CROYDON is to share services such as trading standards and licensing with Merton and Richmond councils. The council believes it can save money by merging management and back office jobs, with an initial six senior roles axed across the three boroughs. The new system will cover "regulatory" services such as trading standards, licensing and environmental health, including food safety, pollution control and health and safety. While the proposal is initially between Croydon, Merton and Richmond, other authorities could join in the future. A joint regulatory services committee will be created, overseen by a shared head. A "transformation manager" will also be recruited for two years and be responsible for human resources, IT and finance. Each of the boroughs have put forward a business case to host the shared service and the final decision will be made by the three chief executives. Cutting the number of managers across all the boroughs from 16 to 10 will save £121,000. A report has warned that redundancy and early retirement costs could be "significant" given the "age and length of service profile of the staff potentially in the scope". Should the proposals be approved at a Monday's cabinet meeting the shared service is expected to be in place by April 1 next year. Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: "While these proposals will save money the quality of services will not suffer. "Sharing services avoids the alternative of single borough reductions, which could put frontline services at risk. "We look forward to working with Merton and Richmond councils to deliver these benefits to our borough." Labour leader Tony Newman questioned Croydon's choice of partners. "Croydon is the size of a large city and that brings its own challenges and rewards," he said. "However, the idea that those from the leafy hills of Richmond or the suburbs of Merton would understand the issues of public safety, environment or retail in a place as vibrant as Croydon is something I question."
More Pages to Explore .....