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Business Information for Local and Central Government INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

IS OUR DATA SECURE? Are local authority data breaches a cause for concern?


DELIVERING GOVERNMENT SPEND TO SMEs Government Business analyses the Postal Goods and Services CCS framework

est GT t a l e Th ta nd da a s w ne tion protec 9 on p6


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1. Official EU MPG test figure shown as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. 2. 32 mile EV range achieved with full battery charge. 541 miles achieved with combined full battery and petrol tank. Actual range will vary depending on driving style and road conditions. 3. Domestic plug charge: 5 hours, 16 Amp home charge point: 3.5 hours, 80% rapid charge: 30mins. 4. Government subsidised charge points are available from a number of suppliers for a small fee - ask your dealer for more information. 5. Congestion Charge application required, subject to administrative fee. 6. 5% BIK compared to the average rate of 25%. 7. Prices shown include the Government Plug-in Car Grant and VAT (at 20%), but exclude First Registration Fee. Model shown is an Outlander PHEV GX4hs at £36,499 including the Government Plug-in Car Grant and metallic paint. On The Road prices range from £29,304 to £36,054 and include VED, First Registration Fee and the Government Plug-in Car Grant. Metallic/pearlescent paint extra. Prices correct at time of going to print. For more information about the Government Plug-in Car Grant please visit The Government Plug-in Car Grant is subject to change at any time, without prior notice. 8. All new Outlander PHEV variants come with a 5 year/62,500 mile warranty (whichever occurs first) and an 8 year/100,000 mile traction battery warranty. For more information please visit

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Extension of the Better Care Fund; Planning fee freedom campaigns; radical devolution calls; Shelter’s homeless report; Tower Hamlets back in council control; and city centre growth


Greener, more energy efficient vehicles are a topical discussion at present. The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership explores the obstacles that are hindering the progress of the green commercial vehicle


The Building Futures Group’s Sarah Bentley provides suggestions that the industry and stakeholders should consider to ensure the services we all rely on in the UK have a sustainable future


Solar and energy storage hold importance in government policy. In light of this, The Renewable Energy Association analyses the role of energy storage and national grid solutions as a breakthrough in the energy sector



There are many considerations that should be taken into account regarding lone workers. James Kelly discusses how to mitigate the risks during winter


The Fire Industries Association discusses its Fire Safety Law leaflet and the steps necessary to minimise the potential fire risks present in public sector organisations


With the issues of housing likely to continue, Government Business analyses the current housing situation in the UK and whether the government’s target of building 200,000 new Starter Homes by 2020 is likely to be met


The Greenbuild Expo takes place on 10‑11 November at Manchester Central, and features seminars with key advice for the construction industry on making buildings more efficient. Government Business previews the show


2016 marks an opportunity for public sector workers to make a change to the way that they work. Paul Stafford of the British Franchise Association examines why franchising is a good option

Government Business




Collecting debt is always an unwelcoming task. Sean Feast, managing editor of Credit Management magazine, looks at the challenging issue of collecting debts in the public sector and why the problem needs more clarity


The Autumn has been a great season for event staging. With the Rugby World Cup fading from the memory, the Meetings Industry Association discusses the growing importance of hosting events and some of the best venues available


The Business Show, taking place on 3-4 December, offers a wealth of opportunity, advice and information crucial for ongoing business growth within a challenging economy. Government Business previews the show


Steve Lee, of the Chartered Institiute of Waste Management, advises that the policy landscape for waste and recycling should be a major consideration for local authorities in the upcoming months


Theresa May reveals internet record storage in upcoming Surveillance Bill; £500 million ICT deal for Sunderland; Smart City Strategy in Greenwich; Open data infrastructure improvements; and free library Wi-Fi deal


In August, privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch revealed that local authorities recorded 4,236 data breaches over a three year period. Government Business analyses the statistics in the report and asks whether the data we submit is really secure?


The Crown Commercial Service Postal Goods and Services framework agreement provides access to public sector bodies across a range of roles for the provision of postal goods. Government ISS Turn to UE 13.6 Business looks p at the agreement latest age 69 for t g h and the latest techno overnment e logy ne news regarding ws the government’ procurement Volume 22.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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LGA calls for self‑assessed business rates Businesses should have the right to self assess business rates, which would give councils greater financial certainty once the tax is devolved, according to the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA claims that plans to allow councils to retain 100 per cent of business rates require further reforms to ensure councils are protected from the risk of business rate appeals. The proposed self-assessed business rates would work in a similar way to other self-assessment taxes such as VAT and corporation tax. Under these proposed plans, businesses would submit their own assessment of rateable value ahead of 2017, and then be given a three-month window to appeal the final valuation, as opposed to the current system with no time limit. The LGA believes this system would offer councils more protection from costly appeals and refunds, which have cost councils £1.75 billion over the past five years, with over 900,000 businesses challenging rates since 2010 and 330,000 appeals yet to be decided. Claire Kober, LGA Resources Portfolio Holder, said: “It is clear that no-one is happy with the way business rates are being calculated. The sheer scale of appeals means businesses are fed up with being issued a bill with no input into how much they pay. “Councils currently have to fund half of all business rates refunds and are already putting billions aside to cover the financial risk and uncertainty arising from the huge volume of appeals. This means vital resources being diverted away from stretched local services, such as caring for the elderly, supporting

