In times of austerity, it’s the strength of the partnership - not the contract - that counts. Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council entered a 10 year public-private partnership with Arvato in 2008. Shortly afterwards, the Government’s efficiency measures put unprecedented pressure on the Council’s controllable budgets, requiring a complete review of priorities. Working collaboratively, Arvato and Sefton jointly responded to the economic challenges to deliver above and beyond initial commitments. The partnership invested in process change and technology to improve the quality and availability of services to citizens experiencing difficult times. Further savings and creative ways to generate income were identified; totalling an additional £1.6 million over the last two years.