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Pioneering merger has saved Councils £17m - new figures

Released: Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Merging council services across Adur and Worthing has saved £17m over the last ten years, according to new figures.

The tenth anniversary of the amalgamation of services between borough and district falls on Wednesday (12th July 2017) and finance chiefs at the councils calculate that the ongoing saving is still amounting to more than £3m a year.

Adur and Worthing were the first councils in the country to merge service functions such as refuse collections, officer responsibility, IT systems, benefits, planning policy and parks.

The pioneering move has meant that the councils have been able to protect frontline services against central government grant cuts. For instance Adur & Worthing Councils are one of the few local authorities still committed to weekly refuse collections,

Many other council across the UK have since adopted Adur and Worthing's blueprint. While back office functions have been merged the councils themselves have remained completely independent with elected councillors for both authorities deciding their own priorities for their residents.

Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said:

“I think it is worth noting this milestone anniversary. It was a bold move and people thought we were mad. We have saved taxpayers money while maintaining frontline services.”

“And of course we remain separate from Worthing but nevertheless we work well together on big projects that benefit residents of both places.”

Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphreys, said:

“£17m is a hefty saving and has allowed us to focus on what is really important for the people of this borough.”

“We have never lost our individual identity but working together has brought great benefits to both communities.”

Early savings in senior management costs saved around £400,000 and removing duplication of services continues to save money.

Bringing together refuse services under the banner Adur & Worthing Councils Services (AWCS) was the first large-scale project undertaken with the streamlining of operations and routes making significant savings.

In addition the councils reduced the number of their own office buildings down from three to two, with Worthing Town Hall and Portland House, Worthing remaining and Adur Civic Centre now the subject of a pioneering district council-backed homes and offices development scheme.

Photo: Worthing BC leader Dan Humphreys (left) shaking hands with Adur DC leader Neil Parkin (right)

PR17-094 - Worthing BC leader Dan Humphreys shaking hands with Adur DC leader Neil Parkin

(PR17-094)

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