businesses and boosting local growth. By 2020, local government will retain all of its business rates income which will be provide a vital boost to high streets and investment in infrastructure and public services. However, it will also mean councils will be liable for 100 per cent of refunds. This makes reform of the appeals system even more urgent to protect councils from the growing and costly risk of appeals and ensure businesses are happy with what they pay. “Councils will face £10 billion in cost pressures by the end of the decade, even before the possibility of any further funding reductions in the Spending Review. Every penny will count to give councils the best chance of protecting services over the next few years. Our self-assessment business rates proposals would free them to use the money put aside to cover the risk of appeals to fund vital services and help plug growing funding gaps.” READ MORE:


Islington ensures all council funded charities pay Living Wage

GB News


Islington Council has announced plans to ensure that all charities or voluntary groups it helps fund pay their employees a Living Wage. The Council is the first in the UK to be awarded ‘friendly funder’ status by the Living Wage Foundation and Citizen’s UK, which means that charities can only receive council funding if all employees are guaranteed a Living Wage salary. The Council was also the first to be accredited as a Living Wage employer in 2012, with all of its staff now paid at least the London Living Wage. Andy Hull, Islington Council’s executive member for finance and performance, said: “In Islington, we believe that no-one should have to do a hard day’s work – whether for the council, a local business, football club, or charity – for less than they can live on. “But we cannot achieve this vision alone. While we have made great progress in recent years, we need every employer in Islington to come on board and do the right thing.” READ MORE:


Plymouth considers levy on late night alcohol


Cuts to social rent will benefit Whitehall more than tenants Reductions to social rents will be of ‘little or no benefit’ to tenants and instead benefit the exchequer, according to a new report. The report, published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), found that the one per cent annual reduction in social rents over the next four years, announced in the July Budget, would save money for Whitehall while not helping the tenants it was designed to support. The IFS also found that social landlords, local authorities and housing associations will lose money under the new plans. The reason the exchequer will benefit is because the reduction in social rent will automatically trigger an offsetting fall in housing benefit entitlement of £1.7 billion. Additionally, the report also suggests that by reducing the annual rental income of social landlords by £2.3 billion, the cuts in social rents could reduce the amount of

new housing supply, citing the Office for Budget Responsibility’s estimation of 14,000 fewer homes being built by 2020-21. However, the report did also find that cuts to social rents will, on average, strengthen the financial work incentives of social tenants, as tenants will have less means‑tested housing benefit to lose if they move into work or increase their earnings. READ MORE:

Plymouth City Council is considering a late night levy for businesses that sell alcohol after 1:00am. The proposed levy would have to be paid by premises that sell alcohol between 1:00am and 6:00am. The fees would then be used to cover the costs of keeping the streets clean and safe, helping to fund CCTV improvements, taxi marshals and personal safety initiatives in the wake of recent budget cuts. Philippa Davey, the Council’s cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “With more cuts on the way for our services and those of the police, we need to give this real consideration if Plymouth is to continue to offer a safe night out.” READ MORE:



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Report shows local leaders should capitalise on the growth of city centres


GB News


Small businesses should be consulted in devolution deals, FSB claims The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for small businesses to be properly consulted in devolution deals. The FSB has welcomed the government’s devolution drive, but believes new region-city mayors should consult with small businesses and give them a voice in all tax raising decisions to ensure they are adequately represented. READ MORE:

Leisure centres should be protected from cuts, says ukactive

According to a new study by think tank Centre for Cities, local leaders have the capacity to act more in order to capitalise on the growth of city centres. The study makes numerous recommendations on how local leaders can sustain the recent growth in city centre living and local economies. Urban Demographics, a study of why people live where they do, is a report based on YouGov polling. The study found that young professionals are increasing more likely to choose to live in UK city centres and that the number of residents aged 20-29 living in large city centres has nearly tripled between 2001-11. The increase has arisen despite concerns over high rents, poor air quality and a lack of green space. The survey shows that 39 per cent of respondents cited the availability and proximity of restaurants, leisure and cultural facilities as a primary attraction to living in urban areas. In addition, 27 per cent said that living close to their place of work is the main advantage of living in the city. However, 31 per cent of urban residents contended that the cost of housing is also a drawback, while 25 per cent maintained that pollution and poor quality of environment are downsides to living in urban areas. The Centre for Cities report suggests the growth of population in urban areas is a result of the expansion of the knowledge economy, the jobs it has created and the proliferation of universities. Another contributing factor is that students now account for 44 per cent of the total population of large city centres, with many staying on after graduation. The report continues to make a number of recommendations on how local leaders can benefit from this trend. This includes creating a better environment for businesses in urban areas, and making city centres a priority in efforts to attract firms and jobs, by choosing to

