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Shared Planning Service

Business Care and Implementation Plan

We have recently developed a business case and implementation plan for a shared planning service for two councils in the South East.  The primary objectives for both authorities was to increase resilience in an area where recruitment is difficult with a secondary objective of reducing cost.  


The scope of the work included both Development Management and Strategic Planning and included a combined budget of around £4.1m.

It was crucial for both authorities that there was minimal disruption during the merger and therefore we designed a staggered approach to the implementation that developed as staff, management, systems and political thinking aligned. 


The end result, which is now being implemented will result in savings of around £700,000/annum across the two authorities as well as the following benefits:

  • Reduced costs through sharing of posts and infrastructure: The project reduces costs in the service by sharing management posts, infrastructure and investment between both councils. 

  • Generation of additional income through further partnerships: The project provides the opportunity to generate additional income for the Council or further reduce costs by either providing services to other Councils or onboarding other Councils into the shared service arrangement

  • Embed ongoing sustainability – The model provides the platform for embedding ongoing sustainability, by providing the Councils with a series of choices to deepen the partnership and realise further savings.  It will also provide the opportunity to take advantage of tactical opportunities (e.g.  when a post holder leaves considering options for sharing resources to cover the post)

  • Building resilience – bringing together a shared service enables greater resilience across both Councils as operational and strategic capacity is shared to capitalise on economies of scale

  • More efficient use of expertise – The model enables the sharing of specialist posts, which makes more effective and efficient use of expertise and posts, including urban design, conservation officers, landscape officers and arboriculture officers

  • Recruitment and Retention – The shared service provides the basis for improved recruitment and retention of staff as it offers a more interesting career proposition than working for a single council and from a retention perspective provides more opportunities for development

  • Improved performance – Both Councils will benefit from improved performance as the principle of ‘aligning with the best’ is embedded, which provides the opportunity to improve services on both sides.  In addition, shared investment capacity and greater scale will make the business case for investment and improvement more beneficial.

  • Retention of local control and influence over the planning issues – The shared service arrangement enables the Councils to benefit from efficiencies and resilience, while retaining local control and influence over planning and to develop and agree the optimal relationship with local stakeholders.



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Delivering the Care Act

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Repurposing to improve outcomes and savings

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Increased Resilience

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Partnership Working between NHS and Social Care

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