Volume 40. No1
Local Government News www.LocalGov.co.uk
Tackling light pollution Is LED street lighting really to blame for more light pollution?
Highways special Falling resources, LEAN working principles and asset management
Long road to retention Why has the move towards 100% rates retention been so slow?
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With the government’s spending watchdog warning the move towards 100% retention of business rates has been slow, is the 2019/20 target still achievable? P10 LEGAL
What impact will a Court of Appeal ruling have on the provision of after-care services by councils? P13 It & technology
Why Cheshire East Council is being held as best practice for providing social care information online P17 Local Government News (ISSN: 02615185) is published by Hemming Media, a division of Hemming Group Ltd, 32 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SS. Local Government News is published on a quarterly strictly controlled circulation basis and sent free of charge to readers who meet the publisher’s registered terms of control. To register, readers should call 020 7973 6694. Maximum life of registration is three years. Other readers can take out an annual subscription of £55.00 in the UK or £69.00 overseas (including Eire). Every effort is made to ensure that the contents of this publication are accurate but the publisher accepts no responsibility for effects arising there from. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from unsolicited contributions. Opinions expressed by the contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher. This publication is protected by copyright and no part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher.
procurement & efficiency
With the cost of SEND and HNL provision in Further Education rising year on year, the lack of pricing transparency has evolved into a national issue P18 built environment
How a new type of partnership with the private sector is helping councils to share the risk of delivering new housing P22 public realm
Keeping the pubic safe in 2018 - what councils can learn from last year P28 How local authorities can protect their highways resources in the face of falling maintenance funding P30 A new study has found light pollution has risen over the past five years mainly due to the use of LEDs. Are councils using LEDs in the right way and can anything be done to combat this? P33 health & social care
A look at why London boroughs are piloting a new payment-by-results model to help keep children out of care P38
News in brief this month Laura Sharman rounds up the most popular news stories from our website www.LocalGov.co.uk
Council tax set for biggest rise in 14 years
Cheshire East refers land purchase to police
Public bodies with homelessness duties
Council tax payers face the sharpest rise in their taxes for 14 years, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy figures (CIPFA).
Cheshire East Council have referred two new matters of concern to the local police after an assessment flagged concerns over the purchase of a plot of land.
Hospitals, prisons, job centres and a number of other public bodies have a duty to refer those at risk of becoming homeless to a housing authority, the Government says.
Potholes kill or injure hundreds of cyclists, figures reveal
Seven council staff arrested in fraud probe
County at â€˜crisis pointâ€™ announces revised budget
Seven members of staff at Cardiff Council have been arrested on suspicion of fraud, the council has confirmed.
Northamptonshire County Council has announced revised budget savings after being warned by auditors to revise its spending plans.
Nearly 400 cyclists have been killed or maimed over the last decade due to poorly maintained local roads, new figures reveal.
PM unveils ‘major overhaul’ of planning rules
Javid gives ‘green light’ to Dorset reorganisation
Voter ID trials are ‘unnecessary and over-bearing’
Local authorities have renewed demands for greater powers to build new homes following a shakeup in planning rules.
Sajid Javid has given the green light for Dorset to go ahead with its ‘historic’ plans to create two unitary councils.
The Government has been urged to reconsider its ID voting trials by campaigners due to the ‘tiny’ amount of electoral fraud.
London councils spend over £1m preparing for GDPR
Whitehall blasted for ‘oversimplification’ of social care crisis
Worcestershire chief executive passes away
Local authorities in London have spent over £1.2m in preparation for new data protection laws, new research finds.
Council chiefs have criticised the response to a report on the care home market describing it as a ‘serious over-simplification’ of the adult social care crisis.
Councils at financial breaking point, watchdog warns
Council tax increases not enough to stop cuts to services
The financial health of local authorities is ‘getting worse’ due to central Government cuts, auditors say.
Services will continue to be cut back despite proposed council tax increases, council chiefs warn.
The chief executive of Worcestershire County Council passed away last month after 40 years in local government.
UKIP loses control of its only local authority UKIP has lost control of Thanet District Council after a Conservative was voted in as leader.
A champion for LEPs Warren Ralls explains why his appointment to the Institute of Economic Development will help bring LEPs and local authorities even closer together.
hen the Institute of Economic Development (IED) kindly approached me to be co-opted on to their board of directors, I thought they must have taken to heart secretary of state Sajid Javid MP’s message at our last conference when he said: ‘I don’t think there’s ever been a better, more exciting time to be involved with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).’ I’m very pleased to be joining the IED at such a vital time. When the government’s White Paper on Industrial Strategy landed on newsdesks across the country, it fuelled hundreds of column inches. Among them was some strong reaction to a particular intention from Government to designate LEPs as the lead organisation to develop Local Industrial Strategies in those areas without a mayor. Indeed one piece said LEPs were getting a bit of a ‘tongue-lashing’ on the proposal – and it seemed to the outside world that local authorities and LEPs were going in separate directions – but when have the facts ever got in the way of a good story? The reality is actually a far better story. The effective partnerships that LEPs have already built up with their local government organisations are critical to the success of local economies and the wider wellbeing of their communities. Local authorities are part of LEPs and vital to the partnership with business, education and other local stakeholders to deliver an effective strategic economic vision – it’s this wider partnership that organisations like the IED solidly support. LEPs have worked hard to create successful alliances with local government and their partner organisations – my role at the IED is a clear reflection of those alliances and demonstrates how both the LEP Network and stakeholders like the IED can work hand in hand to achieve sustainable economic growth. The benefits of that relationship are far
“Local authorities are part of LEPs and vital to the partnership with business, education and other local stakeholders to deliver an effective strategic economic vision “ greater than the sum of its parts. On our part, the LEP Network works behind the scenes to support LEPs to create the conditions that keep local economies growing, businesses successful, and productivity on an upward trajectory. That dovetails perfectly with the work of the IED. I look forward to us working together in discussions with government on the key issues that affect local areas including the LEP Review, forging new Local Industrial Strategies, helping shape the future UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and continuing to call for devolved responsibility from Whitehall to local communities in a post Brexit environment. Getting it right at local level is vital. If our local economies are not effective, we won’t have an effective national economy. That’s where our relationship with the IED will prove greatly beneficial – particularly as it’s the lead independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration
practitioners working for local communities. Another solid fit for LEPs. It’s an approach that resonates well with the latest thinking from my fellow IED board director, Lawrence Conway, that greater ‘place-based’ local and national collaboration is needed to grow and maintain a sustainable economy. That goes right to the heart of the LEP USP and we couldn’t agree more. I believe the work of the IED and LEP Network compliment each other well, and shows how working together can help achieve that goal. I really like what the organisation is doing in terms of being more vocal and I feel it would benefit from a LEP voice. Most IED members are from a local authority background, and there are others in the wider economic development community that will benefit from what the IED does. I have built up my economic development knowledge through working in a variety of roles – and I see potential for individuals from similar backgrounds to benefit from what the IED has to offer, its CPD provision, thought leadership and wider networking opportunities. As Mr Javid said in his recent speech to the County Council Network: ‘The future – not to mention the present – is all about joined-up thinking, working together strategically to get things done.’ I think he would be proud to see how the IED and LEP Network are putting that into action. n Warren Ralls is LEP Network director and Institute of Economic Development board member
Are you dealing with a high rise building that was involved in government testing? If so, read on for an important update Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower, a series of BS 8414 tests were commissioned by the government on specific combinations of insulation and ACM cladding panel. Based on the results of the tests, a number of high rise buildings were identified as having a problem, and guidance was issued. BUT Since then, further BS 8414 tests have been carried out, to add to the bank of knowledge about what constitutes an acceptable façade system for buildings with storeys over 18 metres. The results may have an impact on the necessity, or nature, of any remedial work that is being planned. In particular the Government tested:
• FR red ACM cladding with a 20 mm gap between the panels.
This passed with stone wool insulation, and failed marginally with phenolic and PIR insulation. However, a 20 mm gap between ACM panels would be uncommon practice in the UK. Kingspan Insulation has now tested:
FR cored ACM cladding, with 10 mm and 4 mm gaps between the panels, and Kingspan • Alpolic Kooltherm K15 phenolic insulation. These tests were successful. Therefore, if you have phenolic insulation with an FR cored ACM, but the joints between the ACM panels are 10 mm and not 20 mm, then the “fail” label and the need for remedial works may be invalid. Similarly, if you are looking for a solution to replace a PE cored ACM installed over Kingspan Kooltherm K15 phenolic insulation, it might be as simple as replacing the PE cored ACMs with Alpolic FR cored ACMs with a gap (between ACM panels) size of 10 mm or less. This could provide an acceptable alternative solution to heavier options, helping to address potential structural limitations. The BRE holds a register of systems that have been successfully tested to BS 8414: www.bre.co.uk/regulatory-testing. Kingspan Insulation’s new test data will be added to that website when BRE have signed off the test reports for the above tests. NB, this can take several weeks. In the meantime, please contact Kingspan Insulation for further information.
Further information on the Kingspan range is available on: +44 (0) 1544 387 384 email@example.com www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk Pembridge, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9LA, UK ®
Kingspan, Kooltherm and the Lion Device are Registered Trademarks of the Kingspan Group plc in the UK and other countries. All rights reserved.
e’ve seen considerable scrutiny of the way that public services are contracted out to private sector businesses since the failure of the UK’s second largest construction company. The chaos it brought has demonstrated the potential risks of relying on a few large contractors to service local authorities’ outsourcing needs. Several councils have already begun to bring services back in house, and some commentators have suggested that Carillion’s liquidation could signal the beginning of the end for publicprivate partnerships. However, this seems too hasty – particularly as many of the issues raised can be mitigated through legal structures and terms of agreement that allocate risk and reward appropriately, not to mention thorough due diligence at the outset of discussions. Rather than throwing the baby out with the bath water, the public sector needs to put more time and energy into the conclusion of partnerships with suitable candidates on the right terms, rather than eschewing collaboration with private companies entirely. Many of Carillion’s contracts with the public sector were in the form of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes. Worth billions of pounds, these agreements provided essential construction and facilities management services. Designed originally as a way for the government to build and provide services without bearing the financial strain upfront, private sector investors cover the initial costs of delivering a project. The public sector then makes gradual repayments over time. PFIs are now widely considered to be an outdated model that doesn’t provide good value. Although their original selling point was the transfer of risk from the public to the private sector, Carillion has demonstrated that such risk transfer may not be all it seems. In failed schemes, the taxpayer picks up the tab along with the many thousands of affected subcontractors, notwithstanding the profits made by the private sector during the good times. As we consider the future of public-private partnerships, it’s important to point out that PFIs are not the only way to construct this kind of relationship. In fact, part of their inadequacy stems from the reality that in one view they are not “partnerships” in any fair and equitable sense. The risk and rewards available to each differ vastly, putting the parties’ interests at odds from the outset.
The end of public-private partnerships?
Rather than abandoning all public-private partnerships in the wake of Carillion’s collapse, Richard Tinham urges councils to explore other partnership models. Successful public-private joint venture structures – which are becoming increasingly common – require a great deal of honesty up front. Each party should openly declare what it needs to achieve and determine the extent to which their prospective partner can realistically help to deliver that ambition. In the case of local authorities and private housing developers, for example, a shared objective involving the delivery of housing will be driven by very different motivations. For private developers the bottom line is key, while local authorities need to build homes that best
serve their local community and provide much needed housing. Melding partisan and apparently opposing objectives together into a single, unifying purpose can create an extremely powerful delivery force that achieves far more than either partner could on their own. Within equitable JVs, there is also an expectation that both parties will invest alongside each other, in return for receiving a proportional benefit. If, for example, a local authority is contributing public land while a private developer brings cash and skills to
before catastrophic failure occurs. If one of the parties fails to deliver – for example by missing payments because of solvency issues – then the other will usually be entitled to buy them out at a discounted price. The surviving partner can then continue with the project without viability being undermined by the misfortunes of the other. They could even choose to bring in another investor to take the departing partner’s place. Of course, how easy it is to bring another partner on board at this stage depends on numerous factors: the current state of the project, financial expectations on both sides and how attractive the opportunity is for those capable of delivering it. A potential new investor will need to consider the opportunity not only on its own merit, but also weigh up the risks associated with stepping into someone else’s shoes on a project that may have changed fundamentally since it first came to market. Carillion’s collapse has rightly led to considerable soul-searching, but rather than abandoning all public-private partnerships and the many benefits they can bring, we need to focus instead on how processes can be improved to identify partners suitable for the task at hand, with use of structures that allocate risk and reward in a sustainable and fair manner. If both the public and private sectors heed the other’s needs and pay closer attention to finding common ground at the outset, there is a bright future ahead for this kind of collaboration. n
the table, there is the expectation that these contributions will not only be equitable, but also invested along a comparable timeline. If a local authority is putting forward all its land on day one, then a private developer would also be expected to invest its capital upfront. If this isn’t possible, a local authority may be able to have security on the land to guard against issues down the line. This truly collaborative approach offers some protection against the overreliance on one party that was the downfall of Carillion’s schemes. Many JVs deliver complex, challenging projects over decades – for example, estate regenerations lasting between 15 and 20 years. Risk can often be better managed by dividing a project into more manageable elements where risk and reward is shared equally. Done intelligently, this drives the partners to develop
“Successful public-private joint venture structures - which are becoming increasingly common - require a great deal of honesty up front.” realistic strategies that best manage project risks. For example, incorporating mechanisms that enable the partners to assess the viability of a large project on a phase by phase basis, recognizing that costs, sales and the economy may all be subject to ﬂuctuations over say, a 20year development period. JVs structured in this way provide far greater opportunity to manage project uncertainties
Richard Tinham is head of commercial and corporate at Winckworth Sherwood
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With the government’s spending watchdog warning the move towards 100% retention of business rates has been slow, is the 2019/20 target still achievable? Neil Merrick investigates.
hanging local government finance is never easy - but the challenge of giving councils more control over business rates is proving trickier than most.. It did not help that Theresa May called a snap general election last year, so scuppering a bill that would have paved the way for 100% retention of business rates by local authorities in England. A third set of pilots is due to start next month [APRIL], but it is tempting to think that 100% retention, initially promised by 2020, may not happen for some time. Joanne Pitt, policy manager at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, (Cipfa) says the principle of self-sufficiency built around councils keeping all business rates is overwhelmingly welcomed throughout local government. ‘As with any change, it’s not without pain,’ she adds. At the heart of the problem is the complexity of the business rate system, which reflects a desire for fairness as well as to incentivise economic growth. Since 2013-14, councils in England have in theory kept 50% of business rates although the exact sum retained depends on a system of tariffs and top ups based on local need. Far from retaining all business rates by the end of this decade, . Pilots based on 100% retention began in Cambridgeshire and Greater Manchester in 2015. Further pilots were launched last spring, mostly in other city regions. While councils involved keep all business rates, they in effect only benefit from growth in business rates as they lose grant equal to the money previously raised from businesses. Councils taking part in pilots are guaranteed they will not be any worse off. But while the 2017 pilots have been extended for a further year, information has been limited, along with scope for much experimentation. Cornwall, a unitary authority, is about to go forgo revenue support grant (RSG) and three highways capital grants for a second year in return for keeping all business rates. In 2017/18 it expects to raise £150m, including £6m in growth.
