Release Date: 22/06/2012
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will save more than £200,000 a year by moving staff out of rented buildings and back into the Civic Centre.
The Council has been leasing office accommodation at Regal House in Twickenham over a number of years to provide office space for a range of services. As part of the efficiency drive, Council teams have gradually been relocated back into the Civic Centre.
The moves have been made possible by a number of measures, including improvements to the use of office space at the Civic Centre such as creating an open plan office environment and supporting home working arrangements, where appropriate. Moving staff into the Civic Centre has also been achieved, in part, by a reduction in the number of full time staff employed by the Council; down from 1888 two years ago to 1615 now, a reduction of 15 per cent.
Sharing services with neighbouring authorities has allowed the movement of staff into their offices which has also helped create space in the Civic Centre. The Council’s Legal Services team are now based with Merton Council and the Council’s Human Resources service is now delivered from Kingston Council’s offices.
As part of the move to return public health functions to the local authority in April 2013, public heath staff will be moved into the Civic Centre in July, alongside other health staff currently located in Thames House and GPs leading the new Clinical Commissioning Group. In addition, Health and Adult Social Care teams have been relocated to the new state-of–the-art health and social care centre in Whitton.
Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:
“Vacating Regal House represents a substantial financial saving which can be used to benefit residents in other ways.
“It forms part of a number of measures we have adopted to save money through making better use of our facilities and improvements to working conditions for staff. By remodelling how and where we accommodate our staff we have made impressive savings.
“Leaving Regal House represents a saving of over £1million over the next five years, which will help contribute towards providing better services to residents.
“The key aspect to this, in a time of austerity, is that we are saving money without impacting on frontline services. It is something I am committed to and I am delighted we have achieved good savings in this area.”