Stirling and Wee County councils set to share two key services

AN agreement has been reached between Clackman-nanshire and Stirling Councils to share provision of two key services in the wake of public funding cuts.

The neighbouring local authorities will share responsibility for delivering education and social services as part of moves to save money.

In total the two local authorities control 60 primary schools and ten secondary schools. Both organisations hope the deal will allow them to save significant money to reduce the number of senior posts and benefit from joint purchasing of services.
Though the decision has been agreed in principle, the formal political decision will be taken at a council meeting on Thursday, December 2, in both areas.
The plan comes after the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary John Swinney ann-ounced spending on local authorities would be reduced to £11.2 billion.
Last month Clackmannan-shire Council leader Sam Ovens attempted to reassure employees by promising everything would be done to minimise the impact of the government’s spending review.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the local authority owes about £128 million in loans.
Councillor Ovens said: “This proposal follows a longstanding agreement between the two councils to work together, where benefits can be achieved and where each council can retain its independence.
“It is a unique opportunity, following retirals from two key posts, and we should make the most of this chance to pool expertise in services which support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
His Stirling counterpart Graham Houston added: “Our commitment to delivering efficient, effective services remains as strong as ever.  We need to re-think and re-evaluate how councils and communities can work together in new ways.
“Scotland’s Education minister Mike Russell welcomed the move, adding: “I am always keen to hear innovative ideas about how we can improve the delivery of Scottish education and that’s why I welcome any proposals from councils that seek to achieve this. Indeed, I have already indicated my support for councils looking to secure efficiencies and protect resources for the frontline delivery of education and children’s services.
“Stirling and Clackmann-anshire Councils are to be congratulated for their forward thinking. I hope this will be approved by the councils and look forward to hearing more about the proposals in due course.”