An innovative proposal for greater collaboration between Selby District Council and North Yorkshire County Council won the backing of county councillors yesterday.
The integration is designed to bring about better customer service, greater resilience for the communities, and to open the way for financial savings in future.
Since the beginning of the year the two authorities have been investigating the potential for some joint provision of services. The Chief Executive of Selby District Council, Martin Connor, has been seconded to work at County Hall for two days a week since January as an Assistant Chief Executive, during which time he has carried out extensive research to assess the potential for greater integration.
Mr Connor is due to retire in the summer, and the two councils will now begin a recruitment process to appoint a successor, who will be Chief Executive of Selby District Council for three days a week, and Assistant Chief Executive at the County Council for the other two days. At county level, he or she will assume management responsibility for library, customer and community services – three areas with significant potential for joint operation.
County Councillor John Weighell, the council’s Leader said:
All councils face considerable financial challenges, not least the County Council, which is part way through a programme to save £92 million in a four year period.
Working with partner organisatiions provides an opportunity to help deliver financial savings that would not otherwise be found.
At the heart of the proposed approach is recognition of the importance of maintaining the separate sovereignty of each Council, and its own decision making processes.
The precise nature of the collaboration has still to be determined, but we are confident that it can ultimately improve how we deliver services to residents in the Selby area, while at the same time making the best use of taxpayers’ money.
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The Leader of Selby District Council, Councillor Mark Crane, welcomed today’s decision by the County Council to support the move towards greater integration.
Mark Crane said:
This is an important next step along the road to delivering considerable savings for taxpayers in the district. Selby District Council and North Yorkshire County Council are entering into this work on an equal footing as we both strive to deliver better services for less money.
Our customers are at the forefront of what we’re doing: this will improve customer service, it will increase resilience and it will save us money.