New council appointment will help deliver savings

A senior manager responsible for overseeing multi-million-pound savings at a county council has been appointed to a joint role with a neighbouring authority.

Laura Langstaff has been appointed as head of procurement for both East Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council, after three years at the latter authority in which she has supported services to deliver £70 million of savings in her role as deputy of the procurement team.

The councils say Ms Langstaff’s appointment will provide greater value for taxpayers and ensure the two councils effectively co-ordinate purchasing projects to save money on contracts.

The innovative procurement partnership has already seen early success, with the two councils being jointly recognised as one of the top 10 ‘councils to do business with’ nationwide. This was achieved with the help of the Build Surrey and Build East Sussex websites, which were launched earlier this year to help firms bid for contracts.

Ms Langstaff, who started her career in the private sector and joined Surrey County Council from the London Borough of Ealing, said: “The opportunity to work with the fantastic procurement teams across both East Sussex and Surrey will make the most of both councils’ procurement resources in a way that will save time by avoiding duplication and deliver savings, and I am looking forward to increasing the councils’ co-operative working.”

David Elkin, lead member for resources on East Sussex County Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Laura. Her appointment is further evidence of our commitment to providing an excellent service, through a focus on innovative service delivery, in order to deliver excellent value for money for the taxpayer.”

Denise Le Gal, Surrey County Council cabinet member for business services, said: “Coming up with innovative ways to save taxpayers’ money while providing high-quality services is core to everything we do. Working more closely with other councils is a guaranteed way to achieving both these aims and this role is fantastic news for both councils and taxpayers.”

Earlier this year the two councils merged payroll, pensions and accounts functions, and decided to share a single data centre.