It is claimed the move would save around £1.8m per year once implemented (£15.45m over 10 years between the councils, split 67% ELDC and 33% Boston based on population size) – and would start with the appointment of a Joint Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service, Joint Monitoring Officer and Joint Section 151 Finance Officer (all statutory positions) before the wider joining of forces in other areas of the councils’ activity, including a shared Management Team.
Both councils would reportedly retain their own identity and accountability to their local communities, and the new partnership would “provide the opportunity for both organisations to improve the delivery of services to local people through the sharing of expertise and provide greater value for money through more efficient ways of workings and economies of scale”.
It is also expected that the arrangements would better position both councils to secure future Government growth funding, and provide the councils with a stronger voice to influence how services are delivered locally in the future.
The current Chief Executive of East Lindsey District Council, Rob Barlow, will be recommended as Joint Chief Executive, with Boston Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Phil Drury, agreeing to step aside to allow the merger to be implemented if approved by both Authorities.
In a joint statement from the leaders of both councils, Councillor Paul Skinner (BBC) and Councillor Craig Leyland (ELDC), said: “Both councils are ambitious for their communities and have much in common, with similar challenges and similar growth ambitions.
“A real issue for both organisations is our capacity and funding to deliver. We are seeing continued reductions in Government funding, whilst at the same time continuing to see demand for services increase.
“This creates an ongoing pressure and if we are to continue to make a positive difference both Councils need to think differently and more innovatively in how we operate and provide services.
“Whilst both councils already work closely together informally, the formation of a formal alliance would cement a joint working relationship that would be hugely beneficial to both areas in the months and years to come, as well as being a positive opportunity for our own workforces.
“Given the present situation with Covid-19 and the significant impact this will have on our organisations and our communities in the immediate future, we believe now is the right time to take forward this exciting plan for our organisations.”
• If supported by the Executive Board/Cabinet on May 20, and Councils on June 10, the two Councils would formally join forces on July 1, 2020.