County councillors back HQ staff move to make £2.6m savings

County Hall in Northallerton.

A £5.6m scheme to cut North Yorkshire County Council’s office costs by moving more staff into its headquarters has been unanimously backed by its leading members.

The authority’s deputy leader Councillor Gareth Dadd, told the council’s executive committee the scheme to enable flexible working and desk-sharing for its 1,602 staff at County Hall in Northallerton would save £2.6m annually.

He said: “The driver for this, as it is with everything at central services is efficiencies, save money and take some pressure off our saving targets so we can invest in the front line.”

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The changes will also include about 120 extra car parking spaces, with potential for more, which it is hoped will ease mounting concerns over car parking in the town.

The meeting was told the recent snow had alerted senior officers to the possibility of some staff not having to be based at County Hall all the time.

Councillor David Blades said: “This will put a completely different light on the situation facing residents. I think this is a very positive and bold move by this authority.”

A council spokesman said the additional parking at County Hall and move towards more flexible working would be complemented by a drive to promote modes of transport to cut the demand for car parking there.

It is understood the building work will begin in January next year and the changes are set to be completed by December 2020.