corporate services to Hampshire's communities, in a modern, efficient and effective way. By sharing corporate service resources, the three organisations can increase their flexibility and capacity and better protect frontline services - an approach I wholeheartedly support."
As part of the collaboration, an Integrated Business Centre (IBC), to deliver HR, procurement, finance and payroll functions, is already being implemented. Other initiatives to combine the other services are also underway.
Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "In response to a cut of over 40 per cent to our grant from Government ,and on going demand for services, we are transforming and modernising the way we work to find new ways of delivering more with less, while locking in quality and greater value for money. This is at the same time as holding council tax at the same level for five consecutive years.
"H3 will strengthen each of our organisations so that they can better adapt and respond to changing priorities and government policy. It is very encouraging to see such good progress in this partnership which will help to create a sustainable future for service delivery to the people of Hampshire."
Royston Smith, Chairman of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "The creation of H3 is an important milestone in this programme which will deliver some unique opportunities for each organisation.
"By reducing the cost of delivering our combined support functions, not only will we increase our flexibility and protect local services, but we will also be able to improve the quality of those services for the residents of Hampshire."