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With the news that several more ‘combined authorities’ could be created in the UK in the years to come, Manchester accountants may be able to advise those in affected areas on how best to prepare for the possible changes to their income and expenditure.

A combined authority established in Greater Manchester in 2011 saw operating costs fall by £11.7 million per year, compared with the same area’s budget for 2007-08.

Knock-on benefits including carbon reduction measures and major refurbishment of Rochdale and Bolton railway stations also arose from the initiative.

Now neighbouring regions are attempting to emulate the success – starting with collaboration between nine councils in Barnsley, Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire, Bolsover, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield.

Regions in the North East, West Yorkshire and Merseyside are also considering plans to establish combined authorities.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis says: “By encouraging joint working … and having all local authority leaders in a room together at one time, decisions can be made quickly.”

If the move leads to changes in the way local authorities work with suppliers and contractors, however, our Manchester accountants will be available to advise on how to minimise the negative impact on your cash flow, so the effects of these kinds of initiatives are purely positive.