Depot hailed a £2m savings hit

Staff at Makerfield Way depot
Staff at Makerfield Way depot

JUST two years after the launch of Wigan Council’s super-depot, it has already saved taxpayers £2m.

In 2013, three existing council depots were combined to make one large site at Makerfield Way and thanks to greater efficiencies, and a new business model, the operation is now said to be offering better value for money to residents.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “The amalgamation of three depots into one site was part of the invest to save programme and looked at increasing efficiencies so we could offer better value for money to residents.

“The former depots at Sovereign Road and Hindley were sold off for business and housing.

“The buildings weren’t in a great shape so it was ideal to bring the services all to Makerfield Way and have a purpose built depot to fit our needs.

“The main investment which is really proving fruitful is the investment we have made in staff. Bringing them all together under one roof increased efficiency as we weren’t duplicating work but also we are investing in training and multi-skilling.

“This means that staff have better skill sets - so you might have an electrician who can also do some plastering and that way he can complete a job himself without the need to send a second person out.”

Agency staffing has been cut by half thanks to such multi-skilling.

The depot also now has two private business contracts which are generating income and is looking into this work further.

Director for environment, Terry Dunn said: “The depot has become much more business minded and is looking at how we can drive more work. Our number one priority, however, will always be the people of the borough. We will always make sure we can offer the best value for money to the public as part of our Deal.

“We’re really excited about the potential of the site and to be saving £1m each year is fantastic news. In this economic climate we need to make sure we are as efficient as possible and if we can do this through our services and the way we work, rather than redundancies, we will do.”

Numerous services run from the depot including waste, infrastructure, Leigh Building Services and Metrofresh.