After 12 months of detailed work Central Bedfordshire, Bedford and Milton Keynes Councils have decided they do not want to work with Luton’s Labour Council on a shared legal service.
All local authorities employ lawyers to give legal advice on how they deliver services to their local residents & businesses and to make sure they stay within the law. The joint services plan, put together by the Chief Executives of the four Councils, was to save money by having just one legal department keeping an eye on all four Councils.
Luton Council’s Labour Executive Committee was due to give approval for formal consultation with the staff involved on the final details of the scheme this month (December 2011) but, at the last minute, the whole scheme was scrapped because the other three Councils decided they did not want to go ahead with it.
“I have not yet had a full briefing on why the other three councils did not want to work with Luton,” said Liberal Democrat leader, councillor David Franks. “Central Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes councils are Conservative run and Bedford has a Liberal Democrat directly elected mayor. Labour councillors in Luton have a very bad record on working with other parties. There have been a few occasions in the years I have been on the Council when no single party had a majority. Every time Labour refused to get involved in joint administrations, to put aside party interests and do what is best for the town. They always seem to put Party interests first.”