Permanent changes will be made to the way Shropshire Council operates when the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at the authority have been told there will be no going back to normality, with plans being drawn up as to how the council will run in the aftermath of the crisis.

It is expected that home working will be encouraged, while the council will also capitalise on advances in technology and closer working with health services that have developed during the pandemic.

In an update to council employees, acting interim chief executive Andy Begley said there would be “no room for inefficiencies”, but there are currently no firm plans for what changes will be implemented or whether redundancies will be made.

Mr Begley said: “We have mentioned changes and the new normal many times, but what has perhaps not been as clear is the fact that we will not be returning to the old ways of working.

“We cannot return to how we worked for many reasons. Covid is an obvious issue, but the reality is we need to make sure that our services and our organisation, as a whole, is fit for purpose going forward, and able to serve our residents as effectively and efficiently as possible.

“Funding, advances in technology, changes in service requirements and closer working with the NHS are all fundamental shifts in how we work and coronavirus has been a huge catalyst to accelerate necessary changes – propelling us into a future we would have strived for over years, but one we can now step into together, as a better, more vibrant, inclusive and innovative council.

“We have discussed the idea of public sector staff being doers and right now we need you to continue doing your jobs, but we also need you to be curious about what could be better and work to truly transform.

“There is no more room for inefficiencies, there is no more time to delay- this is here, the need is now.”

Mr Begley said the council’s management team was working on plans as to what the council could look like going forward, informed by responses from the staff survey and data about how the council currently operates, service requirements and the county’s future needs.

The council said more details would be released in the coming weeks as plans are drawn up.

Council leader Peter Nutting said: “Whilst we do know that we want to capitalise on this experience, we have no clearly developed plans at this stage.”