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case study

Buckinghamshire Council

Buckinghamshire Council is a single unitary council that replaced Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe District Councils in April 2020. It represents more than 500,000 constituents and is based across a number of sites across the county.


Space Utilisation

As a result of the change to council structure, the new council sought to undertake a full audit of paper records across 8 sites in order to understand:
  • What was being held
  • Why it was currently held in paper format
  • How the existing filing compared to the Council Retention Schedule

Once the full audit was completed, the Council needed to work with a partner would provide both options and recommendations on appropriate next steps alongside an understanding of any inherent risks, and the likely timescales, cost and resource requirement for implementation.

Developing a future workspace

Baker Stuart worked closely with the Information Management team at Buckinghamshire Council to efficiently capture and analyse all filing and storage in the 8 buildings using our FileLOOK™ app and reporting system.

The full project was conducted over a 10 week period, with trained filing auditors working on site over 6 weeks to collate information about all paper records held. Once all of the information was collated, Baker Stuart could provide a clear picture of the existing position through the use of our online dashboard.

In paper filing alone there was more than 13 times the height of the Shard being stored across the offices (4291 linear metres). This meant that over 18,500 sqft of space was being taken up by paper filing alone, costing the Council approximately £1.15m pa (using typical total occupancy costs for High Wycombe of £61.85/ sqft from Lambert Smith Hamptons TOCS 2021.

However, of all paper filing records, only 34% was used on a daily or weekly basis.  Using our six step rationalisation plan, alongside the Council Retention Schedule, we were able to recommend that 66% of paper records were removed from site – either to be archived or to be destroyed where we identified that they were no longer required.

Filing and Storage

Long term workplace strategy

  • An understanding of what was in place across different sites allowed the Council to plan an effective rationalisation strategy that could be applied consistently
  • Recommended space saving of 12,210sqft
  • Recommended cost saving (based on space) of £759,000pa
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