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Business Information for Local and Central Government



Legislation you must know when allowing staff to use private vehicles for work-related trips



What does the amended EU Waste Framework Directive mean for councils?

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Outsourcing debt management





PICKLES: MIND YOUR (ENGLISH) LANGUAGE Community Secretary Eric Pickles latest announcement reveals that six projects across England have been awarded £6m in government funding to teach English to the public using ‘non-conventional’ methods. The projects aim to reach 24,000 non-English speakers in priority areas across London, the Midlands and the North. According to the 2011 Census, 1.7 per cent of the population cannot speak English, which can rise to as much as nine per cent in some parts of London. Back in March, Pickles told local authorities they should encourage speaking English by not translating documents into foreign languages (presumably, saving hefty amounts of cash in the process). In this latest spend announcement, advertised in his column for the Telegraph, Pickles stated: “Have you ever tried out your rusty GCSE French in a little provincial French café? You pluck up the courage to order your croque monsieur in your best accent, only to feel scowled at by the impatient waiter, who has another six tourists to serve. If you’ve ever felt a tiny bit of that embarrassment, then you will understand what it’s like for immigrants in the UK.” The competition asked entrants to design sustainable projects (meaning that after the funding runs out, they need to pay for themselves) to improve the way language is taught. However, Guy Taylor, from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Outdated approaches can be improved but replacing traditional language‑teaching with unestablished projects could be a superficial solution.” In technology, 183 firms have been named on the latest Government framework, through which £40m is expected to be spent over a nine month period. 84 per cent of the companies are SMEs – both the GCloud (version 4 of which is now online) and the new Digital Services Framework represent efforts from the government to move away from a reliance on large suppliers for IT. Read more on page 75. Danny Wright

P ONLINE P IN PRINT P MOBILE P FACE TO FACE If you would like to receive 6 issues of Government Business magazine for £120 a year, please contact Public Sector Information, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055, Fax: 020 8532 0066, or visit the Government Business website at:

Business Information for Local and Central Government | PUBLISHED BY PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION LIMITED

226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Danny Wright ACTING EDITOR Angela Pisanu PRODUCTION EDITOR Richard Gooding PRODUCTION CONTROL Jacqueline Lawford, Jo Golding WEB PRODUCTION Reiss Malone ADVERTISEMENT SALES Julie Holbrook, Bernie Miller, Steve Day, David Morgan PUBLISHER Kelly Scott ADMINISTRATION Victoria Leftwich, Charlotte Cassar REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

© 2013 Public Sector Information Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the editorial content the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. ISSN 1362 - 2541



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Co-operative bank withdraws services to councils; public confidence in government outsourcing needed; councils stockpile salt How can the public sector benefit from using an outsourced debt collection agency? Peter Wallwork of the Credit Services Association, investigates

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The Chartered Institution of Waste Management’s Steve Lee examines what the amended EU Waste Framework Directive means for local authorities


If you have employees that use their own cars for work related trips, there are two pieces of legislation you have to be mindful of, explains the Institute of Car Fleet Management’s Roddy Graham


The way a vehicle is driven has a major impact on how much fuel it burns. So how do you drive more fuel efficiently? The Energy Saving Trust’s Bob Saynor explains



With winter upon us, RoSPA’s Kevin Clinton shares advice on how to make your vehicles and drivers ready


Well-maintained, safe and fairly-charged car parks are essential to sustainable growth in our communities, writes the British Parking Association’s Dave Smith


Mike Packham, technical expert at the BIFM considers the role of ‘benchmarking’ in effective facilities management


New cooling technologies and legal changes will be discussed at the ACR Show, taking place from 11-13 February 2014

55 ECOBUILD 2014

Ecobuild 2014 is the UK’s leading event for sustainable design, construction, energy and the built environment


Be inspired by the best minds in housing at Homes 2013, taking place at London’s ExCel on 20-21 November


A look at how the British event industry can make your public sector event a success


The British Security Industry Association’s James Kelly examines the role of CCTV in keeping the public safe

70 PRODUCTS & SERVICES A round-up of the latest products and services for the public sector



Digital by Default means re-evaluating council websites from the ground up, says David Burgess


Socitm on security breaches; UK government has ‘most open data’; GCloud 4 suppliers announced; SSCL joint venture launched; MoD updates ICT Strategy

Government Business

What can the public sector gain from a greater focus on energy audits? ESTA’s Alan Aldridge finds out



Turn to E 11.6 p latest gage 74 for th techno overnment e lo and fe gy news atures

To what extent has Enterprise Content Management been adopted within the public sector and how can it be progressed faster? AIIM’s Doug Miles finds out Volume 20.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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More action needed to boost public confidence in government outsourcing, says NAO The National Audit Office (NAO) has said that more government action is needed to address the public’s lack of confidence in outsourcing deals, including concerns that private sector firms are making unfair profits. In two reports examining Whitehall’s use of private firms, auditors said contracting with third parties was an important part of public service delivery. However, existing deals lacked transparency over the role of contractors in service delivery. It urged the government to work with providers to ensure taxpayers’ interests were protected. Auditor general Amyas Morse said: “There is a crisis of confidence at present, caused by some worrying examples of contractors not appearing to treat the public sector fairly, and of departments themselves not being on top of things,’ he added. “While some government departments have been admirably quick off the

mark and transparent in investigating problems, there is a clear need to reset the ground rules for both contractors and their departmental customers.” Central government spent £40bn in contracts with third parties in 2012/13 but the NAO said not enough information was currently provided about the performance of firms providing public services, and whether the profits they make represent a fair return. A proper understanding of contractor profits is important to identify whether their interests are aligned with taxpayers’, but there is only ‘limited’ information about the rewards contractors make. Responding to the report, a Cabinet Office spokesman said: “We know that the civil service lacks commercial capability and that contract management needs to be improved. “Our reform programme seeks to address this but we must accelerate change to save taxpayers more, create better quality public services and promote growth.”

News in Brief

GB News


Councils stockpile 1.3m more tonnes of salt this winter Councils are stockpiling 1.3m more tonnes of salt this year in preparation for winter, according to new figures from the Local Government Association (LGA). The survey found that 95 per cent of councils are either increasing or maintaining their salt stocks this year, with half planning to share salt and equipment with neighbouring authorities. READ MORE:

Plan to revitalise Scotland’s town centres revealed Councils have been given the power to establish Town Centre Investment Zones under new plans to revitalise town centres in Scotland. The Government Action Plan outlines joint working between the public, private and community sectors. It also includes £2m fund to bring empty properties back into use, the expansion of the Fresh Starts business rates relief scheme to pubs, hotels and restaurants, and a competition for entrepreneurs to drive forward town centre regeneration ideas. READ MORE:

Boris plans 100 ‘pocket parks’ for London READ MORE:


Majority of free school parents in London support council intervention for underperforming schools The first survey of London parents’ attitudes to the new educational system reveals that a majority of parents (62 per cent) with children at a free school support councils having a role in dealing with underperforming free schools. This rises to 77 per cent of parents with children in a local authority maintained school who think local authorities should have powers of influence over maintained schools. The YouGov attitudinal survey, commissioned by London Councils, which represents London’s 33 local authorities, provides evidence of high levels of support among parents for a local government role in taking action to ensure school standards remain high, children and young peoples’ interests are championed. The vast majority of parents (76 per cent) support a council role in creating school places through having the ability to influence all schools in their area to find more school

places or expand, and 95 per cent think the greatest pressure on places is in London. The survey also showed that 82 per cent think local authorities an important role in ensuring high education standards in schools, rising to 91 per cent of parents with a child at a free school. 78 per cent thought the council‑run process of applying for a school place was ‘easy’ and 93 per cent got their child into one of their top three choices of schools – (with 72 per cent receiving their first place). After the new school system was explained, 53 per cent of parents said that the education system is under more central government control than they had thought previously, with 29 per cent thinking the system was under more local control and 19 per cent READ MORE: did not know.

Work is now underway to transforming 60 of London’s underused urban spaces across the city into mini oases, dubbed ‘pocket parks’. £2m of funding from the Mayor of London will create 100 ‘pocket parks’ in total, which are around the size of a tennis court, by 2015. In Haringey, thanks to £30,000 from the Mayor, a small piece of rundown land will become the vibrant ‘West Green Road Tropical Park’, a lush oasis filled with unusual tropical plants. In Stratford a car park rooftop will be transformed into a fruit orchard, meeting place and event space for the local community with £25,000 from City Hall. It will also act as a nursery for trees to be planted elsewhere in the borough.






Barking and Dagenham most energy efficient local authority in UK

The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackey are the most energy efficient local authorities in the UK, according to a new league table. An Imperial College London researcher carried out a study on the energy consumption of all 198 urban local authorities in the UK, including 33 boroughs in London. The researcher has developed a new method that draws on three different measures of energy efficiency, currently used by city planners, to create the ranking. The aim was to find the fairest methodology for determining energy efficiency that could give planners an improved way of spotting best practice, leading to more energy efficient and sustainable policies in the future. The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackney topped the league table of all UK urban areas analysed in the study, which was carried out by Dr James Keirstead from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial. This may be because both are low income areas, equating to lower energy usage. Residents of those areas are also more reliant on public transport and these boroughs lack energy-intensive manufacturing and commerce, which may also be other factors that explain why consumption is lower. The City of London, Westminster, and Hillingdon are the London boroughs that use the most energy. This is because of the concentration of energy intensive commercial buildings and Government offices  in these areas. Hillingdon is also the home of Heathrow Airport.

Dr Keirstead says: “It is always interesting to see league tables and figure out who is ranked the highest, but the issue of who scored best or worst should not be seen as the most important element of this study. This is because the results are pretty unsurprising when you start to look at the reasons behind energy consumption. What is more important is that I’ve developed a fairer way to compare cities on a like-for-like basis in terms of energy consumption and this will help city planners to learn from each other and create more sustainable initiatives in the future.” Outside of London, Gosport in Hampshire is ranked as the most energy efficient city. This is because it has a relatively small population and lacks a local industrial base. Also, twenty five per cent of its population commutes to London for work. The city of Falkirk in Scotland uses the most energy, which is unsurprising, says Dr Keirstead, because its energy consumption is dominated by a large petrochemical plant on its outskirts, which provides petrol, diesel and other products to customers throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England. Dr Keirstead developed his methodology by amalgamating three techniques commonly used by planners. He averaged the combined results to create the league table. The research was published this month in the journal READ MORE: Energy Policy.


Co-operative bank withdraws council services The Co-operative Bank has announced that it will no longer provide banking services to local authorities in the UK to focus its attention on individual and small to medium-sized business customers. A letter written to council leaders and chief executives explained: ‘We will be seeking to exit some banking relationships which do not meet our future risk appetite or which have comprehensive and complex banking requirements.’ The letter continued: ‘As part of this strategy, we have decided to withdraw

from our involvement in providing banking transmission services to local authorities.’ Existing contracts with councils will not be renewed when they expire, the bank outlined. Support with be given to local authorities wishing to bring forward their timescales for seeking formal banking tenders. The Co-operative is thought to have a 35 per cent market share of local authority transactional READ MORE: banking contracts.

Councils want more powers to tackle rogue tenants

GB News


The Local Government Association is lobbying for councils to have more power to force private landlords to crack down on anti‑social behaviour caused by their tenants. It is calling for Lords to amend the draft Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill to give councils greater oversight of landlords. The LGA pointed to Scotland, where private landlords are required to register with their local council, which can ban them from collecting rent if they fail to take their responsibility to manage tenants seriously. The Bill has already been amended to allow local authorities to seek injunctions to evict private tenants. Mehboob Khan, chair of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, said: “Councils know people look to them to tackle the anti-social behaviour which can make a law-abiding resident’s life hell or blight an entire neighbourhood. “The government’s recent decision to allow councils to take action against private tenants as well as those in social housing will go a long way to helping them protect communities. “Hitting those who ignore warnings by stopping them from collecting rent would certainly be one way for councils to make them sit up and take notice of the damaging effect that anti-social can inflict on neighbours and the community as a READ MORE: whole,” said Khan.


New website compares adult social care Data from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) is being presented in a new website that allows people to find out more about care services in their area. The website allows users to select their local authority or type in a postcode to find out how carers and people receiving local authority funded care in the area rate factors such as quality of their life, satisfaction with care services, and feeling safe. Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said: “We want people to be able to know how well their local authority is performing. This will highlight those councils doing really well, but it will also enable people to hold their council to account if it fails to deliver good results from adult social care services, such as helping people to live independently or giving them genuine choice and control over their care and support.” This online tool will provide people with the information they need to do this in a clear, accessible READ MORE: format,” he said.



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The skills that an outsourced debt collection agency can bring to the public sector are increasingly proving their worth, according to Peter Wallwork of The Credit Services Association The world of consumer credit has been thrust into the limelight in recent months with the publication of the Financial Conduct Authority’s last consultation before the Authority finally takes over the regulation of the consumer credit industry from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in April 2014. Speaking at the Credit Services Association’s (CSA) annual conference in September, just a few days before the consultation was published, Mark Nicol, accountable executive for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), admitted that he saw the collections industry as a challenge. Nicol said that the market was “completely new” to the Authority and that they were “learning every day”. OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES There are three operational objectives at the heart of what the FCA is trying to achieve, and against which the new consumer credit regulation will be shaped: the first is to secure ‘an appropriate degree of protection’ for consumers; the second is to promote effective competition in the interest of consumers; and the third is to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system. The FCA was necessary, Nicol explained, because the current system had not kept pace with the times. The FCA would take a more proactive approach to supervision than its predecessor, and was empowered to scrutinise and take tough action where required to protect consumers. This would include a higher bar to initial

entry, scrutinising both firms and individuals, and intervening early and decisively when it identified malpractice. Nicole insisted that the FCA was not entering into this ‘brave new world’ with any prejudicial or preconceived views on the collections industry. SHARED AMBITION But to what extent do those in government, and indeed in the wider public sector, really understand the market in which we operate, and the services that we provide? Do they recognise that the concept of putting people first and treating customers fairly (TCF) is a shared ambition? And do they recognise the crucial role that external agencies can play in returning vital monies to the public purse? Of course the ‘traditional’ approach has been for government departments and local authorities to keep the collection of debts ‘in-house’; the thought of employing an external debt collection agency (DCA) to recover

EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS Indeed, this idea of what is ‘comfortable’ or not to local or central government is an important theme. Local authorities familiar with outsourcing are perhaps better able to manage external relationships, and therefore have a better idea of how success should be measured. Some central government departments, however, that have not shared the same experiences, may take a different view. They will not have the experience of procuring ‘debt collection’, nor an understanding of how a debt collection agency works, how they should be managed, or how targets should be set. The skills required ‘in-house’ to manage external collections are not something that can be learned overnight, and results – if not carefully managed – can fall short of expectations. Fortunately, not everyone thinks the same way, and indeed a good number of public sector bodies have been using private collection agencies very successfully for many years for all manner of collections – from ‘mainstream’ to ‘sundry’ debts. There are those within central government that are managing outsourced relationships well: the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), for example, has been using private collection agencies to recover overpaid benefits since 2003. Others within the public sector such as the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the National Health Service (NHS) have similarly issued external tender documents for the collection of penalties and unpaid fees respectively. The examples are there for those who choose to look. E

Written by Peter Wallwork, chief executive, The Credit Services Association


council money is an anathema to some who still need to be persuaded that the popular portrayal of debt collectors in the media isn’t true. Whilst many councils are still comfortable using bailiffs and the courts, the use of an external DCA is considered by some to be a step too far, with an inherent threat of losing control of the recovery process.

Debt Management


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The use of an external debt collection agency is considered by some to be a step too far  The role of the credit department in keeping the cash flowing is becoming more critical than ever, especially in the context of the ongoing financial ‘squeeze’. Whilst the commercial sector and the public sector are different in many ways, they are similar in the sense that cash is king; without it, they cannot deliver the services on time and on budget promised to their respective ‘customers’. Improving cash flow means having a  sound credit management strategy: this includes having an informed policy on collections and the possibility of engaging with external debt collection agencies. So, for those that have yet to be convinced of the benefits of employing an external agency, how do we overcome their concerns? MAINTAINING CONTROL The fear of losing control appears to be the most frequently quoted concern, alongside the need to protect one’s reputation. More than half of those questioned (55 per cent) in a previous survey conducted by the CSA state the key reason for NOT employing an external debt collection agency is the fear of losing control when employing a third party, and not having control on what is done and said on their behalf. Many have enjoyed long relationships with their ‘customers’, are familiar with them and do not want that ‘familiarity’ to be compromised. They are also familiar with their own processes and procedures, and resent any disruption. (Interestingly, membership of the CSA extends to local authority credit teams, and much work is being done to learn from each other in adopting best practice in how customers should be treated.) Cost is also a concern. Senior management employ credit controllers or departments to stop debts occurring in the first place. To

employ an agency therefore, in their minds at least, is doubling-up on costs – creating additional expense. It is in effect paying for the same ‘service’ twice – and would mean admitting that their own collections team has ‘failed’. It seems strange that some appear to be comfortable with the concept of writing off a debt and losing money as a result, but most would be uncomfortable with the prospect of ‘paying’ to recover it. At a time when every penny counts, perhaps the industry needs to do more to demonstrate how the cost is ‘netted off’ against the collections and is not an additional expense. All of these concerns can be easily addressed and indeed overcome. Employing a third party to collect debts, and specifically a member of the Credit Services Association, does not mean losing control or putting one’s reputation at stake – nothing could be further from the truth. Members of the CSA adhere to a strict Code of Practice (the same Code that formed the basis for the Debt Collection Guidance from the OFT and has also been closely scrutinised by the new FCA) and, for the most part, appoint a board director responsible for compliance. There are specific procedures and rules that these members follow with teams dedicated to a specific task – and that is recovering debt. A PROFESSIONAL APPROACH CSA members are professionals. Their business, their training and their motivation is all about achieving results for their customers. Indeed, as a trade association, the CSA has a clear professional pathway for individuals working in the collections industry and a dedicated learning and development team that has devised diploma-level qualifications which ensure the highest levels of

professionalism and best-practice. Members of the CSA pride themselves on their ethics, adhering to the very latest TCF policies and, indeed, promote ‘compliance’ as a competitive advantage. Agencies deploy a series of skills in consultation with their client, rather than ‘one size fits all’. Their methodology is one of engaging the debtor, not confronting them. It is this collaborative approach that reaps better results, and maintains the creditor/ debtor relationship for the future. Agencies are only paid on results. That means they have to be efficient, but often the very fact that a debt had been referred to an external agency makes it more ‘serious’ in the eyes of the debtor, who has previously avoided or ignored attempts by the local authority to collect what is rightfully theirs to collect. Whilst certain legal firms may operate a ‘no-win, no-fee’ service in specific cases, in the debt collection industry, no-win no-fee is pretty much accepted as the industry standard. Clients, therefore, have quite literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. Credit teams are increasingly measured on reducing the volumes of debt and increasing the amounts collected and their performance – and often their reward – is based on achieving set targets. Far from indicating ‘failure’, the market for debt collection continues to grow as organisations are increasingly recognising how agencies should be utilised as an integral part of a credit management strategy. Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. Perhaps ‘innovation’ would be a better word and, to this end, local authorities should be prepared to innovate – to think and act differently as to how they can keep the cash flowing. And that means actively looking at what the private collections agency has to offer. L

Debt Management


FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0191 217 0775

Specialist solicitors for the best possible outcome Many people will have missed the sea-change in the court landscape over the past few months. No win, no fee arrangements or conditional fee agreements were first introduced in 1995 in England and Wales for a range of court cases, ultimately replacing the jaded ‘legal aid’. Recently, the media has concentrated on the so-called ‘compensation culture’, focusing on fraudulent claims and the damages awarded for trivial injuries, and not reporting on those who have received damages for injuries they otherwise would not have been compensated for. In 2010, Lord Justice Jackson published the ‘Review of Civil Litigation Costs: Final Report’, recommending an update

considered a small claims case, which has a massive effect on collections by government agencies. Any action that requires a money claim will either be handled ‘in house’, with the additional administration time and cost, or farmed out to solicitors ‘on panel’ for fixed or capped fees. The savvy collector should know that there are other enforcement methods, which involve court claims, where costs are still recoverable on debts over £750, but you need specialist solicitors to achieve the best outcome. on the recovery and payment of costs. The effect of the changes are that any claim for less than £10,000 is now

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 161 832 5000



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Award-winning Zinc Group announces the next step in its continued push to achieve the ultimate towards ‘treating all customers fairly’ Zinc Group is a multi-award winning company, currently partnering a number of blue chip organisations in their credit control and receivables management functions. Zinc’s solutions have been designed to dovetail into clients’ in-house processes as an integrated credit control function. Zinc is uniquely positioned to partner public sector clients to deliver comprehensive, efficient and effective ‘end-to-end’ credit management solutions. Zinc has the capability, capacity and expertise to deliver a ‘best-in-class service’ for all credit and debt management services. Zinc is fully compliant with all legislative and regulatory requirements and has recently added live interfaces to accommodate treating customers fairly and complaints’ procedures as part of its contact strategies. Of the calls on the dialler, 100 per cent are recorded and dropped calls (silent calls) are measured against the latest OFCOM percentage requirements.

