Council Offices Could be Sitting Empty in 2011
The office space of Cumbria County Council could be sparsely populated with employees in 2010, following reports that the Cumbrian Authority could cull over 600 jobs as it seeks to bring its spending in-line with budget cuts.
With nearly ┬ú50m worth of savings needed to be made by the Carlisle based Cumbria County Council over the next four years, they join a growing list of government bodies whose office space is set to become vacant as the full impact of the spending cuts begins to bare its teeth.
Unlike other UK councils who have already opted to merge offices and sell-off underused or unwanted office buildings, Cumbria County Council do not appear to be pursuing such options at present despite looking at increasing flexible working options to the staff who remain after the cull.
In order to involve, educate and even provide local residents with a say in where else the upcoming cuts will be felt, council leader Eddie Martin has launched a public consultation process aimed at helping the council identify the priority services as seen by residents.
ΓÇ£It is clearly important that we prioritise the considerably reduced funding we expect to receive in order to shape our services to meet both the needs and the aspirations of the people of Cumbria.ΓÇ¥ Explained Martin.
ΓÇ£This will mean that some very difficult decisions must be made ΓÇô it simply will not be possible to go on doing or delivering as much we do at the moment.
ΓÇ£We need to look carefully at how we do things; at what could be provided more efficiently by other organisations; at where we can work more closely with partners; and at how we can support and encourage local people and communities to take control and make a difference.ΓÇ¥
But what of the workers whose offices will be being vacated over the next four years? Will the impact of redundancy generate a surge in entrepreneurial activity, fuelling the private-sector led recovery on which the coalition government have pinned so much hope?