locate enterprise zones in city centres, rather than on the outskirts; strategically planning housing and transport, to ensure that both are built in the right place for the right people, e.g. by building appropriate accommodation in city centres for young professionals; ensuring that regeneration projects include investment in skills and business growth, rather than simply focusing on physical and cultural regeneration; and addressing the concerns of city centre residents about poor environment and lack of green spaces, by making these issues a priority in proactive planning decisions. Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “This research shows how the face of UK cities has changed dramatically over the last fifteen years – with city centres transforming from often deprived and crime-ridden areas into places where young professionals across the country increasingly want to live and work.” She continued: “While the report highlights the potential downsides of urban living, such as high housing costs or the lack of open space, it’s clear that for many young people these drawbacks are outweighed by the appeal of access to highly-skilled jobs, amenities, restaurants and shops, which are making city centres magnets for young talent.’ “But local leaders shouldn’t take this growth in people and jobs for granted, and need to consider how they can sustain and capitalise on these trends. That means taking steps to make city centres better places to live and do business in – for example, by building more housing in urban areas to meet the needs of young professionals, and by investing in infrastructure, to attract more jobs and firms to central areas.” READ MORE:

A report by ukactive has called for leisure centres to be protected from cuts and closures due to the role they play in promoting exercise. ’Blueprint for an Active Britain’ was launched by ukactive on 5 November and argues that councils should have an obligation to provide leisure centres and green spaces to encourage people to exercise and keep fit. According to the report, leisure services should be considered as part of public health spending for the important role they can play in preventing obesity. READ MORE:

Better Care Fund extended until 2017 Ministers have confirmed the government’s flagship Better Care Fund (BCF) integration scheme will be extended until at least 2017. The Fund was created by the former government in a bid to help local authorities and NHS trusts integrate health and social care, but there had been uncertainty over whether the initiative would continue. However, reports have emerged that local areas may be given authority to decide whether their current BCF schemes could be continued, adapted of discontinued over the next year, 2016-17. Representatives from 11 different organisations called upon Chancellor George Osborne in an open letter. The letter urged Osborne to reverse his decision in the summer to cut £200 million from this year’s public health grant to councils. READ MORE:



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73 per cent of Britons say they have been little affected by cuts, study suggest

73 per cent of Britons believe that government spending cuts have had little effect on them, according to a new study from Ipsos MORI. The study found that people are less likely to say they have been affected by cuts, than in 2012. 23 per cent said their family had been affected at least a fair amount, compared with 33 per cent in 2012. However, despite the amount of Briton’s who responded saying they had not been affected, the study also found that there are concerns in a number of key areas. 43 per cent of respondents believed that public services have become worse

over the past five years. 55 per cent also expected the NHS to get worse, with 38 per cent believing GP services have declined (compared to 28 per cent in 2013), and 35 per cent responding that hospitals have declined (compared to 30 per cent in 2013). Additionally, even though the majority of respondents did not feel they had experienced the direct effects of cuts to welfare, 48 per cent said the cuts had gone too far, with 47 per cent saying they were necessary, which is down from 59 per cent in 2013. READ MORE:


105,000 homeless children living in temporary accommodation More than 100,000 children will wake up homeless on Christmas Day, according to a report conducted by charity Shelter. The charity outlines that while councils have a legal duty to house homeless children, those who are more vulnerable are often placed in ‘insecure and inappropriate’ emergency accommodation. The figures show that the number of homeless children living in temporary accommodation is rising, with 25 per cent more families living in bed and breakfasts compared to in 2014. The report highlighted that living in such a fashion means families often do not have access to adequate kitchen or bathroom facilities and are locked out from hostels during the day. In addition, on some occasions children witness disturbing or illegal behaviour, contributing to the

deterioration of children’s mental health. The charity has claimed that a lack of affordable housing and cuts to social security have made it impossible for low-income families to save up for a deposit and rent in advance. The report states: “Reforms to social security, such as lowering the benefit cap and freezing Local Housing Allowance rates, have cut away at the safety net that families on low incomes can use to stay in their homes and avoid homelessness while they look for work or shop around for a cheaper property.” The report calls for more stability in the private rented sector and for local authorities to receive enough funding to provide suitable temporary accommodation for homeless families. READ MORE:


Housing associations to be reclassified as part of the public sector

GB News


The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that housing associations will join the public sector. The decision was made in response to the government’s increasingly interventionist approach to the way housing associations are run. Such an approach includes the Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to reduce rents charged by housing associations by one per cent each year for the next four years and also the government’s extension of Right to Buy to housing associations. In response to the announcement, Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: “This decision means that government finances will now have to be adjusted to incorporate the finances of 1,300 different, often charitable organisations. This could have significant implications both for the sector and for the government itself.” She added: “But in making these changes it is important that the government creates a framework that still allows housing associations to meet housing need, respond to their tenants and meet their funders’ requirements as well as ensuring that historic public investment in the sector is protected.” READ MORE:


