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Sharing services may have unexpected results

Date: 3/7/2017

Planning magazine reports that Cherwell and South Northamptonshire have become the latest planning authorities to agree to bring together their development management functrions in a move to make major savings.

Mike Kiely, chair of POS, said that this focus on cost reduction was common, with savings possiblke from merging senior management roles and sharing support functions such as administration and IT support.

Meanwhile, he added that increasing the overall size of the team can make it more resilent and give better career opportunities for planners. These drivers are different to those behind mergers of plan-making functions, which are often designed so councils with shared housing markets and economies can co-operate, Kiely said.

Kiely also said cost savings were common objectives. "You can introduce discretionary charging for pre-application and other services if you can provide better services," he said.

Kiely added that he was aware of occasions where proposed mergers had not ultimately gone ahead, "some have decided it's an awful lot of hassle for what can be small pennies saved in the scheme of things."

MikeKiely3web.jpgMike Kiely

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