Shared service for planning takes another step forward

17 July 2017

An improved planning service for the residents of Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire has taken another step forward.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet approved the business case for the proposal, which is due to take effect from February 2018.

South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) and Cambridge City Council (CCC) have already agreed in principle to the formation of the new shared service.

The two councils currently manage over 7000 planning applications and related activities from a variety of services, including two separate processes and systems.

Both Councils agreed that the new shared planning service would result in improved outcomes for customers, while achieving efficiencies through joint working and increasing the resilience of the service.

The business case includes a strategy to identify areas where savings of 15 per cent across the shared service
can be achieved.

The two councils have already worked in partnership over several years to enable significant housing growth across the boundaries of both authorities.

The Cabinet meeting heard that the economy of Cambridge and the surrounding district is one of the most successful in the UK and continues to be the subject of unprecedented growth.

This means SCDC and CCC increasingly need to work together and with other partners to deploy scarce specialist resources on a range of planning issues.

The proposal will be subject to a full consultation with unions and staff throughout August and September before staff are transferred to the single employer – South Cambridgeshire District Council – by February 2018.

Cllr Robert Turner, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning said: “This key decision builds on the successful working partnership which already exists between the two councils and will make the most of both authorities’ combined resources and specialist skills to ensure we continue to provide a first class service for the residents of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council will be the employing authority for the new shared service.