Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham are building on plans announced before the election to work together to cut costs and protect frontline services.
Partnership working between the three boroughs has taken on a new urgency in light of the unprecedented cuts from the Tory/Lib Dem Government that local councils will face over the coming years.
Sir Steve Bullock, elected Mayor of Lewisham, Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth and Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark, have written to their respective Chief Executives to commission them to begin joint discussions to consider where potential exists for efficient and effective joint working. They have been asked to work together to present a range of options by the autumn.
Councillor Steve Reed said: “Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark councils all provide many services that are identical, but do we really need to pay twice for separate sets of senior management and back-office support? We need to proactively look at making savings at a time when the Tory/Lib Dem government is making cuts to council funding in order to protect frontline services”
Councillor Peter John added: “Local councils are facing unprecedented cuts from the Tory/Lib Dem Government. We know that we’re going to have to change the way we work to rise to the challenge those cuts present and carry on making the improvements to local services that our residents need. Pulling together with our neighbouring boroughs, which face many of the same challenges we do, promises to deliver some of that change.”
Mayor Sir Steve Bullock said: “We have to seek dramatic improvements in efficiency by working in partnership with our neighbouring Councils, other public services and the private sector. Every pound we can save through efficiency is a pound we can spend on frontline services. I hope this innovative approach can be used as a model across Local Government, rather than a return to slash and burn cuts”
This story is covered in the latest edition of Lambeth Life