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Source: City of Peterborough

A planned stocktake of equipment allocated to staff across Peterborough City Council to help them work more flexibly – helping the council to save £319,000 a year on office costs – has led additional savings of more than £1,700 per month.

Twelve months ago Peterborough City Council brought staff working across the city together in a single new office in Sand Martin House – making savings by selling and leasing out buildings such as Bayard Place and the East and West wings of the Town Hall. Further income was made by subletting the entire top floor of Sand Martin House to the Construction Industry Training Board.

To allow staff to work in a different way, without dedicated desks or offices, they were supplied with necessary equipment to work more flexibly, including laptops and mobile phones.

A year on from the move, the council carried out a planned stocktake of the use of this equipment to see what was most useful and where further savings could be made, in particular in the use of mobile phone contracts.

The council has now completed its review – contacting 199 PCC staff who had been allocated phones, identified as being unused in the past two months. These phones were never ‘lost’ as the council has information about where every number was allocated.

128 of these numbers have been identified by staff and managers as no longer needed, and so the contracts have been cancelled at no cost to the council. 59 staff who have used their phones very infrequently have been asked if a phone remains essential to their job, or if their number could be reallocated to new staff as they join the organisation or cancelled.

Twelve phones identified as receiving but not making calls are being kept as they are needed for emergency purposes, or for staff members on long term sick or maternity leave.

A further 38 phones used by council partners Serco, Vivacity or Aragon were among numbers highlighted in the stocktake as being unused over two months. As the partners are recharged in full by the council for their contracts, the city council has passed this information on to the partners concerned.

Councillor Mohammed Farooq, cabinet member for IT and Transformation congratulated staff on their hard work to make sure that residents didn’t suffer any loss of service due to the office moves over the past twelve months. “Our staff have worked very hard and I am very proud of them,” he said. “I am the cabinet member for transformation as well as IT, and I always want to make sure that we can work as efficiently as possible, but this must always be by offering good value to our taxpayers.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom