Shropshire Council to enforce spending freeze and work-from-home days in bid to save cash

Staff members at Shropshire Council will have to work from home 12 days a year and have been put under a spending freeze in order for the local authority to make required savings.

As reported on by the Shropshire Star, across the county staff will take ‘environment’ days on the last Friday of every month, in addition to chief executive Clive Wright being requested by the Cabinet to introduce a spending freeze across all services.

A letter sent to staff this week signed by Wright argued that the budget for the authority is “proving to be a challenge,” and consequently a spending freeze has been put in place—meaning officers should not commit “any expenditure that can be avoided.”

Additionally, Wright wrote, the council will begin its transition into “mobile and agile working” this month, allowing the council to monitor savings in travel and opening buildings.

“We are aware that for some this will be relatively easy, whilst for others it will throw up problems – which we want reported to line managers and on to directors, so that we can resolve these,” the letter in the Shropshire Star wrote.

Chief executive Wright has also encouraged staff members to use printers only “when it is essential.” The cost of printing in the council is now costing £300,000 per year, with over 1.5 million copies being made. The council is now monitoring printing by team, and will soon be monitoring individual printing numbers.

The letter wrote: “As we move to become a more mobile and agile organisation we need to identify problems and barriers quickly and find solutions.

“I am confident that with your help the budget overspend can be reduced. I am grateful in advance for your cooperation.”

The council has struggled in balancing its budgets in recent months; after making £1.6m in health service cuts in July, yesterday Broseley Town Council—to which Shropshire Council currently serves— announced ‘Broxit’ – threatening to leave the authority after a row over funding.

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