Newham and Havering council merger to extend to Bexley

Newham Town Hall

Newham Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Top council chiefs are plotting to extend the back office merger between Newham and Havering to include joint-working with Bexley, the Recorder can reveal.

An email sent to councillors confirmed the plans, which indicate more job losses within the cash-strapped authorities.

Tony Huff, assistant director of business at oneSource – the existing operation between Newham and Havering – said “shared services are increasingly recognised as a way to find savings”.

Last year’s merging of HR, IT, fraud and legal teams, among others, created the largest public sector shared service in London and caused dozens of redundancies.

In his email, seen by the Recorder, Mr Huff said “initial discussions” were now taking place with Bexley.

He wrote: “The chief executives of all three boroughs have by signing a memorandum of understanding expressed their wish to work together to fully explore whether oneSource can be strengthened, with enhanced resilience and further savings achieved for all boroughs.

“Over the next few months a small project team will work on an outline business case which will be considered by our respective members.

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“It will consider which services should be included and what potential there is for effective joint working to deliver savings.

“We will also consider what the practical arrangements for adding a third partner to the joint committee should be and what adjustments to the oneSource strategic plan might be required.”