Publica is a company created and owned by four Councils to deliver great services locally.
Although the catalyst for creating Publica was the requirement to save costs, the Councils see this as an opportunity to benefit from shared working, shared expertise and shared resources. Our ambitions for Publica are:
- To be a great service provider
- To be a great place to work
- To support our member councils to deliver their ambitions
- To be a growing and improving company
What brings us together as a team from all four Councils are our shared values. At Publica we put our customers first. We provide excellent service to our local communities, the councils and clients we support and our colleagues. Our aim is to have a reputation for service that is second to none, and we do that by staying true to our shared values. This is the way we work and how we make our customers smile. These values are:
AUTHENTIC We act genuinely and transparently. We do the right thing for our customers, our organisation and each other.
MODERN We are not set in our ways. We are constantly looking to find ways to innovate and do things smarter.
FLEXIBLE We are agile – adapting how and what we do to meet the demands of our customers, our colleagues, our local communities and the needs of the modern world.
THOUGHTFUL We take pride in delivering a great service, taking the time to understand and care about our customers and their needs.
In November 2017, employees from Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils, transfer into Publica and continue to provide services for local residents. The Councils will continue to be responsible for the standard of services that are provided as well as setting strategy, policy and making decisions.
Publica Group is featured as one of the case studies in a new national ‘Transformation in Localities Toolkit’ launched at the District Councils’ Network Spring Assembly.
The toolkit aims to provide district councils with a practical evidence base to support joint working. The comprehensive guide, developed in partnership with Grant Thornton UK LLP, offers pioneering solutions and examples of best practice from District Councils, including those involved in Publica Group, to respond creatively to funding reductions from central government.
Publica Group was formed in November 2017 from four partner councils (Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils) to deliver both more efficient and improved services to customers.
David Neudegg, Managing Director of Publica Group, who attended the launch said: “We are really pleased to be recognised as a model of good practice. By creating a new employment approach we believe we can offer our councils access to a wider range of specialist advice and also give our staff better opportunities to develop their skills and experience.”
Cllr James Mills, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council who also attended, commented: “The evolution of Publica will see its partner councils save £41m over the next decade without any detrimental impact on frontline services.
“It is a real innovation in local government and can easily serve as a blueprint for council service provision across the country so it is little wonder that it is already being recognised as an example of best practice.”
Cllr Tim Gwilliam, Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council added: “Over the past decade the Forest of Dean District Council has welcomed the move towards sharing services. We have learned about the benefits of partnership working and collaboration, which allows us to draw on a much wider pool of experience and expertise. As a result we have generated substantial savings without any detrimental effect on the level of service that we offer to the customer. The formation of Publica builds on this successful formula and enables us to make further savings while continuing to improve our services.”
Cllr Nick Parsons, Deputy Leader of Cotswold District Council was also impressed: “During the last decade, Cotswold District Council has learned how to make the most of collaboration and partnership, and we’ve generated substantial savings without any detriment to the services we offer. The formation of Publica builds on our achievements so far and provides scope to make our services even better while also savin money. We are also enjoying the benefits of drawing on a much wider pool of experience and expertise.”
Cllr Steve Jordan, Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council concluded: “A major advantage of Publica is that it combines the ability to get high quality of service with economies of scale by sharing services, but also allows the flexibility for individual councils to opt in with the services that work for them.”
More information (opens in a new window)is available about the toolkit.