East Hampshire District Council is looking to strengthen its ties with Havant Borough Council in order to make both councils more efficient and more effective.
The councils are looking at new ways of working more closely together, including having one, flexible workforce.
EHDC approved the plans at its Full Council meeting on Thursday 17 September and officers will work on the best route going forwards, bringing the project back before councillors for regular updates.
Called Shaping Our Future, the proposals aim to create two financially and environmentally sustainable councils that can deliver the best possible service for their residents.
The councils would remain as separate entities with separate councillors. It is hoped the transformation will be complete by October 2022.
Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “East Hampshire District Council has a well-founded reputation for innovation and, in this fast-changing world, if you stand still you fall behind.
“This programme of changes would see us become a better, more resilient council that can provide the excellent services our residents expect.
“Our councils already have a close working relationship, having shared a chief executive and since 2009.
“These plans will build on that relationship giving the two councils one, flexible workforce and give us the sort of financial sustainability that could not be achieved by one-off service reviews.
“It will allow us to direct our resources into areas such as welfare, climate change and the other priorities we want to focus on.
“There is still a lot of work to do and plenty of detail to be decided but I am very excited to see where this plan can take us.”
Once implemented the plans would bring about many benefits, including:
- more efficient and effective services for our residents and local businesses, with less bureaucracy.
- community engagement and collaboration with partners in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
- a ‘digital first’ approach to our services, making them accessible and convenient to our residents.
- getting the best financial, environmental and social value in all our dealings.
- one workforce that is ‘brilliant at the basics’, flexible, agile and resilient.