Hampshire County Council is working with supplier UNIT4 to offer a shared services business platform to other local authorities.

Hampshire said the back office shared services programme will be offered to councils across the UK "in a bid to help them reduce costs and reform service delivery". The news comes weeks after Hampshire said it was cutting jobs, including in IT.

The services will be delivered collaboratively by Hampshire County Council and other public sector partners. Hampshire County Council will be the hosted service provider and through the partnership will provide support and expertise for finance, procurement, asset management, and HR and payroll.

Hampshire said that a number of organisations "have already expressed an interest in the provision of shared services through this partnership and we are involved in advanced negotiations".

UNIT4 will underpin the shared services delivery model with its own Agresso Business World ERP local government platform.

“This is an important partnership”, said councillor Keith Evans,  IT leader at Hampshire County Council. “These shared services will generate worthwhile economies of scale to all participating organisations and, equally important, will provide a more assured and quality-based mechanism and environment in which to undertake new initiatives."

Hampshire County Council IT jobs are at risk, as the council attempts to slash its IT budget by £1 million and cuts staff across its operations. The council has announced it will cut 1,200 jobs across all functions, and IT is likely to take part of the blow, as it attempts to strip £55 million from its budget. The cuts represent nearly a tenth of the council's total workforce.