Midlands councils announce 'largest' service sharing

Councils in the West Midlands are to work together to find ways of working to share money.

Staffordshire and Worcester County Councils and Shropshire Council will work together in areas such as residential care, fostering and the outlook for economic growth.

A spokesman said the partnership was the largest in the country in terms of population and area.

The partnership was announced at the Local Government Conference.

A spokesman said existing schemes such as "transformation programmes" for broadband and transport would be shared between staff and hopefully lead to improvements.

Council staff will explore ways of looking for improvements, savings and growth.

Phillip Atkins, Staffordshire County Council leader, said "It's about exploring ways to make savings in the back office, for example in the way we buy goods or services, that protect the front-line services local people rely on."

The three councils say that together they spend more than £725m a year.

Combining their buying power, they say, would help drive down the costs of goods and services they buy and give residents greater value for money.

Shropshire Council leader Keith Barrow said they had to "think differently" and that working together would see a better outcome for people.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites