Dudley Council Faces £85,000 Bill To Move Staff

Dudley Council could be forced to move staff into the council house’s dining room in attempts to make it ‘leaner’.

Bosses say that more staff will be moved into the council's Dudley HQ, freeing up surplus buildings and saving money on the overall cost of office space. But it could spend about £85,000 just moving staff around to other offices and installing new desks, council documents reveal.

The authority wants to increase the number of desks at its IT base at St James’s Road at a cost of £50,000. A further £35,000 will be spent moving more desks to its Ednam Road for officers. Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning, said:

“As part of our on-going work to find millions of pounds worth of savings and provide value for money to people we are looking at making best use of all of our office space.

“More staff are moving into the central campus in Dudley freeing up surplus buildings and saving us money overall in the cost of our office space meaning we can maximise our spending on services.

“With regard to the council house, we are looking to make better use of empty and rarely-used rooms such as the dining room and deputy mayor’s office and making the necessary changes to ICT system to accommodate staff.”

However, Councillor Paul Brothwood, leader of the borough’s UKIP group, said the strategy seemed to be hit and miss. He said:

“It just doesn’t seem a well-thought-through plan at all. I think they have far too many buildings that they lease and rent, and then on the other side we have buildings we own that are just sitting empty.

“It feels a bit hit and miss. It was a bit nonsensical to close the dining room anyway about six months ago. It’s just the council trying to put a plaster on a far too big sore.”

The former Dudley Museum building on St James’s Road, which closed in December to save £150,000 a year, is on track to be used as training space and offices. Councillors sitting on the council’s corporate scrutiny committee will be told of the updates at a meeting on Tuesday.


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