Andy Brown, service director for resources, says the pilot gives Cornwall greater flexibility as it can spend more on highways revenue programmes instead of just capital work. ‘There is more focus on business rates as income generation,’ he adds. Councils taking part in pilots do not have power to increase or cut business rates beyond what was available before. Parliamentary approval is needed before mayors in combined authorities can adjust business rates, while legislation must also precede councils retaining 100% on a permanent basis. John Fuller, vice chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, says the pilots
are allowing councils to develop the best model for retention from a ‘bottom up’ perspective. ‘The whole premise of business rate retention is that councils know much better than central government how to grow their local economies,’ he says.
Key issues to be determined are: • Which government grants should be reduced or abolished once councils raise more money locally? • How should income from business rate growth be divided up in areas where there is more than one local authority?
The journey to 100% business rate retention: 2013 Councils in England start retaining 50% of business rates 2015 Spending review promises councils will retain 100% by 2020 Pilots allowing councils to retain 100% of business rate growth launched in Cambridgeshire and Greater Manchester 2016 Government launches consultation on 100% retention 2017 (April) Further pilots start in other city regions and Cornwall
The long road to rates retention • To what extent should revenue from business rates still be redistributed nationally? In Greater Manchester, £6m of the extra £12m collected in 2017/18 by Manchester City Council is being handed to the combined authority. Most of the ten pilots starting in April are in two-tier areas, meaning more councils must decide how income is split. James Maker, head of policy at the County Councils Network (CCN), says most see investment in strategic infrastructure as the best way to encourage economic growth. In the long run, the Government may wish to see rates come down, but that is unlikely to
appeal to cash-strapped councils. ‘Once you start reducing business rates you are reducing your income,’ says Joanne Pitt of Cipfa. suggested that 100% retention would mean county councils are worse off, while district councils and London boroughs benefit. Borough councils in London are losing RSG for a pilot in 2018/19 while the Greater London Authority negotiated away RSG and transport grant under a pilot that began last April. Guy Ware, director of finance at London Councils, says the new pilot will show how councils work together in managing an infrastructure investment fund, but is more limited than if they could vary business rates.
(June) Local Government Finance Bill lost due to general election
(Dec) Government promises councils will retain 75% of business rates from 2020/21
2018 Ten further pilots start, mostly in two-tier areas.
‘We are not achieving full devolution but we’re showing willing and hopefully will get some good out of it.’ And there is still the question of national redistribution. London Councils forecasts that local authorities across the capital will hand £2.8bn of the £7.9bn collected in business rates in 2018/19 to the Treasury to support councils in the rest of England. A National Audit Office report last March estimated councils gained an extra £388m during the first three years of retaining half of business rates. Progress towards 100% retention has been slow, it said, due to appeals by businesses over their rating valuation as well as civil service cuts. Liam Booth-Smith, chief executive of the think tank Localis, says business rates cannot be looked at in isolation and the ongoing fair funding review, looking at the relative needs of councils, will help determine any long-term solution. ‘If you just tinker with the system you are going to create more problems than you solve,’ he says. That could be some way off. In the meantime, councils hope the prospect of keeping all business rates year-on-year does not disappear over the horizon, with the pilots ending up as little more than an accounting exercise. n
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Scrutinising provision of care The Court of Appeal has ruled that personal injury awards cannot be considered in the provision of after-care services. Morris Hill and Ken Slade explore what impact this judgement will have on local authorities.
landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal has confirmed that local authorities cannot consider any financial compensation awarded to an injured member of the public when deciding if that person is entitled to after-care services. The judgement is the result of a long-running dispute between Manchester City Council and a citizen who suffered a serious head injury in a car accident in 1998 (Tinsley v Manchester City Council). It clarifies local authorities’ duties under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. At a time when local government finances are particularly stretched, this will not be welcomed by the local government community. In response, councils must closely scrutinise the exact nature of the care they are providing and clearly define its purpose. The dispute stemmed from the fact that the claimant (Mr Tinsley) was awarded personal injury damages close to £3.5m, including £2.9m designated for future care costs. Manchester City Council argued that, because there was no evidence that the claimant could not pay for his care using his personal injury award, it was not under any duty to provide after-care services. The judge at the first hearing ruled that such a refusal was unlawful, but gave Manchester permission appeal the decision. The grounds of Manchester’s appeal to the Court of Appeal were twofold. Firstly, on proper construction of Section 117, the authority is not required to provide after-care services to a person who has received damages for future care. Secondly, it argued that to allow free after-care where there was such an award contradicted the principle of double recovery the claimant having received damages for care which later had to be provided for free. The Court of Appeal considered that the first ground was “an impossible argument” because
“What is crucial therefore is that authorities must scrutinise closely the exact nature of the care which they are providing and clearly define its purpose.” a previous decision in the House of Lords in 2002 confirmed that Section 117 services cannot be charged for. On the second ground, Manchester City Council argued that it should not have to provide after-care until Mr Tinsley could show that the damages for his care were about to run out. If this was not the case, it claimed, someone could receive damages for future care but then just ask the authority for free care and do as they wish with those damages. The court said that even in such an extreme case, questioning a claimant’s evidence about his intention to pay for private care was a matter for those proceedings and was not grounds for an authority to refuse to provide after-care. The decision may seem tough, particularly for local authorities facing unprecedented budgetary pressures. The good news for local authorities is that the Act now (courtesy of an amendment made by the Care Act 2014) defines after-care services for the purposes of this section quite specifically. The extent of authorities’ statutory obligations under Section 117 are confined to
those categories of services which have both of the following purposes: A. meeting a need arising from or related to the person’s mental disorder; and B. reducing the risk of a deterioration of the person’s mental condition (and, accordingly, reducing the risk of the person requiring admission to a hospital again for treatment for mental disorder). What is crucial therefore is that authorities must scrutinise closely the exact nature of the care which they are providing and clearly define its purpose. If it does not meet the above criteria, those services, or that care, fall outside the confines of Section 117 and can be charged for. Such an exercise in scrutiny and consideration may seem at first glance to be unduly onerous, but given the financial pressures authorities continue to find themselves under, reviewing these criteria in cases involving large personal injury awards may prove to be beneficial. n Morris Hill and Ken Slade are associates at national law firm Weightmans.
Landmark ruling on â€˜duty of careâ€™ case A recent judgement will have implications for all those involved in litigating claims in negligence against local social services authorities. Paul Stagg and Rob Hams explain.
n December 21st 2017, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in CN v Poole Borough Council. This decision is of importance to all those involved in litigating claims in negligence against local social services authorities.
Factual Background In 2006 Mrs N and her two minor sons CN and GN were living in Poole. CN suffers from severe physical and learning disability. He is totally dependent on others and requires a high level of supervision. In May 2006, the family moved into new accommodation in Poole, rented from the Poole Housing Partnership Ltd (PHP) and arranged by the council as local housing authority. Over the ensuing years, the family suffered from the effects of anti-social behaviour at the
hands of members of a neighbouring family. This behaviour was frequently reported to officers of the council, local police and to PHP. The family made complaints about the lack of response and involved local politicians. Eventually, the Home Office became involved and commissioned an independent case review carried out in March 2010 which was critical of the response of the agencies. The family continued to suffer from the behaviour of their neighbours until they were finally provided with alternative accommodation in December 2011.
The issue for the Court of Appeal The issue for determination by the Court of Appeal was whether JD v East Berkshire NHS Community Trust was still a binding authority and whether a duty of care could be owed in relation to decisions to investigate significant harm being suffered by children and, if necessary, remove them from the care of parents, as Slade J had found on appeal from Master Eastman, who had earlier found in favour of the council, or whether, on the councils case, recent decisions of the House of Lords and the Supreme Court, culminating in Michael v Chief Constable of the South Wales Police, were inconsistent with JD, which should be taken as having been impliedly overruled and alternatively that the real claim was not that the sons should have been removed from their mother’s care but that the whole family should have been rehoused together, which was not a social services function.
The Decision of the Court of Appeal The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the defendant’s appeal. Irwin LJ accepted the defendant’s submission that: ‘The heart of the claim is that this family were placed in the relevant house, and not moved, despite the prospect and then the actuality of significant harassment’. He described the proposition that the claimants should have been removed from their mother’s care as a means of dealing with such harassment as ‘rather startling’ and ‘highly artificial’ and noted that the failure of the claims in respect of housing and anti-social behaviour functions meant that ‘the claim has been re-cast’. He said that JD had purported to depart from X v Bedfordshire CC on the basis that Human Rights Act 1998 removed its binding force.He considered the subsequent case law, including the Court of Session and House of Lords decisions in Mitchell v Glasgow CC and the Supreme Court decision in Michael and concluded that two particular aspects of the case law militated against liability; the danger
of encouraging defensive decision-making and the general absence of liability for the wrong-doing of others. It would be unjust for a potential liability to exist on the part of the local social services authority when the housing department of the same local authority, the landlord and the police could not be held liable. He concluded that JD was inconsistent with the subsequent decisions of higher authority and should no longer be followed. He also acceded to the defendant’s alternative argument that, in reality, the claim had nothing to do with its social services functions but was ‘in fact a criticism of the housing functions of the local authority’. King and Davis LJJ both delivered short concurring judgments. They agreed that JD had to be taken as overruled. In addition, King LJ was critical of the notion that the family court would grant a care order in the circumstances of the case. She pointed out the high threshold for the making of a care order and that even where the threshold is met, the court would only sanction removal from a parent if it was clearly required by the child’s safety. To bring such proceedings would have been ‘legally unsustainable’. For his part, Davis LJ described the claim as “most disconcerting” and suggested that care proceedings purportedly to protect the sons by removing them from the mother would have been ‘utterly heartless’ and ‘utterly wrong’.
