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IT union on-course between Winchester and Test Valley
WINCHESTER City Council is pressing on with plans to share IT services with a neighbour.
The council is set to link up with Test Valley Borough Council to save spending £400,000 on new equipment.
A council scrutiny committee on Monday (July 9) heard the scheme would consolidate both councils’ IT services into one centre in Andover, with the city council’s current centre in Colebrook Street
acting as a back up.
The committee decided to raise no objection to the partnership.
Cllr Stephen Godfrey, portfolio holder for finance and administration, told: “By sharing we can avoid having to buy separate equipment for both authorities and achieve a cost avoidance of £400,000 over the next five years.”
Council chief executive Simon Eden added: “If we do not do this then there are not many alternative that would balance our budget. We have to go down this route because it’s going to be important for achieving value for money in the future. We have to learn to get on with our neighbours and work with them.”
It would not affect how city council staff access their systems and data but would mean services would be delivered directly from Andover.
Cllr Kelsie Learney said the council must have an exit strategy should it wish to scrap the partnership.
She said: “What is our withdraw strategy if it all fails? It looks easier for Test Valley to withdraw as it already has all the kit. If we decide to go down a different route that would make it very difficult for us.”
But Cllr Godfrey added if either party wanted to split from the partnership in the future the city council would be protected.
He said: “Should the partners choose to split at any time in the future they would have to include the costs of separation. We would either have to pay to keep the technology or receive the value of what assets we owned.”
Cllr Kim Gottlieb added: “It strikes me that this is one of the scenarios where we have to have confidence in officers who are dealing with this on our behalf.”