Nine in ten staff are STILL working from home at some councils

Nine in ten staff are STILL working from home at some councils

June 20, 2022

Nine in ten staff are STILL working from home at some councils as data shows many buildings are only a quarter full

  • Local authorities are still using taxpayers money to service ‘barren’ office space  
  • Council buildings are said to be between a quarter and a half full as offices 
  • Each desk space can cost up to £13k a year to run, according to estimates 

More than 90 per cent of council staff are working from home in some areas, it emerged last night.

Council buildings are between a quarter and a half as full as offices in the private sector, according to freedom of information requests.

Yet local authorities are still using taxpayers’ money to service ‘barren’ office space. 

Nearly 3,000 desk spaces are supported by Conservative-run Buckinghamshire County Council, but an average of only 340 of its 2,400 office-based staff come into work each week.

More than 90 per cent of council staff are working from home in some areas. However, local authorities are still using taxpayers’ money to service ‘barren’ office space

Each desk space can cost up to £13,000 a year to run, according to estimates produced by the trade magazine, Government Technology.

At the four councils which responded to the freedom of information requests an average of 85 per cent of staff were still working from home.

The council with the highest proportion of workers in this category was Conservative-run Wiltshire County Council with 94 per cent. Labour-run Bradford – at 93 per cent – followed in second.

Buckinghamshire County Council was next with 86 per cent at home while Labour-run Westminster had 66 per cent.

One senior figure within a major county council said that civil servants in Whitehall were under more pressure to return to the office than town hall staff.

PICTURED: Buckinghamshire Council offices. Nearly 3,000 desk spaces are supported by Conservative-run Buckinghamshire County Council. Only 340 of its 2,400 office-based staff come into work each week

The source said: ‘Nobody is applying any pressure over where people work. I would say less than 10 per cent of office workers are back at their desks.’

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told The Times: ‘Residents fed up with colossal council tax bills and bumper pay rises for staff will no doubt be disappointed to find out they’re paying a small fortune to fund these barren buildings.

‘If flexible working is to stay, council officials should be moved out and the savings passed on to hard-pressed residents.’

But the Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, said in a statement: ‘Council staff work tirelessly for their communities, whether from home, in offices or out and about.’

Source: Read Full Article