Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) managing director Steve Read is being temporarily seconded for two days a week to help Gloucestershire set up its own inter-authority body to manage recycling and refuse.
The move – which will generate revenue for SWP – has been approved by SWP’s governing Somerset Waste Board (SWB) in what is believed is the first arrangement of its kind in the UK.
The secondment reflects Read’s national reputation in waste management and the pioneering approach of Somerset’s six councils that has saved taxpayers more than £1.5 million a year since SWP began, while also raising recycling rates and improving services.
This is the third secondment by SWP; again generating income for the partnership, the previous two staffers were loaned to kerbside collections company May Gurney to help improve waste service quality. Read has also assisted the development of Dorset’s waste partnership.
Gloucestershire’s new Joint Waste Partnership (GJWP) unites the waste services of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council and Gloucestershire County Council, with the opportunity for other districts within the county to join later.
The shared management arrangement will be for a year initially, with Read remaining employed by SWP while working the equivalent of two days a week as Head of Service for GJWP, which will come into being on 1 April 2013.
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.”