The Innovation Forum Report ‘Joint Working in Waste Management’ (2006) identified that by working together to deliver waste management services councils could reduce expenditure by around 12.5%.
This influential report also played a key role in the development of legislation for establishing Joint Waste Authorities.
The Waste Strategy for England 2007 encourages local authorities to seek to work together where efficiencies can be delivered.
This is reflected in The Coalition: Our Programme for Government on Communities and Local Government (30 July 2010) document which says ‘We have made clear that we want to see more service sharing in local government. Examples exist, with councils sharing management teams or back office services such as IT, payroll and human resources. And in front line services such as building control and benefit services.’
There is plenty of scope to add waste management and other services regularly grouped together by local authorities including street scene, public conveniences, car parks, grounds maintenance, enforcement and fleet management to this example.
The benefits and efficiencies that can accrue from working with others and partnerships is increasingly being evidenced and include joint procurement, shared services and shared management structures. In a number of authorities this has started as a top down approach with shared Chief Executive Officers.
WasteConsulting has experience of working with groups of local authorities to develop a business case approach to joint working and, if the business case ‘stacks up’ identifying the best governance structure to take it forwards – whether that be a Memorandum of Understanding, Inter Authority Agreement a Joint Committee, or even, in time, a Joint Waste Authority.