Re-shaping the Service

In order to improve efficiency and to deliver the resources for investment in modernisation (with an increase in capital spend on refurbishment of the halls and student houses which will benefit future students) the Residential Strategy Board has been reviewing the operational costs and overall business model of the Residential and Hospitality Service.

The main driver behind the review process is to ensure the long-term future of the University of Bristol's unique residential offering, and also to fulfill the objectives outlined in the paper we circulated to Council "The structure and management of the residences and the support required for successful communities". Following extensive consultation with staff, the proposed changes to the service include:

  1. Establishing a support structure for Wardens to enable them to fulfil their community leadership and pastoral duties.
  2. Moving to a Facilities Management structure across the Residences.
  3. Appointing an Executive Chef with oversight of both central and Hall catering.
  4. Changing the terms and conditions to reduce operating costs outside of core working hours. 

A full Q&A section helps to explain the proposed changes to the Residential and Hospitality Service Structure.

We have also carried out a full catering review and evaluated the alternatives of centralising food preparation, say, in one or two Halls, and found the cost savings to be insufficient to cover the additional capital costs. Therefore food will still be prepared and delivered where it is now but we will be investing in some new and more efficient kitchen equipment.

These changes are driven by the desire to protect and promote the experience of students for the future. We have clarified and strengthened the role of wardens as the bridge between residences and the academic community and will be offering that support more widely across all University accommodation. We will continue with individual catered halls as a core part of our offering but with a more efficient and economic delivery model. We will significantly increase the generation of cash to support refurbishment and modernisation of rooms, although for the next few years the Residences will still need to spend more cash than they are generating themselves.

The changes will bring anxiety to all residences staff and loss of jobs to some; for the majority of staff the changes will help to protect jobs; and for the minority it will mean losing their jobs. The Voluntary Severance scheme will offer much better terms than compulsory redundancy, and we hope that it proves to be an attractive option for those whose positions are at risk.