The Implications of the Decision The first question is where this leaves ‘failure to remove’ cases. The facts in CN are not those of a conventional case of that type, where it is alleged that the claimant’s parents or guardians were subjecting him or her to abuse or neglect of which social workers were or should have been aware, and that insufficient action was taken to remove them. In CN the threat came not from within the household but from outside it. Whilst Irwin LJ pointed out the distinction between the facts of CN and those in JD it is suggested that it is not possible simply to distinguish the ‘typical’ failure to remove case from CN on the facts, for at least two reasons. The narrower, legalistic reason is that each of the judges in CN expressly stated that JD was inconsistent with higher authority and should no longer be followed. X v Bedfordshire CC has been restored as a governing authority which establishes that no duty of care is owed by the local authority, at least in the making of decisions as to whether care proceedings should be commenced. Another reason is that there is, in reality, no clear factual distinction between CN and other ‘failure to remove’ cases. At the one end is the
case of the abusive parent and at the other is the situation in CN, where the threat comes from the behaviour of unconnected third parties not resident in the family home. In between are cases where the threat to the child comes from a non-resident family member, or a partner or friend of a parent with care. As a matter of legal principle, the policy justifications for holding that it is not fair, just and reasonable that a duty of care should be owed, as reiterated by Irwin LJ, retain their strength. Another issue is whether a ‘failure to remove’ claim could succeed by focusing on other parts of the process into investigating and dealing with child abuse, such as alleging a negligent investigation. Such an approach suffers from the same sort of artificiality as was criticised in CN, and in any case it was recognised in JD that the ‘core principle’ in X v Bedfordshire CC extended beyond the decision as to whether care proceedings should be brought; it applied to “the investigation of suspected child abuse and the initiation and pursuit of care proceedings”. Thus if the Court of Appeal’s decision stands, no duty of care can be owed by a local social services authority in the exercise of its child protection functions to investigate and take action to prevent significant harm to children, whatever its source. An unresolved question is the treatment of cases where claimants have been accommodated with the agreement of parents under section 20 Children Act 1989. The degree of control which a local authority has over a child’s life in such cases is significantly different from cases where a care order is in place. Careful consideration would have to be given to the facts of a particular case and whether the error or errors giving rise to the child’s injury can be said to arise from matters within the ambit of the local authority’s control. Finally, children who have suffered abuse or neglect by not being taken into care still have a range of remedies open to them. Claims under Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention may be available under the 1998 Act and CICA claims may be capable of being made. More general cases of maladministration can be investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman, and a recommendation made that compensation should be paid. The effect of the Court of Appeal’s ruling will not, therefore, leave aggrieved individuals who have suffered abuse or neglect in childhood wholly without any recourse. n Rob Hams is of Wansbroughs Solicitors and Paul Stagg is of 1 Chancery Lane Chambers
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Bucking the trend
Nichola Glover-Edge explains why Cheshire East Council is being held up as best pratice for providing social care information online.
ost people would expect their local council to provide the information and support they need online – and in a simple, easily-accessible way. But a recent local government report reveals that this is not the reality. In a recent survey of all 152 websites for councils that have responsibility for providing social care services, most were left found wanting. Through a lot of hard work, careful planning and relationshipbuilding at Cheshire East, we are making sure that we do not fall into that group. We launched ‘Live Well Cheshire East’ in May last year, and it has been met with great success. It is an easy-to-use directory with more than 3,000 services and activities that has one straightforward ambition – to
provide our residents with access to the things they need to enable them to live longer and healthier lives independently. Live Well Cheshire East has been the vehicle for the change but the positive reaction to its launch has been about more than simply providing an online location for information. One of the biggest steps towards being more customer-focused in our approach has been led by our adult social care team. We ask residents how we can ‘help them to help themselves’. It’s a subtle change but a significant one, allowing us to solve a potentially longer chain of challenges rather than simply the one in front of our noses. It’s a change in the conversation that encourages each individual to achieve their goals and to feel we
really are looking out for their best interests. Historically, the approach when people came to our services would have been to complete an assessment to see if they were eligible for various types of support. Not any more. Now instead of asking someone what problem they have, we will ask them what they want to achieve. Then we connect to the Live Well Cheshire East website to help them find a solution. Live Well Cheshire East gives advice about areas such as health, money management, home repairs and adaptations. But it also provides the kind of information that is sometimes much harder to find– like clubs or groups that people might want to join. Once we’ve sourced a suitable solution, that’s when the wide scope of the offer really starts to kick in. We make contact with local area co-ordinators who connect the people to the resources available. Crucially though,
these are not purely council-run services. They could be dance classes, arts and crafts groups, dog walking groups. Whatever someone’s interest might be, we are now in a position to connect them more smoothly and efficiently. The knock-on effect to that person coming into contact with our services is huge. Instead of being caught ‘in the system’, people are getting a new lease of life from clear and swift signposting to services and support. If people prefer to do all this more independently, residents can also simply enter their postcode into the directory on the website, where results are filtered to meet their needs or interests. One of the best aspects of Live Well Cheshire East is its flexibility. It truly is a resident-focused service and we are very proud of it. Live Well Cheshire East has been recommended by the Society for Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) as an example of best practice and being ‘one of the best integrated directories’ its testers had seen. That’s great news for Cheshire East Council – but, more importantly, greater news still for our residents. n Nichola Glover-Edge is director of commissioning for adult social care at Cheshire East Council
Just over 40% of council social teams were found to provide a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ online service - a decrease on the 52% of last year. Just 24% of sites make it easy to find providers of personal care services like dressing and washing.
Tackling overcharging in SE With the cost of SEND and HNL provision in Further Education rising year on year, the lack of pricing transparency has evolved into a national issue. Ray Hart asks whether local authorities are paying too much, and shares his advice on how to tackle overcharging.
ith cost pressures dominating all areas of council spend, commissioners support for learners with SEND and HNL (Special Educational Needs & Disability/ High Needs Learners) has come under scrutiny in recent years. Significant inflationary pressures derived from wage rises and changes of central government support has also ensured that the rise in spend drives this topic to the top of many managers’ pain points. With this in mind, commissioners have identified FE budgets as an area for review, conscious of the need to ensure value for money. With costs for similar support packages varying by up to 20% in the same area, many spending reviews have been undertaken by local authorities across the country. The main motivation for commissioners to undertake reviews is to better understand why spend varies so significantly per learner and/or college and to ensure that inflationary increases are justified. Here’s an insight into how local authorities are ensuring value for money. The process often begins with cost samples of various learners supported across a range of needs and a range of colleges. The aim of such a sample is to achieve a representative spread of underlying costs that mirrors the current market. Generally, the learners sampled are those due to start college in the next academic year although some authorities also undertake reviews of current learners. To aid the process further, FE colleges need to provide a breakdown of all areas of spend relating to the learner, including the core costs, specialist facilities and environments for SEND and HNL learners. This must include detail on any
additional costs, for instance carers that relate to specific learners that are on top of the ‘standard’ costs. Not all colleges are keen to fill out these type of templates but with commissioner’s support, it is often possible to gain enough data to make meaningful comparisons. The main outcome from these surveys is the underlying differences of specific cost drivers, particularly staffing. As you would expect the cost of staff represents a significant proportion of each learner’s package. The underlying costs of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) highlights these differences well; LSAs can vary from £18,500 to £21,500, a difference of 16.2%. This level of difference can sometimes be explained by the skill set required
by some colleges, but it is certainly something that local authorities should be mindful of, especially when specialist or higher LSAs command a premium. To facilitate meaningful comparison, research into job advertisements for LSAs in the local area can also help. This provides a benchmark to compare costs with solely relying on the returns from the colleges. In addition to the explained variation of spend through varied pay rates, reviews can highlight different accounting practices for salary on costs. Some of these practices significantly raise the price of the packages, with not all being justified. This is clearly an area that commissioners could consider when negotiating package prices.
Procurement & efficiency
n SEND and HNL provision supporting evidence percentage mark up to cover management and administration costs
Other areas of spend that vary significantly are the central overheads attributed to each learner. This varies depending on the size and underlying costs of the facilities on offer at a particular college. Here commissioners should consider what services are received for the spend, and whether this is value for money for the individuals involved. These costs may not be relevant to learners that have no need for additional facilitates. So, what can be done to achieve a more equitable and transparent system? The development of a pricing model that puts into place the basis for a cost up approach for working out the price of HNL support is recommended. This model can then be used
as the starting point for any negotiations with colleges. As with all models there is the need to balance off the complexity of a model against the need for accuracy in pricing. With regard to minimum level of complexity the following is recommended: • Standard categories and definitions for each type of support • Fixed rates per hour for each type of support • The ability to enter ‘Support hours per annum’ and ‘staff to learner ratios’ based on the needs of each learner and the course they are undertaking • Flexibility to include exceptional costs, where these have been corroborated with
Additional complexity and flexibility can be added to the model to increase the accuracy. However, the above cost drivers should ensure that the commissioner can be 95% confident that the starting point for negotiations will be within a narrow band. The second area of consideration is the use of data to populate the model. It is possible for commissioners to use benchmark information from other studies and local job advertisements as a guide. However, try basing the model on local survey results obtained from the colleges. This ensures that the data is current and relevant, and is also more likely to be accepted by the colleges when negotiating future packages. By completing a survey and constructing a model as part of a one off review the resulting working practices can be enhanced and moved away from a price led approach towards a more evidenced based system. The outcome of these type reviews for local authorities is that it offers a significant step forward in how commissioners negotiate new learner packages with colleges. Armed with the knowledge of both a specific college’s costs, and also the most cost effective colleges in the area, it is possible to negotiate better value for money package costs, with greater transparency. In addition, areas that are not value for money or higher than average can provide commissioners with data to enter meaningful dialogue with specific colleges on how to remodel services to make them more cost effective in the medium to long term. This will ensure that local authority budgets are more sustainable, and colleges can be confident that they are doing all they can to achieve value for money, whilst supporting learners to achieve their best in their learning environment. n Ray Hart is director at Valuing Care
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Procurement & efficiency
Purchasing professional services
ww w. LGN 21
mid a backdrop of budgetary pressures, a trend is emerging in the procurement of professional services as local councils look for a more effective and innovative way to buy consultancy services. Preventing project scope and cost creep is an all too familiar challenge for many local authority procurement teams. Picture the scene: a consultant is brought in for three weeks’ worth of consultancy on a project at an agreed day rate only for the project to suddenly experience unexpected internal delays or for there to be a change of requirement mid-project. Suddenly that three week project takes twice the time and as a result, costs double the amount that was originally quoted. As a spend category, professional services is a difficult one for procurement professionals to get right. Firstly, you’re buying expertise and it’s often hard to articulate your requirements for the type of person who’ll be a good cultural fit in your organisation in a tender document. Secondly, reputations are at risk if an important and costly project goes wrong, so ensuring the right person or team is in place to deliver on the project is critical. Managing internal demand for consultancy
services while keeping track of who is working where in your organisation and for what purpose is another key issue for local authorities. Without close management, visibility on organisationalwide spend and details on what the project is expected to achieve becomes almost impossible to keep track of. There is another way to mitigate risk, find the right people for your organisation and gain control to avoid increasing project scope and costs. More and more local authorities and other public bodies including the NHS, the police and universities are now choosing to buy professional services via NEPRO, a neutral vendor, outcomes-based solution. Responding to the challenges posed by buying professional services and recognising the limitations of traditional frameworks, as a neutral vendor solution buyers have access to a vast community of suppliers across a multitude of categories from accounting to ICT. We’ve all heard stories about contractors appointed to carry out a particular project and staying on with the organisation on a hefty day
Rob Levene explains how local authorities are reaping the benefits of an alternative approach to buying professional services.
rate long after the project has finished. Without any firm outcomes or deliverables in place it’s easy to see how a contractor can remain with an organisation far longer than was originally intended, or is hi-jacked by another department for a different project, at huge cost from what was originally agreed. With a focus on outcomes the solution prevents local authorities from buying professional services without clearly defined goals and consultants are only paid on completion of the project or specific milestones. Local authorities wouldn’t place an order for 1,000 laptops if they only needed 500, and would check that those 500 had been delivered and work as per the agreed specification and the exact same principles should apply in the purchasing of professional services. This fully OJEU compliant approach is about fully understanding what the buyer needs and finding the right supplier to fulfil the brief. It also helps cut the red tape that comes with traditional tender processes meaning that consultants are in place and ready to start work much more quickly. There have been countless examples of high profile public sector projects that have cost millions and failed to deliver. Local councils can no longer afford to bring in consultants without knowing the exact outcomes and costs of the intended piece of work. Fortunately, many are now realising that there is another, more effective way to buy the services you really need. n Rob Levene is executive director and cofounder of Bloom
A new world of housing delivery
Fraser Wells explains how a new type of partnership with the private sector is helping councils to share the risk of delivering new housing.
