More council staff to work from home

Princess Buildings, Halifax
Princess Buildings, Halifax

A SCHEME to enable more employees to work from home has been given the backing of Calderdale Council Cabinet.

Coupled with shared desks in new open plan offices, it should improve efficiency and make considerable savings, councillors were told.

An experiment has been underway for some time with 25 individuals working from home full-time and 11 on flexible hours.

It provides far more opportunities for operating more efficiently, improves the experience of work for employees and reduces the council’s carbon footprint, according to a review by Coun David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe).

The cabinet agreed to extend the practice as part of its strategy for reorganising office space in Halifax town centre.

Environment spokesman Coun Barry Colins said many of the existing offices were not condusive to modern ways of working and the planned changes would save million of pounds.

The council plans to invest £12.5 million in three properties - Princess Buildings, near the town hall, Westgate House, in Market Street and Mulcture House, in Mulcture Hall Road.

Moving out of Northgate House, Horton House, the Hoover Building and the Park Road office block, as well the Elsie Whiteley Centre and Dean Clough Business Park should save £7.6 million over 25 years and £1.2 million a year after that.

“Selling some of these properties will also generate substantial sums and strengthens the case for the making these changes,” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

The changes will mean 7.5 desks for every 10 council officers.