Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Flexible and smarter working in Totton

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Hampshire County Council staff have moved to new premises in Totton as part of the County Council's drive to cut office accommodation costs and help meet its budget reductions, as well as creating efficient and modern work spaces with improved access for residents to services.

250 staff who were previously based at area offices in Lymington, Hythe, Applemore, Bartley, Testwood, Winchester, Romsey and Eastleigh have moved to a refurbished office at 1 High Street, Totton, which is now open to the public for pre-arranged appointments.

Staff based at the new Totton office include those from the County Council's Adult Services, Children's Services, Registration Service and Facilities Management. The office is also occupied by Southern Health Foundation Trust and is available for other public sector organisations to use to support partnership working. By working together in shared offices, customers will benefit from receiving improved and joined-up services.

Facilitated and designed in-house by the County Council's Property Services, the office provides a modern and flexible building with well-equipped rooms for pre-arranged meetings, and individual discussions with customers. There are also'drop-in' workstations to create a flexible working environment for staff. There are good transport links to the new office by rail, bus and bike, and members of the public can also park in the local pay and display car parks. Blue Badge holders should contact the reception in advance for access to a disabled car parking area.

There will still be a local presence for both Adult Services and Children's Services staff in Romsey through co-location with Test Valley Borough Council in their offices, where local customers for their services can also meet them for pre-arranged appointments.

The move is part of the County Council's corporate office rationalisation programme, know as 'Workstyle', which has been underway since 2008 across Hampshire and aims to deliver £2 million of annual revenue savings by 2015/16. It is successfully changing how the County Council operates by reducing offices, co-locating in premises, and working in partnership.

The programme is enabling the County Council to make greater savings whilst improving services in the face of reduced levels of Government funding. It is contributing to the County Council's target of generating £230 million of savings by 2015.

Some £14.6 million worth of capital is being generated through the disposal of vacated properties for reinvestment in the new office hubs and ploughed back into local services for Hampshire residents. The programme has enabled some 5,500 staff to work more flexibly and many customers have better environments within which to receive a face-to-face service.

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "I would like to thank all of those involved in the refurbishment of the new office which has involved planning of the works and complete internal renovation of the building. This successful move will save money on accommodation costs and improve access for residents to our services. In addition, the investment in the area will bring additional footfall to local businesses to support the local economy.

"Our 'Workstyle' programme is changing how the County Council operates, the buildings in which we work and the IT that supports us. Our office infrastructure has been reduced in area by some 30 per cent, and a wide range of service-related efficiencies have been delivered in addition to the financial benefits."

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