UPDATE - Oxford City Council could 'extend partnership' with neighbours Cherwell 

A SCHEME which saved Cherwell District Council millions of pounds is coming to an end due to the crisis at cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council.

Cherwell has announced its decided to ‘formally end' the partnership with South Northamptonshire Council which resulted in more than £3million worth of savings.

A local government review in Northamptonshire has forced Cherwell District Council to rethink its eight-year service-sharing partnership to ‘consider what is best for its residents’.

It comes as the running of Northamptonshire County Council has been taken over by government commissioners following a cash crisis, with a review looking into the possibility of a unitary authority.

The two councils currently share a chief executive and leadership team as well as a number of other council services after joining forces in 2010.

As a result Cherwell has been left looking for another body to fill the gap and plans to join forces with Oxfordshire County Council are on the table.

A Cherwell District Council spokesman said: “The exact arrangements for sharing services and joining up functions would need to be worked out in detail and then agreed separately by each council.

“No decisions have been made regarding such a partnership between both organisations, which is to be considered by Cherwell Council.”

It said both councils would retain separate councillor bodies, budgets and decision-making processes.

The statement added the changes are unconnected to unitary proposals in Oxfordshire and would instead ‘offer a way to make two tier local government more effective’.