Zinc has recently introduced a ‘multi-channel collection service’. This is done by engaging with Zinc through a dedicated web-portal, on their mobile, tablet or computer. CUSTOMERS TAKE CONTROL A simple log-on will give customers the ability to take control and offer a payment conducive to their ability at that moment in time: some examples are: if they have a dispute or wish to interact without feeling under pressure. If they have a disability that makes it uncomfortable for them to speak to someone, they can engage with ‘Zinc Chat’, an e-commerce service providing a range of tools for overdue customers to use. It is

INVESTMENT Zinc has made significant investment in a number of key employees who are industry experts, allowing them to add real value to partners by understanding their commercial compliance and governance requirements, in the industry sectors in which they work. Having invested in premises, people and technology, the company is now creating long-term relationships within both the private and public sector. They have no burden of purchased debt, no external investors to detract focus on delivering client performance. Owner‑managed allows Zinc Group to make and implement decisions quickly.

Zinc Group believes it is important to recognise the principle of ‘treating all customers fairly’. The 95 per cent of customers who pay to terms should not be penalised for the five per cent who have the ability but show no intent of paying

ETHOS Zinc’s ethos is built around recruiting and retaining the most experienced staff in the industry. This ensures that the company delivers and sustains a consistent performance. All clients have key performance indicators and service level agreements embodied in all aspects of their work. Zinc has recognised that clients are being challenged to collect overdue accounts in a prompt, professional and compliant manner. With clients constantly having to balance this with the need to maximise cash owed to them, whilst embracing the overarching principles of treating the customer fairly. Zinc Group believes it is important to recognise the principle of ‘treating all customers fairly’. The 95 per cent of customers who pay to terms should not be penalised for the five per cent who have the ability but show no intent of paying.

user-friendly and embraces the principle of ‘treating all customers fairly’. If an overdue customer with the ability to pay but no intent does not respond to this ‘multi-channel collection service’, Zinc then deploys a unique ‘three brand’ contact collection strategy. That moves the overdue account through the full collection cycle without the client needing to recall the account. If this leads to a more serious situation, Zinc’s ‘multi-channel collection service’ with the tools associated gives clients the option to consider enforcement. This is something they may not have felt confident in deploying with passive letter and telephone techniques.

TRADITIONAL METHODS The traditional methods of letter and telephone is simply not working. You just have to check your dialler statistics to see that the current ‘right party connects’ is getting lower and lower. Continuing down this strategy will not give your clients what they want in the future.

VISION AND COMMITMENT The commercials are also compelling because the overdue account completes the full collection cycle at the ‘one stop’. Clients can see significant savings over traditional multi-DCA collection cycles. It is this vision and commitment that sets Zinc apart from any of its competitors.

Zinc is proud to have been awarded the Best Consumer DCA in 2010 this coupled with the Best Commercial DCA in the Credit Today awards 2012. Making Zinc the only DCA in the UK to have won both of these titles. The company picked up another award for the Best Use of Technology at the 2013 Credit Today awards for its innovative customer ‘self-service hub’ L

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0141 354 6611



Company Profiles


Venson launches fleet tax guide: helping company car drivers control the cost of ‘benefit in kind’ tax Independent leasing and fleet management specialist Venson Automotive Solutions has launched a Fleet Tax Guide to help customers access up-to-date tax tables, calculate the tax on company cars and employer-provided fuel, and provide easy to understand definitions to commonly used tax terms. The launch of the guide, which is available online and mobile enabled, confirms Venson’s continued commitment to listening to the needs of its customers and delivering innovative solutions. Company cars account for over 60 per cent of all new car sales in the UK, with around one million fleet or business registrations in 2012*. ‘Benefit in kind’ tax is used to tax company cars made available for the private use of employees. It is based on CO2 emissions, vehicle list price (including accessories) and fuel type. The Venson Fleet Tax Guide’s Calculator evaluates the ’benefit in kind’ tax of company cars, helping drivers to quickly and simply understand the monthly financial implication of selecting a car of their choice. The glossary of terms demystifies common but confusing tax terms. Simon Staton, director of client management for Venson Automotive Solutions, explains: “We’ve listened to 2013-10-24 1-2 PAGE ADVERT GBM.pdf

our customers and have built this solution around their needs. Many said they find the calculation of the benefit in kind tax challenging, so we’ve created this web-based user‑friendly tool to simplify the process.” Fleet consultancy BCF Wessex played a key role in bringing the Venson Fleet Tax Guide to the market. Jeff Whitcombe, one of the company’s directors, commented: “The new guide from Venson shows that pocket‑sized paper-based tax cards, which are still commonly used, are redundant as they quickly become out of date in a digital age. “As a web-app designed for use on all smartphones and tablets, the Guide is always easily accessible and, as it

is constantly refreshed to reflect any tax changes, users will always have the very latest information to hand. It’s a great on-the-go tool for fleet managers and company car drivers.” With over 20 years’ experience, Venson Automotive Solutions is a leading independent fleet management specialist. Working with organisations across all sectors, Venson Automotive Solutions offers a complete range of services to suit all of its customers’ needs, including: fleet policy advice; funding; vehicle acquisition; green fleet adoption; maintenance and servicing; vehicle rental; accident management; duty of care; workshop management; and vehicle conversion services. Venson Automotive Solutions has a proven track record in reducing costs and increasing vehicle availability in businesses across the private, public, not-for-profit and emergency services sectors. *

Next Green Car 2013 www.nextgreencar. com/company-car-tax/overview.php




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Written by Steve Lee, chief executive, the Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM)

From ry 1 Janua EU e 2015, thmework ra Waste F states that e Directivpaper, metal, waste c and glass plasti collected must bearately sep

Waste Management



The amended EU Waste Framework Directive states that from 1 January 2015, paper, metal, plastic and glass must be collected separately, unless it can be demonstrated that it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable to do so. But what does this mean for local authorities? Waste is increasingly under the spotlight on the political stage, and with collection and disposal comprising the third largest local government service in terms of spend, this should not come as a surprise. The LGA projects that the overall cost of landfill tax alone to local authorities will be around £720 million in 2014/15, and collection costs are rising to reflect a range of factors, including the pressure for more food waste schemes.

Against the backdrop of the current economic climate and ongoing public spending cuts, we are starting to see some real tensions emerge, with councils caught between meeting legislative requirements designed to drive higher quality recycling and collect additional materials such as food waste, the pressure to maintain a frontline service at an appropriate frequency, and ever tighter spending constraints.

NEW LEGISLATION One of the most pressing issues that local authorities will face relates to the requirements in the EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD) that have been put in place to ensure higher quality recycling. From 1 January 2015, the directive states that waste collection authorities must collect waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately, unless they can demonstrate it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do so. Already the subject of a Judicial Review in England and Wales earlier this year, the interpretation of the WFD requirements by governments in the UK and Ireland remains a topic of hot debate. The latest instalment has seen a strong reaction to an open letter sent E



Case study

Spirit and Merseytravel: driving forward with device management Mobile devices have proved their value over and over again – and are now used extensively by field-based workforces and remote / home workers. However, to gain the maximum efficiency from the deployment of multiple handheld mobile devices, an effective device management system is needed. Merseytravel called upon the skills and expertise of Spirit Data Capture Limited to source and supply a suitable solution for its needs: SOTI’s MobiControl software. This has enabled Mersytravel’s ICT department to manage a large portfolio of personal digital assistants (PDAs), to automate their application deployment, to lock down devices and to produce management information reports.

Merseytravel is the operating name for the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (PTE). It is responsible for spearheading transport plans across the Merseyside area, to ensure that a co-ordinated and integrated approach is adopted. It also oversees the public transport network; co-ordinates bus and rail services; maintains the transport infrastructure; provides public transport information; and operates the Mersey road tunnels and the Mersey Ferries. The organisation uses handheld M3 PDAs to carry out customer surveys. The data collected via the devices serve a number of purposes, including reimbursing bus and rail operators for seasonal and concessionary tickets. To increase the efficiency of its operation, Merseytravel decided to invest in device management software. During an in-depth Internet search, it came across Spirit Data Capture, an independent consultancy specialising in sourcing, developing and supporting mobile computing solutions. Spirit recommended SOTI’s MobiControl software, as it met all of the organisation’s needs, including device security, application deployment, reporting and group management. MobiControl is a versatile device management solution that provides an efficient and effective way of deploying, supporting and managing multiple mobile deployments. It has been designed to optimise the effectiveness of mobile devices whilst freeing companies to focus on their core business activities. Spirit demonstrated MobiControl to Merseytravel’s IT department, which was impressed by the software’s capabilities. Systems Programmer, James Wilding, explains: “MobiControl is currently being used to manage Merseytravel’s portfolio of M3 Sky Handheld PDAs. There are currently 67 devices deployed by two teams, which run different in-house applications. MobiControl has allowed us to group these applications into deployable packages. “This means that we can send out updates remotely. This removes the need for the M3s to be brought back to the office, which in turn increases the number

of surveys that can be carried out by the teams. In addition to the remote deployment, we’ve been able to lock down the devices. This ensures that users can only access the applications they require – which has reduced the number of issues that arise due to accidental setting changes. The lockdown policy also allows us to create a ‘group’ within MobiControl that can handle any lost or stolen devices. With a simple ‘drag and drop’ approach, the device can be completely locked down. A message is displayed, informing the user that the device has been reported as lost or stolen and providing them with a contact number.” The IT department has also made use of MobiControl’s ability to create different users. This means that team leaders and managers can run reports on factors such as battery usage and signal strength. These all help with the management of staff. The department’s service desk team can also use MobiControl for the remote control of an M3 device, enabling the team to provide on-the-job training and first line support. The main benefits that Merseytravel has enjoyed from deploying MobiControl have included: remote package deployment; more efficient first-line support (due to the software’s remote control capabilities); the ability to find signal weak spots using its reports; enhanced device security; and scheduled file synchronisation. James Wilding comments: “So far, MobiControl has been performing exactly as we had hoped. It has reduced first line support fix times and has streamlined the package deployment. We have been able to develop additional in-house applications, and to test and deploy them remotely – which has increased the volume of surveys carried out. “As well as sourcing and recommending MobiControl, Spirit has provided us with general technical support. They managed the installation of MobiControl in a professional and timely manner. The training they provided helped to ensure a smooth implementation and meant that the users adapted to the new hardware without difficulty. The team at Spirit were helpful, efficient and thorough and we would be happy to work with them again in the future.”

For further information contact us at: t: 01928 718800 f: 0870 762 2824 email:

Waste Management


WASTE & SUB RECYCLING FEATURE SECTION  to English local authorities by the outgoing waste and resources minister Lord de Mauley, reminding them that co-mingled collections – often introduced in an effort to keep costs down – will not remain permissible in all circumstances. Because co-mingled collections end up in Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), this debate is also linked with a push to improve the quality of material coming out of these facilities, with new regulations imminent for England, Wales and Scotland. These regulations will be critical because the performance of the receiving MRF will impact on whether a co-mingled collection scheme using that MRF is deemed to be delivering ‘high quality’ recyclables in line with the directive. It is a complex area of legislation and CIWM and many other industry bodies have been calling for proper and timely support for local authorities from government in the form of guidance on TEEP and what constitutes ‘high quality recycling’, as well as pushing Defra to publish the final MRF Regulations for England and Wales. Given the lead times involved, local authorities urgently need the right information to help ensure that their collection systems will be legally compliant come January 2015. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS It is difficult to fully assess the longer term impact on council waste services but there are some obvious financial implications. At best, there are likely to be additional costs as many authorities take the advice offered both by Defra and the LGA to seek “their own legal advice and make decisions in accordance with that advice locally.” At worst, councils who have opted for co-mingled collection could be subject to legal challenges and, if they cannot justify their decision in the light of the WFD requirements, will have to bear the potentially significant costs of changing their schemes. And while it might look like a fairly discreet operational issue, it could have much wider implications across many different council functions in the future. Better separation of recyclables, for example, means that the planning process for new housing schemes and commercial developments must take into account the need for appropriate space and storage facilities from the

Already the subject of a Judicial Review in England and Wales earlier this year, the interpretation of the EU Waste Framework Directive requirements by governments in the UK and Ireland remains a hot topic outset. Many waste planners struggle to engage their non-waste planning colleagues on the issue of appropriate provision for waste collection and a more informed and collaborative approach will be essential in the future. The potential need for additional investment to improve recycling quality at a time when efficiency savings are the top priority will also impact on the procurement of collection and treatment services. We are likely to see more authorities following the proactive approach being taken in places such as Kent and Somerset, where the twin objectives of efficiency savings and service improvement are being delivered through joint working and procurement partnerships. And the local political landscape will need to change too. Waste services and infrastructure cannot continue to be used as a political football as it has so often been in the past. Waste collection and treatment is both a frontline service and a statutory duty and requires much more cross-party collaboration and vision. Waste might be perceived as a vote winner or loser, but in the long term it is far more important that the focus is on delivering efficient waste services and treatment facilities that keep costs as low as possible and quality as high as possible. L FURTHER INFORMATION

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Fleet Management


Written by Roddy Graham, chairman, Institute of Car Fleet Management


If you have employees that use their own cars for work related trips, there are two pieces of legislation you have to be mindful of in terms of meeting ‘duty of care’ responsibilities, explains Roddy Graham, Chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management The grey fleet should be of concern to all organisations. Those privately-owned vehicles used by employees while ‘at work’ are difficult to manage in terms of meeting any organisation’s basic duty of care responsibilities, not to mention corporate social responsibilities (CSR), in terms of the environment. They need to have measures in place to ensure that grey fleet vehicles are ‘fit for the purpose’, roadworthy, properly maintained, taxed and insured, which unfortunately is not always the case.

In the public sector alone, the former Office of Government Commerce (OGC), now the Efficiency Reform Group (ERG), estimated a while back that nearly 57 per cent of ‘at work’ mileage was covered by employees in privately-owned vehicles. That equates to around 1.4 billion miles a year covered by vehicles that do not necessarily comply with current law or are ‘fit for the purpose.’ Potentially, therefore, the grey fleet is a problem waiting to happen. As the above figures indicate, the grey

fleet may be much larger than imagined, especially if eligible employees have taken ‘cash’ rather than a company car. Historically, this happened at a time when company cars were unfairly taxed as a perk. Now attractive BIK rates linked to low CO2 emissions, allied to wide choice, make this no longer the case. Indeed, many responsible organisations are taking steps to encourage cash takers back into company cars and introducing attractive car salary sacrifice schemes. E



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Greener Solutions

GREY FLEET  UK ROAD DEATHS AND INJURIES Government figures show that the number of deaths on Britain’s roads rose by three per cent overall in 2010 to 1,901 in 2011. Car drivers and passengers accounted for 46 per cent of deaths, up six per cent, and pedestrians for 24 per cent. These deaths saw the sharpest rise, up 12 per cent. The number of ‘at work’ deaths now account for over a quarter of overall road deaths. The figure of 559 ‘at work’ deaths represents 29 per cent of the total. While, we have yet to see the first successful prosecution under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act involving an ‘at work’ driver, meeting duty of care responsibilities should remain a top priority. Overall, there are three main reasons for tackling grey fleet – health and safety, cost savings and the environment. HEALTH AND SAFETY The two main pieces of current legislation to be mindful of in meeting duty of care responsibilities are the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the UK Corporate Manslaughter (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Corporate Homicide (Scotland) Act 2007. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all full and part-time workers while ‘at work’, as is reasonably practicable. The Act covers all work-related journeys

including drivers in company vehicles, using their own cars or other vehicles for business use, temporary drivers, freelance drivers and agency or contract workers. The ‘Driving at Work: Managing work‑related road safety’ guide highlights the legal responsibilities of employers to comply so far as is reasonably practicable with the Health and Safety at Work Act, stresses the benefits of managing work-related road safety and suggests how it should be managed and road risks assessed. Employers need to consider driver competency and training; driver health; knowledge of basic vehicle checks; vehicle suitability, condition and maintenance; a valid MOT certificate if required; and safety equipment. Other considerations should even include adequate travel time allowance and proper route planning. The HSE guide extends to the use of privately-owned vehicles on business trips. Employers can be liable if employees use an un-roadworthy vehicle on company business. Employers have a duty of care to ensure they have checked employees hold a valid driving licence, are monitoring the maintenance history of the vehicle and that the vehicle insurance also covers business use. Besides conducting a professional risk assessment audit of both vehicles and

staff, employers need to have an agreed comprehensive ‘driving at work’ risk management strategy. In the unfortunate event of an ‘at work’ road accident, employers need to be able to provide evidence that they have taken ‘reasonably practicable’ steps to manage their duty of care responsibilities. Following an accident, employers failing to act on the guide run the risk of facing significant fines under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Directors and senior management can also face large fines and even possible prison sentences. The UK Corporate Manslaughter (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Corporate Homicide (Scotland) Act 2007 makes it possible for an employer to be prosecuted as the result of the failings of senior management. Under the Act, all employers have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their ‘at work’ drivers. The Act makes it much easier to prosecute organisations for manslaughter following a work-related death, than previous legislation. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not have to rely on an individual being found guilty of gross negligence; it just needs to prove the fatality resulted from a gross breach of the relevant duty of care by the organisation as a whole. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the fine will be E

Fleet Management


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GREY FLEET  seldom less than £100,000 and more likely several hundred thousand pounds. Under the UK Corporate Manslaughter (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and Corporate Homicide (Scotland) Act, a work-related road death will result in an organisation being fined rarely less than half a million pounds and more likely several million pounds. In addition, a publicity order could be imposed on every organisation found guilty. COST SAVINGS Employers should seriously review what they pay grey fleet drivers as the mileage rates may not make financial sense. Sewells and The Energy Saving Trust conducted research which flagged up that just under a third of companies allowed their employees to drive privately‑owned vehicles more than 7,000 miles a year ‘at work’ and reimbursed them nearly £3,500 each. The same research also showed that a quarter of grey fleet vehicles covered more than 10,000 miles per annum on employer business. For many organisations a grey fleet can cost them more than a company car fleet. Many grey fleet drivers see business mileage reimbursement as a potential money-making exercise. Currently, employees are reimbursed at Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAP) rates – 45 pence per mile. This is significantly higher than typical Advisory Fuel Rate (AFR) payments of 12 to 14 pence per mile for a company car driver. For employers, a practical ceiling for requiring employees to use a daily rental vehicle rather than their own privately-owned vehicle might be a maximum daily distance of 100 miles at the above standard rates. Above 100 miles, it may cost more for an organisation to reimburse a grey fleet driver.

