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Two councils net £1.9m grant to fund shared professional service including legal

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Two local authorities in Lincolnshire are to receive £1.9m to help establish a shared professional service including legal services.

The ‘Connecting Northern Lincolnshire’ project will see North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire councils share their human resource, finance and IT functions as well as legal services.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, front-line services at the two authorities would be protected through the project delivering savings of £12.6m over ten years.

In a statement North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, which already share some services, said: “Both councils want to ensure that their resources are used to best effect and that the maximum amount of resource is focused on front line services….

“The funding will be used to align, match and future-proof IT systems and policies. As well as improve resilience and create units of excellence in the professional areas of IT, HR, finance and legal across both councils.”

The DCLG announced £89.1m-worth of grants overall through its Transformation Challenge. A full list of grants can be viewed here.

The South London Partnership – comprising Merton, Richmond, Kingston and Sutton councils – will receive £3m to “build on the successes of joint working…including the four-borough legal service and Richmond and Kingston’s jointly-owned Community Interest Company, and Achieving for Children”.

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The local authorities behind these projects have shown what can be done to improve the services people get, helping them to live independently and reducing demand for public services.

“By working with the local police, health bodies, Jobcentre Plus, voluntary groups and others they are eliminating waste and creating services which help people first time – not services which send people from pillar to post to get problems sorted.”