Council begins efficiency drive

Last updated 13:00 29/11/2013

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The Nelson City Council, which has just completed a reorganisation, is now on an efficiency drive.

First up for reviews are its administration and information management.

This follows the restructure which resulted in 49 positions being disestablished - with 18 staff made redundant, 22 staff accepting alternate positions and nine vacant roles axed. It came into effect on October 14 with a reduced senior management team and its parking operations contracted out.

Council chief executive Clare Hadley said the restructure was to effect structural change. The reviews aimed to find efficiencies in the way the council did its work.

"We need to be responsive to changing expectations and our constantly changing environment," she said.

The information management review was a good example of needing to ensure the council's services were up to date and aligned with what the organisation needed in the 21st century, said Mrs Hadley.

In the administrative review, one area being looked at was how administrative resources were spread across the organisation.

"Could we achieve better outcomes if we provided more - or less - administrative resource? For example, if our engineers had more administrative support, could they do more engineering work? I don't see these reviews as isolated.

"The business of council will always require reviews to make sure we keep up with changing times."

The reviews are expected to be completed in early autumn.

Mrs Hadley said resource reviews were healthy. "In fact, they are a necessity in such a frequently changing business environment."

Staff working in the areas being reviewed were all participating fully, she said.

The Nelson Public Libraries have also been restructured.

The changes were delayed when the main reorganisation was done, and came into effect on November 11. Five positions were disestablished and four new positions were created.

Mrs Hadley said the new structure focused on delivering traditional services in a more efficient way, increasing access to services via new technologies, and increasing the libraries' position as a community hub.

"For example, the library's Facebook page is a great way to find out what's going on, request a service or read up on the latest hot read. Our new Community Corner is a space in Elma Turner Library that gives community groups a space to share what they do with our customers. We're definitely trying to be less transactional and more interactive - both in person and online."

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