Cherwell office staff continue working from home with future plans being considered


“Reducing the spread of COVID is our priority and we are planning for long term changes in the way we run services to create COVID compliant workspaces”

Cherwell District Council has told Banbury FM there are no plans for its office-based staff to return to working from the Council’s buildings at the moment.   Whilst the main office has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic for those staff who can not work from home, a large number of staff have been working remotely.

It is understood Cherwell’s Chief Executive Yvonne Rees has indicated to staff this situation may remain unchanged until the early part of 2021.

Many people had been hoping the autumn may bring a return towards life before coronavirus but Cherwell’s position could be taken as an indication by one of the area’s major employers that they do not believe that this will be the case.

A spokesman for Cherwell District Council told Banbury FM, “While there will not be any immediate changes for us as an organisation as regards opening of offices, the present situation has provided us with a real opportunity to pause and reflect on events since March.

“Our main office at Bodicote House remained open on a limited basis for those who cannot work from home, as is the office space at the Thorpe Lane waste and recycling depot. In the meantime, we are continuing to ask everyone who can work from home to continue to do so.”

“We have excellent remote working arrangements in place and every member of staff who works from an office using a computer has the opportunity of working from home. That includes our customer contact centre colleagues, who recently smashed their target of answering 80 percent of calls within 20 seconds, by answering over 90 per cent within that time frame. It just goes to show that you do not need an office to deliver excellent services”.

Cherwell District Council has remained “open for business” throughout the pandemic.   Services such as street cleansing and waste and recycling collections have continued uninterrupted throughout the lockdown period, with the frontline staff operating in challenging circumstances.

The spokesman for Cherwell said, “We plan to continue to focus our efforts on the delivery of frontline services with people successfully being able to work from home enabled to do so, allowing them to provide crucial support to those providing important services in waste and recycling, planning, leisure, communities, housing and more.

“Meanwhile we have proven since May that we are well equipped to hold our democratic meetings online. Executive, full council and planning meetings have all been held this way and in the long-term we believe using technology like this can help broaden access and reduce travel miles. “Reducing the spread of COVID is our priority and we are planning for long term changes in the way we run services to create COVID compliant workspaces. The situation will evolve as the year moves on and we will keep everyone up to date”.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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