A local government legal department is offering its services to other councils across the country through a commercial ‘shared services exchange’, as part of plans to reduce running costs by 40% over the next five years.North West Leicestershire District Council is the first legal department to join CapacityGRID, which allows local authorities to provide transactional services to each other regardless of location.The venture, set up in 2011 by outsourcing company Liberata, has around 140 local authorities providing services such as payroll and pensions.Elizabeth Warhurst (pictured), head of legal at North West Leicestershire, said the council’s legal department was selected to earn extra revenue as it has increased fee income by 16% over the past year. She said the council aims to reduce the net cost of legal services for existing clients within the local authority by subsidising the service with income earned from other public sector clients. ‘We are taking a commercial approach while having clients at the heart of what we do,’ she said.By 2017/18, the council intends to reduce the net cost of its legal department by 40% from £255,390 in 2013/14.Legal departments in several councils are seeking to increase revenue to plug spending cuts by initiatives such as creating alternative business structures, such as HB Public Law, set up by London councils Harrow and Barnet last year.Warhurst said the exchange scheme was a quicker way of earning extra revenue than creating a stand-alone business.‘We didn’t want to spend time talking about what we could do,’ she said. ‘None of this would work if it wasn’t supported by our chief executive and internal clients,’ she added.The legal team is currently 10-strong but Warhurst said there is scope for expansion.
Animal Planet(NEW YORK) — Some people watch the Super Bowl for the game, Others watch it for the commercials or halftime show, and some choose to forgo the entire event to watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl instead.Well, for fans of the latter, the entire starting lineup is out and its chock-full of adoptable puppies from all over the country who will wag their way across the end zone on February 2.This year, Animal Planet will feature a variety of rescue puppies of all sizes and breeds, from the massive Great Dane to the tiniest chihuahua.The 42 adoptable pups have already been divided into their respective teams, Team Ruff and Team Fluff.Here are some of the adorably named pups who are repping Team Ruff: Aspen (Australian cattle dog), Cafecito (crested Yorkshire terrier), Crumpet (American Staffordshire terrier), Filbert (Sheltie/border collie mix), Linus (Pomeranian), Rhubarb (mini schnauzer/Shih Tzu mix), and Starla (cocker spaniel/Siberian husky mix.)As for some of Team Fluff’s 2020 lineup: Bert (Great Pyrenees/Weimaraner mix), Duncan (rough collie), Granny Smith (Catahoula/pit bull mix), Killian (Great Dane), Papaya (Lab/border collie mix), Rocky Road (German Shepherd/Samoyed mix), and Strudel (miniature pinscher/toy poodle mix). To see the complete lineup and to read each individual player’s incredibly adorable bio, including where they are available for adoption, head on over to Animal Planet’s website. The Puppy Bowl and the kitten halftime show, which has been entertaining dog and cat lovers alike since 2005, airs Sunday, February 2, at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.