Edinburgh Council set to save £77m through LED street lights Edinburgh Council expects to save approximately £77 million over the next 20 years through upgrading its street lights to LEDs. The move follows testing of 7,000 LED lights last year, and will see 54,000 street lights converted to energy efficient LEDs. The 2014 trial run, named ‘The White Light Project’, enabled the Council to formulate the business case for a city wide roll out of LED lights. Some residents voiced concerns over the new lights being too dim, which has led to the new proposals featuring brighter LEDs, with the facility to remotely adjust lighting levels where necessary. Lesley Hinds, the transport and environment convener at the Council, said: “The city-wide roll-out of LED lights is a huge step towards an efficient, sustainable future for Edinburgh. Not only will it reduce carbon emissions but will have a real impact on energy costs in the long term.” READ MORE:




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Councils and civil service pledge to recruit on a ‘name blind’ basis In a bid to reduce potential discrimination, councils and civil service employers will no longer be able to see the names of graduate applicants under new government proposals. Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans at a Downing Street roundtable on 26 October, with organisations including UCAS, the BBC, the NHS and a number of private sector businesses also signing up to the pledge. The move follows Cameron’s speech at the Conservative Conference earlier in the month, where he outlined his aims to end discrimination, citing research that found people with ‘white-sounding’ names were nearly twice as likely to get call-backs for jobs compared to those with ‘ethnic-sounding’ names. Announcing the plans, Cameron said: “I said in my conference speech that I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today. Today we are delivering on that commitment and extending opportunity to all. “If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination this government will ensure that you can succeed.” Chief Executive Officer of the civil service,

Devon set to outsource the running of its libraries Devon County Council is set to outsource the running of its libraries to ‘secure the future of Devon’s library service’ and ensure it remains economically viable. The libraries will be taken over by a new private organisation created by the Council which will be responsible for the delivery of services. If the plans are approved, services will be expected to begin from April 2016. READ MORE:

John Manzoni, who was a member of the roundtable, said: “I’m delighted to expand the civil service’s use of name-blind applications – not just for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles, but for many other external applications too. “It’s vital that the civil service takes a lead on this, and I’m confident that this important step will help us build an organisation that is even more talented, diverse and effective than it is today.” READ MORE:

Stoke-on-Trent to reform its electoral process Stoke-on-Trent City Council is set to reform its electoral process after a series of issues with the management of the May elections. A report produced by the Association of Electoral Administrators found that all postal votes had to be reissued before the election due to an error, and that a large number of students were appointed as counting assistants due to staff absences. The report claimed that election results were not affected by these problems, but that administration issues needed to be addressed. READ MORE:


Control of Tower Hamlets to be handed back to the Council Greater responsibility for the governance of Tower Hamlets will be handed back to the Mayor, after they were seized due to problems at the Council. Government appointed commissioner’s have had the power to directly run the Council since May to safeguard good governance. These powers will be handed to Mayor John Biggs, who was elected in June after previous Mayor Lutfur Rahman was ejected due to electoral fraud. The commissioners will still remain to carry out some functions and oversee further improvements led by the mayor. Communities Secretary Greg Clark made the announcement, warning that any lapse in the council’s management would result in action being taken. Greg Clark said: “I’m pleased with the progress that has been made in Tower Hamlets over the last six months, which will help restore the community’s confidence in how their area is being run. “It means I am confident that, from this weekend, John Biggs can now be


GB News


Greater power will be handed to Mayor John Biggs

left to take on the day-to-day running of the borough as the mayor. “But our four commissioners will remain in place, and I will not hesitate to take action if progress stalls and the governance of Tower Hamlets falls short.” READ MORE:

Council leaders call for freedom on planning fees Councils are calling for the freedom to manage their own planning fees, after research emerged suggesting that £450 million was spent over the past three years to cover the cost of processing applications. Data published by the Local Government Association (LGA) found that since 2012, councils have been forced to cover a third of all costs of planning applications, ultimately deflecting finances away from other services. On average, councils process 467,000 planning applications each year. As a result, the LGA and the British Property Federation are urging the government to review planning fees as part of the upcoming Spending Review. Both organisations are warning that the cost of planning applications will exceed £1 billion by 2020. READ MORE:





Written by Andy Eastlake and Neil Wallis, The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership

