Councils do come in for a lot of stick over costs and council tax, a lot of which they have little control over.
But today comes a good news story of councils striving to save money and finding a way to do it.
According to the Times, Teignbridge District Council’s Corporate Procurement Officer Mel Staton came up with the idea of using a consortium of councils to buy all the insurances they require. This includes vehicle, property and liability cover.
A total of 18 councils in South West England, which includes two national parks, have joined a ‘co-operative’ and they hope to reduce their insurance costs by somewhere between 0% and 25%. Although the group would act together, in the end each council will have its own policies.
Not only are the costs reduced but there could also be time savings, which in due course will turn into cost savings.
Ms Staton hopes to have this plan in place and operating by August this year. It also seems that more councils want to get involved.
Peter Bristow of Heath Lamber insurance brokers, public sector insurance specialists hired in to advise the consortium said “There are two objectives. One is to generate a lot of leverage in the insurance market. We are hoping that the insurers will see this as a big opportunity. The other incentive is that it could streamline the tender process, possibly cutting it in half.”
All I can say is well done!
On a more negative note though, is this not the sort of thing that councils and governments should be doing all the time? Looking for ways to do things more effectively and cheaper so as to save the poor hard pressed tax-payer a bit of loot. I wonder how the road salt is purchased for example?