MP supports partnership between Harborough and Melton councils

Harborough District Council officesHarborough District Council offices
Harborough District Council offices
It would save Harborough District Council nearly £700,000 over the next three years.

A strategic partnership between Harborough and Melton councils has been backed by MP Neil O’Brien.

Plans for a partnership between Harborough District Council and Melton Borough Councils are currently being scrutinised by both authorities with a final decision made on December 20.

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Council leaders say it would have a number of benefits including shared chief executive and senior roles, jointly commissioned projects, reducing duplication and increase influence regionally.

If given the green light it would be the first arrangement of its kind in Leicestershire and save Harborough District Council nearly £700,000 over the next three years.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is backing the plan which he says would improve services for residents.

He said: “The Strategic Partnership between Harborough and Melton is an exciting proposition for both councils and will help to bring about significant financial savings and improved services for residents. I enjoy a positive relationship with the district council know how well the authority delivers for residents in my constituency. I fully support these proposals which will help the council to continue to provide quality services whilst offering value for money for local taxpayers.

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“Not only will these plans help the district council save nearly £700,000 over the next three years, but I am looking forward to seeing both councils working together in several key areas. If successful, this will be the first time in Leicestershire councils have worked together in this way. This is good news for the residents of Harborough and Melton.”

But leader of the opposition, Lib Dem Cllr Phil Knowles, said he and his group oppose the plans.

He told the Harborough Mail: “We have told the controlling cabinet we will not support this move as we are worried about potential impact on service provision and the decision-making structure.

“We are asking if this is the right time to spend this amount of money and we clearly don’t think it is.”

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The two authorities already work closely on initiatives and services including Lifeline monitoring – a personal alarm service for vulnerable and elderly people - out of hours support and parking enforcement.

Discussions are also in place about the potential to collaborate in other areas including waste and environment, regulatory services and CCTV monitoring.