£400,000 bill for Leeds council workers to ‘move house’

Leeds Civic Hall
Leeds Civic Hall
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LEEDS council faces a £400,000 house-moving bill as it transfers almost 200 staff from its secondary city centre base to the Civic Hall.

The overhaul will see 110 human resources workers and 86 finance staff moving from Merrion House to currently vacant space in the Civic Hall, with a further 46 people relocating offices in the same building.

The authority is also introducing a new flexible way of working, which includes new working patterns, more working from home and the increased use of shared workstations.

The £400k move is part of a wider restructure designed to slash running costs for the authority.

But it is also hoped the new overall approach will improve staff’s work-life balance, and ultimately decrease sickness and stress levels.

Papers seen by the YEP show £112,000 will be spent on the capital costs of the decant, like building work, electrics, painting and flooring. A further £207,000 has been set aside for new furniture and equipment and £74,000 for “internal fees’ including IT staff time and “project management”.

A total spend of £394,200 has just been signed off by council bosses.

A report confirming the expenditure says the move and its associated costs are part of a “holistic programme of work delivering improved ways of working across the organisation”. It adds the programme has already delivered “cashable benefits” but has also encouraged “productivity, health and wellbeing, improvement and service delivery” and more.

The move from Merrion House is also partly due to refurbishment work at the building, although it is not yet clear if those same workers will be moving back again once that work is complete.

However the council insists that by moving staff to one of its own buildings it will “minimise expenditure”.

Date: 11th November 2017. 'Picture James Hardisty. The 'Leeds Grand Quarte in New briggate. Pictured The Howard Assembly Room at Opera North.

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