Agenda item

Moving Closer to Residents: Delivering Our Ambition

The Moving Closer to Residents programme, enabling our staff to work in more agile ways and seeing the Council locate its ‘Civic Heart’ in Surrey, is a fundamental part of the Council’s overall transformation and modernisation plans, Along with improving services to residents and securing efficiencies, these will ensure we are an employer of choice, attracting the best talent in an increasingly competitive labour market.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee]

 

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the importance of this programme to our successful transformation plans and delivery of the Community Vision 2030 and Organisation Strategy be noted.

2.    That, subject to Council approval, the acquisition of Midas House, Woking on the terms set out in this report as the County Council’s new Civic Heart be approved.

3.    That subject to full Council approval of the acquisition of Midas House, Woking on the terms set out in the submitted report, authority be delegated for the completion of the requisite legal processes and documentation relating to the acquisition of Midas House, in accordance with the Heads of terms set out to the Executive Director for Transformation, Partnerships and Prosperity, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

4.    That the establishment of a Member Task Group to support the planning and design of Civic spaces and functions, including for full Council meetings and associated Member facilities be approved.

5.    That a design and build contractor for fitting out the new Civic Heart in order to facilitate modern, agile working practices be procured.

6.    That the importance of supporting staff through the implementation of more agile working practices and move from County Hall, Kingston to a Civic Heart in Woking and the need for a change management programme to ensure a positive outcome for them, with a similar programme tailored to Members’ needs be acknowledged.

7.    That the investment in the information and digital technology required to effectively support agile working, as contained in the capital programme, with a roadmap for implementation presented to Cabinet in February 2019 be endorsed

 

Reason for decision:

 

The council had a commitment to being closer to residents in all that it does and to enable new, modern ways of working for the council. The Moving Closer to Residents (MCTR) programme of rolling out agile working across the council was underpinned and advanced by confirmation of a new Civic Heart premises at Midas House, Woking.  The MCTR work was not simply about acquiring a building and making a value for money judgement on the associated costs, alone. The programme will deliver on a range of other benefits – including demonstrable productivity improvements from better use of technology, reduced travel costs, new talent pools and attracting new staff, contributing to our carbon neutral ambitions; plus a number of important non-quantifiable benefits, including advancing the shift in organisational culture.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee]

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the council introduced a report that described the principles for the council’s headquarters to move closer to the residents of Surrey, with a primary focus on agile working for staff and Members.  This meant that work could be done anywhere, at any time and with anyone. As working practices changed across all sectors it was increasingly important to keep pace and match others in the public and private sectors who offered this way of working in order to support effective recruitment of talented staff.  Cabinet had agreed that a new ‘Civic Heart’ should be established in either Woking or Guildford in premises that would support modern, agile working practices to enable greater and more effective and efficient services, innovation and collaboration.  A key enabler of the future progress of the agile programme was to secure premises for the Civic Heart, which this report confirmed as Midas House, Woking.  The Leader went on to talk about some of the risks highlighted in the report, namely the level of staff attrition, IT and support for staff with agile working.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the importance of this programme to our successful transformation plans and delivery of the Community Vision 2030 and Organisation Strategy be noted.

2.    That, subject to Council approval, the acquisition of Midas House, Woking on the terms set out in this report as the County Council’s new Civic Heart be approved.

3.    That subject to full Council approval of the acquisition of Midas House, Woking on the terms set out in the submitted report, authority be delegated for the completion of the requisite legal processes and documentation relating to the acquisition of Midas House, in accordance with the Heads of terms set out to the Executive Director for Transformation, Partnerships and Prosperity, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

4.    That the establishment of a Member Task Group to support the planning and design of Civic spaces and functions, including for full Council meetings and associated Member facilities be approved.

5.    That a design and build contractor for fitting out the new Civic Heart in order to facilitate modern, agile working practices be procured.

6.    That the importance of supporting staff through the implementation of more agile working practices and move from County Hall, Kingston to a Civic Heart in Woking and the need for a change management programme to ensure a positive outcome for them, with a similar programme tailored to Members’ was acknowledged.

7.    That the investment in the information and digital technology required to effectively support agile working, as contained in the capital programme, with a roadmap for implementation presented to Cabinet in February 2019 be endorsed.

The decision was unanimous.

 

Recommendation to County Council:

 

To approve the acquisition of Midas House, Woking on the terms set out in the submitted report as the County Council’s new Civic Heart.

 

Reason for decision:

 

The council had a commitment to being closer to residents in all that it does and to enable new, modern ways of working for the council. The Moving Closer to Residents (MCTR) programme of rolling out agile working across the council was underpinned and advanced by confirmation of a new Civic Heart premises at Midas House, Woking.  The MCTR work was not simply about acquiring a building and making a value for money judgement on the associated costs, alone. The programme will deliver on a range of other benefits – including demonstrable productivity improvements from better use of technology, reduced travel costs, new talent pools and attracting new staff, contributing to our carbon neutral ambitions; plus a number of important non-quantifiable benefits, including advancing the shift in organisational culture.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Resources and Performance Select Committee]

 

[Mr Colin Kemp declared a non-pecuniary interest in relation to ‘Moving Closer to Residents’ as he was part of the Executive on Woking Borough Council.]

 

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