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are higher polluters. In the public sector, the average age of a privately-owned vehicle used ’at work’ is 6.7 years old. In comparison, the average age of a company car is around 18 months based on the current trend of replacing company cars every 37 months. SMMT figures confirm that the average new car sold in the UK in 2011 emitted just 138.1g/ km of CO2, 4.2 per cent lower than the 2010 figure and 23 per cent better than in 2000. New technology, improved fuel consumption and better overall consumer awareness are the principal contributors to this continued progress. According to the SMMT, 46.8 per cent of cars had emissions below 130g/km CO2.

Fleet Management


MANAGING THE GREY FLEET Grey fleet drivers should be made responsible for ensuring that their privately-owned vehicle complies with Road Traffic law; is properly maintained, safe and roadworthy; and is ‘fit for the purpose’ when used ‘at work’. Grey fleet drivers should be responsible for ensuring that their vehicle has a current vehicle registration document, valid vehicle excise duty disc, current MOT Certificate if over three years old, vehicle insurance covering business use and an up-to-date service handbook. The fleet policy should lay down that all these documents should be checked at least once per year. To protect itself, the employer should have on file a signed document authorising use of a specified grey fleet vehicle and covering the above. Going the extra mile, employers could insist on minimum safety standards based on European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) ratings and minimum safety equipment (e.g. ABS and ESC). In order to reduce their carbon footprint, employers could specify an upper emissions limit and a maximum engine capacity too. Regular and occasional spot vehicle safety checks on both company cars and grey fleet vehicles should be the norm. The fleet policy should state clearly that the grey fleet driver must hold a current driving licence valid in the UK for the type of vehicle used and advise the organisation of any

With an average age of 6.7 years old, the majority of privately-owned grey fleet vehicles in the public sector are older than company car vehicles and therefore higher polluters THE ENVIRONMENT There is an astonishing choice of vehicles available with CO2 emission levels below 120g/km. Against this backdrop, employers looking to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions as part of their CSR can easily operate a carbon neutral transport policy as a first step towards running a greener fleet. The only obstacle in the way is the grey fleet. The majority of grey fleet vehicles are older than company car vehicles and therefore

endorsements. Driving licence checks should be undertaken annually, if not more frequently. Fleet policy should seek to reduce all ‘at work’ journeys to a minimum by conducting a series of pre-journey assessments, challenging whether the journey is really necessary. If it is, the most economic form of transport should be chosen and car sharing considered. L FURTHER INFORMATION





Advertisement Feature


As the world’s first mass-marketed 100 per cent electric car, the Nissan LEAF is proving to be an increasingly popular choice for businesses, with almost 3,000 sold in the UK since its 2010 launch

The Nissan LEAF has proven to be the right choice for private customers, businesses and government organisations all over the country. LEAF’s practical size allows five adults to fit comfortably in the car, whilst the high interior specification provides extra comfort. With more and more businesses incorporating a socially responsible green fleet policy into their long-term strategy, the LEAF presents the perfect green option as well as providing numerous economic benefits. The LEAF’s zero emissions when driving makes it exempt from road tax and, being fully electric, means businesses won’t have to contend with increasing petrol or diesel prices at the pumps. In fact, the cost to fully charge a LEAF is around £1.75 worth of electricity. FINANCIAL SENSE Compared to the much higher petrol or diesel costs at the filling station, LEAF makes financial sense, as well as positively contributing to the environment. Furthermore, the LEAF’s extended range of up to 124 miles means it can perfectly fit the daily usage patterns of either small businesses or local authorities. Oxford City Council is already enjoying a boost to its eco-credentials since adding a number of LEAFs to its fleet. The council uses the LEAFs for highway inspections and also as corporate pool cars. With the majority of the driving being in the city centre, where fuel consumption of regular combustion engines is at its highest, the council is making huge savings by operating a fleet of LEAFs.

The council employees driving these electric cars can also be sure to find a dedicated charging point as numerous charging stations have been installed across the city and can be found in car parks and park-and-ride facilities. These charging points can also be used by members of the public.

TOP-UP THE LEAF West Midlands Police has also invested in the Nissan LEAF. The 30-strong fleet of LEAFs is the largest single LEAF deal in the UK. These cars have been split evenly across the force’s area and are being used as diary cars, which attend pre-arranged appointments

West Midlands Police has invested in the Nissan LEAF with a 30-strong fleet. These are being used as diary cars, which attend pre-arranged appointments with members of the public with members of public that have contacted the police. With the cars covering an average of 40 to 45 miles a day, the LEAF is ideally suited for West Midlands Police’s day-to-day needs. Whenever they need to top-up the battery, they simply plug their vehicle in at one of the dedicated charging installations at each of the Local Policing Units. Both Oxford City Council and West Midlands Police have benefited from significant fuel savings and reduced their emissions. L FURTHER INFORMATION Visit or call a corporate sales specialist to discuss the benefits of the Nissan LEAF for your organisation on 0800 294 0579





The dramatic improvements in vehicle efficiencies seen in recent years are very welcome, but there is also evidence of a widening gap between manufacturers’ official fuel consumption figures and what’s achieved in real life. A report from the International Council on Clean Transport published last year showed that on average this gap had grown from eight per cent in 2001 to 21 per cent today. This surely means there’s a stronger case than ever for training to help drivers achieve – or at least get closer to – the official figures. THE BENEFITS Reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are the biggest benefits with an average improvement of just under 15 per cent on the day of training. As with any training – driving or otherwise – this will decrease over time, but we believe five per cent is a realistic long term saving. This is supported by evidence from German research of between 3.7 & 6.2 per cent fuel savings. Because of the focus on greater anticipation, efficient driving also reduces accident rates. Arriva North West is a good example: the bus company ran eco-driving training for their drivers in 2007 and the following year it recorded a 29.6 per cent reduction in ‘at fault’ collisions involving other vehicles and an 18.3 per cent reduction

in non-fault collisions. Eco-driving also reduces vehicle wear and tear which, in turn, reduces maintenance costs. Our experience shows that there’s no substitute for one-to-one training. And the training doesn’t need to be lengthy. Just under an hour per driver can go a long way. Short-duration eco-driving training is the basis of government subsidised eco-driving programmes in England and Scotland. In-car technologies, especially those giving drivers instant feedback on their driving can be effective in providing on‑going feedback, encouraging drivers to use and develop their skills.

Written by Bob Saynor, the Energy Saving Trust

You are no doubt aware that the way a vehicle is driven has a major impact on how much fuel it burns. But are you aware of the reasons why? The Energy Saving Trust’s Bob Saynor explains the science behind fuel-efficient driving techniques

THE TECHNIQUES For most drivers, the biggest benefits come from greater anticipation, better use of gears and by slowing down on the motorway. In more detail, drivers should drive smoothly, and anticipate situations and other road users as far ahead as possible to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. Maintain a greater distance from the vehicle in front so that you can regulate your speed when necessary without using the brakes. When slowing down or driving downhill, remain in gear but take your foot off the accelerator as early as possible. In most situations and for most vehicles this will reduce fuel flow to virtually zero. When accelerating, shift to higher gear early, usually by around 2,000-2,500rpm. High speeds greatly increase fuel consumption so avoid excessive speed. Other tips for better fuel efficiency include keeping tyres correctly inflated. Under-inflated tyres are not only dangerous but also increase fuel consumption. All ancillary loads, but particularly air conditioning, add to fuel consumption so use it sparingly. Turn off your engine if you expect to be stationary for more than a minute or so. E

Fleet Management


Reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are the biggest benefits of economical driving, with an average improvement of just under 15% on the day of training



Above it all Land Rover’s range represents over 60 years of constant progress. Models include the latest Freelander 2, which combines a luxury interior with sure-footed versatility, the Discovery 4, with full size seating for seven. Meanwhile the iconic, rugged Defender continues to offer the ultimate in off-road performance. The Range Rover and all-new Range Rover Sport are high performance all-terrain grand tourers while the dramatic Range Rover Evoque has still got people talking. Which will best suit your business needs? For more information please contact: 0845 601 5387 or

Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the 2013 Land Rover Range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 13.0 (21.8) – 47.9 (5.9) Extra Urban 26.3 (10.7) – 62.8 (4.5) Combined 19.0 (14.9) – 57.6 (4.9) CO2 Emissions 348 – 129 g/km.

The figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer’s tests in accordance with EU legislation. A vehicle’s actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only. Subject to availability and at participating dealers.

DRIVER TRAINING Fuel-efficient driving tips Anticipate situations to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. When accelerating shift to higher gears early, usually by around 2,000-2,500rpm. Avoid high speeds as they greatly increase fuel consumption. Keep tyres correctly inflated as underinflation increases fuel consumption. Use air conditioning and other ancillary loads sparingly. Turn off your engine if you expect to be stationary for more than a minute or so. Reduce drag by removing racks, roof boxes and bike carriers, and keep windows shut at high speed. Avoid carrying unnecessary weight as this will increase fuel consumption.

 Remove racks, roof boxes and bike carriers when not in use as they significantly increase air resistance and fuel consumption at higher speeds. Keep windows shut at high speed and avoid carrying unnecessary weight as this will increase fuel consumption. THE SCIENCE If you consider the basic physics behind the motion of a vehicle, it’s no surprise that greater anticipation is the single most important technique for urban drivers. Energy is required for two main reasons: to accelerate the vehicle and to overcome air resistance. Air resistance is fairly negligible at low speeds which means in typical urban driving the vast majority of fuel is used for acceleration. So even at low speeds a vehicle that’s constantly accelerating and braking will use a lot of fuel whereas the vehicle with the driver that’s anticipating well, has perhaps dropped back slightly from the vehicle in front and is managing to smooth out much of the stop-go will use a lot less fuel. When driving downhill or slowing down, a modern vehicle will usually use less fuel if you remain in gear but take your foot off the accelerator, than if you ‘coast’ in neutral. This is because it’s intelligent enough to recognise that the momentum of the vehicle is driving the engine. This activates the fuel cut-off switch, stopping the flow of fuel to the injectors. In contrast a vehicle coasting in neutral would still be burning fuel to keep the engine ticking over.

USE OF GEARS Some of the clearest research in to the effect of the use of gears on fuel consumption comes from TNO in the Netherlands in a paper published in 2006. TNO assessed three different acceleration strategies for both petrol and diesel cars and concluded that shifting up at low rpm and 50 per cent accelerator position resulted in the lowest fuel consumption. Air resistance or drag increases by the square of a vehicle’s speed, so when speed is doubled air resistance increases by a factor of four. At motorway speeds most of the fuel burned by a vehicle is used to overcome drag and this relationship between drag and speed mean that relatively small increases in speed add significantly to fuel consumption. Data on the effects of speed on fuel consumption for different vehicle types is available from the Department for Transport (DfT), based on work carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory in 2009. The data shows that for a typical modern car, fuel consumption increases by around 11 per cent between 60 and 70mph and 18 per cent between 60 and 75mph. For a typical large van (>1760kg) the increases in fuel consumption are even more marked: 23 per cent between 60 and 70mph and 37 per cent between 60 and 75mph. TYRE PRESSURE As any cyclist knows, it’s harder to move a vehicle with under-inflated tyres. Tyres are flexible and flatten at the bottom where they are in contact with the road. This means the shape of a tyre is constantly changing as it rotates and a different section comes

mileage as the appropriate proportion of their actual fuel costs, then they will have a personal financial incentive to drive efficiently for both business and private mileage. In contrast, the more common system in which private mileage is repaid as a fixed ‘pence per mile’ provides no such incentive. Other measures can be employed such as providing drivers with reminder information, producing fuel consumption league tables to encourage competition between drivers and offering incentives for the most efficient drivers. Fuel consumption league tables are well‑suited to fleets of identical vehicles and are associated more with van than car fleets. But league tables can also work for a mixed fleet of company cars as each driver’s actual fuel consumption can be normalised against his or her car’s official fuel consumption. The results are then ranked not by absolute fuel consumption but by percentage of the vehicle’s official consumption. The likely results within a large fleet are that the best drivers will achieve close to their cars’ official fuel consumption while the worst will achieve little more than 50 or 60 per cent of the official figure. Incentive schemes to identify and reward the most efficient drivers can be an inexpensive and effective way to promote eco-driving. Examples include awarding vouchers to the most efficient drivers and funding monthly social events for the most efficient team. Fleet managers should explore why some drivers are using significantly more fuel than their peers. There may be mechanical problems or different duty cycles such as more stopping and starting or heavier

Fleet Management


Energy is required for two main reasons: to accelerate the vehicle and to overcome air resistance. Air resistance is fairly negligible at low speeds which means in typical urban driving the vast majority of fuel is used for acceleration into contact with the road. This process, which is exacerbated in an under-inflated tyre, creates friction and heat and increases rolling resistance. The EU TREATISE project states that four tyres under-inflated by 25 per cent (e.g. 24 PSI instead of 32PSI) will add approximately 10 per cent to rolling resistance and about two per cent to fuel consumption. According to Michelin research from 2011, 39 per cent of British motorists were driving with tyres >= 8 PSI under-inflated. Maintaining correct tyre pressures is also an important for safety. LOCKING IN THE BENEFITS After training, it’s crucial to ensure the benefits last. One key factor is how drivers pay for their private fuel use. If company car drivers with fuel cards repay the cost of their private

loads. If not, then drivers should be offered additional help, advice or training. GET THE TRAINING The Energy Saving Trust (EST) has trained more than 30,000 drivers in Smarter Driving (eco-driving) since 2009. EST is part of a European project ECOWILL in which partners have cumulatively trained more than 100,000. The project involves 15 partners from 9 countries and trains instructors to deliver short-duration eco-driving training and works with licensing authorities to increase the emphasis on eco-driving in driving tests. L FURTHER INFORMATION smarterdriving



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Fleet Management


Following the severe storm this October and further bad weather on the cards, now is the time to review your organisation’s winter driving policy and prepare yourself and staff to stay safe on the roads, writes Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Have you prepared your car for winter yet? Longer periods of darkness, snow, ice, heavy rain and freezing fog can make for treacherous driving conditions, so it pays to be one step ahead. Whether you are paid to drive for work or an employer of people who drive for work, it is our collective responsibility to ensure we all play our part in staying safe on the roads this winter.

Before setting out on the road during the winter months, consider whether the journey you are about to undertake is absolutely necessary. It is a good idea to stick to the main roads and ensure someone knows where you are going and your estimated time of arrival. Conditions can change quickly, which is why journeys at

this time of year should be approached with caution. To help plan your journeys in advance, it is a good idea to keep up-to-date with weather broadcasts and travel bulletins. It is important to adjust your driving accordingly to suit the conditions, especially during the winter, when ice and snow make E

Longer f o periods snow, s, darknesy rain and v ice, hean make for fog ca ous driving r treache tions, so it condi be one pays to head step a

Winter driving checks Are lights clean and working? Is the battery fully charged? Is the windscreen clean and washer bottle filled with screen wash? Have you checked tyre condition, tread depth and pressure? Are the brakes working correctly? Have the fluids been topped up? Do you have an emergency kit ready? Is your mobile phone fully charged? Is your route and destination known to your employers?



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ROAD SAFETY  a regular appearance. If it is frosty or icy, stopping distances will be greatly increased. We see more people being killed and injured in accidents at times when road or weather conditions are snowy or icy. OBSERVATION ESSENTIAL Hazards like reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces mean good observation is essential; if you can’t see the road clearly, you will need to reduce your speed so you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Also watch out for isolated patches and certain gradients which will remain icy when other parts have thawed. A good driver will be on the lookout for these areas. If you drive too fast on a slippery or wet road, your tyre grip will be substantially reduced and the risk of skidding increased. There is also no substitute for good observations. By easing off the accelerator, you can slow the vehicle rather than braking – a technique which also helps to avoid the danger of skidding (and saves fuel too). Apply smooth gear changes and steering so as not to affect the grip of your tyres on the road surface. Remember to keep a look out for pedestrians and other road users who may be struggling with the conditions. Driver alertness is crucial. When the weather is bad and visibility poor it is important to ensure drivers keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and maintain a safe speed. EMPLOYERS Employers should consider a winter driving policy for their staff who drive for work. One of the questions will be whether, when conditions are very severe, journeys need to be undertaken at all? In extremely bad weather it is best to stay

contain adequate equipment, such as a shovel, tow rope, and working torch. In addition to checking that company‑owned vehicles are prepared for winter, and remain in a good condition throughout the season, employers could also provide a checklist to encourage staff who drive for work to conduct all the necessary checks on their vehicle. If you’re an employer based in Scotland, the

Condition, tread depth and pressure of all the tyres, including the spare, is very important. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but RoSPA recommends tyres are changed when they reach 3mm. Consider investing in winter tyres, too off the roads altogether and firms have a duty to ensure that their drivers take heed of any warnings – either from official external sources or from within the firm – not to continue their journeys. Any journey scheduling should also allow time for sufficient rest stops and drivers should comply with speed limits and not feel under pressure to rush in order to make up for any delays. Employers should review their emergency arrangements with staff so they know what to do in the event of an accident, breakdown or getting stuck, and ensure that vehicles

Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) – see – is a valuable source of information and advice about managing work-related road risk. VEHICLES At RoSPA, we have issued some winter driving tips (to help you stay informed and reduce the risk of having an accident. Before setting out on the road, check that lights are clean and working, the battery is fully charged, and the windscreen, wiper blades and other windows are clean and the washer bottle filled with screen wash.

