Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council

The challenge

These two Councils needed to reduce their cost base, protect services for residents and create a regional strategic presence. They decided to achieve this by developing a joint target operating model across the two Councils that would enable greater economies of scale.

The programme involved a complex and comprehensive transformation across the two councils including their organisation, technology, customer journeys and processes, culture and ways of working. There were multiple political and executive stakeholders and three phases of implementation spread over more than three years.

The result

We had previously implemented a ground breaking new operating model at Eastbourne. For this joint project, we developed a business case based for the migration of Lewes into a joint operating model aligned to that already implemented at Eastbourne. Benefits derived from significant improvements at Lewes, incremental improvements at Eastbourne and significant improvements from combining the two organisations – harmonising policy and practice and achieving economies of scale. This is on track to deliver annual savings of £1.5M.

We then developed a joint blueprint and implementation plan for migrating both organisations to the new operating model and for full integration of management, services, customer journeys and processes and technology. We are currently supporting implementation with the second phase that will fully deliver the target impact and benefits.

What made it successful

  • Ambition – We brought together the corporate strategies and ambitions from each council and developed an operating model focussed on the achievement of these aspirations
  • Capability building – We built internal capability – establishing both an internal change team and an organisational development team. We also recruited, inducted and supported a new internal service redesign function
  • Joint change leadership – We quickly created a single senior management team – to provide integrated leadership and to accelerate development of genuine integration
  • Change and transition – We designed and managed an integrated change and transition plan – acknowledging that the two councils had very different migration paths to follow
  • Service design innovation – We created an innovative agile approach – enabling the design and build of hundreds of integrated customer journeys and processes in line with a new target operating model
  • Culture change – We used our culture change approach to provide greater understanding and visibility of the cultures within each Council – enabling us to agree and embed a target future culture that built on the strengths of each.