First tri-borough children’s services director appointed

Andrew Christie has been appointed Britain's first tri-borough director of children's services, with responsibility for a budget of more than £500m.

Andrew Christie has been appointed Britain’s first tri-borough director of children’s services, with responsibility for a budget of more than £500m.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council, where Christie is currently based, is combining its children’s services with the two other London boroughs of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea in order to save £11.8m a year by 2014-15.

From September, it is expected Christie will oversee a single children’s services commissioning function across the three Conservative-run authorities.

Each council will be able to commission additional services to meet local needs, subject to approval from the lead members.

Christie said: “By bringing together the best team and practices and eliminating duplication in management and overhead costs, our tri-borough arrangement will allow us to maintain and improve vital frontline services while delivering the necessary budget savings.

“By working together as one team we can make more efficient use of shared resources, for example by pooling foster carers.”

The plans are part of controversial wider proposals to combine council services across the three boroughs. Adult services are also expected to be merged.

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