Porter: I’m still keen on sharing services with other councils

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SOUTH Holland District Council could end up sharing its management teams with two more local authorities to save enough money to protect frontline services.

The district council has shared a management team with Breckland, in Norfolk, since 2010, but plans for a further merger with Great Yarmouth Borough council fell through earlier this year.

The shared management team saves the councils around £600,000 a year.

And, although up to £10,000 in officers’ time and transport costs may have been spent working on the deal, South Holland leader Gary Porter said he would do it all again tomorrow to ensure a secure financial future for the district.

He said: “I would do it again, no question, despite the risk of it falling through again.

“I would pounce on the next council that came along and expressed an interest because it could be the difference between emptying people’s bins every week or not.

“The Government still needs to make more cuts and it’s unlikely to be in the NHS or education so it’s going to come from district councils.

“That means we need to do as much as we can and there is no reason why we couldn’t have a managment team running three councils or even four.

“I have not spoken to one person who cares whether the chief executive is in the office five days or one, and I have not spoken to one who doesn’t care about their bins being collected.

“It’s a way of protecting those services which are important to people.”