Islington and Camden councils plan to share IT

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The two London councils are facing government cuts of up to £185 million

Islington and Camden Councils in London have unveiled proposals to establish a “groundbreaking” shared information and communications technology (ICT) service by April 2016.

Both councils employ over 300 ICT staff between them. The creation of a shared ICT service will help consolidate expertise, exchange knowledge and share best practice across both local authorities, offering “a higher-performing, more responsive and more integrated service for local people”, said the councils.

cash money financialsUnder the proposals, a joint committee made up of representatives from both councils will meet in public to oversee the service and a single post will be created to lead and manage it.

In time”, the council said, the plan will save £4 million a year when the two councils are looking to save up to £185 million between them by 2018/19, as a result of further government cuts.

If the plan is approved, the costs and savings of the project will be shared equally between the two boroughs.

Islington Council’s executive member for finance and performance, councillor Andy Hull, said: “Islington and Camden are coming together to harness digital technology so that we can deliver services in a way that both suits local people and saves us precious money, at a time when the government continues to cut inner-city councils to the bone.

It’s a good example of how, in the face of unprecedented challenges, we are innovating and coming up with genuinely transformative solutions.”

Camden Council’s cabinet member for finance and technology, councillor Theo Blackwell, said: “Both councils have a long history of collaboration and share similar objectives, so it makes perfect sense to come together to provide an improved service at a lower cost. In the future, the joint service may also be able to generate income for both councils through selling its combined expertise.”

The decision on whether to proceed with the proposal will be made by the cabinet at Camden Council on 9 September and by the executive at Islington Council on 24 September.