Merging police forces and councils sharing staff and services: Labour to pledge to 'streamline' local government services
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Tuesday 25 February 2014
A Labour Government would streamline local public services to save money, Chris Leslie, the shadow Chief Treasury Secretary, will pledge today.
Options include “leaner” commissioning deals for health and social care; locating magistrates and county courts on the same site; greater collaboration between the emergency services; merging police forces; scrapping elected police and crime commissioners and councils “sharing” senior staff and services such as street cleaning, recycling and ground maintenance.
“We are looking not only at where efficiencies are achievable, but how services could be reconstituted to release the cashable savings that are now required,” Mr Leslie will tell the Social Market Foundation in his first major speech in his post.
“Reform is worse than pointless if it does not improve the experience of the user and ends up costing money rather than saving money.”
Accusing the Coalition of wasting money on “botched reforms” such as its top-down NHS reorganisation, he will say that the centre-left must embrace the goal of balancing the nation’s books because “the foundation of successful public service provision is the sound stewardship of public finances.”
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