Fleet Management


Condition, tread depth and pressure of all the tyres, including the spare is very important. The legal minimum tyre depth is 1.6mm (see ‘tyreSafe urges tyre checks this winter’ panel, right), but RoSPA recommends tyres are changed when they reach 3mm. Consider whether to invest in winter tyres – some maintain a better grip in temperatures below zero. Check brakes are working as they should do and that fluids are kept topped up, especially windscreen wash (to the correct concentration to prevent it freezing), anti-freeze and oil. It is also good practice to stock up on de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and anti‑freeze and keep them topped up. And of course, prepare for the possibility of being stuck. Have a contingency plan and emergency kit ready. As well as these advance preparations, which can be made before winter sets in, remember to always clear snow and ice completely from windows, mirrors and lights before you set off on winter journeys. And, if you do find yourself in trouble this winter, do not abandon your vehicle. Call the emergency services on your mobile phone or from a roadside telephone and stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Stay calm and try not to panic. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Written by Dave Smith, British Parking Association


Well-maintained, safe and fairly-charged car parks are essential to sustainable growth in our communities. But barriers still remain, writes the British Parking Association’s Dave Smith

There’s no such thing as a free parking place – somebody is paying for it. This is true everywhere: in town centres, at the beach and in the countryside. Some car parks may be free at the point of use but someone is paying for their upkeep and maintenance. If they are patrolled to keep them safe someone is paying for that too. So-called free parking is subsidised in some way, either by council tax payers or business ratepayers or a combination of both. People don’t park to park. They park on their journey to do something else: to work, to shop, to play. Parking is a means to an end – not an end in itself, and the quality of the parking is the first and last impression of that experience. Making sure your customers and clients have a good experience in your parking facility says a lot about you and what you think of them. CHANGING TIMES We no longer live nine-to-five lives these days; people work all kinds of hours and shops are open seven days a week. Sunday trading can be as intense as any Saturday ever was. Late-night opening and a cafe culture has provided us with what many call the night-time economy where bars and clubs and cafes and restaurants thrive until the early hours. This together with the growth in car ownership places demands on parking unlike anything we saw 10 or 15 years ago. We are more demanding, more mobile and more diverse in how we spend our time than

ever before. Is it surprising then that parking controls and charges reflect this out of necessity. Motorists rightly expect the same quality of service in the evenings as they do in the daytime and the costs of providing safety and security patrols, and a range of other services to ensure that the car park operates safely and effectively throughout its working life have to be met by someone. Increasingly that someone is the user of that car park, why is that considered unfair? Parking managers up and down the country are keeping our streets safe and free from obstruction caused by indiscriminately parked cars, as well as improving road safety, keeping children safe when they come out of school, protecting spaces for residents or particular groups like disabled people and enabling servicing and deliveries to take place in high streets that would become congested if parking wasn’t managed.

town centres, communities, the economy, sustainability and a remit that by its very nature has parking in their world, this was it. Over the summer we’ve seen parking issues steadily climb up the political agenda with a punchy and persistent campaign from Eric Pickles and his department and this event was created in part to gauge the feelings of members and key stakeholders. What’s more, the BPA is calling for a Parking Summit in early 2014 and we’ve invited the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, as well as Transport Ministers, to join us and key stakeholders at the Summit so we can have a real debate about how and why parking is managed. What’s clear is that there is a disagreement within government and throughout the UK about parking policy, which in part is borne out of the BPA’s activities in lobbying the Department for Transport for a review of the penalty charge value outside London in England, one of a number of proposals put forward in our 2013 Master Plan for parking. At the Sustainable Transport 2013 Conference held last month in London we told everyone about Park Mark® and the E

Parking s an is a me – not d to an enitself. The in an end of parking quality rst and last is the fision of that impres erience exp

THE GREAT PARKING DEBATE Last month in Leeds the BPA held its very first Great Big Parking Debate. If ever an event sought to catch the imagination and current mood of not just parking professionals but those with an interest in



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10 years ago next year, in collaboration with Police and government, the BPA launched the Safer Parking Scheme or Park Mark®, focusing on managing risks rather than design. It’s as much about reducing the fear of crime as crime itself  importance of good life care planning. We learned a long time ago that car parks are for people and they do not park a vehicle just for the sake of it. Parking is a means to an end not an end in itself. The quality of the parking is the first and last impression of that experience and car park owners and operators must ensure their customers and clients have a good experience in their parking facility. WHAT ABOUT SAFETY? 10 years ago next year, in collaboration with Police and government, the BPA launched the Safer Parking Scheme or Park Mark® as it’s more commonly known, focusing on managing risks rather than design. Park Mark® is as much about reducing the fear of crime as it is about crime reduction itself and we believe it is important that motorists can readily identify all car parks with low levels of crime when choosing somewhere to park. Traditionally, people choose where to park based on convenience and price. But how much better would it be for the consumer and the profession if they could make that decision with reference to relative safety and a reduced fear of crime? This is exactly what Park Mark® aims to do. Today the Scheme boasts over 5,000 Park Mark® awards across the UK, representing about 20 per cent of all public off-street parking. These range from small neighbourhood car parks to major multi-decked car parks in large outof-town shopping centres. The smallest award holding car park has just space for just 10 cars and the largest, over 3,000. In the UK, operators from all sectors embrace

the scheme including local authorities; train companies; healthcare providers; universities; retail parks; major shopping centres, as well as mainstream parking companies. We even have banks and insurance companies as members as they seek to provide better services for their customers and employees alike. SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE At the BPA, we see many examples of people investing in the refurbishment of car parks to improve lighting and surveillance and the overall quality of parking in the UK is improving year-on‑year. However, we are concerned that too many car parks are being closed for safety reasons and are therefore prematurely reaching the end of their useful life. The BPA has a Master Plan objective which states: ‘Every car park should be properly serviced and maintained. We want to see more emphasis on life care planning for all of Britain’s car parks and appropriate funds should be set aside to ensure that they can be properly serviced and maintained.’ Premature or unplanned closure of multi‑storey car parks has a detrimental effect on the communities the car parks serve and works against the regeneration of town centres. Owners and operators should prepare and implement a life-care plan and undertake regular structural safety inspections which will identify defects and prompt repairs to minimise the risk of structural failure. The BPA recognises that most motorists drive and park reasonably and responsibly in accordance with the rules. They avoid parking where they shouldn’t and they pay for



parking when they should. Of course, parking enforcement should be fair and reasonable but safeguards are in place with well-established adjudication services for local authority controlled parking. Motorists now have an appeals service for parking enforcement on private land (POPLA) thanks to the work of the BPA – something that didn’t exist 12 months ago. MONEY MATTERS It’s interesting that only recently the RAC Foundation published a report which finds “no evidence of local authorities hiking their charges” and that penalty charge notices are actually in decline. The report also finds there is a decline in income generated from off-street parking. The report finds that the surpluses generated have actually resulted from lower costs rather than price hikes and there has been little increase in revenue generated from the cost of parking. And yet the perception is the opposite. The Office for National Statistics says that since 1994 the number of cars on the roads has increased from 21.5m to 28.7m that’s an increase of 34 per cent. And yet in London, we have seen a 20 per cent decline in the number of Penalty Charges issued by local Councils - that’s half-a-million less PCNs now than in 2008. Something doesn’t add up. The BPA believes it is unfair that parking managers are being chastised for being more efficient, something that the public demands in times of austerity. In fact an increase in parking revenue could be sign of increasing footfall in a healthy town which meets the needs of its community. Additionally, everyone knows there are strict rules laid down by law that stipulate how surplus funds are spent and this means re-investment in traffic management that benefits the entire community. So the message to local authority parking managers from the BPA is – take care of your customers, and your car parks, and they’ll take care of you. L FURTHER INFORMATION







THE POLICY LANDSCAPE IS CHANGING Not only is there an urgency in replacing aging infrastructure, such as power stations and transmission/distribution grid, but there is now a new focus on reducing demand through increased attention to energy efficiency and energy management. The UK already has a statutory commitment to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050. Although there is a national focus on incorporating more and more zero-carbon renewable energy into the energy mix, it is also widely accepted now that the cheapest way of reducing emissions is to invest in energy efficiency – as a country and as individuals. And of course there is the economic argument. Cutting out waste is a core activity of any organisation – it is inefficient and an inappropriate use of resources that means lower funding for the services that are being provided to customers and clients. So the drive to cut consumption is being driven at both a national and international level. The latest international development is the Energy Efficiency Directive which sets out a range of ways in which organisations within each of the EU member states can reduce consumption and improve energy efficiency. A key element of this (Article 8) is the introduction of mandatory energy audits for larger businesses. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) has been put out for consultation by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). It sets out how this country will meet the requirements of this article. The

central thrust of both the European and UK versions is to embed energy efficiency in the operating practice of larger organisations. While this may only directly affect the private sector, it should not be forgotten that the public sector is expected to take a leading role in the drive to improve energy efficiency. Central and local government have targets to reach in this area. ENERGY AUDITS So is there something for the public sector to gain from a greater focus on energy audits. At ESTA we believe there is. We have plenty of evidence of organisations in both public and private sectors making savings through a systematic approach to energy management. Conducted properly, audits will identify options for improvement, which can be ranked in terms of cost‑effectiveness to create priorities for action. By implementing the easiest actions first, savings can then be progressively deployed to the more expensive and complex projects which bring more long term gain. In this way, real change can be achieved with minimum expenditure. However, energy audits are not just a matter

of wandering around the site ticking boxes on a list. Especially with older buildings or those with multiple use, the energy signature can be quite complex. Different systems interact with each other, an adjustment to this piece of equipment may alter the balance of other systems on the site. Sometimes it can be hard to judge exactly where energy is being lost. Audits should be carried out in compliance with BS EN 16247-1 and reviews its content. It is intended to put sufficient flesh on the bones of the standard to enable good-quality audits to be specified. EXTERNAL HELP So if the expertise exists in-house there are some good manuals available on the theory and practice of audits. For many though, especially for those with multi-site portfolios or complex energy footprints, it may make sense to use some external expertise. There are many energy consultants around – some with two weeks experience and some with 20 years’ experience, so it is important to make sure that you use someone that has the required level of expertise. The skill needed to do a Green Deal assessment is not likely to be enough to carry out an effective energy E

FIGURE 1 Without effective management, energy performance will inevitably deteriorate over time. Settings tend to ‘drift’ away from the optimum, resulting in higher standing losses (horizontal dotted line) and day-by-day fuel use. Effect of ‘Performance Drift’ due to poor management and maintenance



Energy Used

With energy consumption now firmly established as a major international issue, efforts to manage energy effectively and minimise wastage are moving to centre stage. The UK finds itself facing multiple challenges in this area. There is the need to replace aging infrastructure. Clearly, the lower the overall demand, the cheaper this will be as fewer power stations will be needed and a smaller distribution network. At the same time, the link between carbon emissions from human activity and climate change is becoming ever clearer. At the end of September the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that it was more than 95 per cent certain that human-induced carbon emissions are the dominant influence on climate change.

Written by Alan Aldridge, executive director, ESTA

Is there something for the public sector to gain from a greater focus on energy audits? Alan Aldridge, executive director of the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA), investigates

Drift Aim

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Using the latest IZAR ROC receivers, it was now possible to read previously inaccessible meters without difficulty. However, the most persistent problem was outside the system: a single source of interference, extremely difficult to localise. Using frequency spectrum analysis, the source was finally discovered: a defective alarm system of a shop transmitted radio signals, jamming the radio channel in the area. The result of the optimising measures:

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100 per cent reading performance by using the latest ROC receivers and the intelligent alignment of high-gain aerials. Even better, the system now possesses such high redundancy that some receiving stations have become obsolete. The SHARKY heat meters measure and transmit a very small radio signal, an average of about 10 mW – compared with 2,000 mW for a mobile phone. This means the signal has no harmful effect on people. Moreover, a SHARKY heating or cooling meter measures and transmits consumption, flow rate and temperatures for well over 10 years without a battery change, over a range of several kilometres, even from within deep cellars. Diehl Metering promises to enable the customer to handle natural resources and energy in a cost-effective and ecologically sustainable way. The Danish operator Haderslev District Heating now has a high-performance and cost-effective radio network that reads all heat meters – fully automatically, reliably and at any time. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0) 161 6209593


About ESTA

Energy audits are not just a matter of wandering around the site ticking boxes on a list. Especially with older buildings or those with multiple use, the energy signature can be quite complex  audit on a large building (something the Government seems to have taken on board in regard to the ESOS programme as well). So where can an energy or facilities manager go to find the professionals whose experience and expertise has been verified and will match your requirements? A good place to start might be the Register of Professional Energy Consultants (RPEC), accredited and administered by the Energy Institute and ESTA as a joint initiative. Membership is restricted to consultants with Chartered Energy and Engineer status, a proven track-record and significant experience in delivering effective improvements in energy efficiency for their clients. Audits have a fundamental place in any strategic energy management programme. A recent publication produced jointly by ESTA and BRE – ID05 Energy Surveys and Audits: A Guide to Best Practice. This may help energy managers to draw up a specification for an externally-conducted audit. The publication gives practical guidance following the





structure of BS EN 16247-1 and reviews its content. It is intended to put sufficient flesh on the bones of the standard to enable good-quality audits to be specified. This new standard is itself designed to dovetail with ISO 50001, the international energy management standard. Audits may be useful in providing a snapshot of current usage and opportunities but they need to be embedded in a systematic approach to improvement if they are to deliver the best results. In the kind of structured framework offered by ISO 50001, audits can provide a means of regularly checking on progress and identifying new ways of managing energy and controlling costs. L FURTHER INFORMATION ESTA’s Energy Surveys and Audits: A Guide to Best Practice can be purchased at: publications. For more details of the RPEC, please visit

The Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) is a not‑for‑profit energy management industry association. With over 25 years’ involvement in energy management, ESTA is a standard setter in the development of the industry. Its mission is to reduce energy consumption through the application of technology and expert services. ESTA members have the commitment and expertise to deliver high quality energy efficient systems and practices and are expected to uphold the highest professional standards. ESTA’s strategic objectives are to promote the economic benefits of energy demand reduction, energy efficiency and management to all demand-side users and professionals. It also aims to raise awareness of energy reduction, efficiency and management with bodies of influence, and ensure that membership enhances the business proposition of member companies. FURTHER INFORMATION

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Facilities Management


Written by Mike Packham, British Institute of Facilities Management


Mike Packham, technical expert at the BIFM considers the role of ‘benchmarking’ in effective facilities management So, when is an apple not an apple? The answer to this somewhat juvenile riddle is, of course, when it is an orange, pear, pomegranate, or any other type of fruit you care to mention. This might seem a strange way to start an article that is ostensibly about benchmarking, but my objective is to demonstrate that the sentiment behind it is entirely germane to what can be one of the most powerful weapons in the facilities manager’s armoury. Before starting to develop this proposition, it is perhaps appropriate to review some of the things that benchmarking can be used for – and here I refer back to the BIFM’s Good Practice Guide to Benchmarking, which I was fortunate enough to be involved in the production of. POTENTIAL USES OF BENCHMARKING According to the Guide, benchmarking can be used to provide a baseline against which

to measure service improvements (in terms of cost, process, quality, etc). It is a means of ascertaining the competitiveness of the services being provided when compared to an open market situation. And it is a means of demonstrating to the ‘parent’ organisation that facilities management (FM) services are being provided efficiently and economically. Benchmarking can also be an alternative to a more resource hungry (and hence more costly) re-procurement exercise (why go to the market if your services are already being provided at a competitive

rate?). In the case of a ‘new’ building, it is a way of generating a realistic estimate of what the required FM services ought to cost for a given service quality. When assessing FM tenders in an outsourcing/ re-tendering scenario, benchmarking can be a methodology for assessing whether the tender returns are both in‑line with open market expectations and will provide the required service level. To those readers who are paying attention, it should be evident that there is a common theme running through the potential uses of benchmarking as mentioned. And that common theme is comparison, but not just comparison on any old basis. If we are to draw meaningful conclusions from a benchmarking exercise, then the comparison needs to be undertaken on a strict like‑for‑like basis. To achieve this we need to have two things in place: a classification protocol and a standard method of measurement. E

So, when is an apple not an apple? When it is an orange, pear, pomegranate or any fruit you care to mention. The sentiment behind which is entirely germane to what can be one of the most powerful weapons in the facilities manager’s armoury Volume 20.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE



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BENCHMARKING About the BIFM The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is the professional body for facilities management (FM). Founded in 1993, it promotes excellence in facilities management for the benefit of practitioners, the economy and society. Supporting and representing over 13,800 members around the world, both individual FM professionals and organisations, and thousands more through qualifications and training. The BIFM promotes and embeds professional standards in facilities management. Committed to advancing the facilities management profession it provides a suite of membership, qualifications, training and networking services designed to support facilities management practitioners in performing to the best of their ability. Facilities management professionals are responsible for services that enable and support business. Roles cover management of a wide range of areas including: health and safety, risk management, business continuity, procurement, sustainability, space planning, energy, property and asset management. They are typically responsible for activities such as catering, cleaning, building maintenance, environmental services, security and reception.

 EASY IN THEORY On paper, neither of these sounds overly difficult to ensure. However, years of FM experience generally have amply demonstrated to me that what sounds easy in theory is often a lot more difficult to achieve in practice. In terms of a classification protocol, it is quite easy to come up with a generic definition of, say, services maintenance or cleaning and there are a number of ‘standard’ protocols available that can provide a good starting point. The devil is often in the detail, though. For example, where do you capture the cost of maintaining catering equipment? Some organisations include this with services maintenance whereas others will include it with catering.

systems that have not been structured to allow detailed analysis of FM cost and, of course, the old favourite: miscoding of invoices. In reality, the only way for the benchmarker to ensure that the classification protocol has been correctly applied is to access the base data and audit it themselves. This is not as arduous as it sounds; the advent of spreadsheets and databases has made data reallocation a relatively painless exercise. With regard to the method of measurement, it is fairly common to refer to ‘hard’ FM services (primarily maintenance) in terms of cost per square metre, whereas ‘soft’ FM (eg catering, reprographics) is typically talked of as cost per capita, full-time equivalent (FTE) or workstation.

Facilities Management


When used properly (on an apples-for-apples basis) benchmarking can be a useful tool in assisting the FM to achieve demonstrable value for money in service delivery. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that comparison is undertaken like-for-like Sticking with services maintenance, other ‘anomalies’ that you might come across include: misunderstanding/confusion with terminology – for one of my clients it was not obvious that radiators should be included as part of the heating installation. And inclusion of minor project works/plant replacements – self-evidently the inclusion of these can seriously distort the cost of regular day-to-day maintenance activity. CLASSIFICATION PROTOCOL These particular issues ignore the more generic difficulties occasioned by accounting

Again, this sounds simple enough, but in reality there are all sorts of different square metres: gross external, gross internal, net lettable, gross occupiable to name but a few. Clearly, if one data set is being expressed in terms of gross internal area (GIA) and another by way of net internal area (NIA), then any comparison between the two is going to be entirely fallacious. In a recent example of this, we were asked to benchmark the cleaning costs of two almost identical office buildings. Making allowance for some minor differences between the two, we were expecting the cleaning costs per m² E

'Soft’ FM such as catering is typically talked of as cost per capita, full-time equivalent (FTE) or workstation




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 to be broadly similar. However, those associated with the second building consistently came out 15 per cent higher than we were anticipating; it transpired that we had been given the GIA for one building but the NIA for the other. Similar caution needs to be employed when benchmarking ‘soft’ FM services. For example, if ‘per workstation’ is the chosen measurement parameter, then we need to be specific about what sort of workstation we are referring to: is it in use eight hours a day, 24 hours a day, used as a hot-desk or for drop-in visitors, etc? Any or all of these factors are going to affect the benchmark results generated. USEFUL TOOL So, to return to my theme, when used properly (on a strict apples-for-apples basis) benchmarking can be an extremely useful tool in assisting the FM to achieve demonstrable value for money in service delivery. As we’ve seen, care needs to be taken to ensure that

If one data set is being expressed in terms of gross internal area (GIA) and another by way of net internal area (NIA), any comparison between the two is going to be entirely fallacious

comparison is undertaken strictly like‑for‑like. Too often, benchmarking results have been discredited when, on deeper inspection, it was found that conclusions had been drawn by making apple-to-pear comparisons. A final point, apple-to-apple comparison is fine when you are benchmarking at a relatively high level, but in some instances it will be necessary to undertake the investigations to a greater degree of granularity. In this instance, adherence to the classification protocol and method of measurement becomes even more critical by enabling comparison (to continue the analogy with fruit) at a Granny Smith-to-Granny Smith or Cox’s Pippin-to-Cox’s Pippin level. L

Mike Packham is a BIFM technical expert and partner at FM consultancy Bernard Williams Associates FURTHER INFORMATION

Facilities Management


Good Practice Guide to Benchmarking The BIFM Good Practice Guide on Benchmarking is available at no charge to BIFM members as part of the membership benefits. Facilities management professionals who are not BIFM members are able to purchase Good Practice Guides for £19.99. To download guides, go to uk/GPGs





Air Conditioning / Refrigeration


The ACR Show, taking place from 11-13 February 2014 at the NEC Birmingham, has seminars on the latest ground-breaking cooling technologies and the vital changes in the law affecting the industry

Confirmed exhibitors at The ACR Show 2014 AFR Refrigeration A-Gas Broughton Charles Austen Pumps Climalife Comptec CPS Products Daikin UK Dean & Wood Visitors to the show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 11-13 February, will have free access to the industry’s leading experts from the UK and Europe. Topping the bill among the 38 expert-led sessions are two seminars from Daikin UK (headline exhibition sponsor), with seminars entitled: ‘The biggest change to air-conditioning since the introduction of the inverter’, and ‘Preparing for the refrigeration revolution’. TECHNICAL ADVANCES Jan Thorpe, event director, said: “For the moment, the content of these seminars is under wraps. However, visitors to the show can be sure they will be among the first in the world to hear about important technical advances that are expected to have a major impact on the industry in future.” Visitors can pre-register to attend the show via the show website, with free access to seminars on a first‑come, first-served basis. As the big UK supermarkets, such as Tesco, Asda, Sainbury’s, Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose, continue their push for ever-more sustainable stores, a key seminar entitled ‘The greening of the supermarkets’ will update visitors on the latest developments and thinking in the rapidly evolving food retail sector.

