AN INNOVATIVE partnership between West Oxfordshire District Council and three other local authorities, to share some operations, is to get a boost with a £500,000 grant from the Government.

Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis announced today that the four-authority partnership, comprising West Oxfordshire, Cheltenham, Cotswold and Forest of Dean councils, has won the Transformation Challenge Award.

The Partnership, known as GO (Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire) Shared Services, is making financial savings by providing shared back office functions, including finance, human resources and payroll management.

The grant will allow the councils to investigate a range of additional joint efficiency savings.

Within the partnership, a number of other successful joint working arrangements are also in place.

West Oxfordshire and Cotswold were among the first councils in the country to pioneer joint working, with the appointment of David Neudegg as joint chief executive in 2008, which has led to a joint management structure.

Barry Norton, the leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Our efficiencies programme has been extremely effective, enabling us to safeguard frontline services that matter most to local people.”