Gloucester City Council's move to a shared services model for revenues, benefits and welfare rights-based services will safeguard local jobs and should even create more as other authorities sign up to the arrangement, it has claimed.
The Council has outsourced the delivery of the services to outsourcing company Civica in a bid to make annual savings of £220,000. The seven-year arrangement between the two parties involves setting up a “centre of excellence in the city for local government revenues and benefits administration” that they hope will see other UK local authorities signing up. The deal is part of Gloucester's efforts to change its approach to providing back office, transactional and corporate support services in order to systematically deliver budget savings across these operations. Its existing 67-strong IT team will transfer to the new entity, which will revamp business processes and introduce new IT systems in a bid to drive down processing costs and gain increased economies of scale. Jobs will be safeguarded at a time when many authorities are having to reduce headcount to maintain core service levels, Civica attested. Councillor Debbie Llewellyn, cabinet member for performance and resources at the Council, also said: “It’s very pleasing to be setting up a service centre with the potential to increase its contribution to the local economy and local jobs as time goes on.”