A milestone has been celebrated in Test Valley, in a programme delivering £15 million in capital receipts through the sharing of office space across Hampshire.
Hampshire County Council’s Adult and Children’s Services, and the Council’s Registration Service in the local area are now working alongside their Test Valley Borough Council colleagues, at Beech Hurst in Andover.
It marks the final move in the first stage of the County Council’s office rationalisation programme – ‘Workstyle’ which sees public sector services co-located in the county to help taxpayers’ money go further. ‘Workstyle’ aims to save the County Council £2 million a year in running costs, and generate £15 million in capital from the sale of County Council buildings that are no longer needed. The savings are then reinvested into new office hubs for local services across Hampshire.
As part of the Beech Hurst scheme, a total of 80 staff, alongside colleagues from the Borough, are delivering a range of services that are better delivered from a single location.
To mark the move, a plaque was recently unveiled at Beech Hurst by the Leaders of both Councils. Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “I am delighted that we are able to share accommodation with Hampshire County Council. Having already undertaken a similar project in Romsey, the benefits to both our residents and the two Councils are clear. We are able to provide more services under one roof, which helps the customer and generates savings for the County Council and an income for the Borough.”
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry added: “This co-location supports both our organisations to work more effectively together in the interests of our customers, and helps both Councils to go some way in offsetting the impact of cuts in Government grant, and rising demand for services. Our ‘Workstyle’ programme is transforming the way the County Council operates, the buildings in which our staff work, and the IT that supports them. In addition to the considerable financial benefits being delivered through co-location, ‘Workstyle’ has reduced our floor space by around a third, cut energy consumption, and delivered a wide range of service-related efficiencies.”
The ‘Workstyle’ project across Hampshire has also enabled some 5,500 staff to work more flexibly, with customers having better environments within which to receive local services.