Council service-sharing 'poses problems'Sutton and Merton's executive head of human resources has warned that any attempt to merge certain local authority services is likely to experience some practical difficulty as well as political opposition.

Responding to a recent tie-up between Leicestershire County Council and Nottingham City Council, Dean Shoesmith told the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development's annual conference that the measure faces significant hurdles.

"There are some enormous challenges with shared services," he explained. "There are also some cultural boundaries and problems – and political boundaries and problems."

Mr Shoesmith acknowledged that combining local authority resources is "one option" to deliver some of the £81 billion savings required, but pointed out that such initiatives may cause some consternation among the electorate.

He also added that there is little service-sharing going on in the public sector at present, with just two per cent of organisations employing these methods.

Other speakers at the conference in Manchester included employment minister Chris Grayling and author Jessica Pryce-Jones.

Posted by Cameron Thomson