22 November 2010

The top team set to lead an innovative partnership which will save Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire taxpayers millions of pounds has been announced.

Local Government Shared Services (LGSS) is the shared service venture set up by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire county councils to provide business support services. Through LGSS, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils share services including among others: finance, human resources, procurement, and legal services. By sharing professional and transactional services in this way, LGSS will result in a saving in excess of £25m over the next ten years.

The appointments are the result of a competitive recruitment process which began in August this year. Applicants from either Cambridgeshire County Council or Northamptonshire County Council were invited to apply for these pivotal roles.

The process culminated in interviews with Chief Executives from both Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Council’s and members of the Joint Committee; the cross party panel of councillors set up to govern LGSS.

The Director level appointments are:

  • Quentin Baker – Director of Legal Services
    Formally Head of Legal Services at Cambridgeshire County Council, Quentin has over 15 years experience working in a range of authorities and areas of legal work, more recently focussing on commercial and corporate legal issues.
  • Nick Dawe – Director of Finance
    Nick was previously Director of Finance, Property and Performance and the Section 151 Officer of Cambridgeshire County Council. Prior to this Nick has held a series of senior finance and business roles in the NHS, and has had lead responsibilities for implementing shared services.
  • Rocco Labellarte – Director of Operations
    Formally Head of IT at Northamptonshire County Council, Rocco’s career spans commercial, local and central government organisations, where he has delivered IT, Finance, HR services and business transformation programmes.
  • Christine Reed – Director of Human Resources and Organisation Development
    Christine was previously Head of Organisational Development and Human Resources for Northamptonshire County Council. Christine has held senior HR and OD positions across the private and public sector and has over 20 years experience specialising most recently in transformational change management.

LGSS has decided not to recruit to the role of Managing Director at this time, but has instead agreed in principle that Paul Blantern will take on this role for a period of 12 months, in addition to his current responsibilities as Chief Executive of Northamptonshire County Council. This decision is due to be ratified at a Joint Committee meeting in December.

Joint Committee Chairman Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage from Northamptonshire County Council said: “These are excellent appointments that bring the knowledge and expertise to take LGSS forward. I am confident that with their commitment and drive LGSS will go from strength to strength, delivering value for money professional and transactional business support services.”

Cllr John Reynolds, lead member of the Joint Committee from Cambridgeshire County Council said: “LGSS is one of the largest shared service ventures of its kind and the appointment of the management board is a historic moment for local government. Sharing services is allowing the partner councils to receive high quality services at a reduced cost and ultimately save millions of pounds of tax payers money. As LGSS develops, more organisations will be able to join LGSS and share in the benefits.”

Additional information:

LGSS is governed by a Joint Committee, which is a formal partnership arrangement between the two councils. This is a well known and tested model used by various other councils across the country. The Joint Committee is made up of three councillors from each authority who are responsible for the overall direction of LGSS and oversee its delivery.

The councillors on the Joint Committee from Cambridgeshire County Council are Cllr John Reynolds, Cllr Martin Curtis, Cllr Fiona Whelan.

The councillors on the Joint Committee from Cambridgeshire County Council are Cllr Bill Parker, Cllr Andre Gonzalez de Savage and Cllr Chris Stanbra.

Joint Committee meetings are held regularly and all papers are available on both Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Council’s websites by following the links below: