22 July 2010

Top government cabinet minister Eric Pickles has praised Northamptonshire County Council’s ground-breaking work with Cambridgeshire County Council to share back office services.

Earlier this week it was confirmed the two authorities would be setting up a joint committee to oversee the creation of joining back office services including legal finance, property and human resources.

On hearing the news Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles praised the two authorities for making savings while doing all they can to protect front-line services.

He said: “I applaud Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire for showing real initiative in achieving major savings in a way that protects frontline services that matter most to their residents.

“There are a growing number of local authorities and other public bodies across the country coming up with innovative ideas for sharing back office functions like IT and finance and I welcome this latest venture which puts the public first.”

These words were welcomed by leaders at the two authorities who were pleased the project – which will look to save up to £2.4m a year have attracted national recognition.

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet member for strategy, communications and external relations Cllr David Mackintosh said: “The work to share back office functions is a key way to provide better value for money for our taxpayers and make significant savings without hitting front line services.

“Our partnership with Cambridgeshire is the biggest of its kind and we are very pleased that it has already been so positively endorsed by the government.”