Lane Cove Council and Hunters Hill Council are exploring ways to share services. Shared services are a way for local councils to potentially achieve greater efficiency in service delivery and deal with cost pressures. Shared Services is not a new concept with the Shorelink Library Service being a type of shared service arrangement.
At Monday’s Lane Cove Council Meeting it was noted:
“Lane Cove Council has been in discussions with Hunters Hill Council in order to develop a shared service model which has the potential to not only deliver significant financial benefits but also improve the quality of services provided to residents.”
The following areas have been identified as areas where cost savings and efficiencies can be achieved:
- Information Technology;
- Library Services; and
- Works and Services.
In particular, it was noted that all councils undertake similar activities within each of the functions. The magnitude of operating expenditure in works and services means that the achievement of small operational efficiencies might result in significant long term benefits. Lane Cove and Hunters Hill Council are located near each other which allows for works to be carried out in reasonably close proximity and the sharing/storage of plant and equipment. It has been suggested that Hunters Hill Council relocate its depot (staff and equipment) to the depot located in Lane Cove.
The first step is to employ a joint Waste Coordinator and Road Safety Officer. Lane Cove Council would be the host employer for the roles.
It’s no secret that Hunters Hill Council is struggling financially. Hunters Hill Council, will increase rates next month to help improve its bottom line. Hunters Hill has been looking into its expenses and one area that impacts their bottom line is their library sharing agreement with Ryde City Council. This agreement allows Hunters Hill residents to use Ryde Library Services (including a satellite library at Gladesville) but it comes at the cost (several hundred thousand dollars a year). If Hunters Hill decides to enter into a library sharing agreement with Lane Cove Council, this is just another reason why the Lane Cove Library hours should be extended and further staff can be justified. Sign ITC’s petition here for longer Lane Cove Library Hours.
Shared services can be very beneficial, it will be interesting to see how this results in saving and efficiencies for Lane Cove Council.
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