CIPFA report shows East Hampshire District Council can go it alone
Independent accountancy institution CIPFA has confirmed that East Hampshire District Council would be financially sustainable as a stand-alone council if it goes ahead with a split from Havant Borough Council.
The two councils called in CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, to assess the likely financial implications of ending the 12-year partnership.
Its report, accepted by EHDC’s Cabinet on Thursday 10 March, shows that the council has ‘the financial resources available to enable the delivery of the proposed separation’.
However, it advised that the split should be phased and that changes in individual services should only take place when both councils are satisfied there will be no interruption to delivery.
It also recommends that a skills audit by carried out to identify any gaps following the separation and that a detailed assessment of the impact of the split be brought to council in the next few months.
Councillors also examined a business case exploring the risks, issues, benefits, and costs of the withdrawal and agreed to put it before Full Council on 17 March.
As an independent council EHDC would have the ability to focus on its own priorities and have a dedicated management team to ensure it is delivering the very best for its residents, businesses and communities.
Cllr Richard Millard, EHDC Leader, said: “The CIPFA report is a green light to tell us we can go ahead with the separation with Havant Borough Council and remain as a financially sustainable stand-alone council.
“It recommends several prudent actions we should take to ensure our financial security and to maintain the quality of services here and at Havant Borough Council.
“Ending a successful, money-saving 12-year partnership will be a complicated procedure, but it is the right move for EHDC and will ultimately give us the flexibility and independence we need to pursue our own ambitions.”
A recently-refreshed corporate strategy for EHDC highlights four key priorities:
A fit for purpose council
A safer, healthier and more active East Hampshire
A thriving local economy with infrastructure to support its ambitions
An environmentally aware and cleaner East Hampshire
As a stand-alone council, EHDC will be able to realign its resources to tackle demand early and shift capacity towards preventing need.
It will move from providing generic services to focusing on residents’ needs and improving the day-to-day lives of East Hampshire people.
The CIPFA report and business case can be read on EHDC’s website.