Commercial vehicles: The low carbon challenge While the low carbon and low emission car market has seen rapid progress and developments, the commercial vehicle sector hasn’t enjoyed the same growth. The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership looks at the obstacles in the way of greener commercial vehicles Those involved with fleets in the public sector will most likely be very familiar with the rapid progress of low carbon and low emission cars. The government incentives, administered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), and taxation signals through CCT and other mechanisms have helped steer company car drivers into ever ‘greener’ car choices and

the variety of products available has increased rapidly. The prospect for greener commercial vehicles on our roads, however, still faces some daunting obstacles. IMPRESSIVE PROGRESS Perhaps less well known to the fleet management audience is the impressive

progress that the UK bus sector has made in ‘greening’ its vehicles. More than 30 per cent of new bus sales are certified low carbon and UK buses are running in service on a wide range of fuels – such as hydrogen, biomethane, compressed natural gas (CNG) and biodiesel. Furthermore, the whole spectrum of powertrain technologies (KERS E




Unlike bus operators, truck fleets really haven’t embraced the potential of electric and hybrid technology in the urban operation, despite a handful of OEMs offering some very advanced technology options  flywheel systems, series and parallel hybrid, full battery electric, inductive charging system, the list goes on) show the range of solutions possible. Again, government incentives in the form of grants and fuel duty support, have been critical to ‘kick-start’ the market. But more than a third of the carbon from road transport is emitted by goods vehicles (vans and HGVs) and, uniquely, this segment is actually increasing its emissions, despite all our efforts, due to the rise in economic activity and our appetite for getting more goods more quickly. So commercial vehicles currently present us with our biggest low carbon vehicle challenge. In the van sector, OLEV grants of up to £8,000 have still failed to encourage mainstream manufacturers to offer the range of hybrid technology needed to offset the increase in carbon emissions resulting from the fast-growing market. There are, though, a number of very attractive van options, as highlighted in the

LowCVP’s Low Emission Van Guide and several niche products developed by UK innovators such as the hydrogen-powered Transit but, to date, little impact has been made in the market by any of these. With average new van CO2 emission dropping less than two per cent in 2014 and van registration volumes up 19 per cent, it’s clear that much more needs to be done if we are to reverse the growth in emissions. CHALLENGING PROSPECT Larger trucks are an even more challenging prospect, not least because the CO2 emissions aren’t measured at a vehicle level, so have very little real evidence on which to base policies. This has been the focus of a team led by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Low Carbon HGV task force and steered by a small group including the LowCVP, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and others.



The HGV industry has had several years of intensive focus on delivering air quality emissions reductions culminating in the Euro VI regulation in 2014. For interest, HGV emissions legislation use roman numerals and cars and vans use Arabic numbers since the requirements are very different but the pace of change is similar. All the data we have to date indicates that Euro VI really is delivering the low emissions performance from this sector (with an incredible level of technology and know‑how embedded) and now the attention can really turn to lowering the carbon impact and fuel consumption. Of course, truck operators have not had their heads in the sand and many significant improvements have come from operational efficiency through driver training, route and load planning, backhaul partnership agreements and collaborations between logistics companies. HYBRID TECHNOLOGY The advances in telematics and fleet management have also been dramatic and, perhaps, provide an area where further intervention and support would benefit to ensure every operator maximises this technology. Unlike bus operators, truck fleets really haven’t embraced the potential of electric and hybrid technology in the urban operation, despite a handful of original E



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A community transport group in Yorkshire has become the first organisation in the country to acquire a ground breaking new fully electric, wheelchair accessible vehicle Community Transport Calderdale (CTC) is a charitable organisation based at Luddendenfoot, near Halifax, West Yorkshire. CTC’s aim is to provide transport for those in the area who cannot access existing forms of transport for reasons of ill health, isolation, disability, poverty or social exclusion.  Established in 2002, the organisation offers a community car and accessible minibus service to individuals and groups within the Calderdale area. As an extension to its existing car service, CTC has successfully secured funding from the Elland Staying Well Project to assist with the running of a new, fully electric Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) to help those in need to access local community events. ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORT The vehicle, supplied by wheelchair accessible vehicle manufacturer Brotherwood, is the first wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) to be driven solely by electric power. Known as the ‘Envy’, the vehicle is based upon the Nissan eNV-200 Combi, a battery powered vehicle that shares technology with the UK’s best-selling electric vehicle the Nissan Leaf. With no noise and zero-emissions, electric vehicles such as the Envy offer the ecofriendly transport options that many fleets and authorities are expected to provide. With a range of up to 106 miles on a single charge, the Envy is ideal for the shorter journeys in and around town that are typical of a community transport organisation such as CTC, and can be recharged to 80 per cent in as little as half an hour from one of the many electric vehicle charging points in and around the Calderdale area. This offers an economical and convenient solution for CTC, who can now benefit from low cost top-ups at many of their regular destinations including Morrisons supermarket and local dealer Lightcliffe Nissan. The Envy enables CTC to provide a flexible and multi-purpose transport – with four

