Fingal council saves over €16.5 million

Fingal County Council saved over €16.5 million between March 2009 and October 2011 under the terms of the Croke Park agreement.

Cost-saving initiatives, achieved with staff cooperation, included
the creation of a single ‘operations department’ through the
amalgamation of separate roads, environment and parks sections. This
enabled the council to maintain service levels as staff numbers fell.
Staff were reassigned to new work areas and locations, creating
increased cross-skilling and flexibility in workforce planning. 

The changes have also made it easier to access services as members of
the public can now contact one department to raise problems or queries
about roads, environment or parks. Before now they had to contact three
separate sections.

In response to a question from a councillor, the county manager outlined the following details about the operational savings:

  • The non-filling of 86 vacancies that existed at the date of the
    moratorium on public sector recruitment in March 2009 and another 39
    vacancies arising since

  • The non-filling of 126 retirement vacancies

  • The non-filling of vacancies arising due to maternity leave, career breaks, and incentivised career breaks.

  • The cessation of recruitment of summer temporary staff

  • Reconfiguration of recycling centre operations to reduce payroll costs.

  • Streamlining of lifeguard services

  • Reduced overtime expenditure on direct labour and main laying in water services

  • Elimination of weekend drainage station inspections in favour of electronic monitoring

  • Reconfiguration of out of hour’s emergency roster in water services

  • Restructuring of water and drainage operations

  • Restructuring of frost gritting and snow clearing unit

  • Restructuring of overtime remuneration for road maintenance operations

  • Consolidation of water operations to a single location

  • Centralisation of fleet management and plant hire activities

  • Establishment of a centralised advertising procurement unit

  • A project to seek tenders for energy supply on a combined basis

  • Reduction in security and communications expenditure through the implementation of a new process for procurement

  • Reduction in professional and consultancy fees through the implementation of a new process for procurement

  • Outsourcing of the “Non Principal Private Residence” charge
    collection through using a collection website designed by another Local

The council envisages further amalgamations and consolidation of departments and divisions to cope with staff reductions.