Winchester City Council short-listed for national award

Press Release: 21/04/2009

The Municipal Journal (MJ) Awards 2009

Winchester City Council has been short-listed for the People and Workforce Achievement of the Year award, as part of the MJ Awards 2009.

Fundamental changes have been made to the way staff work at the City Council with all staff now being ‘flexible workers’. This means they work some time at home, out in the district, or have different working hours from the normal 9 – 5 to suit both them and our customers needs. These changes, supported by improved IT and telecommunications, and by redesigned office space, have had real benefits, already saving local people over £500,000 a year – the equivalent to 10% on Council Tax.

Not only has the City Council’s efficiency improved but most importantly, it can now offer better customer service with working practices designed to meet the specific needs of different services and different customers.

Key changes that have been made include a reduction of 30% in numbers of desks, a reduction of 50% in storage space needs and the vacation of two major office buildings.

The new way of working has also provided other benefits, helping to reduce the council’s carbon footprint, with fewer office buildings, lower energy costs and a 20% reduction in the mileage driven by staff.

The new set up has also allowed the council to keep services running by working from home even when the recent ‘extreme weather’ caused many organisations to halt work, with over 400 staff (out of 520) and all 57 Members being able to connect to our systems from any location.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey Portfolio Holder for Performance and Organisational Development said, “I am delighted that the City Council has been recognised for this award. It is important recognition for the implementation of flexible working, and highlights excellent project management and the very positive approach adopted by staff to the changes.”

“This project shows that the City Council is committed to becoming increasingly efficient and providing better value for money for residents, as well as being an attractive place to work to ensure we attract and retain excellent members of staff.”

The awards will be presented at a ceremony on June 25 at the London Hilton.