Reassurance given over plans to develop agile working in council
LEADING Carmarthenshire councillors have spoken out to reassure people there are no current plans in place to sell off certain council buildings in Ammanford and Carmarthen.
The council is facing cuts to its revenue budget of £12million per year, for the next three years, and is identifying savings across all departments in order to balance the books, whilst continuing to protect the front line services people depend upon.
Officers have been researching a new way of working that involves staff operating in a more agile manner with more reliance on IT, as opposed to being based in one building.
If adopted it means that the current office provision could be reduced which could allow surplus space to be released for sale or rental, in a bid to reduce the impact of government funding cuts.
The agile working report included the potential to disposing of council owned property to demonstrate how cost savings may be achieved with examples given as Ammanford Town Hall; the Old Library; 5-8 Spilman Street; and Nantyci.
However, it did not contain details of how and where front line services such as the customer service centre and cash desk would be located.
These services have been made more accessible in both Llanelli and Llandeilo, and the council administration is committed to ensuring that people in the Aman Valley have the same access.
Executive Board members deferred the report to ask officers for resolution of this and other matters which had arisen from initial reading of it.
Members have stressed that nothing contained within the report had been or would be implemented until the revised version went before them for discussion and decision.
Human Resources executive board member Cllr Mair Stephens said: “The contents of the report are simply suggestions put forward by a working group of officers, aimed at saving the county council a great deal of money.”
Resources executive board member Cllr David Jenkins said that all council assets were continuously being looked at for ways to make efficiency savings. However, no buildings would be disposed of without discussion and consultation.
Cllr Jenkins added: “As there have been no decisions taken to date, we would appeal to those people who are alarming the public with talks of this being something that is actually happening, instead of something that has not even been considered yet, to please stop and think before causing unnecessary concern to our hard working and loyal staff.”
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