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passenger seats in addition to the driver, plus space for one wheelchair user to travel seated in their wheelchair. Wheelchair access is provided by a folding ramp at the rear of the vehicle, with a powered restraint system making it quick and easy to load and secure the wheelchair passenger. However the Envy can be driven on a standard car driver’s license – eliminating the need for CTC staff to undergo any further expensive and time-consuming driver training. The Envy also benefits from a compact footprint, enabling CTC to offer wheelchairaccessible transport to smaller groups where previously a larger minibus or people carrier from their fleet might have been used. The tight turning circle and small dimensions make it ideal for use not only in town but also along the tight rural lanes that connect many of CTC’s destinations. ECONOMICAL “Adding the electric WAV to our fleet has not only helped a number of people in the area with transport problems but has done so in a great eco-friendly and economical way. The running costs of this vehicle are minimal,

and is a pilot project for the way forward in our future fleet.” commented Steve Welsh, CEO of Community Transport Calderdale. The Brotherwood Envy is available now to lease or buy from Brotherwood, and carries full European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval. ABOUT BROTHERWOOD Brotherwood has been manufacturing Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) since 1985. The company’s attention to detail, customer care and commitment to quality mean that Brotherwood WAVs carry an excellent reputation across the world. Brotherwood is regarded as a pioneer of the modern ‘Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle’, changing the perception of disabled transport from conspicuous high-roof vans to discreet everyday passenger cars. Brotherwood provide wheelchair accessible transport solutions to private individuals, companies and authorities alike. With flexible finance options including affordable leasing plans, Brotherwood demonstrate and supply WAVs across the UK. L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information call Brotherwood on 01935 872603 or visit

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES  equipment manufacturers (OEM) offering some very advanced technology options. The uptake of existing lower carbon solutions like low rolling resistance tyres and more efficient aerodynamic systems is still behind where it should be and where we need it to be in order to meet UK carbon reduction targets. Perhaps this is because there has been no direct government support to stimulate this sector and the economic business case for upfront expense just isn’t possible in an environment where road haulage profit margins are undoubtedly slim. One area where we have, however, seen a clear focus is on the use of methane (CNG) and biomethane in the heavy truck sector. This has been stimulated by £11m of DfT funding. A recent workshop, hosted by Cenex, brought together stakeholders to hear the preliminary results of the Low Carbon Truck Trial which saw over 330 gas-powered trucks operated over the last three years. The final results of this project, together with further specific emissions tests and data from the latest Euro VI trucks now running, will all come together early next year and will enable the UK to really focus on a strategy for gas in the heavy truck sector over the next few years.



In the near future it is anticipated that a wide range of activity and initiatives will be drawn together to provide a coherent plan for the commercial vehicle sector have been developing a robust process to accurately measure and compare trucks and truck technology aimed at cutting local air pollutants and carbon emission reductions. Again drawing from the bus sector, the creation of a single, widely accepted and relevant test has enabled government, operators and technology providers to coordinate activity and support precisely where it is needed to make the greatest carbon savings and to develop solutions for the longer term. It is, of course, imperative that any plans are long-term to allow businesses to develop strategy and implement plans with appropriate investment cycles.

COHERENT PLAN In the near future it is anticipated that a wide range of activity and initiatives will be drawn together to provide a coherent plan for the commercial vehicle sector. High level ROBUST PROCESS modelling of the carbon impact by both the Simultaneously, the LowCVP and a consortium DfT and the Committee on Climate Change M25H Half.pdf 1 27/07/2015 10:40:43 of its members – with support from OLEV – (CCC) is likely to highlight the urgent action

needed to meet our carbon targets in 2030. For transport, with progress in cars underway, commercial vehicles will undoubtedly be the next focus. The work the LowCVP has recently carried out to map the transport fuels and infrastructure needed over the next twenty years will provide a framework to determine what energy sources will be used in this sector. A robust test process, in advance of the potential European requirements and possible legislation, can put the UK ahead of the game in identifying the technologies and market signals needed. Ultimately, working hand-in-hand with the logistics market we can create the maximum benefit to all stakeholders and the environment. So, for the LowCVP, the next big challenge of tackling emissions from commercial vehicles is underway, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders to deliver green (truck) fleets. L FURTHER INFORMATION










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Facilities Management Written by Sarah Bentley, The Building Futures Group