hen it comes to housing provision, the field of play is changing for local authorities. With demand for homes increasing, the pressure’s on for councils to boost supply. Clearly, delivering development on this scale is a huge challenge, but with the right approach it’s entirely achievable. In practise this means turning a spotlight on the old ways of working and coming up with fresh and creative alternatives. It’s widely recognised that developers, land agents and even housing associations have no formal obligation to a borough when it comes to reducing the shortfall of homes in an area. That’s
not to say they don’t want to help, but housing legislation puts the responsibility in the hands of the local authorities. As a result, many local authorities are taking control and looking to push forward development themselves. This was highlighted in work recently carried out by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Its report, Local Authority Direct Provision of Housing, found that more and more councils are taking the initiative when it comes to providing new homes. Of those surveyed, 65% reported direct engagement in housing delivery and 44% said they’d established their own housing
company. Change is clearly happening. It’s perhaps no surprise that 30 housing companies were set up by local authorities in 2017 alone. And some of these are already making serious strides forward. For example, Birmingham City Council’s housing company is now building more homes than the 50+ housing associations that have stock in the city. You have to hand it to them; that’s impressive. But what about those authorities who don’t have the scale, skills or perhaps confidence to bring forward new homes at this rate? And then there’s the matter of managing the private sale of any new properties and taking on the financial risks that come with it. All in all, it’s a pretty daunting prospect and, despite the compelling need case, you might think that many local authorities could be put off. But not so. On the back of these challenges a new type of partnership is taking shape; one that allows
which would be retained by the Council. The partnership delivers beyond the construction stage too. When the work’s finished, the council will retain ownership of the freehold for the full development and will grant a lease for the apartments to Durkan. This means AVDC benefits from the rental of restaurants and commercial units, while Durkan draws revenue from the sale of the apartments and the associated ground rents We’ll repay the loan from the proceeds of the sale and, coupled with a share of any uplift in the properties’ value, return on investment is guaranteed for the authority. It’s just one example, but it shows how valuable these partnerships can be. The RTPI’s report highlighted the potential for local authorities to become a major contributor to meeting housing need. And by creating partnerships with developers there are real opportunities out there to generate what has been termed ‘profit for purpose’; long-term income that can be diverted to support other essential services. For Aylesbury, it’s this type of profit that will help it achieve its long-term goals. It’s looking to be financially self-sufficient and council tax free by 2023. That’s an ambitious target and one that means it’s becoming more entrepreneurial and commercial in the way it delivers services. But for schemes like this to be successful for both local authorities and developers, there’s a job to be done in finding the right partner. It’s
hugely important that councils can choose a company that understands its motivations. For the developer, this means having an appreciation for a local authority’s priorities. Essentially, understanding that any new project can’t just be about generating profit, it’s got to address local need too. It’s safe to say that when taking on a new project, a council’s likely to already have a decent idea of where it wants to build and how many homes it needs to deliver. So, it’s the job of the forward-thinking developer to show how they can add value to the process. It’s got to bring a real problem-solving approach to the table. It’s something we know we can offer and were able to show during AVDC’s rigorous procurement process. I believe it was one of the factors that was key to us making the grade, and something that developers need to make sure they’re considering in the future. Partnership working is a term that people like to throw around a lot these days when talking about joint projects - but it’s no good just paying lip service to it. It’s got to go further than that. Funding is difficult to come by and all signs suggest the problem won’t be getting any easier for a while. In light of this, we’re going to need partnerships between the public and private sector more than ever. n Fraser Wells is managing director of housing partnerships at Durkan
PM unveils ‘major overhaul’ of planning rules councils to share risk with the private sector. Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) is a solid example of this kind of working. It joined forces with Durkan to deliver a major mixeduse scheme called The Exchange. Designed to provide flexible commercial space, restaurants, a public square and much-needed new housing, it is playing an integral part of their £100m town centre regeneration. At the core of the partnership though, was the way the council worked with us to fund the project. It used its prudential borrowing capability to procure debt and loaned it to us at a much better commercial rate than anything else available in the private sector. This meant AVDC could fund 75% of the project costs, knowing that Durkan would underwrite the risk on construction and sales. The remaining debt was also used to fund the commercial element of the development,
Local authorities have renewed demands for greater powers to build new homes following a shakeup in planning rules. The prime minister Theresa May has unveiled a major overhaul to the National Planning Policy Framework. The measures include a new housing delivery test for local authorities to help drive up the numbers of homes actually delivered in their area, rather than numbers planned for. Councils will also have more freedom to make the most of existing brownfield land to build homes that maximise density. A new standardised approach to assessing housing need will be introduced to make developer contributions
‘simpler and more robust’. Responding to news, Local Government Association chairman Lord Porter said the current system was working well but councils need more powers to act where housebuilding has stalled. Lord Porter said councils granted nearly twice as many planning permissions as the number of new homes that were completed in the last year and were currently approving nine in 10 planning applications, and nearly three-quarters of planning refusals are upheld on appeal. ‘It is completely wrong, therefore, to suggest the country’s failure to build the housing it desperately needs is down to councils,’ he said.
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Shining political spotlight on New Towns Kate Henderson explains why a new cross-party group on New Towns has been set up and what it aims to achieve.
n January, a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on New Towns was launched in parliament. Chaired by Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, the APPG has been set up consider the successes and failures of existing new towns in order to learn from past mistakes and help shape future government policy. The TCPA is providing the secretariat for the APPG, which will involve providing expert knowledge on New Towns and Garden Cities. The New Towns programme was the most ambitious large-scale town building programme ever undertaken in the UK, providing homes and jobs for over 2.8 million people. As a set of places, they exhibit a range of urban successes and failures, with some among the fastest growing communities in the UK and others among the most deprived. With the Government supporting a new programme of Garden Cities, Towns and Villages, the APPG will provide a highly influential cross-party forum to learn the lessons – good and bad – of past New Towns to help shape future policy. Lucy Allan and the secretary of state for housing, Sajid Javid, both spoke passionately about New Towns at a Parliamentary reception to mark the launch of the new APPG on the 17th January 2018. The event was attended by senior government officials, leading planners, urban designers, housing associations and developers, alongside MPs, council leaders and senior officers from New Towns across the country. Ms Allan said: ‘We all share a passion for the vision and ambition that the New Town movement represents, and as the housing crisis continues it is clear that New Towns have an important role to play in Britain’s future and in the lives of the next generation seeking to build a better life. ‘The APPG will aim to tackle new town challenges such as aging infrastructure, poor private rental housing and connectivity, as
well as deprivation, in order to influence future government policy and keep New Towns centre stage.’ Mr Javid said that the APPG could ‘count on the government’s support’, and that he is ‘keen to learn from the important work that the APPG will be undertaking: to better understand the challenges and opportunities for New Towns; to
The APPG will be holding three high-level parliamentary roundtables on key issues: • Providing high-quality homes in New Towns, now and in the future; • Healthy New Towns – improving the health and wellbeing of New Town residents; and • Unlocking skills, innovation and enterprise in New Towns.
consider how can we do more to support these places and their people; and to deliver the next wave of garden towns and villages.’ During his speech, Mr Javid paid tribute to the TCPA’s founder: ‘Ebenezer Howard’s achievements, as an urban planner whose influence can still be felt, both in the UK and abroad, speak for themselves. They are all the more remarkable considering that his day job was as a Hansard short-hand copy-taker right in Parliament. Maybe I need to look a little closer to home for solutions to the housing crisis! ‘It is especially pleasing that the TCPA, the organisation founded to promote Howard’s ideas, is now working to support the APPG. The association’s input, and the history behind it, underlines that the challenges Howard sought to address are just as relevant today – not enough good-quality affordable housing; overcrowding; the belief that everyone deserves to live in a strong, vibrant community.’ For more information about the APPG on New Towns, please visit www.tcpa.org.uk/ new-towns or email NewTownsAPPG@tcpa. org.uk n Kate Henderson is chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA)
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Thumbs up for Wonky
LGN finds out how Winchester City Council has found a creative way to get children walking to its play areas.
lympic Medallist Iwan Thomas recently launched a new healthy lifestyle initiative in Winchester focusing on motivating children in the city to walk to its many play areas. The character of Wonky the Woodpecker was created as part of a wider council initiative called Feet First, which promotes walking within the district, thereby increasing exercise levels and reducing traffic. Inspiration for Wonky the Woodpecker was hit upon during the development of Abbotts Walk play area, developed alongside respected play company Timberplay. Wonky is represented in the form of a wooden statue, inspired by a real woodpecker which decided to make Abbotts Walk its home during the installation of the play area. Wonky, with his distinctive bent beak, offers a child-friendly, recognisable character that gives the play area added personality, but also promotes further engagement via a website, trail leaflets, worksheets and social media.
Each council-owned play area participating in the scheme has a wooden totem featuring a hidden letter which children can collect to learn the names of Wonky’s friends. Local families can visit all the sites and search for the hidden letters. When all the play areas and open spaces have been visited, the puzzle can be solved and children can send their completed worksheet into the council to win a prize. Iwan Thomas, who was invited to officially open the new play area to highlight the importance of physical challenge and stimulation, said: ‘I’m a great advocate for improving health and wellbeing of young people. Asking children to find where all the “Wonkys” are hidden adds to the fun of being outdoors. I particularly liked the leaflets with all the walking routes on to link up all the play areas.’ Abbotts Walk play area sits in a very sensitive location, adjacent to a nature reserve, so the council created a design for play that capitalised on the landscape and featured more natural play products. Timberplay equipment was integrated with natural features such as grass mounding and mown meadow paths to blend the play area into the wider open space. The Abbotts Walk play area features slides, a twin swing, tarzan rope with pendulum seat, balance blocks and a climbing forest. Each piece of equipment is designed to encourage a range of different experiences and emotions - from decision making and concentration to improving balance and
coordination. The play equipment fits the needs of children from birth to 18 years old so that local children can continue to enjoy it as they grow. Ben Harbottle, sales director at Timberplay commented on why he was so pleased to be involved in this initiative from Winchester City Council: ‘Not only is playing great fun for children but it also provides much needed exercise. Health experts recommend that children should be exercising for around three hours per day. Playing is ideal in meeting these targets as it is a freely chosen activity - hanging from monkey bars and climbing is great to build upper body strength, running around is excellent cardio-vascular exercise therefore improving lung function, but, alongside play, walking is essential for physical development. ‘This initiative from Winchester City Council represents a very creative way to support a variety of physical activity within children.’ Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment at Winchester City Council, said: ‘Wonky the Woodpecker is a unique and recognisable character and I am delighted that this is encouraging families to explore the variety of play areas in Winchester and enjoy being outdoors.’ n
Keeping the pubic safe in 2018 What can councils learn from last year to help improve public security? Gavin Hepburn reports.
ast year, major cities around the world including London, New York and Barcelona, became victim to some of the deadliest vehicle attacks the West has ever seen. These vicious attacks really brought home the level of threat the world currently faces, and the loss and destruction that follows such an incident. Since 2016, the number of lethal terror attacks that occurred in just Europe alone has risen sharply, by about 500% compared to three years earlier. In 2016, there were terror attacks resulting in fatalities, compared to just five in 2013. With hostile vehicle attacks on the rise, the need to improve security around public areas, buildings and tourist hotspots has become a major focus point for local governments to keep the public safe. A report by Pool Reinsurance Limited warned that ‘more attacks should be expected in the UK in 2018 and these are likely to be focused against crowded places, particularly those linked to the transport sector, the military, police and politicians.’ Looking back at the security strategies that were deployed in 2017, what can we learn from these methods and how can we improve on how we keep the public safe in 2018? In response to the increasing terror threat, last year saw a larger presence of armed and unarmed police officers across the UK. Following the attacks in Manchester and London, greater police numbers were quickly
deployed across the UK, and UK armed forces were called in to support the police. We recently conducted research which found that 36% of the public would welcome more armed officers at public events to make them feel safer in light of recent terror events. But, while greater police presence and security checks will go a long way towards preventing bomb and knife attacks, they will unfortunately do little to stop a vehicle travelling at high speed from making contact with its target. For this reason, governments and security officials need to put in place a well thought out security strategy that includes a larger police presence, but also combines greater investment in physical security solutions that can
actually withstand the force of a vehicle attack. Bollards and barriers to secure the perimeter With hostile vehicles now becoming the new weapon of choice for terrorists, governments have been deploying more physical security solutions to prevent future attacks. In London, the Government reacted to last year’s attack by erecting concrete barriers overnight on London Bridge to segregate the pedestrian pathway from the road. During the weeks leading up to the Christmas markets, major cities around the UK also deployed concrete blocks to stop hostile vehicles in their tracks. While concrete barriers provide protection against a vehicle ramming attack, they can be
potentially dangerous by making it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to manoeuvre around them. This could create bottlenecks of people who are all trying to push and shove to get past the barrier, which could cause injury and leave queues of visitors vulnerable to attack on the wrong side of the barrier. The constraints of concrete blocks have paved the way for developments in Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) solutions, which are likely to become more visible on our streets in 2018. These temporary barriers can withstand the direct impact from a vehicle attack – there are even barriers that have become available this year that can stop a 7,200kg lorry travelling at 32kph in its tracks. These barriers have been designed to come in modular, lightweight components, so there’s no need to bring in heavy machinery or put extensive road closures in place to deploy them - securing a road takes just under 30 minutes. With the terror threat at an all-time high, governments and security officials must start putting a more strategic, proactive approach in place to deal with terror attacks. We know that hostile vehicles are now the weapon of choice, so 2018 must be about forward-planning and investing in effective physical solutions that can prevent attacks from happening – rather than just reacting to the threat after we’ve witnessed yet another devastating incident. n Gavin Hepburn is director at ATG Access
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Highways & street lighting
The fall in funding Rod Penman explains how local authorities can protect their highways resources in the face of falling maintenance funding.
ewly released government figures have revealed that road maintenance spending by councils is at its lowest level in ten years. Statistics from the Department for Transport show that local authority maintenance spending on B roads, C roads, and unclassified routes was just £1.87bn in 2016-17. This is a significant reduction from the £2.46bn spent in 2004-05. Well-managed highways play a central role in the lives of the communities they serve, and are essential for economic growth. Indeed, more than 30,000 insurance claims are made against highways authorities each year, forming the
largest proportion of Public Liability claims at Zurich Municipal. We are therefore concerned by this fall in funding and the resulting impact it could have on local authority budgets. So how should local authorities act to protect their highway resources in the face of continued funding cuts? The Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure guide remains a valuable resource from Government on how to adopt a riskbased approach to managing highway assets. While the two-year implementation period is still ongoing, there are several key things local authorities can consider sooner rather than later. Firstly, local highway authorities should look to collaborate when reviewing and implementing their highways maintenance processes and procedures. Not only will a collaborative approach potentially deliver savings, but sharing best practice will also help to maintain levels of service across authority boundaries. If authorities were to operate in silos and each assess their highways assets independently, neighbouring authorities could end up pursuing completely different strategies
in terms of inspections and maintenance. This could become a threat to claims defensibility, should a serious accident or incident occur on a road that passes through multiple local authority areas. Secondly, local authorities should invest in collating accident history, traffic volume and claims data. This will provide a broader evidence base for the impact of inspections and maintenance. Authorities can be more confident of their decision-making with the weight of analysis and understanding of such data. If the data shows many claims payments in a certain area, it suggests there may be a particular problem that can be addressed. Local authorities should also seek to use historical claims data in using limited resources more efficiently. For example, if there are many claims relating to potholes on a particular road, the local authority might decide to resurface the entire road, rather than reactively dealing with each pothole after a claim or complaint is made. Conversely, even with the road in a less than ideal condition, the data may reveal that there are very few claims. The local authority may then decide to carry on making repairs on a reactive basis rather than carrying out wholesale repairs. Finally, it’s crucial that local authorities work with their insurers to harness the insight that lies in claims data. Ideally, the insurer, the local authority risk manager and the highways asset manager will work together, talking to each other regularly and sharing information to mitigate highways risks. It’s particularly important for local authorities to remain engaged with risk and insurance managers during the revision process, so that highways claims defensibility is not compromised. Insurers may also be well-placed to advise on other elements of the new code’s recommended risk-based approach, such as performing a critical trend appraisal, and developing and adopting an appropriate strategy and asset management policy. The reduction in government funding for highways is clearly a concern, particularly given the continued overall funding gap for local authorities. However, by adopting the simple measures outlined in the Well-Managed Highways Infrastructure guide, and by taking an organised and collaborative approach to highways maintenance, local authorities might be able to deliver long-term stability for the public. n Rod Penman is head of public services at Zurich Municipal
Civil Engineering Lighting Power Cabling Signs Communications Traffic Signalling CCTV
McCann is a leading civil and electrical engineering company that operates throughout the UK on major road, rail and airport infrastructure projects for public and private sector clients. Proud to be successful for over 50 years, we provide our clients with integrated infrastructure solutions that meet business needs and exceed expectations each and every time.
