HARINGEY and Walthan Forest Council have revealed they are working out a plan to team up and share the running of some council services in a bid to save money.

Over the coming year Haringey has to make £50million in savings which will have a significant impact on frontline services and has already led the council to announce plans to axe 1,000 jobs.

Council leader Claire Kober said by merging departments including legal, payroll, recruitment and call centres would mean the same service is offered but at a lower cost.

School meals, staff training and the audit department could also be shared, it was revealed.

The two local authorities are now working together to iron out the details to find if a deal would be cost-effective. Ms Kober said: "Given the scale of the cuts, we have to find new and imaginative ways of providing services in order to bridge the funding gap we and Waltham Forest face. We have to examine all proposals which can reduce costs and protect frontline services.

"Haringey and Waltham Forest have unique differences and challenges which mean that in some areas it will not be possible to share services. This arrangement will be pragmatic in that we will only share services when it makes clear financial sense to do so."

She added the ultimate benefit would be to Haringey residents.

A document – a Memorandum of Understanding – is being finalised which sets out the intention to explore shared services. No shared service will be established unless a strong case can be argued.

Councillor Robert Gorrie, leader of Haringey Liberal Democrats: "It's right that in order to meet the challenges ahead the Council has finally started to look further afield. I just hope that the shambolic way in which this announcement was made is not an indication of the future of the partnership.

"To make this initiative a success requires the support of all staff based on open and honest communication with effective leadership. Yet, staff and unions were last to know, and these plans seem to be the reaction of a rabbit caught in the headlights rather than the clarity of an organisation being led by a clear vision.

"It is concerning that these discussions have taken so long to get underway. This delay has simply led to Haringey Council, and its residents, being left behind as usual."