Developing a secure future for facilities management The Building Futures Group’s Sarah Bentley provides suggestions that the industry and stakeholders should consider to ensure the services we all rely on in the UK have a sustainable future Like many sectors, facilities management (FM) faces a number of issues in attracting and retaining talented workers. From an ageing demographic to encouraging young people to consider careers in an industry that is still considered ‘invisible’, successful service delivery relies on a range of factors. This article will explore some of the key issues. FUTURE MANAGERS FM companies should work to identify young people with the potential to be future managers and who will be able to contribute towards the industry’s growth. FM offers young people excellent opportunities for employment. From entry level to those with advanced degrees, FM companies enable young people to develop their careers whether this is through an apprenticeship, a mentoring programme or through a graduate scheme. However, research by The Work Foundation has found that the way employers recruit can hinder young people’s employment

chances. For instance, employers can sometimes fall into the trap of recruiting informally, through internal networks often less accessible to young people. This can cause issues for young people in finding work. That’s why The Building Futures Group developed the #secretjobs initiative which was specifically designed to provide young people with information about the range of opportunities FM provides. Launched in August 2014 #secretjobs was the first ever national FM careers campaign. A guide for young people was produced which showed various pathways and entry points to a career in FM. As a well as a guide for young people, The Building Futures Group also provided guides specifically designed for Jobcentre+ advisors. Sent to every Jobcentre+ advisor in the UK the guide enables advisors to tailor their support to jobseekers at every career level.

FM ies compan ork w should y young f ti to iden e able to peopl e towards ut contrib ndustry’s the i growth

TARGETING YOUNG PEOPLE As well as working with The Department for Work and Pensions via the Jobcentre+ network across the UK, the Group ran a comprehensive media campaign targeting young people who had just left school or university. The campaign reached over 8.5 million people via radio and a full page feature in The Sun employment pages. The results of the campaign are promising and the campaign guides are still used extensively by careers stakeholders across the UK. Having introduced young people to FM careers, it is essential to capture young peoples’ attention and imagination at key moments and is crucial for successful recruitment. As previously mentioned it is well known that the facilities management sector remains a hidden industry and the sector, whether private or public, needs to work collaboratively to raise awareness of the opportunities presented by the industry and the variety of jobs on offer. To those who do not work within the sector, FM job roles may not look all that glamorous and can be seen by some as an entry level, low skilled sector. The reality is quite different, very few sectors offer such variety of roles available for people at every level of their career. A E



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 coordinated effort by FM organisations and key stakeholders is needed to develop initiatives in schools to raise the profile of the industry and show just how easily a career in FM can suit people’s career aspirations. Employers can play a key role in assisting in young peoples’ transition from education to full time employment. Through working closely with schools and educational establishments, FM companies can offer activity days, mentoring, work experience and guidance to those wishing to enter the sector. Visibility is key and some FM companies visit schools and colleges to promote the opportunities to young people. One senior director recently told me how he delivered a careers talk to children in a London borough school. He asked the children who wanted to work in FM? Not one child raised their hand. Over the course of the talk once the children realised that FM offered exciting careers, decent pay and job roles to suit every personality type, over 90 per cent of the children raised their hands when asked again, who would like to work in FM. Such anecdotes show that when made aware of the career possibilities within FM young people are keen to take advantage of them, however the sector requires an element of rebranding to attract the brightest and most talented individuals. ENCOURAGING DIVERSITY A PwC survey found that ‘two-thirds (64 per cent) of UK businesses are concerned that they will fail to find the people they need to fill their positions – a higher proportion than any of their western European counterparts.’ Employers may feel that the ‘right’ candidates just aren’t coming forward. An initiative which plans to address this is the ‘Ban the Box’ campaign set up by Business in the Community (BITC). The initiative challenges the tick box style recruitment programme which it is argued, restricts some candidates potential at the application stage of recruitment. This in turn restricts the recruiting company’s access to valuable talent – all because of one tick on an application form. Ban the Box calls on UK employers to create a fair opportunity for ex-offenders to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions E

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RECRUITMENT  later in the recruitment process. Research by BITC found that: “Three-quarters of employers use a criminal conviction as a reason to ‘skip over’ an applicant. But when employers Ban the Box, they allow the candidate’s skills and abilities to shine through.” As the skills gap widens and employers are pushed to fill vacancies, companies should not close the door on ex-offenders, but instead consider their capabilities and what they could bring to the business.

adaptability is likely to lead to better services. Learning and development opportunities can assist in attracting ambitious and dynamic individuals to FM careers. It is important to note that not all recruits are purely driven by salary. They may be attracted by progression opportunities, organisational culture, mentoring and training amongst others. However, with skills shortages in mind, people with transferable skills will no doubt be able to command higher salaries.

A FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE How we work and where we work is changing at an unprecedented level. As a result recruiters are looking for people with a far wider range of skills than ever before. Gone are the days of life-time careers; employees who can embrace change and apply their skills whenever and wherever they’re needed are now in high demand’ reports PwC. As more providers move towards a ‘Total FM’ offering flexible workers who are prepared to adapt and demonstrate the capacity to learn new ways of working will be especially valuable. This type of workforce is essential for the FM industry and whether one is recruiting for in house government FM services or procuring such services, this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Measurement of the investment in training and development resources is a key criteria for assessing how adaptable an FM provider is. Such

STEMMING THE TIDE There is already the need for a skilled STEM workforce in the FM industry. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, all of which are becoming increasingly important in today’s technological and scientific environment. Take the development of robots for example. Robots are becoming more technically advanced and capable of human tasks everyday. It is envisaged that human beings will be employed to teach socially intelligent robots how to perform an increasing number of tasks. Research by the International Federation of Robotics shows that ‘for every robot deployed, 3.6 jobs are created. By next year robotics is expected to account for an additional 110,000 electronics jobs across the globe’. Robots are already populating our buildings, cleaning floors and washing windows.