With the F-Gas legal review coming to a head, several sessions in the Business Programme (sponsored by HRP) will focus on what the changes mean for the trade and end users. A key seminar entitled: ‘The ACRIB F-Gas debate: is industry paying too high a price for HFC leakage?’ will update visitors on the content of the new regulation, and discuss the implications for the industry and its customers.


F-GAS CHANGES Further light will be shed on the important F-Gas and refrigerant changes in a seminar led by Graeme Fox, entitled ‘F-Gas update plus the state of play on R22’, part of a wide‑ranging legal and business briefing hosted by the B&ES Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Group. The session will include updates on the Renewable Heat Incentive, changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and TM44, and business opportunities in relation to air‑conditioning inspections. Among the new technology updates is a seminar on the growing importance of noise control for refrigeration and air-conditioning plant, with a briefing on a new approach called ‘Dynamic Noise Control’, claimed to be able to maintain chiller noise output below a pre-set limit, with just a small efficiency penalty.


Visitors C R to the A e NEC h tt Show a ham form Birmingbruary 2014 e 11-13 F e free access v will ha e industry’s to th experts g n i d a le

Gram Harp International/Mexichem Honeywell JAVAC Jumo Mastercool Maxkold Primalec Searle Teknic Refrigeration UR Refrigeration Wholesale POWER GENERATION As UK power generation faces a critical fall off in capacity over the next few years, a seminar on ‘Virtual Power Stations – the potential for application of high-efficiency heat pumps’ will explain the principles behind this exciting emerging technology and how it could benefit the industry. With the search for safe, efficient refrigerants continuing apace, dedicated sessions will give updates on progress, including a seminar on ‘The latest results from the UK’s first HFO‑based chiller to be installed in the field’. E



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About The ACR Show 2014 The exhibition is the only national showcase for new technology, knowledge transfer and networking for industry and end users whose business relies on air‑conditioning and refrigeration equipment. With more than 100 leading companies from both the UK and overseas anticipated, it provides a not-to-be-missed opportunity for the trade and users of cooling equipment to get up to date with the latest advances in cooling technology and related services. New visitor features include a practical demonstration zone, giving visitors hands-on insights into the latest plant and equipment, plus the opportunity to take part in the twin-track seminar programme being staged in the Technical Seminar Theatre and Business Seminar Theatre on the floor of the show. The ACR Show has the backing of the industry’s leading trade associations, including contractor’s organisation B&ES Association, manufacturer’s groups HEVAC and the British Refrigeration Association, and the industry’s professional body, The Institute of Refrigeration (IOR).

 There will also be perspectives on emerging options from leading refrigerant producers Mexichem and DuPont, plus a session on ‘Avoiding the pitfalls of refrigerant conversion’ from IDS Refrigeration. Still on the topic of alternative refrigerants, Bitzer’s Oliver Javerschek, will give an insight into ‘The operating behaviour of CO2 booster systems’, while ‘The future of heat transfer fluids’ will also come under the spotlight. With energy efficiency high on the industry’s agenda, Toshiba will give a session on ‘The importance of part-load efficiency as a measure of air conditioning efficiency for the UK’, plus an overview of the rapid emergence of apps for use by field engineers, as a means of streamlining equipment selection, system design, commissioning and maintenance. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Air Conditioning / Refrigeration


New visitor features include a demonstration zone, giving visitors insights into the latest plant and equipment, plus the opportunity to take part in the seminar programme being staged in the Technical and Business Seminar theatres



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Ecobuild on 4-6 March 2014 will bring together professionals from across diverse sectors to learn, share, experience and discover the future of sustainable building and construction

Ecobuild 2014


the heart of Ecobuild since it launched a decade ago. Here, visitors can learn about the latest design ideas, future construction materials, lighting and technical solutions to sustainable construction challenges. New and existing innovations, such as the role of Building Information Modelling (BIM) will be a central feature of the 2014 show. The Connecting Future Cities zone will incorporate a range of topics from biodiversity and greening cities to infrastructure, water and waste, technology and transport – all of which are crucial to creating a sustainable future for an ever changing global population. The Energy zone addresses another hot topic for Ecobuild 2014, championing key energy issues and providing guidance and practical advice on policy and legislation. This area will include a range of features on renewable energy, resource management and energy efficiency. DEBATE AND DISCUSS Ecobuild 2014 will also feature an unrivalled information programme, attracting over 600 speakers. Free to attend, it champions the business case for more sustainable buildings and helps visitors respond to complex and demanding sustainability legislation. At the heart of the programme is debate, learning and information exchange, led by internationally renowned academics, politicians, industry leaders and celebrity speakers. In response to overwhelming audience demand, all speakers will now appear on the show floor and there will be two spectacular arenas to house the conference programme. Within the three main areas there will also be six core content zones, focusing on: Design; Green Energy; Future Cities and Green Infrastructure; Building Performance and BIM; Refurbishment and Retrofit; and Water, Waste and Materials. 2014 will also see an emphasis in bringing exhibitors and visitors closer together through an array of networking opportunities and social events. What’s more, next year’s Ecobuild has chosen CRASH as their charity partner for 2014. Founded in 1991, CRASH channels the expertise, supply chains and the benevolence of the property and construction industry to help facilitate the development and improvement of emergency night shelters, hostels, day centres and move-on accommodation for homeless men and women. L

d Ecobuil 2014 e most h t t s o will h rehensive comp ase of showc able sustain ction constru in the s product rld wo

Each year Ecobuild hosts the most comprehensive showcase of sustainable construction products in the world. It provides a platform for businesses representing the entire spectrum of sustainable construction products for new build, refurbishment, residential, commercial and industrial projects. Ecobuild brings together the entire supply chain in order to focus on the green agenda and help them realise the vision of delivering a more sustainable built environment. Ecobuild 2014 takes place at ExCeL London on Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 March.

global priorities such as climate change, energy security and job creation.” Over the past decade, the UK has pioneered the toughest sustainability legislation in the world. In response to this, Ecobuild has been a vital platform for raising standards, and the event is committed to further investing in the sustainability credentials of the industry, as well as the show itself, by partnering with the right organisations and key influencers across the supply chain.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Alison Jackson, newly appointed Group director of sustainability and construction at UBM Live Built Environment, comments: “The business case to achieve this vision has never been stronger. The ambition to create a sustainable built environment through better design and construction is at the heart of Ecobuild. It drives economic growth and ensures a built environment that is fit for purpose and contributes to

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN 2014? “Ecobuild’s anniversary made us reflect on the past 10 years and refocus on what the event is all about,” explains Jackson. “Our aim is to bring industry professionals together with a common purpose — to create a cleaner, greener, efficient and more sustainable built environment.” There will be three core areas to the event. The Sustainable Design and Construction zone focuses on the topic that has been at






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Repairs and maintenance is the single biggest cost in most landlords’ budgets, with spend in the UK currently estimated at around £10 billion a year. In addition, the retrofit challenge is estimated to have the potential to grow into a £12 billion a year market within the next three years. Smart decisions around asset management, repairs and sustainability strategy and solutions have never been more important to the success of a housing organisation. Extensive research with the social housing sector has made it clear that there is a need for a large-scale and national housing event which focuses specifically on these critical business areas, and brings together the very best products and services and conference content in one event. And so Homes 2013 will gather together the key players involved in the delivery of asset management, repairs and maintenance, retrofit, sustainability and supply of affordable Homes from within social housing or the private rented sector. If you are involved in the asset management of housing as a registered provider, local authority, ALMO, or private landlord, Homes is the event you cannot afford to miss. Taking place at London’s ExCel on 20-21 November, Homes will feature four content-rich seminar theatres, delivering inspired thinking around asset management, repairs/maintenance & sustainability for the housing sector. Visitors will be able to learn from the experiences of others on how to achieve value for money, and optimise revenues and efficiencies. What’s more, there will be an exhibition with the leading companies offering repairs, maintenance, retrofit and sustainability products and services. Just some of the booked exhibitors include British Gas, Rockwool, Lovells, Commulite, MNM Property Services, MITIE, Willmott Dixon & Spirotech.

There will a nel el pa top‑lev sion at discus 3, looking 201 Homes e priorities, at th enges that ll and cha heads of face ability sustain


Taking place at London’s ExCel on 20-21 November, Homes 2013 will feature four content-rich seminar theatres, delivering inspired thinking around asset management, repairs & maintenance, and sustainability for the housing sector

SMART CITIES The inspired seminars will take place across four theatres. Looking towards a future of smart cities, Melissa Sterry – dubbed as a ‘champion of science and technology’ – will taking a session entitled ‘Self-repairing cities: when retrofit becomes redundant.’ Fast‑forward to 2030 and to an era when from the nano‑scale upwards the smart city has come into its own. Buildings now behave like biological organisms and maintain self‑sustaining processes, such as passive heat/humidity control, and resource harvesting. Urban infrastructure operates like an ecosystem; its various parts making real-time collective decisions on both the social and E



EVENT PREVIEW  environmental changes taking place. Retrofit has become an antiquated concept, as has the notion of ‘waste’. The ‘paradigm shift’ towards new design and production methods, that we speak of today, has already happened – and yet more radical ideas still, are now emerging. What are the new challenges and what are the new opportunities this brave new built environment world presents? Are there any current developments – be they near or far, that could give us any clues? Melissa will explore these questions and more as she introduces us to ‘Self-Repairing Cities’ of the future.

THE GREEN DEAL With the Green Deal remaining at the heart of the government’s energy agenda, David Thomas, Deputy Director for Green Deal Demand, at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will take a seminar giving an update on the Green Deal and social housing sector engagement, and latest development on ECO and renewable heat. There will be a seminar looking at the potential performance gaps in energy efficiency systems and how to overcome them, which will be taken by David Adams, Technical Director at Willmott Dixon Energy Services.

DELIVERING SUSTAINABILITY There will be a top level panel discussion looking at the priorities, challenges and concerns that face heads of sustainability today and in the future. Successful strategies rely on the need to optimise investment, active engagement with communities and taking a huge step change in the way we work. So how  do we go about it. Panellists in this high‑level debate include Nicholas Doyle, Project Director at Places for People, and Adam Hackett, Head of Sustainability and Safety at Aster Property. There will be a seminar session looking at the importance of building an effective relationship between energy companies and housing providers to deliver ECO. The seminar will ask questions such as ‘how has it been working so far?’ and ‘What are the key challenges around installation in hard-to-treat properties and where can improvements be made? This seminar will be taken by Don Lieper, Director of New Business and Board Member, E.ON; Steve Gapik, Head of LA & HA Business Development Head of ECO, British Gas New Energy; and Alex Tsimboykas, Director, EUM.

With the Green Deal remaining at the heart of the government’s energy agenda, David Thomas, Deputy Director for Green Deal Demand, at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will take a seminar giving an update on the Green Deal and social housing sector engagement David developed and promoted the ‘Pay As You Save’ low energy financing concept for upgrading the energy efficiency of existing Homes which is being taken forward by the governments in the Energy Act 2011 as the ‘Green Deal’. He continues to support this through various Green Deal groups. RENEWABLE TOOLKITS The Institute for Sustainability is working with technical experts to produce two best practice toolkits on renewable energy and local procurement/supply chain opportunities with an aim to provide procurers and suppliers/trades in the housing sector with a greater understanding of the renewable energy and low carbon retrofit sectors, and the



local supply chains that are developing to serve them. The toolkits will also help to define subcontracting requirements and opportunities, and assist with local procurement strategies. Part of the RE:Start Local project, the Institute aims to support a step change in procurement and supply practice in the built environment industry. Visitors to Homes 2013 will be able to have a preview of these brand new toolkits for SMEs. NETWORKING LOUNGE There will be a networking lounge right at the centre of the exhibition, where you can meet, connect and relax with

business associates and new friends. The industry is constantly changing and so delegates will be able to keep up-to‑date with the latest news and connect with professionals from across the sector at the event’s ‘tweet & meet’ facility taking place in the networking lounge each day. Follow us on twitter: @Homesevent What’s more, on Wednesday 20 November between 16:00 – 17:30 there will be a drinks reception in the networking lounge where you can meet colleagues, old friends, peers and new contacts over a glass of fizz or a cold beer. L FURTHER INFORMATION

See how your energy use stacks up with E.ON at London’s Homes 2013 E.ON is one of the UK’s leading power and gas companies: supplying power and gas to around five million domestic, small and medium-sized enterprise and industrial customers. It also offers innovative energy services to help customers become energy efficient by encouraging them to insulate their homes, moderate their energy usage and even generate their own power. E.ON will be at the Homes 2013 exhibition (20-21 November, ExCeL London) to talk about the new energy efficiency programme Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and how they could both work together. E.ON wants to help families and

and speak to the company about how it may be able to help you. E.ON would love to see how it can help finance your projects and improve your housing stock. E.ON will be on Stand F32 at Homes 2013, where you can claim a Saving Energy gift pack* by quoting ‘Save Energy’ when visiting the company’s stand. communities save energy and money – and have had years of practice doing just that. With a range of insulation measures and energy-saving advice, go along

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The British event industry spans an incredible range of goods and services, from pop-up coffee shops to end-to-end project management, and can help make public sector events a success As the director of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) it’s my job to support and promote the work of ESSA and its members. Which brings me here, to tell you about the work we do, who we represent and the benefits of choosing an ESSA member to meet your live marketing and communications needs. But first a quick word about showbusiness. Local and national government departments aren’t traditionally thought of as being in ‘showbusiness’, but if you are responsible for communicating messages then showbusiness is very much your business. Although most people will think of glittering receptions and film premières when the word showbusiness is mentioned, the truth is less glamorous but arguably more important when it comes to government communications and events. There’s a place for the sparkling award ceremony, even in government business, but the truth is generally less frivolous. However, getting quality assurance, value for money and the right product or service in the first place, remains essential for government procurement, however large or small the requirement is.

aspect of live marketing, at every scale. At ESSA we represent scores of event-oriented businesses that embody the best of what the British live marketing industry has to offer. Our members deliver exhibitions for the largest conference organisers in the world, supplying and installing everything from giant projection screens and outsize graphic prints to coffee shops and digital signage. But the variety of services and goods offered by our members, though vast, is only half the story. When ESSA was first instituted, from a merger of the British Exhibition Contractors Association (BECA) and the Association of Event Contractors (AEC) in 2007, we had a clear strategy to promote and support excellence, provide a badge of quality and encourage collaboration between members on industry issues. Six years later and ESSA, together with its sister organisations the Association of Event Venues, and the Association of Event Organisers (AEV and AEO respectively), has led the way in building a common code of conduct for the whole industry, regularised its approach to health and safety and contributed at a legislative level to discussions relating to the industry as a whole. ESSA is recognised worldwide as a marque of quality and value thanks to our relentless efforts to promote the British event industry both in Europe and farther afield. Our ‘Use an ESSA member’ campaign has

Getting quality alue ce, v assuran ney and for mo product t the righce remains or servi ntial for esse ment govern ment procure

GOODS AND SERVICES The British event industry spans an incredible range of goods and services to help you reach your audiences efficiently and effectively, and their expertise covers every

gone from strength to strength. I believe that in the current economic climate it is important to make the right choice, to have confidence in your contractor or supplier to give satisfaction and guarantee success. ESSA aims to raise awareness of the importance of using a contractor or supplier that is a member of a recognised association, giving the end user assurances of the best possible service. ESSA can help you procure the services and goods in two significant ways. Well over 90 per cent of our members are SMEs, the most agile and flexible kind of business. Secondly, ESSA’s rigorous quality assurance means you can be confident that your chosen contractor will deliver high standards both on time and on budget. Their insurance will be up to date, they will be compliant with the latest regulations governing their area of expertise, and they will comply with the ESSA code of conduct and quality service charter.

