April 24, 2012
A new way of delivering key services at Eastbourne Borough Council will modernise how customers interact with the authority and help improve customer service.
The review, called the Future Model, will allow people to use the internet and other self-service technologies to access a wide range of services, often out of office hours.
There will also be a new focus on those who wish to meet and speak directly to council staff.
The Model is the latest step in a wider plan by the council to transform the authority which began with a reduction in the size of the senior management team and a new approach to focussing on the needs of customers.
This was followed by the council’s award-winning Agile Working programme to reduce costs by moving staff from former offices at 66-68 Grove Road and consolidating at far more efficient offices at 1 Grove Road, helping to protect front-line services and ensure a zero rise in council tax.
The Future Model will lead to a staff restructuring process to deliver greater efficiencies and improve customer service even further, in line with a Government requirement for local authorities to change the way they deliver services and to reduce costs.
In its first phase, the Model is expected to deliver efficiency savings of more than £500,000 per year over three years, starting in 2013/14, and will lead to the loss of around 15 roles. A new staff structure will be introduced by April 2013.
The programme as a whole will eventually deliver total savings of between £1.5m and £1.6m.
Leader of the Council, Cllr David Tutt said: "The Future Model is the next step in our on-going plan to be a more customer-focussed local authority, one which strives to say yes to our customers rather than no.
“The way people want to interact with the council is changing thanks to the internet and technologies including smart phones. It is only right that we embrace those changes and shape our service delivery accordingly.
“The changes will require a restructuring of certain departments within the council. The majority of the savings will be achieved as a result of changing the ways in which we work.
“Whilst we regret any job losses we will seek to achieve these with the fewest number of redundancies possible and do our best to support anyone who does need to leave Council employment to find new career opportunities".
At a council cabinet meeting on Wednesday (18), members approved the adoption and implementation of the Future Model, part of the authority’s Sustainable Service Delivery Strategy.