A Briefing on the Vision

A Special “Briefing” on the Cabinets Vision plan was set for today. No press or public were allowed in. Just Members of the Council. This plan is about the restructuring of some of the admin operation  that is carried out by The Council. (something I have blogged under Vision Impaired Plan).

It was over to the Officers to give this briefing. It started out with the normal “why are we doing this”. As I have said before I can understand the logic to it, just not the method. The Officer presenting this started or with some key buzz words like Modern Working = Effectiveness-Efficiency-Expression. I was hoping we were not going to be inundated with these modern buzz words like Local Government (LG) people are so keen to use.

We were told we have more desks than people, many of these desks were only used 40% of the time. Told how much space each staff should get to work in. A few other percentages were thrown in with the odd graph to back up these claims. Then we got to a few figures.

A figure was given on reducing desks from 5539 down to 3451. This explained by the use of Hot Desking, working from home and NOT job cuts. They did make great at pains that this was not about job cuts or even said there was going to be any. (A questions I re-asked later)

We were told that rehousing people in the Truro offices to County Hall would save £800k in lease costs by 2015. Reducing the whole building maintenance cost from £12m to £5.5m by again, 2015. Also the old Carbon Footprint saving was thrown in as well, some 1960 tonnes of it. They touched briefly on Office size with some new titles for these, and where the largest was going to be placed. They mentioned Truro, Camborne and then “somewhere in the east”. A slight change from previous.

After this briefing has finished it was the turn of the Members. I have to say, across the party line the same question were being asked. When will we have details of this so called List of Building. Previously we had been told there was no list, today we were told there is one. My view is there must be a list for them to even come up with any figures. I think all the Members understand the need to review our assets, it’s good practice (see I got in a key word)

I asked for this list and what buildings had been identified. I also told the officer whilst I am not a professional officer, I was able to understand information and should as an Elected Member be privy to that information as at the end of the day I need to know what’s going on, so I can explain that to the Public who have elected me.

The main Officer said he did not like the hostility he was receiving from the various Members. It was not Hostile, we just wanted answers so we knew what was going on. As previously Members felt they were being fobbed off.  He did in the end concede that he would take advice on this list with the view to revealing it (if there is indeed a list)

I generally support the Cabinet system under the Strong Leadership model, but I do have some slight concerns on the level of information that is getting to the back benchers. Maybe we can put that down to still being a new Authority and we are still learning after such a fundamental change to LG in Cornwall

I did Tweet during this meeting, but with the lessons learnt from last week.

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