Two Lincolnshire councils said this week that a proposed shared service including legal services is on target for launch in April 2016.
North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire claim the service – to be called Northern Lincolnshire Business Connect – will save more than £12m by 2026.
In addition to legal services, the shared service will include information technology, accounts, internal audit, human resources and graphic design/publications.
The councils' Joint Committee for Shared Services has selected a logo that will be used to help create an identity for the new way of working.
Cllr Richard Hannigan, cabinet member for Policy and Finance at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Northern Lincolnshire Business Connect is not just about saving money; ultimately, it is about creating a better, more joined-up way of working on some back office support services that currently each council provides separately.
“The two councils are very similar in size and are right next door to each other, so it makes perfect sense to look at ways we can become more efficient and effective and it is only right that we do so.
“These changes won’t happen overnight – we need to ensure we have considered everything properly to ensure we have the right model in place come April 2016 when we launch the new joint service.”
Cllr Matthew Patrick, portfolio holder for finance and resources at North East Lincolnshire Council added: “A lot of work is going on behind the scenes and I am pleased with progress so far. We now have an identity for the new service that people will recognise in our business transactions with our many customers.
“We must continue to look at ways we can improve the way we deliver our services to our customers and in doing so, where possible, save money in the process. This money can be better spent on delivering key services to those who need them.”
In December 2014 the two councils were awarded a £1.9m grant through the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Transformation Challenge to help establish the shared professional service.