Posted: Thu 23rd Mar 2017

Cabinet Secretary Visits The SRS

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2017

During March, Mark Drakeford, the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government visited the Shared Resource Service (SRS) at the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate in Blaenavon. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The visit took place to meet SRS board members involved in the collaborative service and take a tour of the state of the art data halls. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The SRS is a collaboration between Gwent Police, Torfaen County Borough Council, Monmouthshire County Council and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Shared Resource Centre in Blaenavon is at the forefront of data centre services in Wales and provides services to partner organisations plus NHS Wales Informatics Service, Swansea University and the private sector. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Matt Lewis, Chief Operating Officer at the SRS provided the Cabinet Secretary an overview of the SRS strategy and outlined the benefits and opportunities that exist where public services join together before taking the Cabinet Secretary on a behind the scenes tour of data halls for police, health and local government. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Matt Lewis said: ‘We operate in an environment where single technical solutions can be straight forward to implement yet are often difficult to progress. Our strategy is to use a ‘Once for Wales’ technology platform to consolidate demand and broker the supply of IT services to the Welsh Public Service.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Monmouthshire Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Matthews, said: ‘The SRS is a great example of a shared service working across multiple sectors and multiple regions with more public sector partners about to join. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

‘Scaled up solutions can provide better value for money for the public purse in Wales and protect valued services.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen Council said: ‘The SRS is an excellent model of regional governance with local accountability. SRS partners are a ‘coalition of the willing’, like-minded organisations who are making regional investment into shared solutions which can be easily scaled to other sectors and organisations.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mark Drakeford said: ‘I want to thank members of the SRS for inviting me. Shared back office functions such as IT play an integral part in delivering efficient public services and the SRS demonstrates exactly what can be achieved through regional working of this size and scale. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“More systematic and mandatory regional working between local authorities and the sharing of services more generally is something that we are currently consulting on as part of our White Paper on Local Government Reform. We are interested to hear views on how we can take this forward.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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