Council to squeeze £1m from space savings

Councillors on Aberdeenshire’s Policy & Resources Committee are being asked to support proposals to rationalise the Council’s office space, which which could result in savings of up to £1 million each year.

The proposals will, if agreed, reduce the number of offices and council facilities by 25% in the first two years, and a further 20% thereafter.

The strategy, which has been dubbed workSPACE (Smart Provision of Accommodation and the Customer Experience), is being designed to marry office reductions with ‘smarter’ working and improved customer service.

The plans include investing in larger offices like Gordon House in Inverurie and the development of a new office development in Peterhead, which officials hope will enable the council to dispose of many smaller offices which are not fit for purpose, which are expensive to run or are currently leased by the council.

Discussions are also continuing between Aberdeenshire Council and ‘public sector partners’ about co-locating to Woodhill House in Aberdeen, creating a central public sector hub, which supports the drive to deliver further savings across the public sector and creates more opportunities for ‘joined-up thinking’ and ‘cross-working’.

The Council will also continue to implement its highly successful ‘Worksmart’ scheme, where staff can work flexibly from any office, delivering significant reductions in commuting and business mileage, and taking services direct to customers. This scheme has reduced the number of workspaces required and many individuals now share desks with colleagues or make use of hot desks which are located across Aberdeenshire.

Councillors will consider the proposals at the meeting of Policy & Resources Committee on Thursday 15 September at Woodhill House.