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West waste partnerships share manager

The Somerset Waste Board has approved a shared management arrangement with the emerging Gloucestershire Joint Waste Partnership (GJWP).

In what is believed to be the first arrangement of its kind involving two waste partnerships, the Somerset Waste Board (SWB) has agreed to contract Steve Read, Managing Director of its Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) for the equivalent of two days a week as Head of Service for GJWP, which will come into being on 1 April 2013.

Steve Read, who was appointed as SWP MD prior to it going live in 2007, has been giving support to GJWP since October 2012. The shared management arrangement will be for a year initially and while Mr Read will remain fully employed by SWP, GJWP will reimburse SWB for the 40% of his time Mr Read spends with them.

GJWP is on course to take over governance of the waste functions of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, and Forest of Dean District Council as well as the disposal and recycling centre management functions of Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) from 1 April.

GJWP’s Inter Authority Agreement draws heavily from Somerset’s equivalent, which has stood up well over the past six years. As in Somerset, GCC will act as the "administering authority", and staff currently employed by districts will transfer to form one integrated GJWP team.

GJWP’s remit excludes GCC’s Residual Waste Project, which is already well advanced. It is hoped that Tewkesbury Borough Council will join the partnership in the near future and the door is open to Gloucester City Council and Stroud District Council to join at any time.

Read said: "Moving to joint waste management arrangements is never an easy process but the Gloucestershire partner councils have seen from Somerset and elsewhere that this can bring both financial savings and service improvement benefits".

He added: "GJWP is looking at future opportunities, such as joint procurement and marketing. Forming one joint committee – with two representatives from each partner – is a very significant step at the best of times and even more important with so much pressure on all public services."

SWB Chairman Cllr Derek Yeomans said: "We are always looking to be innovative and, with settled contracts and a well-established client team in place, the SWB felt that there could be further benefits from contracting Steve to Gloucestershire.

"We share many of the same strategic, operational and financial challenges, and this arrangement means we can also share future opportunities, solutions and best practice."

GJWP Chairman Cllr Martin Quaile said: "We are delighted that, following our approach, SWB has agreed to contract Steve to work with us in this way.

"Steve brings a wealth of experience of joined-up working across boundaries and between tiers that will be invaluable as we move to this way of working. Steve has already been working with us over the past few months to develop a business plan to cover our first year of operation and we will adopt this at the first formal meeting in July."

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