Hertfordshire Councils bring together their Building Control services
Hertfordshire Councils bring together their Building Control services

In an increasingly challenging financial environment, the districts and boroughs within Hertfordshire wished to explore the possibilities of bringing together their Building Control services in order to generate efficiency, increase their service resilience and improve standards of customer service.

Considering the options for a new service was brought about by a combination of reducing income from local authority building control services, the increased threat from private sector competitors and the difficulty of recruiting and retaining suitably skilled staff to deliver the services. Taken together, these factors pointed towards individual local authority Building Control services becoming unsustainable in the very near future and reduced to delivering their bare minimum of statutory functions only.

In October 2013, the East of England LGA supported the interested local authorities to examine this issue through the use of funding drawn from its Investment Programme. This programme enables local councils in the East of England to identify new and innovative ways of delivering public services through forming better partnerships, either with other local authorities or with organisations from across the wider public sector.

The East of England LGA commissioned Blue Marble Partners to work with the Hertfordshire Councils, using their “Solution Centre” framework. The Solution Centre is a fast-track process which aims to identify new models of multi-agency service delivery through a rapid engagement, analysis and decision-making process. In this project the local authorities identified that a jointly-owned trading model involving multiple councils had the potential to deliver efficiencies of £750K over the existing model of individual services retained within each authority.

7 councils committed to moving forward and delivering the new model; Three Rivers District Council, North Hertfordshire District Council, Stevenage Borough Council, East Hertfordshire District Council, Hertsmere District Council, Broxbourne Borough Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

The initial funding provided to the project to undertake the Solution Centre approach resulted in the articulation of a clear vision for the way forward, identified the potential delivery model and the key measures for success required for a local authority owned and operated solution.

For further information please contact:
Eddie Gibson, Senior Manager at East of England LGA Eddie.gibson@eelga.gov.uk 01284 758310