HAVING some staff permanently work from home is just one option Andover Town Council is exploring to save thousands of pounds.

A report was prepared ahead of the 'budgets and staffing committee meeting' due to take place on October 2.

In the report it said: "It is estimated that the town council could save more than £15,000 a year by officers working from home, not hiring meeting venues and having a smaller office as a base.

"This saving could be directed back into the community."

The report indicates that many office workers are currently working from home on a permanent basis and that the council's officers are "working from home very effectively."

"In the long term, this is safer for the officers," the reporter added.

"It could potentially save the town council a considerable amount of money.

"Does the town council require large offices to continue in the future? Would the town council be better to rent a smaller office in the town centre that could be used to meet members of the public face to face, if they cannot be accommodated via Zoom or some other virtual means?"

The report also talks about money that has been previously allocated to events in the community, that now, may not be able to take place.

"It is not known how long this situation will continue and the general advice from Central Government and other local organisations is, prepare for this being long term," the reporter read.

"With this in mind the council should carefully consider its actions going forward and the Financial Plan and Business Plan should account for changes in society, further disruption of service and assistance to local and community groups and organisations.

"In the town council’s current budget 2020/2021, there is a considerable amount of monies set aside for events.

"The likelihood is, these monies will not be utilised for their original purpose. Subsequently, thought should be given as to whether this level of finance for events is required in the future."

At the previous meeting, officers were instructed to employ a decorator to redecorate the main meeting room, hallway and stairway of the council building in the High Street.

Officers were instructed to source plants for the office.

Despite the lockdown, it seems the council has achieved this.

"In the meantime, decorators have been allowed into the offices, following present Health and Safety guidelines and have redecorated the main meeting room, hallway and stairs," the report added.

"Plants have been sourced and kept alive by officers visiting the offices to retrieve post."