CUBE ONE SHAPE, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FROM A FLEXIBLE, ROBUST AND HIGHLY EFFICIENT EXTERIOR LUMINAIRE The Cube LED exterior luminaire series offers a versatile solution for lighting designers and architects. The design is a study in clean lines and minimal form which takes the shape of a cube and can be mounted as either a floodlight, wall wash effect feature or on ground bollard. A wide range of beam angles and accessories allow comfortable viewing from any angle. Extremely precise beam spread optics offer the opportunity to create specific light effects. To see further models in the range please visit our website.
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Highways & street lighting
Tackling light pollution
A new study published at the end of last year found light pollution has risen over the past five years. Is LED to blame? And if so, what can be done to combat this? Lee Walker investigates.
nvironmental concern over exterior lighting and light pollution is not a new phenomenon. However, it does appear to be growing in momentum. Particularly over the last two years, as the industry combats increased concerns (and negative press) over the effects of blue light on human health and sleep deprivation. A recent study, led by Dr Christopher Kyba from GFZ (the German Research Centre for Geoscience), found a 2.2% increase per year in the Earth’s artificially lit surface (over four years).
But are LED luminaires responsible? This study suggested so. Measured using a specially calibrated satellite radiometer - higher light pollution levels were recorded, with previously unlit areas now being lit with LED allegedly to blame - more lighting due to decreased costs. But would these areas have been lit anyway with or without LED? One thing’s for sure, LED is here to stay. Replacing the discharge lamp in the same way the CD replaced the cassette. So is it more a case of using LED the right way? Now with the initial goals for switching, from traditional lamped sources to LED, achieved - cost and energy savings - the question for LED now appears to be: what can be done to move the focus away from just savings? Professor Kevin Gaston from the University of Exeter, in an interview with the BBC, said: ‘When we think of how humanity messes with the environment, it’s a costly thing to fix or reverse. For light, it’s just a case of directing it where we need it.’ Now as the market is maturing, it’s easy to look back and criticise early LED products, with their poor optical control and very high CCT (by today’s standards): but LEDs have come a long way in recent years.
There are now a multitude of types, efficacies and colour temperatures. Colour quality has also increased dramatically, with improvements continuing to be made. LED now offers the perfect opportunity for minimising lighting pollution. Instead of using a reflector, as with traditional light sources, with its many focal points and lost lumens with every reflection, LED has collimating lenses and tertiary lenses that project the light where it’s needed. High quality lenses and LEDs make it possible to have very precise control of light. With intelligently designed luminaires ensuring no light above the horizontal, eliminating sky glow. Even more can be accomplished by selecting the appropriate correlated colour temperature (CCT), measured in Kelvin (K), for the application at hand. The early adoption of LED lighting was almost all cool white, circa 5000K, which is much colder in appearance than the warm, circa 2000K, sodium lighting we had become so accustomed to over the years. The cooler the CCT, generally, the higher the blue light component, and thus the greater the environmental and human impact. In the beginning, there was a sound argument for the selection
of 5000K+ LEDs, the only way, at the time to compete with the more powerful lamps that were already in situ. But now - 4000K (which appears to be the new industry standard) - has increased in yield enough to compete with the 5000K LEDs of yore. And warmer colour temperatures, 3500K, 3000K, even 2700K - are available to bring lighting into a more comfortable and environmentally considerate range. Are LEDs stealing the night sky? Well, like most things, the right tools in the wrong hands can be dangerous. We all have a part to play in ensuring appropriate application of this technology. Ensuring that good lighting control, appropriate distributions, shielding, dimming, colour temperature and other facets of LED lighting are used responsibly and proactively. Dr Kyba explains it perfectly: ‘Human vision relies on contrast, not the amount of light.’ Through good lighting design it is possible to reduce contrast, the amount of light used – and in turn reduce light pollution and skyglow – and still have a better lit environment and energy savings. Win-win. n Lee Walker is applications engineer at DW Windsor
Highways & street lighting John Holliday explains how LEAN working principles have helped Transport for London and CONWAY AECOM to deliver a complex infrastructure renewal project on one of London’s busiest roads, both ahead of the scheme’s target deadline and under budget.
gainst a backdrop of constrained funding, local authorities are under pressure to maintain and renew highways networks in a way that maximises budgets while minimising disruption to the travelling public. Too often, these twin pressures are at odds with each other, requiring innovative thinking to deliver essential infrastructure works quickly, safely and without escalating costs. Transport for London (TfL) and CONWAY AECOM – FM Conway’s joint venture with AECOM – recently faced this dilemma on a major refurbishment scheme for Staples Corner Flyover on the A406, one of London’s busiest roads. The flyover is located at a busy intersection with the A5, just south of junction one of the M1 and west of Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The structure carries over 100,000 vehicles each day so the potential disruption that could be created by the vital upgrade works was significant. Through meticulous planning and a novel approach to community liaison, we were not only able to keep disruption to a minimum, but also reduce the scheme’s overall timings and budget. It’s an approach that other local authorities and their highways construction partners can and should learn from to drive benefits both for public sector teams and their constituents.
Down to the minute Delivered under CONWAY AECOM’s London Highways Alliance Contract with TfL, the project brief was technically challenging. It covered the replacement of two 22-metre steel joints that hold the central portion of the flyover in place to extend the structure’s lifespan for an additional 25 years, alongside associated resurfacing works, drainage maintenance, carriageway lining and signage. Given the comprehensive nature of the works, several options were considered in terms of the methodology for delivering the scheme, both to avoid disruption for the flyover’s many users and to protect the safety of workers and drivers. Initially, the project was planned to be
A leaner approach
delivered over 57 nights in four-hour working windows, closing the flyover in one direction with an additional lane closure on the opposite side to create a safety zone. Quite quickly, however, it became clear that this approach had the potential to cause a major headache for regular users of the route as well as adding to delivery costs. Using LEAN principles, we looked again at the brief and constraints around the project to identify an alternative solution. Critically, in TfL we had a willing partner with which to consider alternative options – enabling us to undertake shorter, intense periods of activity rather than a long programme of partial closure. Detailed planning was key. We carefully mapped out each stage of the works, making sure that every moment was maximised. As a result, we were able to radically cut back the original programme, opting for just a single week of night-time lane closures for enabling works, followed by full closure of the flyover over two weekends.
Informing road users Concise programming was just one half of the story. Early on, we recognised that success of the new approach would rely on providing effective advance warning to road users to mitigate disruption to their journeys – allowing drivers to plan alternative routes well in advance. The scale of the project and significance of the route meant that we needed to use multiple media channels to widely publicise the closures and to cooperate with a range of external partners to get the message out. The scheme was advertised on local radio, through online adverts in the London press and across 18 variable message signs strategically positioned on TfL’s and Highways England’s networks. This approach was backed up by two public liaison officers who kept key stakeholders informed, including the London Boroughs of Brent and Barnet, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, local businesses like Ikea, and London Buses. In
total over 22,000 letter drops were made to local residents to make them aware of the project.
The road to success This close collaboration ensured that the scheme was a success, delivering a structure that will be fit for purpose for the next 25 years. Crucially the leaner approach selected for the project also saved money and required 488 fewer working hours. Over the entire period of the works just 12 complaints were received about delays – a remarkable feat for such a complex engineering scheme. n John Holliday is contract director at FM Conway
Belinda Lydgate, project manager (structures) at TfL, commented on the success of scheme: ‘The A406 Staples Corner Flyover joint replacement project was a very complex and challenging project. The works were planned with risk in mind and executed perfectly, which ensured the project was a success and completed to time, quality and cost. ‘The key to the successful outcome was extensive stakeholder engagement and having mitigation plans in place to manage traffic effectively and ensure no overrun of possession occurred. Working with the right people at the right time who shared the same vision made a positive difference.’
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Carriageway ironwork should be seen and not heard
he sight and sound of failed ironwork installations is all too common within our busy road network. It’s an issue that plagues local authorities and contractors alike and stems from how the installation of each access cover is planned. In my experience there are four key steps that should be considered for each individual access cover and built into the overall road maintenance planning.. The first step is to focus on the road type, frequency and speed of vehicles using it, whilst also understanding the traffic based issues the road will have to contend with. For example, it may be a heavily trafficked route with a lot of HGV use. Consideration should then be given to the location of each access cover in relation to the wheel track and how forces from different vehicle types act upon it. Having this information will then give you everything you need to determine the base specification of the product, onto which you can add any additional client or operator requirements. This then leads onto the final most critical step, which is often the one that causes the most problems and that is installation. Why aren’t we making more noise about collaborating on product installation? There is no point in going through a rigorous inspection and specification process without then paying equal care and attention to the selected products installation. Our experts
are often called in to assist with advice on this approach, as there are numerous factors that can impact individual locations or stretches of road. This is especially the case when it comes to heavily trafficked carriageways, as we found out from contractor Amey in 2017, when it was faced with repairing failed noisy access covers every 3 months, following numerous complaints. Working for Kent County Council, Highways, Transportation & Waste, Amey was responsible for maintaining a busy route that served as part of the dedicated Fastrack bus network. Highlighting the issue the council faced, John Reynolds, Highways Engineer for Kent County Council, Highways, Transportation & Waste said: “We were having continual issues with access covers failing, particularly where there was heavy loading and turning in one particular location.” Having been contacted by John, our SaintGobain PAM technical team investigated the issue and suggested both a new access cover, which incorporates an elastomer gasket to help absorb pressure from traffic travelling over it and addressing the actual installation of product. Collaboration leads to cost savings The new approach was initially trialled at the location where it had the most issues with a failing installation. The chosen product has now been in situ for 18 months and it has
had no noise complaints in that time from residents. By working collaboratively in this way, not only has Kent County Council, Highways, Transportation & Waste got a new proven solution, they have also recognised the importance of trained installers. John Reynolds: “As a result of this collaboration, we now replace any failed access cover with the Saint-Gobain PAM Pamrex cover on our A and B roads, or those carriageways which have particular issues. We also insist that we only use Amey trained contractors for its installation. To date there have been no failures on the 30 plus new covers that we have since installed on our roads.” The payback for Kent County Council, Highways, Transportation & Waste by taking a total cost of ownership solution approach is significant, with savings of almost 60 percent over five years using the new solution, when compared to the previous installations. It is this type of saving for the tax payer that we should really all make a noise about. n For further information about Saint-Gobain PAM Pamrex and other access cover and gratings solutions contact: Saint-Gobain PAM, Lows Lane, Stanton-by-Dale, Ilkeston, Derbyshire. DE7 4QU. Sales.email@example.com. www.saint-gobain-pam.co.uk. By Paul Thompson Marketing Manager, Saint-Gobain PAM
Highways & street lighting
Connected asset management Chris Dyer discusses how connected asset management software can allow UK authorities to collect and manage data from local infrastructure through a series of sensors connected to the internet.
torm Emma and ‘the Beast from the East’ have added a sting to Winter’s tail, consigning any thoughts about the impending arrival of Spring to the back of people’s minds. When the thaw does eventually set in, highways engineers are likely to be left with a headache – the further deterioration of the road network across the UK and the consequent rise in damage to cars and reported vehicle breakdowns that the recent bad weather will almost certainly bring. The RAC was called to 2,830 pothole-related breakdowns between October and December 2017, compared with 2,547 in the period a year before. The fact that the recent snow and ice is likely to result in a similar spike in the numbers will further draw attention to the problem. So, what’s the solution? At Yotta, we believe the emerging area of connected asset management will ultimately have a key role to
play. In line with this focus on connectivity, three councils across the UK are now trialling the use of cameras mounted on electric bikes, buses and bin lorries to capture images of potholes and pinpoint weak spots on the network. It’s an exciting development and highlights how with the latest advances in technology, it is becoming ever easier to obtain high-quality data about the highways inventory and its overall condition. Obtaining data is just one element of connected asset management though. Authorities also need to be able to efficiently manage and process any data that they collect. We are already seeing this principle in action in the area of environmental services with the latest in-cab waste management technology. Crews can now report service issues in real-time to the back office and the back office can keep crews updated with the latest details on premises they need to visit, bins they must collect, or security codes for locked gates, for example. With connected asset management, authorities can ensure the whole of their infrastructure is working together. They can look at the impact structures have on drainage, trees have on footways, or that drainage systems and roadworks have on potholes, for example. That information can help councils decide where they spend money. Given this move to connected asset management, what kinds of data can councils use to support the model? It is crucial that they maintain an asset register and manage it at a componentised level within each asset class. It is equally key to see how each asset class impacts on and interacts with each other.
