Council to introduce local service hubs earlier than planned

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Angus Council is to introduce new hubs for locally based service as part of its five year agile working and estates plan.

The local authority’s has said its shift to agile working in fewer buildings for back office work is on target, with around 500 staff now working more flexibly, making use of the digital tools to use time more productively and cut down on travel.

Council leader Ian Gaul said: “This, along with a reduction in the number of buildings, is saving hard cash.

“We’ve already made the £108,000 saving target for this year and expect to save £1.25m in 2017-18 as services continue to change how they work.”

Six buildings with almost 5000m2 of floor space are no longer in use by the local authority - Peasiehill in Arbroath, Park Place, St Drostans and Damacre Centre in Brechin, Invertay House in Monifieth and Castle Street offices in Forfar.

The next phase of the agile and estate programme is the creation of new hubs in designated local service areas - Arbroath, Brechin/Montrose, Carnoustie/Monifieth and Forfar/Kirriemuir.

Councillor Gaul said: “The new hubs will be used by a range of council services. By sharing premises which will be customised to local needs, we will not only reduce the number of buildings but we will be able to offer a better service to local people.

“These local service hubs, along with the new integrated library and customer support service at local libraries, will also extend opportunities for sharing facilities with our public sector partners, such as Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, ANGUSalive and Police Scotland.”

The timetable for the creation of the proposed locality hubs has been adjusted and will now be completed in 2019, a year earlier than expected.

Integrated library and access/customer support service provision will now be rolled out in burgh libraries by September 2019, two years earlier than previously planned.

The counil is now considering a range of options for the disposal or income generation opportunities for the properties which will be surplus to council requirements. This will take account of financial benefits as well as wider community use, such as the transfer of assets to communities or purchase for housing development.

They have also decided to retain St Margaret’s House and William Wallace House on the Orchardbank Business Park to explore opportunities for commercial income generation.