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Council to share services with Bracknell Forest

Move will save West Berkshire Council extra £120,000 a year

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Council tax set to rise by four per cent from April

WEST Berkshire Council will start to share three of its services with Bracknell Forest District Council from next month in order to save an extra £120,000 a year.

The council is currently entered into a five-year arrangement with Wokingham Borough Council to share the delivery of its trading standards, environmental health and licensing services.

However, that agreement will expire on January 8.

From January 13, West Berkshire Council will instead enter into a new joint agreement – which includes both Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council.

The new 10-year arrangement between the three authorities will be known as the public protection partnership (PPP).

In a report circulated to councillors, the council says: “This proposal seeks to take the learning from the current arrangement combine it into one service department serving the southern half of Berkshire.

“There are several drivers for seeking change within all three councils, not least the need to contribute to the savings targets.

“A merger enables the realisation of significant savings whilst also providing greater opportunity for job enrichment and advancement.”

The existing arrangement has delivered significant savings for both authorities through reducing management overheads, merging of systems and procurement savings.

It is estimated the new arrangement will increase the annual saving by £110,000 – to £310,000.

The new structure will see one large team of more than 100 staff.

West Berkshire Council will become the employing and administrative authority and 25 existing Bracknell Forest Council staff will transfer to West Berkshire as a result.

The joint committee will be hosted by West Berkshire Council and the standing orders of West Berkshire Council would apply.

Each council will maintain its own licensing committee and sub committees/panels as required.

The chairman will rotate annually and the initial chairman will be from Bracknell Forest and vice chairman from Wokingham.

The agreement is for a 10-year term and includes break clauses and extensions.

There are also ongoing discussions with Reading Borough Council and Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead about how they may engage with the new arrangement in the future.

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