West Sussex bodies can save money by ‘working together’

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COUNCILS and other public bodies in West Sussex are claiming they are able to offer a better service while saving money as a result of working together and utilising space better.

One of the projects in the ‘better together’ programme has involved looking at ways to create community hubs by sharing office space between organisations.

This would allow customers to access more information and services under one roof.

A number of space-sharing schemes are already up and running.

Some of the organisations which have been involved in the programme so far are all the district and borough councils in West Sussex, West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, West Sussex NHS, Sussex Partnership Trust, the voluntary sector, the Civil Estate and HM Revenue and Customs.

Chichester District Council leader Heather Caird said: “In the current economy we all need to save money while continuing to deliver a first class service to our customers.

“One way that we can do this is by sharing office space.

“We’ve already started doing this, with HM Revenues and Customs moving their Chichester branch into our headquarters in East Pallant House earlier this year.

“Residents can now access all of the district council services as well as help and advice on services such as income tax, national insurance, tax credits, VAT, and business payment support under one roof.

“This is the first of what we hope will be many successful initiatives to help improve services to customers and help save money.

“The car parks office, currently located opposite the Cattle Market car park in Chichester, will be moving across to our headquarters in East Pallant House later this year.

“Also, the tourist information centre in Chichester will be moving into The Novium, the new museum in Tower Street, when it is completed.”