With this technology now coming on stream, councils are being enabled to pursue a true connected asset management approach, helping to ensure they are making optimum use of data, in line with the latest code of practice, across their infrastructure stock. Such technology can now also deliver multi-asset modelling and cross asset prioritisation. Councils will better understand where best to invest money across the network and the likely impact on their infrastructure. The ability to interact with their infrastructure through sensors in the road and get live feeds of all the latest information to optimise maintenance programmes for drainage gulleys, or better understand the performance of their carriageways and footways is powerful indeed. It’s clear then that while collecting accurate data about potholes is critically important for local authorities, and should ultimately play a key role in helping ensure safer roads, it’s just one small part of the connected asset mix. Data collection is key but it is far from the only part of the story. In today’s highways arena, data should be maintained as an asset. If it is reliable, accurate, accessible and complete, it’s a hugely valuable resource. However, that value is further enhanced by a connected asset management approach, enabling data to be seamlessly collected from across the network, integrated with other data sets and brought to bear to influence key decisions. n Chris Dyer is head of consultancy, infrastructure asset management, at Yotta
Health & social care
Keeping children out of care Five London boroughs are piloting a new payment-byresults model to help keep children out of care. Brigitte Squire explains more about the scheme.
early 33,000 children were taken into care in the year to March 2017, the biggest annual surge for seven years. This is not only expensive for local authorities (residential care typically costs around £200,000 per year per child). It also means the child is more likely to develop problems at school, with their health, and in their relationships with others. Three years ago, the Greater London Authority teamed up with specialist advisor Social Finance (with Big Lottery Fund support) to help the London boroughs explore a new approach: using specialist therapeutic interventions to keep families together and the young people out of care. These interventions have delivered good results for adolescents with severe anti-social behaviours, both in the UK and in the US. So the proposal here was for a payment-by-results model, whereby the boroughs would only pay if the young person could remain home in a safe environment. Ultimately, five London boroughs – Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Bexley, Merton and Newham – decided that this approach was appropriate to their local needs. Together, they cocommissioned a joint programme, which we’ve called Positive Families Partnership. We’re aiming to work with over 350 families over the next five years: the therapy programmes will be delivered by three experienced specialist providers (Family Psychology Mutual, Family Action, and the South West London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust), supported by our central project management team.
Each course of therapy takes roughly threefive months. After that, the young person will be monitored for a two-year period. For every week they remain out of care, the relevant borough will make a payment to us. But if the therapy doesn't prevent the young person going into care, for whatever reason, the boroughs don’t need to pay. These ‘social outcomes contracts’ (or ‘social impact bonds’ as they’re sometimes called) have two important advantages for local authorities. First, it gives providers much more flexibility. With a standard ‘fee for service’ contract, the delivery model is often tightly circumscribed. With outcomes-based contracts, the quality assurance, oversight and monitoring structures involved make it much easier to identify and then address any delivery problems. Our therapists are dealing with complex, changeable family situations. Having the freedom to adapt and improve our approach increases the chances of achieving successful outcomes for each young person (which in turn saves money for the borough). Second: to fund the working capital gap until outcomes payments are generated, the provider usually joins forces with a specialist social investor – in this case Bridges Fund Management – who understands the sector, shares their motivations, and can support
the management team. So the boroughs can effectively transfer some of the financial/ operational risk to an engaged investor, who has a clear incentive to deliver great outcomes. This partnership approach is already delivering promising results for children’s services departments. The first programme of this type was launched in Essex in 2012; based on the lessons learned in the first year, Bridges and the provider were able to improve results by (for example) investing in improving referral pathways, providing extra training opportunities for therapists and employing extra staff to maximise capacity. Other outcomes contracts have since been commissioned by Children’s Services in Manchester and Birmingham, drawing on these lessons. However, we’re particularly excited about Positive Families Partnership because it’s the first time five local authorities have cocommissioned one of these contracts. If the programme succeeds in delivering better outcomes for young people on the edge of care – while also demonstrating how collaboration and innovation can help local authorities deliver better value for public money – we hope many more will follow, both in London and beyond. n Brigitte Squire is programme director of Positive Families Partnership
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Company announcements Lanes Group plc
Lanes Group plc has completed a three-year programme of maintenance work to survey, clean, and repair strategic highway drainage pipes across Portsmouth. Teams from the drainage specialist’s Eastleigh depot worked with Colas to carry out surveys, desilting, and repairs along 20 kilometres of largediameter highway drains. Colas commissioned Lanes to carry out the work as part of a process of incorporating the main drainage pipes along strategic routes into its maintenance programmes. Services delivered over the threeyear period included highway drainage line desilting and root cutting, CCTV drainage surveys, drainage system mapping, and pipe rehabilitation through the installation of structural point liners. Tel: 0800 526488 or visit www.lanesfordrains.co.uk
The job market is often much more short-term than it used to be, but family-run business Cromwell Polythene is proud to be bucking that trend as a succession of staff members celebrate 10 or 20 year anniversaries with the company. Cromwell Polythene is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of sacks, bags and speciality products for the storage and collection of waste and recyclables. The length of service of many of its employees is testament to the vision and values of the company which is to supply products that are not only lower cost to the customer, but also the environment. Six members of staff have reached at least 10 years with the company. These are Dean Roper (13 years), Paul Kendal (12 years), Mark Robinson (12 years), Alex Lewis (11 years), Richard Rowling (10 years) and Leigh Winckles (10 years). Tel: 01977 686 868 or visit http://cromwellpolythene.co.uk/
Property Care Association
National trade association the Property Care Association (PCA) has developed a new opportunity to give specialists in the social housing and local authority sectors with responsibility for housing stock maintenance a recognised route to qualification. The new Certificated Surveyor of Dampness in Buildings (CSDB) qualification, is focused on giving participants a comprehensive insight into the key factors relating to moisture in buildings. It addresses subjects including building construction, diagnosis, atmospheric moisture and rainwater penetration. The CSDB qualification is part of a raft of programmes developed by the PCA, which can be delivered at the trade association’s dedicated training centre or under a bespoke programme in an in-house format. Tel: 0844 375 4301 or visit www.property-care.org
As a manufacturer of structurally advanced and genuinely sustainable cold rolled steel sections, Hadley Group has been involved in the supply of its superior shallow C-section UltraBEAM for the construction of a new mezzanine floor for the conversion of a college in West Sussex. UltraBEAM was a key element, where an overall 150 mm depth of construction was critical.
North East Lincolnshire Council has purchased Toro for the first time, thanks to its competitive price in the tender process, and recommendations from other local authorities. Chris Whitfield, assistant fleet manager who co-ordinated the purchase, says: “We followed the usual procedure by putting the request onto ‘Yotender’ and the Toro LT3340 cylinder mower met our specification and came in with the most competitive price.” Chris decided to refer to colleagues from the ‘Yorlincs’ regional fleet forum, a group of fleet managers from over 17 local authorities and councils sharing best practice, advice and experiences. Tel: 01480 226800, or visit www. reesinkturfcare.co.uk
The West Midlands based manufacturer was contacted by Ashdown Steel Limited when it became apparent that the hot rolled joists could not create sufficient ceiling height. Hadley Group’s UltraBEAM sections are engineered from high-tensile steel to offer greater strength and stiffness compared to conventional alternatives. Tel: 0121 555 1300 or visit www.hadleygroup.com
Marsh Industries has introduced a range of off-the-shelf package sewage treatment plants for the industrial and commercial construction sectors. The new range, aptly named the Marsh:Standard, compliments the company’s flagship Ultra:Polylok range of bespoke sewage treatment systems and provides an economical, efficient, and highly cost-effective alternative to most industry-standard products currently available on the market. The Marsh:Standard is designed to British Water loadings (150litres per person, 60mg BOD litre and 8mg/ litre Ammonia) ensuring effluent discharge well within national consent standards, and is available in varying sizes and capacities up to 300PE Tel: 01933 654582 or visit www.marshindustries.co.uk
Getting to the top is not easy. But with the rising demand for grey and on-trend tonal colours epitomised by the new Visual Sensations’ Mountain from Vicaima, specifiers can take their vision to new heights with doors that reflect the latest fashions within interior design. Leading interior door manufacturer, Vicaima has launched four new and stunning Visual Sensation finishes into its ever popular Dekordor SD range. Mountain, being one its latest grey creations, has given designers some new creative inspiration. Stimulated by dramatic landscapes, Mountain allows specifiers to incorporate the peaceful essence of nature within their chosen interior space. Tel: 01793 532333 or visit www.vicaima.com
Hereford based Vision Gelpack has been awarded a position on ESPO’s 860 framework, which covers a wide range of refuse, recycling and clinical waste sacks for the local authority and waste management sectors. ESPO is a collaborative partnership between six councils - Leicestershire County Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, Warwickshire County Council, and Peterborough City Council. Between them, these six local authorities help others to aggregate their procurement demands, achieving efficiencies and cost savings across a range of products. Vision Gelpack was formed following the acquisition of the assets of Gelpack Excelsior by Visionscape Group. Tel: 01432 267391 or visit www.vision-gelpack.co.uk
Company announcements 3M
Airtech Environmental Systems
J McCann & Co. Ltd
A growing body of evidence has identified the dangerous impact poor air quality is having on our health. Airtech, the mould and condensation control specialist, has therefore developed a comprehensive service over the last 25 years to offer landlords solutions for a healthy home. The latest expansion is the addition of the innovative AIR+ Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) unit to its range of data gathering ventilation solutions it installs. Airtech offers three simple steps that can solve the problem of condensation and mould; comprehensive property surveys, mould removal treatment and a full installation service. The treatment and mould removal is backed by a unique three-year guarantee that the mould will not return. Tel: 01823 690 292 or visit www.airtechenvironmental.co.uk
Civil and electrical engineering firm J M McCann & Co Ltd. (McCann) has won the tender to continue to maintain North East Lincolnshire’s street lighting and illuminated traffic signs, and this year the company has added the North Lincolnshire area to its portfolio. The Nottingham-based firm has worked with North East Lincolnshire Council for over 25 years, successfully winning street lighting and illuminated signs maintenance contracts every 5 - 7 years as they’re put out to tender. McCann has made major investments in order to carry out the ongoing work to the highest standards. Tel: 0115 954 0166 or visit www.mccann-ltd.co.uk
Thorn Lighting is helping North Tyneside Council to save millions of pounds and help the environment through the refurbishment of thousands of street lamps. 7,300 sodium lamps across the borough are set to be replaced with modern energy efficient LED street lights and so far almost 4,000 old street lamps have been replaced with Thorn’s Civiteq highly effective LED lighting thanks to a partnership between the council and SSE Enterprise. It is estimated that the scheme will generate savings of £7.9 million over the next 17 years and will slash carbon emissions by 1,500 tonnes a year. Tel: 01388 420042 or visit www.thornlighting.co.uk
A new five-storey student accommodation development opposite Goldsmiths University in London’s New Cross has achieved an Excellent BREEAM rating by using space-saving, state-of-the-art heating equipment. Walpole uses both award-winning Viessmann gas-fired condensing boilers and a Viessmann combined heat and power (CHP) unit to generate warmth and electricity for its flats, common room, study area and outdoor spaces. The CHP unit, a Viessmann Vitobloc 200 EM 9/20, is sized to perfectly suit the well-designed city-centre site, while three 320 kW Viessmann Vitocrossal 100 floor-standing gas boilers are used in cascade to provide heating and hot water. Tel: 01952 675000 or visit www.viessmann.co.uk
Zumtobel Group has helped Gateshead Council to continue its significant investment in improving the energy efficiency throughout its property portfolio whilst also providing an excellent quality of illumination in its public buildings. The latest energy efficiency project completed is at Gateshead Leisure Centre where Zumtobel Lighting and Thorn Lighting have supplied luminaires for use throughout the facility A combination of Thorn’s Hipak Pro LED high bay and Zumtobel’s Craft compact LED high bay luminaires have been installed in the refurbished sports halls. With dedicated optics for precise light control, Hipak Pro LED has a highly efficient operation of up to 135Llm/W for significant energy savings when compared to traditional HID high bays. Tel: 01388 420042 or visit www.zumtobel.co.uk
Cembrit, the leading roofing and cladding specialist is proud to announce the addition of two new sizes to its Glendyne range of natural slates, 60x30 and 50x30, offering roofers larger slates and more versatility when working on lower pitched roofs. On a roof with a lower pitch, the large size of the slates will not let water sit between the slates and prevents the water from getting through. Larger slates work well on low pitched roofs and are best suited for use in coastal areas where the environment has a greater degree of moisture content. The larger sized Glendyne natural slates, 60x30 and 50x30, can be pitched at a minimum of 25° and 20° in moderate exposure zones and 30° and 22.5° in sever exposure zones respectively. Tel: 0208 320 1184 or visit www.cembrit.co.uk
3M has announced the return of its Lunchtime Learning Series of free webinars about traffic signage, following a successful first year in 2017. The science-based technology company’s technical experts will once again share valuable industry knowledge and advice through four quarterly webinars in 2018. The interactive webinars will be aimed at everyone involved in sign specification in the UK and Ireland, from design engineers and traffic consultants to road safety managers. Each webinar will be broadcast live online, allowing participants to ask questions in real time. 3M technical specialist Andy Fish said: “These webinars provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about important topics relating to the specification of clear and effective traffic signs. This is essential for the efficient operation of the road network, the enforcement of traffic regulations and for road safety. For more information, or to sign up for future webinars, visit www.3M.co.uk/traffic
