Communities aim to save costs

COMMUNITY leaders in three parts of Suffolk have teamed up to strike a deal to save taxpayers more than £1 million.

COMMUNITY leaders in three parts of Suffolk have teamed up to strike a deal to save taxpayers more than £1 million.

Suffolk Coastal, Waveney and Babergh councils wanted to see if joint working could help them negotiate a better deal for their insurance costs - and their efforts will mean huge savings on insurance premiums across the next five years.

Chris Punt, Waveney's portfolio holder for performance, said it was an excellent achievement.

“Effective partnerships between councils deliver efficiency and real value for money and I am delighted that we are all able to make such a considerable saving,” he said.

“We have a duty to the council tax payer to provide high quality services and to use the resources available to us as wisely and efficiently as possible.

“Thanks to the efforts of three neighbouring councils we have made a saving that can only benefit the people we serve.”

Most Read

The deal follows a similar partnership arrangement working with Ipswich Borough Council to cut the cost of banking services.

“We managed to save £76,000 between the four councils on banking costs, but that figure is clearly dwarfed by this excellent result in driving down our shared insurance bill by £1.3 million. This is yet another example of how working together is helping deliver more efficient services,” said Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Robert Whiting.

After a lengthy tender process, Zurich Municipal emerged as the preferred insurance company. The new five year contract with Zurich will begin shortly and include an option to extend by a further two years.

The tendering process was led by Waveney and the other parties provided financial and legal support.

The councils are now looking at other ways in which they and other authorities across the county can join together to make savings on services.

Have you ideas on how Suffolk's councils could save money? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk