1 million pounds in savings for citizens realised by Capita and South West shared services partnership
A revenues and benefits partnership between three Dorset councils, supported by Capita Software Services, has secured in excess of £1million worth of savings for local people.
Since 2006 West Dorset District Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and most recently, Purbeck Council have worked with Capita to merge their revenues and benefits teams, bringing together the expertise, knowledge and resources of all departments responsible for council tax, business rates and benefits. This enables the authorities to operate a unified software solution and share the costs involved.
As a result of the partnership, citizens have experienced improved levels of customer service and because cost savings were achieved by sharing resources and software, it has been possible to pass this on to citizens who have experienced a reduction in Council Tax bills.
Paul Millard, operations director at Capita Software Services, commented: “We are very proud of the results being achieved through this partnership. It’s fantastic that we’re able to work with local authorities to help them drive forward customer service improvements at the same time as realising real cashable savings. Our unique offering in revenues and benefits makes it easy for councils to come together to share back office systems and teams. As the market leader in this field we know that shared services is about so much more than just the technology and we work really closely with our customers to help them develop these new ways of working. We are delighted with what’s been achieved at WestWey and look forward to building on its success in future.”
West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council merged their revenues and benefits teams in 2006 and three years later Purbeck Council also joined forces. Performance has increased significantly in that time, meaning people who cannot afford to pay their rent or council tax due to personal reasons are receiving the help they need more quickly.
Howard Legg, one of the councillors who monitors the partnership on behalf of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “Smarter working and more efficient systems have allowed us to smooth out any peaks and troughs in the workload, meaning people in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland get a better, faster service.”
Anthony Alford, one of the councillors who monitors the partnership on behalf of West Dorset District Council, said: “It is essential that public services work hard to save money in the current financial climate. The revenues and benefits partnership shows that it is possible to do things at a lower cost while improving performance.”