It has emerged that more than 90 per cent of council staff are working from home in some places.
According to freedom of information requests, council buildings are between a quarter and a half as full as offices in the private sector, yet local authorities are still using taxpayers’ money to service empty office space.
Almost 3,000 desk spaces are supported by Conservative-run Buckingham County Council, but an average of only 340 of its 2,400 office-based staff come into work each week.
Each desk space can cost up to £13,000 a year to run, according to estimates produced by the trade magazine, Government Technology.
At the four councils which responded to the freedom of information requests, an average of 85 per cent of staff were still working from home.
The council with the most elevated proportion of workers in this category was Conservative-run Wiltshire County Council with 94 per cent. Labour-run Bradford at 93 per cent, followed in second.
Buckingham County Council was next with 86 per cent at home while Labour-run Westminster had 66 per cent.
One senior figure within a major county council said that civil servants in Whitehall were under more pressure to return to the office than town hall staff.
The source said nobody was applying any pressure over where people work and that less than 10 per cent of office workers were back at their desks.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told The Times that residents fed up with colossal council tax bills and bumper pay rises for staff would no doubt be disappointed to find out they’re paying a small fortune to finance these empty buildings, and that if flexible working is to stay, council officials should be moved out and the savings passed on to hard-pressed residents.
But the local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, said in a statement that council staff work tirelessly for their communities, whether from home, in offices or out and about, and it seems now that nobody wants or needs to work in an office again.
Now it appears that young staff are just digital natives who don’t want to sit next to someone physically and want to work in their pyjamas and get their food deliveries online, but then I guess it does save them excessive parking costs and they get to see their loved ones more frequently, but then not everything can be done online.
But what will happen with all that empty office space if people do continue to work from home. Well, I guess it will be used to house our new citizens who are washing up on our beaches from around the world.
Add doctors to the mix who appear to have hidden away for nearly three years and get paid handsomely I might add to do so.
Is it really working from home, or is it just people skiving at the taxpayers’ expense? People who are employed were once employed to work in an office, but now COVID keeps being used as an excuse, and if people don’t turn up for work they should now face fines or the sack but now it seems okay to have optional attendance and everyone’s fine with it.
And guess what? Boris Johnson told them to do it. He said that people must work from home and guess what? They did and still are!