Written by Chris Skeith, director of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA)


Conferences & Events


REFERENCES All ESSA members have a proven financial record, and their membership is conditional on two references, one from an existing ESSA member and one from a customer. Both these references are fully verified by the ESSA secretariat. ESSA also maintains a bond, that can be called on in the unlikely event of an ESSA member ceasing to trade before delivering an exhibition stand design and build. To date, no-one has ever claimed the bond, but it serves to underline ESSA’s belief in its members. For our members, the value of ESSA lies not only in being a credible assurance of high quality goods and services, but in the expertise they are able to share and learn from their industry peers. This is the ESSA virtuous circle. E






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EVENT SERVICES  By encouraging our members in every way to find common resolutions to common problems, obstacles and pitfalls, ESSA is constantly building a shared network of expertise and experience. When you use an ESSA member to deliver your live marketing requirements, you will benefit from the collective knowledge of the association as much as you do from the expertise of the firm in question. When you choose an ESSA member to print your signage, install and operate your PA, design and build your pop-up stand or organise and deliver your whole international conference, you are choosing to employ the best in British skills and expertise. You are choosing quality assured, safety compliant, financially sound firms with impeccable credentials and high levels of customer service. CASE STUDY As an example, one of our member organisations, Aztec Event Services based in Mitcham, was recently involved in a major government show, Civil Service Live. Aztec specialises in live marketing and event AV solutions. Civil Service Live was a reasonably large show for Aztec but certainly well within their capabilities. For the show Aztec produced five complete seminar theatres, ten ‘hubs’ for auxiliary presentations, featuring set, stage and lighting plus various

The British event industry spans an incredible range of goods and services to help you reach your audiences efficiently and effectively, and their expertise covers every aspect of live marketing, at every scale projections screens, plasma displays, PAs, and a digital video streaming service. And it was Aztec who suggested to DODS, the show organiser, that its Digital Signage system would be ideal for the event, with its busy schedule of many speakers and venues. It proved to be a major talking point of the conference, as well as being able to easily cope with the exigencies of a complex, changing schedule of speakers and events. Aztec is a typical ESSA member in many ways; its managing director sits on the ESSA board, it’s deeply involved in the ESSA working groups, establishing best practice and industry guidelines, and it has a reputation for excellence backed up by ESSA’s quality assurance and rigorous checking processes. All of our members are well equipped to meet your live marketing, event and communications requirements. By choosing an ESSA member to design and print your public signage, design and print your marketing material, build your temporary structure or

Conferences & Events


organise your glittering gala dinner, you’re choosing quality, reliability, and accountability. ABOVE AND BEYOND It can be difficult to communicate the passion and drive our members have for their industry, but ESSA members are well known for going above and beyond the call of duty – whether its creating an overflow theatre from scratch in 15 minutes, or wrapping a building in sub-zero temperatures and high winds. Take a quick look at our website at There you’ll find our code of conduct and quality service charter, and a lot more information about the association. Of particular interest to procurement officers will be our Member Directory at, where we list all of our current members and some details about their area of expertise. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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In many cases when a crime has taken place in a public place, CCTV has played an essential role in the investigation and has been known to help bring those involved to justice, writes James Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Security Industry Association

CCTV technology is continuously improving in order to be as effective as possible, and has proved itself as a vital security tool for the police, private companies and many public sector organisations over the years. Surveillance in the form of CCTV can be beneficial in terms of both crime deterrence and detection, and is fundamental in the prevention of terror activities, particularly in large cities. In those cases where a major crime has taken place, CCTV has played an essential role in the investigation of such activities and has been known to help bring those involved to justice. Such was the case in the London 7/7 bombings, where images of the perpetrators were obtained from CCTV at Luton railway station. In terms of the planned attack on 21/7, which was aborted, the police were able to rapidly issue images of the alleged culprits captured by CCTV on various public transport. Nearly 28,000 CCTV

recordings gathered by police helped lead to the convictions of four men, who were ultimately found guilty of conspiracy to murder. The footage was condensed into seven hours worth of recordings from buses, trains and stations, which was then used as evidence in court. NUMBER PLATE RECOGNITION One particular type of surveillance was extremely influential in this high profile case – the widespread network of congestion charging cameras placed in the Congestion Charging Zone in central London. Usually, these cameras utilise Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) in order to collect

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congestion tolls during busy hours. In this case, however, the ANPR systems enabled the police to decipher the movement of particular vehicles in the lead-up to both incidents, allowing for a clearer timeline of events to strengthen the investigation. ANPR software can generally be extremely useful in terms of city surveillance. This type of mass observation utilises optical character recognition on images in order to read vehicle registration plates. This kind of technology can be used in conjunction with existing CCTV, road-rule enforcement cameras or surveillance typically designed for this type of task. ANPR is currently used by various police forces as a way of electronic toll collection. However, it can also be an effective way of fighting crime and locating individuals who may have committed wrong doings, making it easy to track down vehicles in close to real time. These systems also typically use infrared lighting, allowing for careful monitoring of vehicles both day and night, which is extremely important as perpetrators may treat nightfall as a perfect opportunity to commit crimes or plant potentially threatening devices. THE ADVANCES OF TECHNOLOGY CCTV is constantly developing in order to suit the security needs of the country as a whole. Sophisticated mobile Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are now being fitted to buses and trains – known victims of terrorist acts – so that passengers can be safe in the knowledge that any potential harmful activity will be closely monitored and the necessary action taken to prevent an unwanted situation. When fitted, these compact, self-contained systems are capable of continuously monitoring the inside of a carriage or bus for suspicious behaviour, moreover providing a significant deterrent to criminal damage, delivering much-needed reassurance to the travelling public. Another key area where CCTV is rapidly developing is that of video analytics. This impressive technology is invaluable in the protection against the risk of terrorist attacks in largely populated areas. One application of this technology that is extremely useful in terms of city surveillance is ‘object left/object E






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“HD CCTV signifies an unprecedented revolution in the quality of images that can be delivered, the ability to more easily identify suspects, and the potential to improve the successful conviction rate on the ground.” Simon Adcock, BSIA CCTV Chairman  removed’. In terms of ‘object left’, this refers to the identification of something that tends to cause panic in populated areas – an unattended item. Often, people make the assumption that the item, such as a bag or package, is a threat, perhaps containing an explosive device, which could lead to a chaotic situation. It is therefore crucial for security professionals to make the assertion as to whether there is an innocent explanation or if the item is indeed suspicious, resulting in an evacuation of the immediate area near the article. Object removed allows CCTV operators to be notified regarding the offending object, allowing for its removal and the restoration of public order. TRANSPORT SAFETY This technology is useful in busy areas where, unlike airports, extensive security checks are not typically carried out. The transport sector makes particular use of this equipment. In 2007, Clapham Junction station in London was amongst the first rail stations in the country to install a CCTV system equipped with video analytics specifically aimed at addressing the rising risk of terrorist attacks. The cameras were installed to help in the identification of suspicious behaviour and in spotting unattended equipment. In recent years, this technology has been utilised by many other stations in the UK transport network. High Definition (HD) CCTV is also expanding across a wide range of video surveillance applications. “HD CCTV signifies an unprecedented revolution in the quality of images that can be delivered, the ability to more easily identify suspects and make sense of their actions, and the potential to improve the successful conviction rate on the ground,” says Simon Adcock, Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section. HD cameras also open up the possibility of covering a much wider area without having to use multiple different cameras. For example, in terms of wide-angled and fisheye E




In the London 7/7 bombings, images of the perpetrators were obtained from CCTV at Luton railway station. In terms of the planned attack on 21/7, which was aborted, the police were able to rapidly issue images of the alleged culprits captured by CCTV on various public transport  lenses which cover more surface area, there are features available that will allow operators to easily monitor an area without any distortion of the images, almost as if they were looking through the lens of a normal Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera. Operators of these cameras will also be able to pan, tilt and zoom the camera with the use of a joystick, adding flexibility to the monitoring process. When employed in the right contexts, cameras like these can allow for a more widespread observation in larger areas. CCTV FOR EVENT MANAGEMENT CCTV is also extremely invaluable in ensuring the smooth and safe running of events. Year round city centres host a wide variety of different events, ranging from Christmas markets, New Years Eve street parties, sports matches and concerts. These kinds of events result in a large increase in people flow, thus creating an increase in risk of crime or large scale attacks. CCTV, along with other security measures, allows for greater control over these potential threats and constant supervision of a wide range of areas. Video surveillance technology at events helps to provide the best possible situational awareness so that those in monitoring the cameras either in the control room, command vehicle or on the ground, are able to see the big picture of what is going on. This widescale view, with CCTV footage linked to a digital map of the vicinity, ensures that officers and event stewards can be marshalled effectively. At a tactical level, operators can drill-down to obtain more detail on a specific incident as it develops so extra resources can be

brought to bear and, if necessary, potential troublemakers identified and dealt with. CCTV cameras do not have to be static, for example one solution that is now used around major events is that of Football Command Vehicles. These offer a high visibility presence and include a mast‑mounted unit that provides a good all round view of a vicinity, allowing for relocation to specific hotspots if needed. Typically these are used at sports events where the threat of rival fans clashing can be imminent; however these vehicles could also be employed in city centres during busier times.



LINKING WITH OTHER SYSTEMS The integration of CCTV with other kinds of security equipment can also be extremely useful, particularly at events. For example, CCTV can be linked to an access control system, which monitors those individuals entering and leaving a particular area. The CCTV can provide pre-event and post‑event images of said individuals, and could lead to the identification of a criminal if an offence has been committed or a threat made. CCTV can also be detector activated. When an incident occurs, a Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) is alerted and images of the activated site can be accessed and monitored. This then allows the appropriate action to be taken, and the police to be notified if necessary, saving time and giving way to a faster response. Regardless of the kind of CCTV that a business or organisation employs, it is most important to choose from a supplier who is inspected to a quality standard, ensuring that the service is professional and trustworthy. BSIA members offer a reputable service and are inspected to UKAS accredited standards, to find out more about the CCTV section or to find a supplier near you, visit the BSIA website. L

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Face2Face Contact – for when you need the right people in the right places

Dealing with debt collection in an ethical, experienced and professional manner

Face2Face Contact is the expert in the management of a wide range of specialist field-visiting services, including vacant property checks, property assessments and information gathering, account rehabilitation, financial means-testing, commercial site surveys, document exchange and licence checks. Using a combination of the company’s bespoke External Visit Application system, latest handheld technologies and agent management systems, Face2Face Contact provides a secure and reliable end-to-end service over the life cycle of its clients’ accounts. Face2Face Contact works in partnership with all of its clients, integrating and complementing each of their processes with its own while offering complete understanding of, and compliance

UK Debt Recovery is an established debt collection and trace investigation company, managing debt portfolios across a variety of business sectors for private and commercial clients in the UK and Europe. The company delivers bespoke solutions, tailored to client’s individual requirements. The service it offers includes: credit control; debt collection; tracing absconded debtors; status reports; and litigation. UK Debt Recovery’s aim is to maximise recovery and achieve this through a combination of its experienced personnel, comprehensive collection methodologies and use of advanced DCA technology and systems. Given its wealth of experience, UK Debt Recovery is fully aligned to the issues facing its clients and has the necessary skills and expertise

with, any industry regulations. The company provides a solution which safeguards your reputation with a focus on speed, accuracy, security and quality – all resulting in improved performance for its clients. Face2Face Contact can provide full UK coverage on both residential and commercial sites and its highly trained internal staff and field representatives manage high volumes of work on a daily basis, within strict service levels. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01789 413707 (David Houlton, managing director)


to deliver a quality service. In the current economic climate, there is increased pressure to collect overdue debts. Financial and resource constraints mean that parties need to be more proactive when tackling their debt portfolio. UK Debt Recovery is a fully licensed and regulated agency and active member of the Credit Services Association. Strict codes of conduct are adhered to in order to ensure full compliance and set higher standards of best practice and ethical standards. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01494 473325 enquiries@ukdebt


Delivering solutions and IMEX Display and exhibition stands for trade support on time and budget shows or presentations Unilink Systems is an IT strategic its clients. Unilink provides a

IMEX is an established public sector supplier of high-quality, portable display stands, roll-up banner stands and custom point-of-sale display systems for UK exhibitions, conferences and events. The company’s extensive product range fills requirements, from lightweight portable banner stands and pop-up stand systems to custom modular exhibition stands and promotional point-of-sale displays. If you are looking for inspiration, browse the vast online range of innovative graphic display systems featuring contemporary design solutions to professionally communicate your key message statement with impact. Not sure of the best solution? Then contact the IMEX sales team. With over 10 years’ experience delivering creative solutions for public sector communications, IMEX Display can help you maximise your budget


by providing free fully costed stand proposals and advice. IMEX offers free shipping on all products to mainland UK, a full guarantee on stand hardware and instant credit account facilities with invoice billing for all public sector clients. Quote the special Government Business readers’ discount code DMGLW10 for 10 per cent off online orders, or call for a product catalogue. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01792 704888


solutions provider, specialising in services such as infrastructure design and implementation, support and cloud services. It provides IT support to London SMEs and has been planning, implementing, managing and supporting IT systems since 1994, demonstrating its experience in delivering solutions and support on time and budget. The company’s emphasis is to build long-term relationships with its clients to ensure they have the best IT systems in place. Based in London and Hampshire, Unilink services small to medium businesses in and around the London area – allowing it to provide an excellent service to

personal and quality service as it has a dedicated helpdesk for supporting customers and an account management team to maintain customer relationships. The Unilink team believes that intelligent use of IT is what sets organisations apart and helps them succeed in today’s competitive environment. If there is a service that will help your organisation flourish, Unilink will find it for you. Unilink Systems is a supplier of IT services and solutions and is on G-Cloud as a listed supplier. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0207 036 3800



Demma’s iNergy software Cut your energy costs can help you control with a BoilerMag essential energy remotely heating system filter Demma is an independent systems house that offers the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of building energy management systems from various manufacturers. Based in three regional offices, Demma offers national coverage and its experienced teams of engineers can support many systems, including: Trend, Honeywell, Cylon and Johnsons. The company’s unique software package Integrator and Energy Performance (iNergy) can integrate many systems and, with the built-in performance and energy aspects, is an invaluable feature for large property portfolios, such as local authority schools, libraries and other government properties. This internet-based software enables premise managers the ability to have a simple traffic light indication of the energy performance and HVAC efficiency within their

buildings. It is essential to ‘fine-tune’ your BMS on a regular basis. Demma is committed to energy services work with many clients to help them control their energy use, and has extensive knowledge of large public buildings. Demma works with a number of partners and is able to offer submetering, water and air hygiene services, energy-efficient pumping

solutions, and supply and install variable speed drives and lighting. Contact energy services manager Brian Rollason for further details. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 08709 222300/07872 455688

With rising energy costs, all businesses are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their central heating systems. Here, Eclipse Magnetics looks at how magnetic filtration offers a way forward. “Removing ferrous oxide or magnetite (sludge) is one of the most costeffective ways of improving energy efficiency of a heating system. If left unchecked, a build-up of these contaminants can significantly reduce boiler performance and lead to higher energy and maintenance costs. In its worst form, sludge can result in blocked pipes, poor circulation, radiator cold spots and corrosion. Call-backs and breakdowns are undesirable in all buildings, but especially in schools and municipal buildings where it can seriously disrupt

day-to-day activity. One of the best ways of reducing the likelihood of this is to fit a magnetic filter, such as Boilermag. Eclipse Magnetics is a market leader in magnetic filtration, producing high-performance systems for all types of properties. The unique designs ensure almost 100 per cent removal of the sludge and the unique magnetic circuit design ensures the system cannot block. BoilerMag comprises domestic, BoilermagXL for commercial projects, and BoilermagXT for industrial premises. It is low-maintenance with no electrical or mechanical moving parts.” FURTHER INFORMATION



AurigaGen: the award-winning hydrogen fuel cell backup system

Solar PV giving power to the people

With concerns about climate change, pollution, increasing demands for energy and ever-increasing price for fossil fuels, the need for alternative low-emission sources of power has never been greater. In response to emerging demand from Linnet Technology customers, in association with its partner Auriga Energy, Linnet has developed a hydrogen-powered fuel cell backup system. Our current reliance on traditional diesel generator and battery systems is not sustainable and we all have a responsibility to look after our environment. Hydrogen fuel cell UPS/generator backup systems can help achieve tangible reductions in carbon emissions and help meet sustainability targets. Linnet Technology and Auriga Energy were presented with the SELECT Electrotechnical Award for Best New Product 2012 for the AurigaGen product.

Newell Guiness, SELECT’s managing director said: “Special congratulations to Linnet and Auriga for thinking outside the box and grasping the nettle of future energy needs with a potential game-changing product, driven by the enterprise of both forward-thinking companies.” FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01786 450433 (Scottish Division) Tel: 01977 551764 (English Division – North) Tel: 01264 366812 (English Division – South)

Paul Bevis, managing director of Rentec, says: “I believe we, the building services sector, are in the enviable position of being able to make changes that really can make a difference – perhaps even the difference.” Despite the economic downturn, demand for renewables is as strong as ever, driven by increasing legislation as well as the need to reduce both energy costs and fossil fuel consumption. “Solar PV is an extremely popular low-carbon option,” says Paul. “We are getting enquiries from businesses, schools and farmers as people realise the massive benefits of renewables and the Feed-in Tariff scheme.” This scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to the grid, whilst providing a large reduction in electricity bills.

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Rentec can offer assistance with finance and a free solar scheme is available (subject to status). Rentec can also offer advice on other renewable options, including solar thermal, ground and air source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting, biomass boilers, wind turbines and low-energy lighting. Rentec’s renewables team is ready to offer professional, honest advice. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01202 717060



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BritishBins: the home of the wheelie bin

Reliable maintenance support for your gas generation system

BritishBins has evolved over its 12 years in the waste management industry to become one of the leading online suppliers of wheelie bins. The company’s bins are made to the highest quality by Europe’s largest bin manufacturers and comply with the EN840 standard for design, performance and safety. With its competitive prices, BritishBins has become the natural choice for domestic and corporate clients, providing both single household bins and large quantities of industrial bins for the public sector. The company offers many other recycling and waste management options beyond the humble wheelie bin: office recycling bins, wheelie bin tippers, wheelie bin enclosures,


clinical waste bins and external litter bins. Its extensive range of products allows BritishBins to cater for its customers’ functional and aesthetic needs. Custom modifications are readily available and it is dedicated to delivering flawless, consistent customer satisfaction. With its newest product – a patented food waste lid, designed to hygienically tackle the issue of disposing of food waste – BritishBins demonstrates the company’s aim to continually strive to offer customers cutting-edge solutions to waste management problems. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0208 776 8957

Clarke Energy provides, engineers, installs and maintains combined heat and power plants that operate on gas. The company is an authorised distributor and service partner for GE’s Gas Engine Business. Clarke Energy provides added value to the customer by acting as single point of contact from initial sale, project management, engineering, and installation, through to commissioning and long-term, reliable maintenance of your gas engine combined heat and power plant. The company has operations in 12 countries across the globe, and is a specialist in combined heat and power-using gas engines. It has significant experience in a wide range of different renewable and high-efficiency gas-to-power applications, including natural gas, biogas,

landfill gas and coal gases. Clarke Energy has worked on a range of high-profile public sector combined heat and power installations, including Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Christie’s, Broad Green University Hospital, Freeman’s Hospital, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Liverpool, University of Dundee and University of Edinburgh. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0151 546 4446



Promoting the Re-use of furniture and appliances to help people in need

Jangro for a full range of low-cost, high-quality washroom products

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) charity is a UK-wide body concerned with helping re-use and recycling charities and social enterprises to alleviate material poverty of the most disadvantaged members of our society. FRN works with local authorities and social housing providers to maximise re-use and minimise expenditure on waste disposal. FRN supports local authorities with the new Emergency Welfare Support, primarily in the supply of low-cost furniture and large domestic appliances. With recent welfare reforms and the forthcoming Universal Credit, social housing providers recognise what FRN offers to help sustain tenancies, support people in need, address worklessness, reduce disposal costs and costs associated with rent arrears. Current pilot projects include: relocation service for

Jangro, the UK network of independent janitorial supply companies with 41 outlets across the UK, offers over 4,000 janitorial, health and safety and catering products. Everyday lines are usually available on next-day delivery. For the washroom, it has an extensive selection containing low-cost high-quality Jangro ranges and advertised brands. These include a selection of paper products and hot-air dryers, paper roll towels and individual hand towels, including centre feed and touch-free dispensers. Toilet tissue is available in bulk, single and jumbo rolls. Hand wash solutions and foam soaps are supplied in a range of strengths. Dispensers for toilet tissue, hand towels and soap products are available in plastic, metal or stainless steel. Wastepaper bins, feminine hygiene vending machines and

tenants affected by housing benefit changes; reusing carpet; leasing large electrical appliances; zero waste facility for void clearance waste. FRN works with prisons and supports ex-offenders. It works with PRIME Work Programme providers to get those not in employment, education or training back into the workplace. FRN influences major government policy across many Whitehall departments such as Environment, Welfare, Employment, Justice, Business and HMRC. FURTHER INFORMATION


disposal units are also available. The Jangro air fresheners dispense the precise dose of fragrance into the washroom at set intervals. Dispensers are chrome, white, as a fan-operated unit or heavy-duty version. Completing the range are hand cleansers, shower products, urinal blocks, environmental toilet and washroom cleaners, drain solutions and toilet brushes. For details of Jangro’s product range or for your nearest member company, please contact Jangro. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0845 458 5223

Case study

Spirit and Merseytravel: driving forward with device management Mobile devices have proved their value over and over again – and are now used extensively by field-based workforces and remote / home workers. However, to gain the maximum efficiency from the deployment of multiple handheld mobile devices, an effective device management system is needed. Merseytravel called upon the skills and expertise of Spirit Data Capture Limited to source and supply a suitable solution for its needs: SOTI’s MobiControl software. This has enabled Mersytravel’s ICT department to manage a large portfolio of personal digital assistants (PDAs), to automate their application deployment, to lock down devices and to produce management information reports.

