Bexley Council won’t be expected to chip in extra funding and local staff won’t be relocated under plans to merge its adoption services with neighbouring authorities.

New details about plans to amalgamate Bexley’s adoption services with Kent and Medway councils were presented to members of Bexley’s cabinet on Monday.

It’s the fourth time updates have been presented to the council, with new information including that the service will work in a “partnership agreement”, rather than a model hosted by Kent which was previously proposed by the authority.

The new combined service will operate “in shadow form” from April, prior to a “full go live” in October this year.

Councillors were told the new model won’t cost more than it does across the three councils collectively.

In addition, no authority will be asked to pay more than they already do in the first year of implementation.

Staff will also remain employees of their existing authorities.

Cllr Philip Read, the cabinet member for children’s services, said the update answered some anxious questions for staff and members at Bexley.

“We are well aware Bexley’s adoption services are among the highest performing both in London and nationally,” he said, adding that there had been “concern” the amalgamation would “impact their current services”.

He said the update, and positions agreed by all three authorities, eased many of those concerns.

The action came after a central Government order commanding local authorities join a regional adoption agency by the end of 2020.