Digital shift bid to save council money

No 1 Grove Road Eastbourne. June 9th 2011 E23237M
No 1 Grove Road Eastbourne. June 9th 2011 E23237M

A MILLION pound-plus change to the way Eastbourne Borough Council operates is being introduced in a bid to save the authority more than £200,000 a year.

Town hall chiefs are keen to revolutionise the way the council is run and has already introduced a flexible working scheme which saw all top management lose their offices in favour of a large network of hotdesks at its 1 Grove Road headquarters.

That scheme, according to council leader David Tutt, is already bearing fruit, and the local authority wants to push ahead with plans to take the changes even further.

Speaking to the Herald this week, Councillor Tutt outlined proposals to shake-up the way the council runs which, if they prove successful, will be rolled out across the entire authority after being trialled in selected services.

He admitted that staff had been told bosses were undertaking a review of certain areas and conceded that some jobs were likely to go, but was confident any redundancies could be kept to a minimum.

“We are probably looking at about five jobs,” he said.

“There may be some shifting round of hours and there will be new job descriptions, but we have consulted staff throughout and a lot of them have been involved in the planning of the changes.”

Essentially, the council wants to shift its resources to a more online and digital presentation, with information on all services available 24 hours a day seven days a week at the click of a button.

“This could be anything from logging a abandoned car, paying bills or finding out about a planning application.

The beauty of it, according to Cllr Tutt, is that it will mean resources can then be focussed where they are most needed.

“At the moment,” he said, “you have people ringing up for information and getting put through to the head of service which then stops them from doing their highly skilled job.

“Under the new system that information will be more readily available.

“Having it online will also free up our staff to spend more time with the people who perhaps don’t use the internet or technology or who need more attention.”