HAMPSHIRE County Council leader Roy Perry is understandably proud of his new Shared Services Partnership.

It’s creating jobs and helping to pay for council services which might otherwise have to be cut in the facing of reduced financial support from central government.

The partnership has just won a contract to do the back office work (HR payroll, accounts, that sort of thing) for three, as yet un-named, London boroughs.

That’s good news for Hampshire – more employment and and less likelihood of the local tip being closed and the nice lollypop lady being laid off.

However, what if the shoe was on the other foot? It’s likely the outsourcing of these services will cause job losses in the capital. How would we like if it our bean counters were thrown out of work because the contract had gone to Lambeth or Wandsworth?

Cllr Perry would argue that by employing Hampshire, the London councils are cutting their costs and so will have more money to spend on their services. But is this form of competition really sustainable?

How long before the county council is competing against private companies to offer payroll services and undercutting them and putting more people out of work?

Shouldn’t a council concentrate on its own area, its own services instead of leaping into this dog eat dog world?