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Clear council desks as efficiency drive starts
8:00am Monday 11th February 2013 in News
THE chief executive of Thurrock Council is having his desk and office taken away from him as part of a major transformation programme at the Civic Offices in Grays.
From Monday Graham Farrant, the council boss who earns a handsome £175,000 a year, pictured right, had to join other officers and directors in a scramble for 38 open-plan desks every day.
A “clear desk policy” means even if the chief executive, who also runs Barking and Dagenham Council, does bag himself a desk one morning, he will not be guaranteed it the next day.
The proposal was announced by Cllr Lynn Worrall, the authority’s portfolio holder for transformation and community, who told councillors the local authority is stuck in the past and she hopes to bring it “kicking and screaming into the 21st century” to make it more efficient.
It is hoped this particular scheme, called better ways of working, will save £800,000 in the next two years and enable the closure of seven operational buildings in that time.
There are plans for 38 desks and five meeting rooms, which will be bookable in advance. The changes will mean 55 staff can work on the fourth floor, rather than the 12 currently occupying the space. Small lockers are also being provided for staff to place their belongings in.
A council spokesman, who is part of the pilot scheme, said: “There will be bookable office space for meetings and some private space as well.
“We move there on Monday. It’s going to be fascinating to see how it works in practice.”