TWM Traffic Control Systems Ltd
TWM - a leading manufacturer of LED integrated traffic control systems is proud to announce its membership of the Made in Britain organisation. Part of the newly-formed Pilot Group, TWM was established in 2002 and is renowned for its precision manufacturing expertise. Over the years, its pioneering product developments have helped support safer highways whilst ensuring the TWM brand stays at the forefront of this specialist market. TWM is a key provider of signs, signals and traffic control systems to local authorities, parish councils, traffic management companies and contractors. Tel: 01606 596622 or visit www.twmtraffic.com
Company announcements/Products/Case Studies ASSA ABLOY Security Doors
ASSA ABLOY Security Doors, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, is launching a new range of high performance timber doors for the public, commercial & high end residential market. The new SMARTec timber door range has been developed to offer a complete doorset solution of high quality, high performing doors and frames complete with all ironmongery solutions. The doors are suitable for an extensive range of applications, including offices, high-end residential buildings, education facilities, factory premises, mixed-use developments, healthcare environments and premium hotels. Doorsets within the SMARTec range can offer certified performance including fire resistance, security and sound reduction properties and are available to order in a wide range of aesthetically pleasing finishes and styles With ASSA ABLOY Security Doors already offering Powershield and Prima steel doors, as well as Safeguard high security timber doors, the launch of its SMARTec high performance timber doors range ensures architects, specifiers and contractors can now source a complete doorset solution from one trusted single point of contact. Tel: 01902 366911 or visit www.assaabloy.co.uk/SMARTec
A popular PVC-u Door Edge Guard range from leading door protection specialists Intastop, who is credited with introducing the original aluminium door edge guard to the UK market and from which a highly-regarded business has been created, has been expanded, now offering even greater choice. Celebrating 25 years, the company continues to protect doors, people and places in this specialised field and now has a 10mm PVC-u Door Edge Guard version added to its extensive range, the largest in the UK. The PVC 10mm Door Edge Guard is fitted with intumescent fire and smoke seals which are vandalresistant yet easy to replace making all Intastop PVC-u Door Edge Guards ideal for maintaining fire integrity and door safety, an essential part of fire door safety maintenance in keeping people and buildings safe. It can be used on the front and back edges of fire resisting door sets. It has a fire rating of Class ‘O’, BS476 Parts 6 & 7 and is tested to EN13501-1:2010. Furthermore, it is impact and scratch resistant and contains anti-bacterial properties to help reduce infection in healthcare establishments. Tel: 01302 364666 or visit www.intastop.com
Marley Eternit has launched an innovative Batten End Clip, designed to make it easier for roofers to install dry verges in accordance with the new British Standard. The new clip has been developed specifically to meet new dry verge fixing requirements outlined in BS 8612: Dry-fixed Ridge, Hip and Verge Systems for Slating and Tiling, which came into force on 31 January. As well as introducing minimum performance criteria, the new British Standard states that dry verge products can no longer be installed just with a nail fixing into the end grain of the batten. Instead, mechanical engagement must be on the faces of the batten. Marley Eternit’s new c-shaped clip is a quick and easy way of complying with BS 8612, providing a strong fix. The clip is designed to fit securely onto the end of the batten, with a robust metal plate for the dry verge to be fixed into, keeping the nail locked into place. The new batten end clip also features a larger metal face plate, with multiple holes, to make alignment much simpler. Tel: 01283 722588 or visit www.marleyeternit.co.uk/bs8612
Gas consumption at Ferndown First School in Dorset has fallen sharply since high efficiency Remeha Gas 220 Ace replacement boilers were installed last summer. Initial indications from Dorset County Council are of gas savings in the region of 50%.
Sutcliffe Play, a British manufacturer of children’s playground equipment has been busy developing new and innovative new playground equipment for 2018. Andy Love from Sutcliffe Play says: “We’ve been very busy lately working on the development of the new equipment. We’ve expanded some of our most popular ranges, as well as launching brand new and exciting standalone pieces of playground equipment.” Minitown, Orchard and Neo have all had new play units added to, plus the company has launched a new multi-user rope swing, Cobra. Andy continues: “Sutcliffe Play has developed its reputation as a leading designer of children’s play equipment over many years. Over those years we’ve developed an understanding of the needs of both our customers and the children using playgrounds – all of that knowledge and expertise has been used to develop our new equipment. “Some of the new pieces have already been added to the playground outside of our factory and they have already passed the most important test to quickly become very popular with the local community.” Tel: 01977 653 200 or visit www.sutcliffeplay.co.uk
REHAU is continuing to provide heating and cooling solutions to state of the art education developments as the University of Warwick utilises its Thermally Activated Building Structure (TABS) system. The Mathematical Sciences Building has a number of lecture rooms and office spaces which require a supplementary cooling system, particularly where there is no access to openable windows. To deliver this cooling function in the most cost effective and efficient way, REHAU was approached to design a Thermally Activated Building Structure (TABS) system suitable for the requirements of the University. The REHAU TABS system is a versatile cooling and heating system which uses the large thermal mass of concrete in a building’s structure to adjust the environment inside the building throughout the day. It does this by running heated or chilled water through a network of pipes embedded within the concrete slabs, and can be used in virtually any concrete structure. Tel: 01989 726600 or visit www.rehau.co.uk/tabs
When the original boilers serving Ferndown First School came to the end of their working life, building consulting engineers Mabey Francis recommended replacing them with two Remeha Gas 220 Ace condensing boilers. The Gas 220 Ace is designed to meet high efficiency, low NOx criteria with high gross seasonal efficiencies of up to 98% and ultra-low Class 6 NOx emissions. This helps contribute to lower heating bills while reliably generating a more comfortable, productive learning environment for children and their teachers. Ferndown First School’s 286 pupils already benefit from impressive state-of-the-art facilities including an ICT suite, library, art gallery, life skills room and learning zone. Now, with the installation of two of Remeha’s next-generation floor-standing condensing boilers, the heating system is equally advanced. Tel: 0118 978 3434 or visit www. remeha.co.uk
Company announcements/Products/Case Studies JLC Automation Services
Coram-i partners with Social Care Network to launch Fostering Insight © Creatista/Shutterstock
With terrorist threats and activities ever present and increasing, protecting your people and property, whether visitors, customers and/or staff, is essential. The JLC Group has developed its own-design and manufactured blast enhanced sliding door systems, which are 30.0% larger than other comparable systems, for higher traffic levels The new JLC doors provide at least the same level of protection as smaller door systems. The competence tested and certified doors combine the convenience and functionality of fully automated, glazed sliding doors with fully tested blast proofing for optimum safety. The smart, safe and secure JLC blast enhanced doors are designed to be resistant to both intentional and accidental blasts, reducing the significant hazards of shattered glass and other debris that can pose a risk to life. The doors can be installed to improve protection at both new build and existing premises. Tel:01293 567929 or visit www.jlcautomationservices.co.uk
StoCretec, the European market leader in concrete repair and protection has launched three innovative new products into the UK market. StoCrete SM, StoCrete SM P and StoCrete RM F offer quick, proven and reliable solutions which save both time and money for a wide range of concrete repairs. StoCrete SM is a 3-in-1 repair mortar which is simply applied, sponged down and is then typically ready to receive a top coat in just 4 hours. StoCrete SM P adds the benefit of corrosion protection, which saves even more time by eliminating the need for this to be carried out as a separate operation. Both products are rated Class R2 to EN 1504-3, and are available in 25kg sacks, or handy 10kg pails. Typically, once a sack has been opened the entire contents have to be used or discarded. The pail option greatly reduces wastage when performing occasional repairs, as small amounts of material can be used and the pail resealed. Tel: 0141 892 8000 or visit www.sto.co.uk/stocretec/
Coram-i consultancy service and specialist software systems provider Social Care Network are bringing together their expertise in practice analysis, evaluation and secure and accessible data to help commissioners and providers in England improve the experience of care for looked after children and their foster carers. Fostering Insight is a subscription service which offers a range of tailored support to member agencies as part of a community of practice and access to a secure single national register of carers and of children. Fostering Insight will offer members free of charge use of the CHARMS Live Search portal used throughout the social care sector, enabling local authority commissioners and foster care providers to share with each other their most up to date vacancies, children requiring care and exchange information/files through a single secure portal. With over 80% of foster carers approved by IFAs and an increasing proportion of local authority approved carers already stored in CHARMS, the Live Search is fast becoming a secure, national register of approved foster carers that is free to LAs and IFAs. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 020 7520 0300 or visit www.coram.org.uk/coram-i
British Board of Agrément
The largest social housing landlord in the UK has commissioned the British Board of Agrément Consultancy Investigation Training (BBA CIT) to conduct the most comprehensive study of its kind into cavity wall insulation. The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has tasked BBA CIT with surveying 1,000 social homes and 300 private homes. The research project is already underway and is expected to be completed next summer with results published later in the year. Rob McCormack, Director of BBA CIT, said: “We have deployed a team of expert technical assessors across Northern Ireland to carry-out the cavity wall insulation research project. BBA CIT inspectors are applying a specific methodology to assess the performance of cavity wall installations and overall property condition, with all findings and technical recommendations being submitted to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. In addition an Insulation Performance Panel (IPP) formed of colleagues from the Housing Executive, Department for Communities, tenant representation and academics from local universities are providing governance and overseeing the project. Tel: 01923 665300 or visit www.bbacerts.co.uk
GeoPlace has launched a new service to work with councils to provide a targeted report on properties missing from their business rates registers. Most councils have a ratings shortfall, business rates that should be collected but for one reason or another aren’t. GeoPlace’s new service will help councils identify these gaps in the collection of non-domestic rates, resulting in an improved ratings list for councils. With its new service, GeoPlace uses its expertise in data mining and analytics to undertake an in-depth audit of council held data to strip out the ‘possibles’ and provide the ‘probables’ of properties missing from the business rates register. By returning a qualified list with minimal false positives, officer time is reduced during follow-up investigations. Simon Bleckly, Audit and Counter Fraud Officer at Salford City Council said “GeoPlace delivered a report which our business rates team readily accepted. This helped us to confirm confidence in our register as well as find the ‘needles in the haystack’ properties which were missing from our records. Tel: 020 7630 4600 or visit www.geoplace.co.uk
Black Mountain has launched a new video presentation, which opens with the terrifying image - and sound - of crackling flames, thereby vividly alluding to the purpose and the performance of its Magply, Euroclass A1 and noncombustible Fire Protection Boards. There follows a demonstration of 9mm thick Magply being exposed to a controlled flame burning at approximately 1200 degrees centigrade – with an ice cube having been suspended behind the board and a timer set. Whilst the latter is running in the background, the commentator outlines the sectors where the board will find applications, such as schools, colleges, hospitals and industrial, as well as in commercial and domestic properties. The video’s narrative returns to the fire test with the clock running at over 30 minutes and the suspended ice cube still intact - confirming the 9mm Magply board is still maintaining strength and resistance to the flame. Across the construction industry, contractors and consultants will benefit from viewing the 10 minute video. Tel: 01621 776252 or visit www.magply.co.uk
Company announcements/Products/Case announcements/New products Studies Safeguard Europe Limited
Safeguard has updated its essential product guide with a new, fourth edition that provides crucial information on specifying its market-leading ranges of damp- and waterproofing technologies. A result of Safeguard’s 30 years of product innovation and expertise in the sector, the 54-page guide covers the Dryzone, Stormdry, Vandex, Oldroyd and Brickfix brands, to name a few. Product areas include: rising damp, replastering, damp-proof coatings, condensation and mould, rain penetration, masonry repair, basement drainage, and tanking and waterproofing in general. New to the collections are Drybase and Roxil. The Drybase range is designed for use when it is not possible to protect building materials and interior surfaces from the sources of dampness, like rain penetration or rising damp. There are three main constituent products to the range – Drybase LiquidApplied DPM; Drybase ECS Epoxy Floor Coatings and Drybase Flex Membrane. The new Roxil Outdoor Protection range consists of high-performance cleaning and waterproofing materials – Roxil Wood Protection Cream, Roxil Patio Cream and Roxil Wood & Patio Cleaner – that will keep hard landscaping and outdoor wood looking their best for up to 10 years. Tel: 01403 210204 or visit www.safeguardeurope.com
Lochwinnoch Primary School has provided a showcase for Cambrian Slate, showing how an early 1900s traditional building can still retain its original appearance using a modern slate substitute, along with traditional slate detailing. The roof of the 111-year-old school was originally slated using Scotch slate that was at the end of its lifespan so rain penetration was causing a major issue. The challenge was to retain the school’s original appearance, complete with complex details such as hips, valleys, skews, the interface between flat roofs and around skylights, without costing as much as slate. Renfrewshire Council and Redland developed the answer to the challenge: Cambrian Slate, precision engineered and manufactured using 60% recycled Welsh slate. “Cambrian was the ideal choice for this project, offering the performance and ease of use of a modern tile, while providing a roof that was sympathetic to the naturally-tiled appearance of the original building,” said James Grant, the Project Architect for Renfrewshire Council. Redland carried out a full Redland SpecMaster roof specification together with James Grant, examining every aspect of the roof in detail. Tel: 01293 666700 or visit www.redland.co.uk
