Wiltshire Council was shortlisted for a prestigious national award for the way it works in partnership to provide more efficient services and a better way of working for staff.
The council was highly commended at the Civil Service ‘The Way We Work 2017’ (TW3) awards in the ‘One Public Estate Category’. In this category the judges were looking for, among other things, organisations that are ‘empowering employees to work where, how and when they choose, to maximise their productivity and in ways that deliver the greatest value to their business…’ and ‘new forms of flexible collaboration that enable people to work together across locations and organisations’.
Through its work in the One Wiltshire Estate project, the council has worked positively with partners such as local health services, Wiltshire Police , Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and the Ministry of Defence to make efficient use of facilities and services to achieve better outcomes for the people of Wiltshire.
Since the council became a unitary authority in 2009 one of its main focusses has been to transform the organisation so it’s much more efficient, streamlined and makes better use of its employees and buildings. One of the most high profile ways the council has done this is by reducing its property portfolio from 95 buildings down to three main hubs, with net savings of over £5m per year. Its three main hubs provide a range of council services convenient for residents, and on the same sites a number of partners share the buildings and facilities – making much better use of public money. At each of the hubs council teams work creatively in partnership with the NHS, police, fire and rescue, and community groups.
The council has also harnessed new technology into the workplace ensuring employees are much more flexible and enabled to work at a number of different locations across the county with ease. With a desk ratio of around one to three the technology helps people work remotely and encourages staff to work alongside people from different services areas and organisations enabling the sharing of ideas and resources.
In addition, the council’s health and wellbeing programme is providing a range of improved services throughout the county with many being available all in one place such as Springfield Community Campus in Corsham, Five Rivers in Salisbury, The Nadder Centre in Tisbury and Calne Community Hub and Library. Visitor numbers at each of these facilities show that people are embracing this new way of providing services.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council: “We have worked very hard at maximising the usage of our buildings, improving our employees’ ability to carry out their roles to a high standard and making sure we embrace partnership working whenever we can. Therefore, I was delighted we were shortlisted for this award and see it as recognition for the great strides we have taken since becoming a unitary authority.
“We will continue this successful way of working and see what other opportunities it brings.”
Cabinet member for communities, campuses and area boards, John Thomson said: “ I am really pleased that our work with our partners has been recognised in this way. Through our One Wiltshire Estate project, we are passionate about delivering better services for our residents and making the absolute best use of our resources.”