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Borough of Poole and Stour Valley Partnership to deliver joint services

Councillors at Borough of Poole and the three authorities within the Stour Valley Partnership, Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council, have now all agreed to form a partnership between the four authorities to deliver revenues and benefits services.

Councillors at East Dorset District Council, Christchurch Borough Council and North Dorset District Cabinet considered the business case for the Partnership earlier this month and Borough of Poole has also now agreed to the move.

Councillors approved the recommendation to implement the Stour Valley and Poole Partnership in phases, starting with a shared management structure while maintaining current operational services from April 2014. The second phase, looking at bringing together the operational revenues and benefits services for Borough of Poole and the Stour Valley Partnership, is expected to be reviewed by the councils in 2014.

Cllr Elaine Atkinson, Leader of the Council, Borough of Poole, said: “This partnership will create a strong and resilient revenues and benefits service, keeping jobs local and maintaining an efficient and accessible local service for our customers.”

Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Bringing our services together will make savings and improve the authorities’ abilities to adapt to changes being introduced by the Government’s Welfare Reforms.”

Cllr Ian Monks, Leader of East Dorset District Council, said: “The Stour Valley Partnership has already shown the benefits that can be achieved through a larger organisation. Adding the Borough of Poole to our existing partnership will enhance those benefits even more.”

Cllr Deborah Croney, Leader of North Dorset District Council, said: “The new partnership will not only maintain a strong service for all of our customers but it will also give an opportunity to pool our skilled and experienced staff.”

Now that all four authorities have approved the partnership, work will continue in earnest to bring the management team for The Stour Valley and Poole Partnership together to lead the new organisation.

The Stour Valley Partnership was identified by the Department for Communities and Local Government in December 2012 as an example of good practice for joint working and delivered £350,000 in savings for taxpayers in the first year of implementation. It is envisaged that joining with Borough of Poole will deliver further savings and efficiencies and will help the councils mitigate the reduction in subsidy grants from central government.