COUNCILS have teamed up to create a new company in an effort to improve services.

In November, Cotswold District Council is launching a partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Council.

The councils have created the new company Publica Group Ltd in an attempt to create more value through improving efficiency and reducing costs, while at the same time providing better services.

The idea is that creating one company with staff from each council will reduce the cost of management and administration and provide the opportunity to share workloads, learn from each other and benefit from shared expertise and knowledge.

Residents will not see a difference in the way that their services are delivered, who they contact and how they contact them.

The council will remain as it was and will be the place local residents go for all their normal services, advice and support.

Existing employees of CDC will be transferred to Publica in November.

They will be transferred under special arrangements that safeguard them and protect their terms and conditions. Once they’re together in one company with employees from the other partner councils they will look at how the services they provide can benefit from the new company set up.

Publica will also start recruiting new employees to join the team, and will move away from the traditional public sector pay and benefits package.

The councils together are expecting to make savings of around £5.6 million per year by 2020, and £41 million in total over the next ten years.

Leader of CDC, councillor Mark Annett said: "This is an exciting time for us as we take the next step of our journey with our partner councils to create a jointly owned public company.

"Publica is a creative and enterprising solution to our modern day challenges and I am confident that our communities will benefit from the continued shared experience and expertise this brings together from staff across all four councils.”