Merseytravel is the operating name for the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) and Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (PTE). It is responsible for spearheading transport plans across the Merseyside area, to ensure that a co-ordinated and integrated approach is adopted. It also oversees the public transport network; co-ordinates bus and rail services; maintains the transport infrastructure; provides public transport information; and operates the Mersey road tunnels and the Mersey Ferries. The organisation uses handheld M3 PDAs to carry out customer surveys. The data collected via the devices serve a number of purposes, including reimbursing bus and rail operators for seasonal and concessionary tickets. To increase the efficiency of its operation, Merseytravel decided to invest in device management software. During an in-depth Internet search, it came across Spirit Data Capture, an independent consultancy specialising in sourcing, developing and supporting mobile computing solutions. Spirit recommended SOTI’s MobiControl software, as it met all of the organisation’s needs, including device security, application deployment, reporting and group management. MobiControl is a versatile device management solution that provides an efficient and effective way of deploying, supporting and managing multiple mobile deployments. It has been designed to optimise the effectiveness of mobile devices whilst freeing companies to focus on their core business activities. Spirit demonstrated MobiControl to Merseytravel’s IT department, which was impressed by the software’s capabilities. Systems Programmer, James Wilding, explains: “MobiControl is currently being used to manage Merseytravel’s portfolio of M3 Sky Handheld PDAs. There are currently 67 devices deployed by two teams, which run different in-house applications. MobiControl has allowed us to group these applications into deployable packages. “This means that we can send out updates remotely. This removes the need for the M3s to be brought back to the office, which in turn increases the number

of surveys that can be carried out by the teams. In addition to the remote deployment, we’ve been able to lock down the devices. This ensures that users can only access the applications they require – which has reduced the number of issues that arise due to accidental setting changes. The lockdown policy also allows us to create a ‘group’ within MobiControl that can handle any lost or stolen devices. With a simple ‘drag and drop’ approach, the device can be completely locked down. A message is displayed, informing the user that the device has been reported as lost or stolen and providing them with a contact number.” The IT department has also made use of MobiControl’s ability to create different users. This means that team leaders and managers can run reports on factors such as battery usage and signal strength. These all help with the management of staff. The department’s service desk team can also use MobiControl for the remote control of an M3 device, enabling the team to provide on-the-job training and first line support. The main benefits that Merseytravel has enjoyed from deploying MobiControl have included: remote package deployment; more efficient first-line support (due to the software’s remote control capabilities); the ability to find signal weak spots using its reports; enhanced device security; and scheduled file synchronisation. James Wilding comments: “So far, MobiControl has been performing exactly as we had hoped. It has reduced first line support fix times and has streamlined the package deployment. We have been able to develop additional in-house applications, and to test and deploy them remotely – which has increased the volume of surveys carried out. “As well as sourcing and recommending MobiControl, Spirit has provided us with general technical support. They managed the installation of MobiControl in a professional and timely manner. The training they provided helped to ensure a smooth implementation and meant that the users adapted to the new hardware without difficulty. The team at Spirit were helpful, efficient and thorough and we would be happy to work with them again in the future.”

For further information contact us at: t: 01928 718800 f: 0870 762 2824 email:


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New public sector framework pushes SMEs towards doing business with government NHS, Local and Central Government will be able to choose from 183 companies selected to sit on a £40 million procurement framework for building public sector digital services. The framework will last for nine months and will provide access to digital services including software engineering, product development, content design and system administration. Of the 183 companies, 84 per cent are SMEs with almost a third having never done business with government before. The framework consists of pre-approved suppliers which can bid for government digital contracts, reducing the time it would otherwise take to buy services under European Union procurement regulations. It has been put together jointly by Government Procurement Service (GPS) and the Government Digital Service (GDS) specifically to support the Government’s Digital Strategy. Mike Bracken, director of the Government Digital Service, said: “To deliver the efficient and responsive services that the public demands, government must have access to the best, most cost-effective digital solutions.

Westminster roll‑outs out parking bay sensors

“The Digital Services framework will be a flexible and speedy route for departments to the digital project expertise they need to transform their services.” Bill Crothers, Government chief procurement officer, said: “SMEs are a key driver for our economic growth, but in the past it was far too difficult for them to win business with government because of unnecessary and bureaucratic procurement procedures. That’s why we have reformed how government buys public services and streamlined the procurement process to make sure we’re attracting the most competitive, innovative suppliers, including SMEs.” Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The Digital Services framework shows how we are levelling the playing field for government contracts and living up to our ambition to support growth by giving opportunities to new entrants and smaller suppliers who can deliver innovative, cost‑effective solutions based READ MORE: on user need.”


MoD updates ICT Strategy The Ministry of Defence has released its updated Defence Information and Communications Technology Strategy. This strategy supersedes the Defence ICT Strategy previously published in 2010. techUK’s membership were given the opportunity to comment on the draft of this strategy and techUK submitted a response to it earlier this year which can be found here. The Strategy considers the full range of information policies set for MOD by the Chief Information Officer (CIO), through the Head of Strategy, Policy and Practice, and the resultant ICT technical policies he delegates through the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to the Defence Technical Authority. It seeks to shape these where necessary READ MORE: to improve coherence.


Superfast Cornwall broadband study A study into the potential benefits for businesses that have ‘superfast’ broadband in Cornwall has found that the majority surveyed have been able to save time and/or money. Superfast Cornwall, funded by the European Union, BT and Cornwall Council, aims to

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deploy 130,000 kilometres of fibre‑optic cable throughout the area, bringing broadband – the vast majority of which is fibre-to-the‑cabinet (FTTC) – to 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Read more at

Westminster City Council has become the first local authority in Europe to install parking bay sensors across its entire road network. The infra-red SmartEye sensors will be installed in parking bays across the West End. Drivers will able to download an app to view a real-time map of parking availability. Working with Smart Parking, the council has already trialled the technology in five streets including Savile Row and St John’s Wood High Street. Nickie Aiken, the council’s cabinet member for street management, said: “Parking bay sensors are a simple concept that will deliver major benefits for people visiting Westminster as well as those living and working here. Making it easier to find a parking space, reducing congestion in the process, they are a key investment in Westminster’s commitment to provide ‘fairer, easier, parking’.” The three-year contract will see 3,000 sensors installed, paid for with revenue raised through paid-for parking in Westminster. If successful, a further 7,000 sensors could be installed across the READ MORE: rest of the city.


GP data to be linked to hospitals from June NHS England has announced that a large new dataset to be extracted from GP practices will be linked to data from all hospitals by June 2014. This is the care. data programme which was due to start extracting GP data this year, however concerns about properly informing the public about the scheme mean extracts will not begin until spring 2014. Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s national director for patients and information, described the announcement as: “The single most important step forward in transparency for healthcare anywhere in the world. “This will allow us to develop and publish new insights into the quality of services and to better understand the way services interact – an issue that we know is important for patients.” Meanwhile, Simon Stevens has been appointed NHS England’s new chief executive. He takes over from Sir David Nicholson READ MORE: on 1 April 2014.






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News in Brief

Security breaches down to management, not technology says Socitm briefing Information security breaches in the public sector are almost always down to failures of information governance and management and not technology, according to the latest briefing from the Society of Information Management – Socitm. According to Information governance: not up to scratch? local public service organisations are doing well at closing the technical vulnerabilities but rather less well at changing behaviours and preventing physical lapses. Security breaches reported on the ICO website include cases of incorrect disclosure, physical loss or theft of storage devices, misuse of old documents as templates, errors in handling fax and e-mail, sending documents to the wrong address, and even papers being stolen from a pub.

GCloud 4 suppliers announced

There is not a single example of a technical failure among them. The briefing reports that many local public service organisations are now addressing information security risks by putting the basics of information governance in place, and in the last three years, there has been an significant increase numbers appointing a senior information risk officer (SIRO). However, based on responses to Socitm’s latest IT Trends survey, only just over a half have an information governance function in place. The briefing includes a detailed case study from Chelmsford BC, one local authority that has taken a strongly pro‑active approach to information governance and security, and has some useful lessons to report for the benefit of others.



The fourth version of the Government’s Gcloud procurement framework has gone live. According to the Cabinet Office, an even greater number of SMBs have made it onto the supplier list. Over 1,000 suppliers are listed in total, 426 of which were totally new to the project.


UK Government has ‘the most open data’ The UK emerged from the recent Open Government Partnership summit held in London as the most ‘open’ of the 61 countries involved, according to the Open Knowledge Foundation, which published its 2013 Open Data Index at the event. The Index ranks 70 countries according to the availability and accessibility of information in 10 key areas, including government spending, election results, transport timetables and pollution levels. The OGP was launched in 2011 with eight founding countries to provide an international platform for reformers committed to making their governments more open, transparent and accountable. There are now 61 partner states, most of which came to the summit with pledges for improved transparency. READ MORE:

Steria partners with Cabinet Office to form SSCL joint venture The Cabinet Office has selected Steria to form a joint venture – Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL) – with the aim to save taxpayers money by consolidating the government’s back office functions. SSCL will deliver shared procurement, finance and HR services to government customers including DWP, Defra, the Environment Agency and UK SBS, with potential to expand its services to other public and private sector organisations in future. SSCL will be an independent joint venture between Steria Limited (75 per cent) and the Government (25 per cent). It will serve up to 160,000 current users across 13 different public sector organisations. Around 1200 staff who currently work in the delivery centres for DWP, Defra and EA, will transfer to the new company on 1 November 2013. UK SBS is expected to join by 2015. Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet

GT News


ICO fines North East Lincs

Office, commented, “Steria Limited has set out a compelling vision for how they will work with us to help government deliver back office functions more efficiently and, ultimately, more competitively. A key part of the Civil Service Reform plan is making government more unified, and enabling civil servants to focus on delivering exceptional public services. It makes sense for government departments, agencies and public bodies to share services and pool expertise, so that hard-working taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for duplicate services. Instead they will be able to focus on providing services rather than managing back office functions. “This is a great partnership which will promote the kind of growth that sees profits delivered back to the taxpayer and will help Britain compete in the global READ MORE: race.”

North East Lincolnshire Council has been hit with a fine of £80,000 after losing an unencrypted memory stick containing information on hundreds of children with special educational needs. The device was lost in July 2011 when left in a laptop at the council’s offices by a special educational needs teacher. ICO head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said: “Organisations must recognise that sensitive personal data stored on laptops and other portable devices must be encrypted. North East Lincolnshire Council failed to do this by delaying a policy on encryption for two years and then failing to make sure that staff were following the policy once it was finally implemented.” READ MORE:



Web Design


3Degrees: Hampshire’s user experience experts

Is your company’s website paying its way?

Founded in 2011, 3Degrees has solidified its reputation as Hampshire’s user experience experts. Providing industry leading design and development services to a variety of clients all over the world, 3Degrees is well-versed in conforming to all appropriate legislation, standards and modern web guidelines. 3Degrees is a small, friendly and specialised team of web professionals famed for creating engaging experiences across multiple platforms and devices; the team’s UX and goal-orientated process ensures that your project is run efficiently and effectively.

With troubled government IT projects regularly in the news, it’s never been more important for local authorities to justify their IT spend – a badly performing website could be costing you more than just money. Ensuring your website is fit for purpose can save time and money, now and in the future, as more people turn to your website as their first point of contact. From its Staffordshire-based digital studio, AMI Creative combines a wealth of commercial experience with a range of proven technologies, perfectly suited to local authority needs. AMI Creative’s clients benefit from a bespoke content management system’s highly intuitive user interface, and robust, modular design.

Here’s what Marco Nardone, CEO of, had to say about working with 3Degrees: “…we needed somebody who understood the importance of communicating multiple streams of relevant content to our users in a clutter-free manner. 3Degrees has done a fantastic job…” For more testimonials and examples of the company’s work, visit the website or get in touch today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 02393 078637

With little or no training, you’ll be able to manage content updates in real-time from your own offices, saving on costly maintenance contracts. And, should you need to extend your site’s scope or functionality, you can do so quickly and inexpensively. AMI Creative’s high-performance websites can efficiently handle information requests, application forms, payments and other essential council functions automatically, meaning you’ll save valuable man-hours and measurably reduce calls. Call AMI Creative’s friendly team to discuss your requirements. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01782 593073

Give your online presence a KN Web for affordable head-start with Chameleon web and graphic solutions Founded in 2001, Chameleon Web Services is a leading internet marketing and web services provider. It specialises in SEO, web design, AdWords management, 360° virtual tours and more, working with individuals and businesses throughout the UK. Chameleon Web Services, led by director Ian Bevis, provides content-managed websites for its clients as this allows the site owners to make changes and adjustments without constantly relying on the web company, thus reducing maintenance costs for customers. This emphasises its motto of ‘Big enough to cope, small enough to care.’ Being on page one of Google is important for any business with a website and, since 2007,


Chameleon has a successful track record for promoting clients in top three positions for even the most difficult keywords. Chameleon provides Google Business Photos, offering businesses 360° virtual tours of their premises, which are uploaded into Google Maps. As Google is the most popular search engine, Chameleon promotes the significance of these Photos for large and small companies. The media team at Chameleon Web Services has been working on virtual tours since 2005 and is able to provide customers with outstanding high-definition tours. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0121 663 0456


KN Web is delivering highly accessible websites to the public and private sectors in the south-west peninsula. The company offers an innovative approach to the design, installation, implementation and support of enterprise-grade content management systems for both the public and the private sectors. Ease of use to both site visitors and the staff maintaining the website is a key consideration for any busy website. KN Web has extensive knowledge implementing Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 whilst ensuring a visually engaging

website: a feature seemingly lost in many such websites. Despite over 30 per cent – and growing – of all website visits being made by either mobile phone or tablet devices, a very low percentage of local authority websites are mobile-user friendly. This is costing local authorities large sums of money as users are unable to find the required content. This leads to phone calls to already busy helpdesks. If you are looking for a new website, talk to KN Web today to see what can be done for you. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01884 220030


Web Design


Written by David Burgess, Reading Room


Local Authorities need to build upon the GDS ‘Digital by Default’ strategy, and go beyond just putting existing processes online, by starting from square one to create native online services that are best for the user, says David Burgess of Reading Room London The relationship between organisations and digital agencies is largely limited to that of supplier/provider of site design, re-design and build. This has been sufficient while digital has built and established its place in the world – most organisations now have an online shop window and ‘digital’ supports their strategic objectives. However, as the concept and the bigger benefits of an online presence have been acknowledged, increasingly more innovative and creative ways for organisations to succeed have begun to be realised online. At the beginning of the digital revolution, before the velocity of change within the digital environment was yet to gain momentum, this more formal, stayed approach was workable. Times have now changed. In the last 3 years (an eon in digital terms) the rate of change in the digital space has increased exponentially and continues to do so. Indeed the tempo of change, technology advancements and available applications are increasing with such intensity that organisations will very soon ill afford to be

flexible. This is about focussing on long term, iterative improvement, rather than big leaps every few years with nothing in between. Given that an organisation’s digital presence needs to be subject to a steady program of evolutionary (or in some cases revolutionary) transformation to accommodate the rate of advancement in the industry – cultural and organisational changes will need to be deployed faster and without compromising the efficiency of the change. THE GDS The Government Digital Service (GDS) was formed in 2011 to ensure that the Government offers the best digital products to meet people’s needs – simply how can they use the internet to communicate and improve the way they interact with citizens. Since their inception, we’ve witnessed a fundamental shift in online services for governments. 5 years ago it was about evolution – replicating offline services online, and coming up with digital methods as to how people can pay their council tax and apply for building permits. But now, because of the recent

The ship relation en betwe s and ation organis encies and g digital a ey interact how th foundly is pro ing chang

reinvention of digital towards services becoming more agile, cheaper and open – the message from the GDS is revolution, not evolution. It’s about starting from scratch, and inventing a service that has the user at its heart – a driven move away from just bringing offline services online, towards the building of native online services, which of course now means using Open Source. THE CHALLENGES The main challenges for Local Authorities (LAs) and central Government is how to promote the GDS’s strategy of ‘Digital by Default’, which means thinking digitally about everything from the outset, rather than it just being added into the mix as an afterthought. A further problem is how to design superior digital services, so that doing things online, whether it is accessing transitional services or how-to information, becomes the users’ preferred choice. This is after all, why the GDS was formed – to make things easier for the user, which in this case, means making the delivery of online services more efficient. Another talking point is how much influence SOCITM (the membership association for ICT professionals in local government and the public sector) has on local authority websites. E



Web Design


Enter a world of innovation, Website and digital education & communication development with Studio Mashbo understands that public sector websites need to contain different sorts of content, such as practical and local information, application forms, documentation and even payment systems. Although useful, these are not the sort of sites that people will choose to return to regularly. People visit with specific goals in mind and they need to achieve these tasks quickly and easily with a minimum of fuss. Visiting a public sector website could well be an inconvenience for many visitors, so the experience needs to be straightforward, secure and reliable and provide trust and confidence. Visitors to your site may have visual, mobility, cognitive

or other impairments, so accessibility is essential, too. Your website needs to work on phones and tablets as well as on computers, so visitors can achieve their tasks on the browser and device of their choice – whenever and wherever they are. Focusing on accessible ‘responsive web design’, using web standards, content-driven SEO and measuring success, Studio Mashbo can help you make more of your online presence, to better serve the needs of your visitors. If you need to make your website easier to use, why not talk to Studio Mashbo today? FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0151 708 1924

Taking a business process online or redeveloping an existing web solution requires vision and planning. It also requires a development partner who has the right skills and experience to deliver your project on time and on budget. does not just build websites; it works with its clients to understand their vision, and develops digital solutions that meet their objectives. was created in 1997. Since that time, the company has worked for a variety of clients in different sectors. As well as having a strong background in commercial

projects, especially in the travel and motorsport industries, also has a good history of creating websites and digital solutions for public sector organisations, such as the Port of London Authority and schools, where the company integrates publicfacing websites with internal management information systems.’s portfolio includes e-commerce sites, intranets, CRM systems, and XML integration, as well as brochure sites. The company is skilled at delivering completely bespoke web technological solutions. This is how the company has grown and it has a talented team of developers to hand. Whatever your requirements – whether it’s support for an existing system or development of a new digital solution – please get in touch. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01474 704400

Digital solutions: designed, Inspiring and individual developed and delivered web and e-learning solutions from Skynoodle Pixelbuilders is a client-focused, award-winning digital agency. Since early 2008, the company has been helping organisations embrace the web in a way that it and its visitors love. The company’s client list has grown and so has the team, but Pixelbuilders’ ambitions remain the same. It continues to offer a full range of digital services, including website design, bespoke web-systems development, responsive builds, digital marketing and hosting. Pixelbuilders prides itself on being proactive, insight-driven and always delivering on time and to budget. It works across all sectors: from public sector clients, such as the NHS, through to private sector clients like Fox’s Biscuits and Kingspan, as well as third-sector clients including Wakefield Hospice. Developing in ASP.NET, the company’s website projects are secure, accessible and user-focused.


