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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Knowle relocation project: and increasing staff numbers

EDDC continues to promote the notion that its ‘Worksmart’ project “is set to save the Council £6m over the next 20 years”:
East Devon District Council pledges to maintain services | Honiton, Axminster and Seaton news - Midweek Herald (December 2017)

And yet the figures for staff numbers subsequent to the move continue to be unclear, casting doubt on these "savings":
50% of EDDC staff to be made redundant? | East Devon Watch (November 2014)
No staff austerity cuts for EDDC – on the contrary! | East Devon Watch (April 2017)

– with EDDC refusing to provide full details of their ‘hot-desking’ arrangements:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: hot-desking: latest (September 2014)
Hot-desking - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow (July 2014)
Costs of Knowle Relocation Project - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow (July 2016)


A new FOI request shows that even these figures are wide off the mark - and that we seem to have an increase in staffing - which was not exactly what the 'relocation project' was all about: 

WHO WILL BE WORKING WHERE WITH THE NEW EDDC HQ

7 MARCH 2018

Freedom of Information request 19 February 2018. EDDC seems to be increasing staff during austerity.


“Total number of employees working for EDDC
513 – data as at 28 February 2018.

How many currently working remotely or ‘on the move’ are:

A) based in Exmouth Town Hall -79
B) based in Sidmouth – 280
154 are based elsewhere across the district including THG, Manor Pavilion, Cranbrook, StreetScene depots, parks and gardens, Lymebourne House, Business Centre, Camperdown or may be mobile touching down at both ETH and Knowle.

How will this situation change once the new office opens in Honiton (number):

It remains to be seen exactly but I would expect the majority of the 280 to relocate to Honiton but I will be consulting with all individuals and where there are people who potentially live in Exmouth who can work more sensibly from Exmouth we may make adjustments.”

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/access-to-information/freedom-of-information/freedom-of-information-published-requests/


Who will be working where with the new EDDC HQ | East Devon Watch

See also a blog entry from 20th February:
So, how is EDDC’s office relocation going? Update and some odd figures | East Devon Watch

Here is the complete FOI request on the District Council's website: 

Total number of employees working for EDDC

Date submitted: 19 February 2018

Summary of request

Total number of employees working for EDDC

How many currently working remotely or ‘on the move’ are:
A) based in Exmouth
B) based in Sidmouth

How will this situation change once the new office opens in Honiton (number):
A) based in Exmouth
B) based in Honiton

I believe employees have a right to request ‘flexible working’?
How has the situation changed since employees have been able to request this?
Have the numbers increased and, if so, by how many?

Summary of response

Our WorkSmart strategy outlines that work should take place at the most effective times and locations respecting and balancing the needs of the task, the individual, the customer, the team etc. To support WorkSmart there are different working styles and these are office based, mobile, flexible or home workers – this has helped develop a common terminology for the way we work.

Our staff may be required to work in any of our offices to ensure flexibility. When the Sidmouth office closes we will need to see what happens to demand on our services and that will determine where the staff are based so these figures need to be viewed with that in mind; it is not a static picture.

Total number of employees working for EDDC 513 – data as at 28 February 2018.

How many currently working remotely or ‘on the move’ are:

A) based in Exmouth Town Hall -79
B) based in Sidmouth – 280
154 are based elsewhere across the district including THG, Manor Pavilion, Cranbrook, StreetScene depots, parks and gardens, Lymebourne House, Business Centre, Camperdown or may be mobile touching down at both ETH and Knowle.

How will this situation change once the new office opens in Honiton (number):

It remains to be seen exactly but I would expect the majority of the 280 to relocate to Honiton but I will be consulting with all individuals and where there are people who potentially live in Exmouth who can work more sensibly from Exmouth we may make adjustments.

A) based in Exmouth
B) based in Honiton

I believe employees have a right to request ‘flexible working’?
How has the situation changed since employees have been able to request this?
Have the numbers increased and, if so, by how many?

Provisions set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and regulations made under it, so all employees have a statutory right to ask their employer for a change to their contractual terms and conditions of employment to work flexibly provided they have worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously at the date the application is made. An employee can only make one statutory request in any 12 month period. Employees who have been employed for less than 26 weeks, agency workers and office holders do not have a statutory right to request flexible working. Nevertheless, employers may still wish to consider a request from these groups as flexible working can bring business benefits as well as benefits to the employee. 


Before June 2014 the right only applied to the parents of children under 17 or 18 in the case of parents of disabled children or to those caring for an adult. Now any eligible employee can apply to work flexibly for any reason.

This is widespread practice within the organisation and is a key component of us being able to recruit and retain staff – this is not related to relocation. We have approximately 120 flexible working patterns in use.

Date responded: 2 March 2018


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