We’re in business! All partner councils approve Publica plan for 2018/19

 

It’s only six months since four local authorities launched Publica Group Ltd, a ground-breaking partnership which promises to deliver better local services for residents.

Since then, things have moved at a rapid pace and over the last few weeks the four partner councils – Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils – have approved an exciting new Publica business plan, charting the way ahead in 2018/19.

The Business Plan – titled ‘Preparing for the Future’ – provides an overview of the company and its aims, setting out clear objectives towards improving services for residents while identifying savings of £2.35 million over the next three years.

The key to success will be a successful transition to a new way of working based on putting the needs of the customer at the heart of the business.  Allied with an increased emphasis on better technological support, Publica Group plans to deliver more efficient and improved services. The plan will also help the company withstand current and future financial pressures and increase organisational resilience and capacity through the sharing of expertise across the partnership.

Chairman of Publica Group, Dave Brooks said: “Our priority will always be doing the day job really well as that provides our firm foundation. Adding this layer around transformation, will create an agile, responsive and efficient organisation which will benefit our member councils, employees and residents and leave Publica well prepared for future developments.”

Commenting on Cotswold District Council’s decision to approve the business plan, CDC Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Parsons said: “This is a clear and positive blueprint for the future, and shows how the partner councils will reap the benefits of group working to transform and improve the services we provide to residents.  Importantly, it also enables elected councillors from each local authority to retain their independence on key decisions and specific priorities.”

Giles Hughes, Head of Paid Services at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “This is an exciting time for each of the councils with Publica’s business plan set to build on the success and firm foundation already achieved through many years of shared working. It has the full support of our councillors as working through Publica is an enterprising way of achieving efficiencies whilst still protecting local services and local democracy.”

Cllr Tim Gwilliam, Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council added: “The business plan sets in stone the future of Publica – one company effectively delivering great value for money services to residents on behalf of the four member councils, with the customer seeing no changes other than improved efficiency.”

Mark Sheldon, Director of Projects at Cheltenham Borough Council said: “The development of the business plan is an important step forward for the partnership of four councils which includes Cheltenham. It articulates a vision for the company, sets out a set of values and some key actions for delivering service improvement and the development of a range of services which can be sold thereby increasing returns and value for money for the founder partner councils.”

To view a copy of the business plan please go to the Publica Group website.