If you’re going to invest in the services of Pixelbuilders, the company wants you to feel secure in the knowledge that it’s with you for the long-run. That’s why its solid financial foundations underpins everything it does as a business. With Pixelbuilders’ tried and tested approach of ‘discover, design, develop and deliver’, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that the solution you want will look great, work perfectly and generate tangible, real-world results. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0113 2473 895


Skynoodle Solutions specialises in the design and development of high-quality, tailor-made web and e-learning solutions. Centred around the belief that great design and solid functionality are key to the creation of a powerful web presence and an uncompromising online experience. The company endeavours to create fresh, energetic graphic and web designs using a wealth of experience, skills and ideas to create inspiring and individual marketing and learning material for your organisation. Immersing itself in your projects to focus upon your target audience and create an up-to-date design that is representative of your brand. Skynoodle understands the importance of social media and works closely with clients to develop social-media marketing strategies to raise their profile and develop a strong following. The company’s experience in e-learning encompasses the

strategic, pedagogical, design, development, management and implementation of e-learning solutions. Specialising in LMS implementation, course design and development, needs analysis and training delivery The key focus of all e-learning material produced is to improve independent learning, learner engagement and achievement through the effective implementation of IT solutions to meet the needs of organisations’ online learning requirements. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01283 516557

GOVERNMENT WEBSITES  SOCITM’s annual Better Connected survey has become the benchmark against which many local authorities measure their success, but it would be very wrong to see the criteria used by SOCITM as being the be all and end all. Whilst best practice guidance is always useful, it’s always more important to focus on your own users in your local area – what are their needs, their goals and their priorities? This hyper localisation, the information pertaining to a particular community, is often overlooked, and is something that can vary significantly by borough. So certainly local authorities should consider this first before worrying about how many stars they are going to get this year. 

bins haven’t been collected could vary by LA. Furthermore, users in one borough may have lower levels of literary because of an ethnic majority where English is not the 1st language. Circumstances are not the same in every area. Therefore it’s difficult to define uniform best practise nationally, because you can’t compare the same set of rules to all LAs.

GOV.UK The UK’s new public sector website, Gov. uk, was created by the GDS and launched in February 2012, and is viewed as a frontrunner in government websites. Although being successful as a go to place for information, so for people who don’t have that much communication with the Government, it is still a work in progress. It operates brilliantly as a quick reference guide for useful information, whilst also providing new services and tools. But it isn’t as effective in meeting the needs of government organisations on a G2B level, because it hasn’t been designed for strategic communication. However, LAs can learn from the way it was built, in fact Brent Borough Council based the principles of their new website on, but crossed it with a more communication orientated vehicle. Another part of the problem, in terms of best practice, is the fact that the majority of citizen-government interaction is at LA level, rather than the new website. Indeed, “individual LA’s may be required to deliver over 700 different services”1. Plus, one LA will use the web to do things differently than another because boroughs have their individual processes and needs. For instance, the way you pay a parking ticket or your council tax, or how you report that your

In terms of gathering data from citizens, the Government can learn from the US, where tools exist such as SeeClickFix – a web platform that allows users to report non-emergency crimes and other issues in their area

OPEN DATA INITIATIVE A further issue is something that has come about since the Government’s Open Data initiative, which means Government data is free and available for anybody to use for any purpose and has to be in a machine readable form. But challenges still remain in terms of

Web Design


the quality of this data, and of course best practise in the way that data is used. This ‘grey area’ gives rise to third parties interpreting the data in any way they wish – such as the controversial ASBOrometer, an app which tells users which areas in the country have the most people branded with an ASBO. Just publishing this data isn’t enough – the Government has made the first necessary step of making this data open, now they need to move towards offering guidance and advice on how this data can be interpreted, so that apps like the ASBOrometer aren’t all that there is. THE SOLUTIONS The key principle of a government is that E

Turn your used and surplus computers into much-needed funds 60IT buys used and surplus computers: PCs, laptops, printers, monitors, networking, switches, hubs, servers, storage, comms room, AV equipment, UPS – in fact, everything IT-related. So what kind of asset recovery services does 60IT offer for computer disposal? 60IT’s purchasing services are comprehensive and completely tailored to meet all your needs, fast removal, data erasure with certificate and asset tag removal. The company will purchase all of your surplus equipment. All services offered are with up-to-date pricing and quick removal for your surplus assets and computer disposal needs. 60IT offers its clients a buy price on all equipment so that they know – even before a collection – just what return they will get. This way clients receive current market prices

paid in full upon collection. This is how it ensures the very highest returns on your kit, with no waiting for payment. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0845 680 4312



Web Design


Solutions to save you time, money and stress

The Fresh Lab: taking a fresh look at the web

Essex Marketing has been set up to provide professional marketing assistance to Essex-based business. With extensive online and offline marketing experience, the company focuses on user experience to provide improved conversion for your business. Essex Marketing focuses on utilising the latest technologies when developing websites, providing mobile, tablet and desktop-friendly sites, as well as utilising Web 2.0 technologies for creating rich, interactive experiences for your visitors. By providing a unique Website Management Service devised from Essex Marketing’s own experiences and that of its clients – and customised for each client – its Website Management Services ensure you not just get a great website but you also benefit from its marketing knowledge. This will help to build an online audience, convert more customers and most importantly

Is your existing website performing? Is it attracting the attention it deserves? Is it providing the information your visitors are looking for? Do you even have a website? If any answers are ‘no’, then get in touch with The Fresh Lab. It is a forward-thinking, unique and fast-paced web design agency, dedicated to bringing your business alive on the net. The Fresh Lab prides itself on offering a professional, friendly service. The vibrant, hard-working team guarantees it will provide you with an easy-to-use, attention-grabbing site. No project is too big or too small. The Fresh Lab has worked on tiny, creative blogs up to huge, international online

know what your website visitors are doing on your site. Essex Marketing can keep you ahead of the competition by providing a service that starts with the planning and development of your website and goes on to provide an understanding of what your website visitors are looking for, how your website is converting and what your competitors are up to. Let Essex Marketing know your vision and it will light the way. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01206 804290

Cloud Migration Services CTG ensures that clients realise the full planned benefits from the adoption of a new cloud service. CTG’s Cloud Migration Service team has a proven track record in both the design of new cloud services and the migration of clients away from locally deployed application solutions to cloud-based services. CTG’s experience based approach is engineered to ensure that clients realise the full planned benefits from the adoption of a new cloud service whilst ensuring that any potential adverse business impacts are mitigated to deliver an effective implementation that guarantees business continuity. These services are offered via the G-Cloud Catalogue: CTG can offer these services either in support of its secure information disclosure portal solution or as a vendor neutral specialist. As a leading supplier of secure information disclosure portal solutions to law enforcement agencies, CTG maintains a dedicated security cleared team available to deliver these cloud services into highly regulated environments. This, coupled with our track record in UK and international Healthcare service provision, places us in a unique position to offer the public sector focused and economically competitive solutions via the G-Cloud framework. For more information please contact Haydn Watkins at CTG: Computer Task Group (UK) Limited Email: Telephone: 0118 975 0877



fashion retail sites. Every project it takes on it fully commits to and is only happy if you are. With almost 30 years’ experience, you will get a reliable and innovative website with a strong emphasis on functionality and usability. The Fresh Lab’s services means that no matter what your web situation, it can help. Whether it’s design, coding, search engine optimisation or digital marketing, The Fresh Lab works within your budget to provide you with a unique, professional and easy-to-use website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01327 810134

GOVERNMENT WEBSITES  they exist by and for the people, so they have a responsibility to make their processes people-centred, which is what digital is all about. For example, in terms of gathering data from citizens, the Government can learn from another key mover to digitisation, the US, where tools exist such as SeeClickFix – a web platform that allows users to report non‑emergency crimes and other issues in their area. This encourages residents to become active in the community through technology – they can use their Smartphones to post pictures, comment and vote on high priority cases. So there are opportunities to harness the data, and then use technology creatively to build the tools which can benefit communities, and enable maintenance and improvement of local areas through digital. Essentially, Local Authorities need to build upon the GDS ‘Digital by Default’ vision, and go beyond just putting existing processes online, by starting from square one to create native online services that are best for the user. Part of the solution is changing the perception that digital is one of many ways, and making it the preferred way – something which is an intrinsic part of the way organisations work.

collaboration between the client and agency, which we call Agile Creative Technology (ACT) – an iterative, unique service aimed at providing fast, cost effective and flexible digital solutions. The guiding principle behind the methodology is the use of a multi‑functional client/agency team, that has the decision-making and technical capacity to rapidly create site pages complete with UX and design components, without the need for time consuming sign-off processes. Due to the client/agency ‘in the room’ partnership, decisions can be made as the creation of the site takes place. The sign-off processes which traditionally mark the end of each project phase are reduced to decisions being made constantly by the client, and immediately affected by the development team. The back and front end developers and designer work concurrently. ACT is a methodology designed to rapidly deliver projects, whilst engendering robust collaboration between client and agency. The project style utilises the original principles of Agile – focusing on close collaboration with the client, the journey is undertaken together, allowing key design and functionality decisions to be made there and then.

ACT The relationship between organisations and digital agencies and how they interact, is embarking on a journey of profound change. Given the requirement for an organisation’s online presence to remain current with new technologies, an evolutionary approach to consistently deliver fast projects must be adopted in place of lengthy builds which become outdated before their even completed. One type of methodology being employed by us at Reading Room, is a blend of an Agile style of project delivery, married with a close ongoing

THE WAY FORWARD In summation, this is not only about LAs buying into the GDS ‘Digital by Default’ vision, but also using digital to design services that are cheaper, more convenient, and the best for their individual communities. The priority shouldn’t be on conforming to a set of national best practices, because this is an ever shifting bar – but it should be on producing quality online services that cater for the users’ needs first, and utilising the best of the creative technological approaches available to achieve this. L

ACT is a gy olo methodo rapidly dt designe r projects, delive gendering n whilst e ollaboration robust c een client betw gency and a

Website Design


Open Source: an order in the chaos Open Source has long been perceived as an anarchic, many headed creature. As it grew from a hobbyist pursuit, there was the perception of a lack of organisation and potential for chaos. Recently we’ve seen a growing acceptance of it – businesses have realised they can actually use Open Source to build their organisations. The government moving to Open Source is a shrewd move financially, but with the introduction of ‘standards’ – one of them being to ensure there is a more uniform approach to coding – we at Reading Room think this element of order in the chaos can also benefit agencies hugely. It means that we can easily pick up assignments from one another, and our projects can be built upon, whether by other agencies, freelancers, or the government themselves. We will all now be speaking in the same tongue. Essentially this is about creating a shared, reliable language across interoperable systems. Plus, we think it’s a great pointer to Sir Tim Berners‑Lee’s vision when he invented the web – for it to be a growing organism, ‘open’ and free for everyone to use. The World Wide Web – not the World Wide Web™. David Burgess is managing director of digital communications company Reading Room London. Email

Transparency and accountability to raise your profile the easy way People are increasingly turning to the internet to find out about local events, news and services. What better place to go to than their own town or parish council website? It really doesn’t have to be hard to place yourself at the centre of the community and a great website is where it starts. It needs to be up-to-date and written clearly for the benefit of local residents. The site also has to provide the information necessary to satisfy transparency and accountability guidelines. Yescando provides a full website service

– and makes it very easy for you. Firstly, Yescando creates the perfect website. It’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as the company listens to you and suggests the best solution. Then the company maintains and updates the website for you. It doesn’t expect its customers to learn how to be technical wizards, just send them an email and Yescando’s team of Hampshire-based technical consultants will take care of the rest. It guarantees to make any changes within two working days.

Over 300 organisations already know that its answer is always “Yescando”, so get in touch to find out more. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 02392 373235



Content Management Written by Doug Miles, AIIM



Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has existed as a concept for a decade or so and is fast approaching maturity. But how far along the implementation road is the public sector and what are the options for government departments that want to progress ECM faster? Doug Miles of AIIM’s Market Intelligence Division looks at ECM within government and where it goes from here Enterprise Content Management (ECM) has changed drastically during the 10 years or so that it has existed as a concept. It originally started life as localised document management and paper-imaging systems but now plays a much wider role at the heart of modern government, including storing and managing a broad variety of different types of content that simply did not exist until recently. INFORMATION OVERLOAD Local and central government departments are inundated with more information than ever before. Whereas not that long ago the type and nature of that content was fairly limited, the public sector must now keep track of every last plan, proposal, video, tweet, email, white paper, article and much more. This can be a thankless task, deeply frustrating for government employees who have to spend time searching for a particular file that has been badly filed or not even filed at all. This is not only inefficient work practice but in this era of open government it can also leave a department exposed if they cannot respond to requests for electronically stored information.



So not only has the nature of content changed dramatically, but the role of ECM in the public sector has changed with it. The primary aim of most ECM implementations is still to manage, share and process electronic content across an organisation. But it is now expected to extend that content beyond the firewall – to remote staff, to non-governmental organisations (NGO) and other third parties, whether they are consultants, suppliers, partners or something else entirely. Content also must be accessed and managed on a mobile devices, from tablets to handsets. The public sector needs to store, manage and analyse large volumes of data and content, wherever it is filed and whatever form it might take, and deliver the most relevant information to whoever requires it, in context and when they need

it most. This can be internal or external. Effective ECM plays a role in helping to meet efficiency targets, operational objectives and to deliver better services to the public. MULTIPLE ECM &

DM SYSTEMS One Against this backdrop r o f of changing roles and option ent types of content, m n r e v go a many government e s to u will have ECM is ed system, departments accumulated multiple s a cloud‑boffers access ECM or Document Management (DM) which ent for users systems over the t n o e h to c t f years. Changes of o outside all government, restructures and public sector cuts firew can all impact on which IT systems and infrastructure are used and it is surprising how often legacy systems are retained and still used in some capacity, whether alongside another solution or by a specific business-line within a government department.

Within all information management systems there is a need to ensure that appropriate levels of security are in place, and that is never more prevalent than for public sector information. The appropriate level of security, of course, will vary dependent on the type of information – from public, through personally sensitive, to highly secret national security information – but security is another important factor when considering public sector ECM. There was once a clear roadmap for ECM but that has changed and we are at a crossroads. What is the best way forward for government and ECM? Are multiple systems OK? Should the public sector stick with on-premise ECM or is it time to move to the cloud?

capital expenditure and, indeed, many will already exist within the organisation. However, downsides also exist. The government is fundamentally encouraging the mobilising of public sector information and in order to be able to do that, some form of remote access needs to be provided to this on-premise data. In many instances this requires, at best, additional software modules for in-house software systems – at worst, it requires custom development projects to enable this in legacy systems. In addition, routes into the information systems need to be made available, directly through the secure firewalls that have previously guarded that very information.

ECM AT THE CROSSROADS We sought to explore some of these issues in our recent report ‘ECM at the Crossroads’, which surveyed 538 individual members of the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) community, including a number that work in the public sector. The findings at first glance make alarming reading for those that work in ECM. On average, organisations manage two or more ECM, DM or Records Management (RM) systems and 26 per cent of those surveyed had more than four systems in place. Four per cent confessed to having more than 10 operational systems. But even with these multiple systems in place, approximately half of all content is held in non-ECM/DM systems, with only 18 per cent of firms saying they had completed an enterprise-wide ECM implementation. This is just two per cent more than the last AIIM ECM survey in 2011. On a more positive note, more than one‑third of respondents (36 per cent) said that they were working towards a central ECM system to help address content management challenges brought about by changing priorities, mobile access, cloud, social and email management.

CLOUD-BASED ECM Another option for government ECM is to use a cloud-based solution. These vary massively in both functionality and security, ranging from personal file-sharing tools to comprehensive, enterprise-grade solutions. Cloud-based information management sees both information and metadata stored remotely, on the providers servers. All access is via the internet, but mechanisms for this range from dedicated software to web-based interfaces. A primary reason for organisations looking to use the cloud is to provide access to content for users outside of the firewall. However, reduced up-front costs, shorter implementation times and the flexibility to vary user numbers quickly and easily also feature strongly. The downsides of cloud deployments often focus around the perceived lack of security of cloud services. This security sensitivity appears to vary dependent upon size, with larger government departments convinced that their own security is better than that of a

ON-PREMISE ECM The survey showed that, on the whole, people have bought into ECM. The key question for government is whether to use on-premise ECM or switch to the cloud. On-premise (or on-premises to some) works on the basis that all information, metadata and access-controls remain within the organisation, on their servers, and firmly under their control – with all access to that information having to be made through well-defined and managed routes. There are distinct benefits to this approach. If the organisation stores IL3 or above information, then keeping those assets in‑house would seem to make sense – the full force of that organisation’s security can be used to protect the information, and any risks can be carefully managed. Despite needing substantial upfront hardware and software costs, these can be absorbed as

information from within the firewall operating as a standard on-premise solution. In addition, a cloud-layer exists that provides a collaboration area for selective pockets of information that need to be accessed or shared outside of the organisation. This information can only be accessed by authorised users and these pockets of information are subject to two-way synchronisation, ensuring that they are up-to-date and maintained as if they were sitting in the on-premise system. This hybrid approach has significant benefits: the cloud layer only stores information that needs to be shared at any given time – for a specific meeting or project – and remains within the governance regime and controls of the organisation. The cloud system is running in tandem with the on-premise system, so any existing permission integrations (for example, to Active Directory) are maintained in the cloud layer, ensuring consistent application of permissions to both systems. A further benefit is any workflows that operate against the various information assets will continue to function. Hybrid ECM systems need to provide applications with secure access to content for remote devices – ensuring that content can only be accessed once user-level authentication has been performed on the device itself. At a simplistic level, this may be achieved by connecting to a web-service to perform authentication, but this would restrict offline use and is not desirable. But there is more to hybrid ECM than just content access. The secure level of integration that the hybrid ECM platform provides to on-premise information and processes delivers a perfect touchpoint for mobile content creation and capture. A hybrid ECM solution delivers the best of both worlds. It provides the stability and

Content Management


Changes of government, restructures and public sector cuts can all impact on which IT systems and infrastructure are used. It is surprising how often legacy systems are retained and still used cloud provider. An additional aspect of cloud storage for many government organisations is the issue of data sovereignty, or locale. This concept requires keeping data on-shore in order to comply with local data-protection issues, and also to protect the data from possible intrusion by foreign governments through laws such as the Patriot Act in the US. A THIRD CHOICE: HYBRID ECM Perhaps there is a third choice for public sector ECM – a hybrid model. The term ‘hybrid ECM’ is used to describe a solution that combines the benefits of an on-premise and cloud approach. Hybrid ECM sees the main data repository of information sitting on-premise within an organisation – with access to that

governance found in on-premise systems, but delivers secure extensions of those facilities to remote users via the cloud. This combination of controlled access to on-premise data, collaborative workspaces, and robust mobile security make hybrid ECM a powerful offering and can help public sector organisations satisfy both their government mandate to move towards the cloud, and in tandem expose the benefits of social and mobile access to organisational content. All the while remaining within the required governance frameworks and ensuring enterprise-grade security. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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