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Newcastle and Northumberland to share services


Cabinet approval lays ground for county to take on city’s council tax, business rates, payroll and revenues and benefits operations

Two North-East councils are planning to merge a collection of transactional services following votes in favour by their respective cabinets.

Northumberland County Council is to take on services including council tax, business rates, payroll and revenues and benefits for Newcastle City Council, in a move they predict can save £895,000 for each over the next three years.

Following the votes in favour by the cabinets over the past few days, they are planning to set up a joint committee to begin a formal consultation with the trade unions. Relevant Newcastle staff will transfer to Northumberland under TUPE rules to create a single workforce of more than 400 people.

The councils are planning for the new service to be up and running by the beginning of April.

Savings and reinvestment

Newcastle’s cabinet member for resources, Councillor Veronica Dunn, said: “Coming together with our neighbours in Northumberland will, I believe, deliver savings that can be reinvested back into sustaining vital public services that people depend upon.”

Northumberland’s cabinet member for corporate services, Councillor Nick Oliver, said: “By exploring opportunities to provide joint financial services, this will help us to look at ways we can continue to achieve high quality frontline services in a cost-effective and more efficient way.”

Transactional services cost both authorities about £11 million a year.

Image: Berdea through Wikimedia, CC-SA 3.0

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