One of the most recognised names in civil enforcement has launched a new identity to reflect its growing product and service capabilities in traffic and environmental management and smart city applications. With prominence and a new logo format for its core name and distinct colour branding for its primary service areas, Imperial will no longer be using the full title of Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions or the ICES abbreviation. “Our expertise now extends far beyond the conventional parking arena,” says Imperial’s Managing Director, Ashley Bijster. “Our new branding provides a distinctive identity for the company across all of the markets it now serves – from emissions and environmental management to smart parking apps and connected smart city solutions as well as civil enforcement.” Imperial’s new branding features contemporary styling for the Imperial name and new corporate colours, with a new circular icon depicting the three colours of the company’s primary service areas – parking/civil enforcement, environmental management and smart city solutions. Tel: 0117 925 1700 or visit www.imperial.co.uk
Safeguard Europe Limited
Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp-proofing and waterproofing technology – has created a compact kit form of its Drybase range which is ideal for tackling smaller areas of hard-to-treat damp; or as a handy ‘on the van’ option for instant use. The Drybase range has been designed to provide a comprehensive and effective damp-proofing solution when the circumstances do not lend themselves to usual remedies. A collection of damp-proof coverings, coatings and membranes; the Drybase range aims to provide solutions to a wide range of dampness issues, whether in small residential properties through to larger industrial facilities. The kit form of Drybase simply comprises a 3.6m2 roll of Drybase Flex Membrane and two 10kg bags of Drybase Flex Adhesive – just the right amount to fix the membrane provided. Drybase Flex Membrane is a highly durable and flexible membrane for direct application to walls that have been affected by dampness and salt contamination. The fleece lined membrane can be quickly and easily applied to walls using the specially formulated adhesive. Tel: 01403 210204 or visit www.safeguardeurope.com
As a part of its drive to continuously improve its systems, Eurocell – the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U window, door, conservatory and roofline products – has introduced a new PVC-U low threshold for its Eurologik 70mm chamfered and ovolo doors that offers users an alternative to aluminium that will cut energy bills and improve comfort. This threshold is superior to aluminium equivalents because it reduces cold bridging and is more thermally efficient. Using the PVC-U low threshold improves the U-value by roughly 0.1 W/m2k depending on the style and specification of the door. Put another way, using the PVC-U threshold can boost the energy rating of a door by up to one energy band, over the aluminium equivalent. This threshold has another advantage too: Eurocell has designed it so that it can be removed and replaced without removing the whole door if damaged. Fully tested to BS 6375 and PAS 24 both on residential and French doors, the threshold complies with Part M of the Building Regulations (Access to and use of Buildings), which govern disabled access, when installed complete with a choice of specific ramps from the company. Tel: 0800 988 3049 or visit eurocell.co.uk
An AirMaster Smart Ventilation Unit (SVU) from SAV Systems has helped to meet several design challenges for a new extension at Southcraig School in Ayr. AirMaster was specified by Davie & McCulloch on behalf of South Ayrshire Council. The project has created a new meeting room that is ‘land locked’, with no windows to the outside. It was therefore necessary to install a mechanical ventilation system to ensure good indoor air quality (IAQ), whilst also avoiding draughts and ensuring occupants are not distracted by noise from supply and extract fans. To meet these requirements, an AirMaster SVU has been recessed into the ceiling void with ducted connections to the outside. The unit is fitted with an integral carbon dioxide sensor to monitor indoor air quality and provide energy-efficient demand control ventilation via a Airlinq VIVA control panel, also supplied by SAV. AirMaster SVUs prevent draughts in two ways. Automatic inlet temperature control ensures a minimum inlet temperature is maintained, regardless of external temperature. In parallel, the Coanda effect is used to move supply air across the ceiling, entraining room air and slowly increasing in temperature before it falls into the space. Tel: 01483 771910 or visit www.sav-systems.com
Company announcements/Products/Case Studies DW Windsor
Carlisle City Council have started to reap the rewards of converting their street lighting to LED. With more energy savings to be gained, they decided to embark on an LED upgrade project for their public car parks. The main aim was to convert all council managed car park’s lighting to LED, utilising existing columns, to save energy costs and minimise investment costs. The DW Windsor Kirium Pro luminaire, with its wide choice of optics, met the specified requirements and was chosen to replace all of Carlisle City Council’s public car park lighting. Esther Newton, Business Unit Manager, DW Windsor, details, “We were able to achieve the desired lighting levels utilising the existing column positions whilst minimising the amount of energy needed. This not only saves the council money on their energy bills but also reduces the initial investment in the new technology. Due to the choice of optics in the Kirium Pro range we were able to fulfil the requirements for all the car parks and achieve a large energy saving for Carlisle City Council.” Carlisle City Council saved 70% of energy in their car park lighting upgrade scheme. Tel: 01992 474600 or visit www.dwwindsor.com/products/kirium-pro
Materials handling & electric vehicle specialist ePowerTrucks innovative EP Electric Bed Transporter system is designed to prevent workrelated injury and make life easier for hospital porters and nursing staff whilst moving beds. The exceptionally manoeuvrable, power-assisted, EP Electric Bed Transporter provides the perfect solution to moving hospital beds. It greatly reduces the effort required in manual handling them, therefore diminishing the risk of musculoskeletal and repetitive strain injuries caused by lifting heavy equipment. The ergonomically-designed, compact, lifter and transport system is compatible with almost all beds, specialty beds, stretchers, trolleys and other movable equipment worldwide, without the need to change attachments. The dual drive system with height-adjustable handle allows a single person to drive equipment weighing up to 600kg with just one finger or thumb, without any strain on their back muscles, thanks to its effortless 360º movement. The straightforward claw-like design of the lifter allows stress-free attachment to the bed or trolley, adapting easily to different castor sizes. Its wheel base expands smoothly from 550cm to 890cm as it captures and lifts the bed by its castors with its patented ‘Connect & Lock’ jaw assembly. Tel: 0161 626 9628 or visit www.epowertrucks.co.uk
Safeguard Europe Limited Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp-proofing and waterproofing technology – has produced a superb guide on the problem of larval infestation of timber, how to accurately identify the cause and how to treat it. There are several species of ‘woodworm’ native to the UK; and it is important that anyone involved in building maintenance or refurbishment can recognise them as certain species can cause more damage than others. Safeguard’s Woodworm Identification and Treatment volume is packed with detailed colour photography on the likely species to be encounter in Britain – and through all their life stages, from larvae to adult. In addition to allowing the reader to identify woodworm, the guide covers how to check whether a woodworm infestation is still active or has died out, and how to treat minor infestations of common species effectively, and for the long term.
Light infestations of some species can simply be treated by application of a high strength curative woodworm treatment – such as Soluguard Woodworm Treatment – others will require more extensive or complicated treatment by a professional company: preferably a member of the Property Care Association. Tel: 01403 210204 or visit www.safeguardeurope.com
The award-winning Crossway development in Widnes, Merseyside employs the revolutionary Innofix Clip developed by Redland – the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pitched roof systems – and two of its tiles to achieve a weatherproof envelope in the shortest time possible. There are 12 plots on the site, all roofed in Redland Grovebury double pantiles in colour Slate Grey and Redland DuoPlain interlocking plain tiles in colour Blue to blend in with the surrounding area. “Quality and durability are important and Redland is a tried and tested manufacturer so it has credibility with clients such as housing associations for whom maintenance is a big issue,” comments architect Nicola Toomey. “We chose these two specific tiles to meet concerns from the planning department and the Innofix Clip was a definite benefit because all these buildings are timber-frame, so it’s imperative to get them weatherproof as soon as possible”. The subcontractor, Mersey Roofing, was also enthusiastic about the performance of the innovative clip. Tel: 01293 666700 or visit www.redland.co.uk
Safeguard Europe Limited
A new CPD seminar created by Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp-proofing and waterproofing technology – sets out four steps to help architects, builders and other specifiers to deal with both the causes of penetrating damp and the factors which can exacerbate the problem. There are many reasons why rainwater can penetrate masonry walls: from porous Victorian bricks to unfilled perpends. And there are an equal number of issues that can make the problem worse, including poor maintenance of gutters, bad detailing and building alterations. The four steps, explained in detail during the seminar Dealing with Penetrating Damp, are: assessing rainwater routes and exacerbating factors; blocking the primary paths for water penetration; controlling the exacerbating factors; and installing back-up in the form of a dampresistant internal system. In helping professionals to meet their duty to continue learning and self-development, Safeguard’s two-hour long seminar also provides an update on some of the latest solutions and product types on the market. Companies such as Safeguard invest a significant amount in R&D which enables them to create new products and systems on a regular basis. Tel: 01403 210204 or visit www.safeguardeurope.com
Recognising the vital importance of breathing clean air in our homes, the H&V News Awards has shortlisted leading British ventilation manufacturer, Vent-Axia, within two categories in its 2018 awards. As well as being named as a double finalist in the Domestic Ventilation Product of the Year category with its Pure Air Filtration System and its PoziDry ProTM Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) unit, the company’s PoziDry ProTM unit has also reached the final in the Air Movement of the Year category. Both the Vent-Axia Pure Air and the PoziDry ProTM address current concerns about indoor air quality and have been designed specifically to improve the air in the home while setting the benchmark for filtration by filtering out damaging particles down to PM2.5. The dangers of air pollution continue to make headlines in the UK press with the latest research from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) revealing that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is now a major health concern in our towns and cities. As a result it is essential that there are ventilation solutions to protect occupants in their homes. Tel: 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com
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Local Government News Appointments In association with
Go to jobs.localgov.co.uk for these roles and more JOB OF THE MONTH
Assistant Director, Adult Social Care
Director of Economic Development and Planning
◊ Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ◊ Competitive ◊ Stoke-on-Trent City Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 06 Apr 2018
◊ Clitheroe, Lancashire ◊ £73,698 - £80,427 per annum plus 7.5% contribution to lease car ◊ Ribble Valley Borough Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 30 Mar 2018
“Working as part of our Corporate Management Team, the successful candidate should have an entrepreneurial approach and a proven track record in delivering on key projects, together with a high level of energy and drive to improve performance.”
Director of Regeneration & Planning
Operational Director, Property and Assets
Head of Regeneration and Investment
◊ Newham, London (Greater) ◊ Up to £112,790 ◊ Newham London Borough Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 09 Apr 2018
◊ Brent, London (Greater) ◊ Up to £113,809 ◊ Brent Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 28 Mar 2018
◊ High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire ◊ c.£80,000 ◊ Wycombe District Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes:23 Mar 2018
“This will be a challenging yet incredibly rewarding role.”
“Your creative and collaborative approach will maximise opportunities.”
◊ Spalding, Lincolnshire ◊ £24,174 - £27,668 ◊ South Holland District Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 16 Mar 2018
◊ Bradford, West Yorkshire ◊ £33,437 - £36,379 pa ◊ City of Bradford MDC ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 19 Mar 2018
“You will have excellent observational skills alongside the ability to problem solve.”
“You will have expertise in providing coordination and consistency of performance.”
“For this role we are looking for a strong corporate approach.”
“Will transform the service to provide a clear vision.”
Policy Officers ◊ Liverpool, Merseyside ◊ Competitive ◊ Liverpool City Region ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 23 Mar 2018 “This is a superb opportunity to be at the heart of one of the most exciting and dynamic economies in the country.”
Head of Operations ◊ Rossendale ◊ £47,489 -£50,845 ◊ Rossendale Borough Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 16 Mar 2018 “In order to succeed in this key role you will need to demonstrate strong leadership skills with the ability to operate in a strategic and operational environment, with a clear understanding of the role of local government in improving and delivering outcomes in challenging times.”
Principal Policy Officer – Transport, Environment and Infrastructure
Mental Health Social Worker
◊ London (Greater) ◊ £ 33,716 ◊ London Councils ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 19 Mar 2018
◊Wembley, London (Greater) ◊ £31,998 - £37,293 p.a. inc. ◊ Brent Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 23 Mar 2018
“These are challenging times for public services. We are looking for a highly motivated person with enthusiasm, innovative ideas and the ability to work flexibly in a dynamic, quickly changing policy environment.”
“The ideal candidate will be a social worker with experience of working within Mental Health.”
Highway Electrical Supervisor (Highway Maintenance)
◊ Bootle, Merseyside ◊ £24,174 - £27,668 ◊ Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 23 Mar 2018
◊ Rugby, Warwickshire ◊ £20,138 - £22,65 ◊ Rugby Borough Council ◊ Full time ◊ Closes: 25 Mar 2018
“The post will support two Senior Lighting Engineers in leading and contributing to the delivery of the Street Lighting function. It will also contribute to the overall management and efficient running of the Section, to ensure effective administration and maintenance of performance and information systems.”
“They will also have excellent communication, observational and problem solving skills.”
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McCann is a leading civil and electrical engineering company that operates throughout the UK on major road, rail and airport infrastructure projects for public and private sector clients. Proud to be successful for over 50 years, we provide our clients with integrated infrastructure solutions that meet business needs and exceed expectations each and every time.
Civil Engineering Lighting Power Cabling Signs Communications Traffic Signalling CCTV
Published on Mar 12, 2018