HAMPSHIRE County Council is preparing to launch a major jobs boost in Winchester.

The authority will take on 100 new staff in the coming months as part of its shared office scheme, in which it provides other public sector organisations with back office services.

The new staff will be employed by the council’s Shared Services Partnership after it won contracts from three London boroughs.

Council leader Roy Perry says the profits made from the contracts will be put into local services.

The move comes just eight months after Hampshire announced it faced an anticipated budget shortfall of £140m by April 2019 and a range of services including recycling centres and lollypop men and women were under threat.

Cllr Perry, said: “With ongoing financial pressures and the challenges of having to deliver a lot more with less money, all areas of the public sector are faced with finding smarter, more cost-effective ways of doing things.

“It’s never been more important to look for opportunities to collaborate. To do just that, we launched a ground-breaking shared back office, public sector partnership.

“The objectives for sharing these services have been to reduce costs, create capacity for the future and develop a model that can expand and take on new partners – enabling organisations to reduce their back office overheads and increase resilience so resources can be targeted to the delivery of local services – making better use of limited public funds.”

Cllr Perry said the scheme had helped the council avoid compulsory redundancies and keep a “good employment level”.

He added that the scheme was now the biggest of its kind in the UK and, with the addition of the three London borough councils, would support more than 90,000 staff.

The council will launch its recruitment campaign between now and autumn.

Liberal Democrat councillor, Mark Cooper (below left) said he was “very much in favour” of bringing new jobs to the county.

However the Romsey Town ward member feared the scheme could reduce the standard of services provided for Hampshire.

He said: “The thing that would be my concern is that the authority looks after its own services.

“It’s already hard enough for councillors to get things done in the county.”

In 2015, a report by the Local Government Association showed councils have saved almost £500m by sharing services with each other since 2012.