Counties to merge trading standards
A joint trading standards service to be established by Devon County Council and Somerset County Council looks set to save both local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The partnership, approved by councillors this week, will see the councils create a shared service that aims to cut costs and improve efficiency. Staff and offices from both authorities will combine to provide this new service that's similar to other local councils in the country that have successfully implemented it.
Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council cabinet member, said: "With increasing pressure on budgets we must make sure we work hard to get the best value from our spending and find more efficient and cost effective ways of providing services.
"By collaborating with our neighbours in Somerset to create a joint trading standards service we can deliver substantial savings without significantly impacting on the front-line services delivered."
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The councils are anticipating savings of up to 15% by April 2015 and a possible 20% by the third-year and expect there to be no disruption to staff or relocation of offices.
David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, said: "It is important we continue to explore different ways of working that improve services and deliver value to the council tax payer.
"We are working together so that we are flexible and adaptable in the future whilst ensuring service levels are kept high."
The plans are set for final approval at the next meeting of Somerset County Council's full council on April 20.