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Councils agree to amalgamate legal services

1st May 2012

Officials at Essex County Council (ECC) and Southend Council have agreed to appoint a joint manager, which will lead to more sharing of legal services between the authorities.

Dorothy Simon, a childcare lawyer who currently heads the social care team at Haringey Council, will start her new role in charge of the childcare departments of both ECC and Southend Council on 8th May.

This takes one step further a process started last year which introduced measures such as a joint case management system and court diary between ECC, Southend, Hertfordshire and Castlepoint.

The position taken on by Simon is the first of what is expected to be several newly-created solicitor jobs with the same intention of increasing sharing amongst the four bodies. There is also the possibility that other authorities will shortly become involved, potentially as soon as July this year.

A spokesman from ECC said that this innovative new system should both save time and allow the councils in question to carry out a wider range of work.