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West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council joined forces in 2006 to transform their revenues and benefits operation by implementing a shared services system. The Partnership saw the bringing together of over 80 staff from both councils. Staff remained employed by their respective councils and were located together at the Glyde Path House offices in Dorchester. Following the success of this, Purbeck District Council joined the Partnership early in 2010.
One of the first shared services initiatives to be set up in the UK, the Partnership is a pioneering example of shared services in practice. The primary objectives of the Partnership were to provide a service that was more effective and more efficient for the customers and council taxpayer by combining skills and resources.
Through the shared service, the Partnership has achieved cost savings whilst still developing and improving the services it delivers to citizens and communities. The council's staff dedication combined with Capita's technology to support their work and processes has achieved:
- Faster access to services for citizens
- Offer a one stop shop/single point of contact for the citizen
- More responsive service delivery
- Increase in performance
- Single officer structure
- Joint workforce across councils and locations
- Standardisation of services through three councils
- Protected and improved services
- Flexibility in a virtual environment
- Specialist teams and areas of knowledge
- Mobile working capabilities
The success of the partnership has impressed parties throughout the organisations that the councils who form the service are looking to replicate the working model of the shared service across other services offered.