South Holland District Council offices.

Future of council sharing debated

The future of service sharing between South Holland and Breckland district councils is under review.

A report which went before South Holland’s full council outlines a three-phase strategic review.
The preferred option for the future should be identified by January next year and implemented by March.
New Head of Paid Service Nathan Elvery has also been appointed as Strategic Advisor and within his role comes the review.
“Nathan has been commissioned to review the strategic relationship between Breckland and South Holland councils and make recommendations for the future direction of the strategic relationship,” says a report presented to council.
According to a published timetable, the first stage of identifying a preferred option should be completed in January next year.
The next phase of “future option development” is set for February or March next year. The implementation will take place at a date yet to be determined.
“Given the challenges facing both councils at the current time it is practical and pragmatic to retain a place-based focus until the conclusion and recommendations are made for the future direction of the strategic partnership relationship,” the report adds.
Both councils have been operating a ‘place-based’ management system since the outset of the pandemic.
The options for future working boil down to retaining the current senior management sharing or to ‘pause’ the sharing and retain a place-based structure.
“These arrangements remain in place and the management teams and Breckland and South Holland operate largely independently of each other although there is a shared CMT oversight and sharing among some corporate services,” the report says.
Both councils shared the role of Chief Executive and when Anna Graves retired, Mr Elvery was employed in a shared role with both councils.
“At present the place-based arrangements are working well and are able to balance both the emergency responsiveness required for the on-going management of COVID-19 whilst continuing to deliver services to our local communities and places. This is only achievable because of the continued dedication, commitment ad effective working relationships of members and officers on behalf of the communities they serve,” council members were told.
“No assumptions are made at this point regarding the COVID-19 pandemic other than it remains highly likely that both councils will continue in response mode through the winter and early spring 2021.”

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