These mechanical peers are also stepping in to assist where humans can’t such as germ-fighting robots which use UV rays in hospitals to destroy antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA, reducing infections and ultimately helping to save lives. Having employees on board with knowledge of STEM subjects are integral to the UK’s success and that of the facilities management industry. Yet a hindrance to sectors such as FM in attracting STEM skilled recruits is one of gender. According to a recent report published by the Institute of Physics (IoP), almost half (49 per cent) of state-funded mixed schools in England are ‘reinforcing gender stereotypes’ in terms of the subjects students study at A-level. This is an issue for consideration as it is important to ensure that both sexes are being recruited and there isn’t a preference from employers when it comes to job roles. Indeed more women need to be attracted to the FM industry at all levels. It is apparent that FM providers need to demonstrate that they actively seek to recruit and promote people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Doing so will ensure that the FM services we all rely on in the UK will continue to provide efficient, effective and essential services for the foreseeable future. L

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For a FREE Information Pack Call: 01484 866614 or email: Volume 22.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Energy Written by Frank Gordon, Laura Cook, Renewable Energy Association



The route to subsidy‑free renewable energy A new KPMG report discusses the significant place that solar and energy storage holds in government policy. In light of this, The Renewable Energy Association analyses the role of energy storage and national grid solutions as a breakthrough in the energy sector The deployment of renewable energy in the UK has grown rapidly in the past few years across a whole range of technologies. New challenges have emerged as the electricity system has had to adapt to variable, decentralised generation. There are now solutions emerging to these challenges and a continued cost reduction trajectory that will see solar energy compete on price against traditional, polluting fossil fuel power within the next few years – a truly exciting breakthrough but one that can only be secured with the right framework in place. Solar has been one of the fastest growing technologies and it is estimated that over 8GW has been installed in the UK. It is one of the most flexible technologies and has proved popular from the smaller domestic rooftop systems right through to larger solar farms. The costs of installing solar in the UK have fallen by around 70 per cent in the last five years and could fall by another 35 per cent by 2020. As costs come down for solar the opportunities have increased and projects that would not previously have been financially viable have been able to be developed. Falling costs have meant that the need for subsidies has been questioned, and ultimately the goal of the industry is to operate without them. However, as the REA/



KPMG report demonstrates, the majority of the industry is not there yet. The report highlights that a transition period is needed to allow business models to be adapted and for costs to fall further, which is necessary to prevent the industry from reaching a cliff edge shortly before it is in a position to operate without support. SUPPORT MECHANISMS The solar industry benefits the UK economy, not least because of the 35,000 people employed in it. The aim of the industry is to create a sustainable sector without major peaks and troughs in installations. In order for this to happen solar must be considered as an integral part of the energy mix, and with new technologies such as energy storage allowing for ever more installations and applications, the need for this will become even clearer. The support mechanisms for solar – the Feed-in Tariff (FiT), Renewables Obligation (RO) and Contracts for Difference (CfDs) – are

funded through the Levy Control Framework (LCF). The government now forecasts the available budget has been exceeded (although the basis for this projection has not been made public and doubts remain as to how this has been calculated) and DECC is currently trying to reduce spending. This is the rationale behind the recent consultations on closing the RO for solar and ending the option of pre-accreditation under the FiT. The government’s challenge is to achieve energy security and value for money while reducing carbon emissions. As one of the lowest cost renewables, solar is ideally placed to provide locally sourced, low cost, low carbon electricity.

Renew technol able will inc ogies re be com asingly bined with en e r g systems y storage stable, to provide base power load

ENERGY STORAGE Solar and other renewable technologies will increasingly be combined with energy storage systems to provide the equivalent of stable, baseload power that is highly ‘dispatchable’ and can respond to demand from the grid at very short notice. This will tackle the challenges posed by the variable nature of solar power production.

As the report makes clear, solar power and energy storage is a potentially revolutionary combination and with prices of combined solar and battery storage systems falling by as much as 75 per cent in the past four years, the combination looks set to rapidly take off globally. More recently Tesla’s entrance into domestic energy storage has added much pizazz and excitement, with reports of over $1 billion of sales in the first few months alone (although it is important to note that

storage not only allows for the better integration of renewable energy, it reduces and in some cases removes entirely, the need for expensive grid network upgrades – meaning fewer overhead power lines. Energy storage technologies also provide a series of technical benefits to grid operators, from voltage optimisation to frequency control, which are essential for the smooth running of our power system on an everyday basis. But why would a family or large energy

nurturing, but a new Feed-in Tariff type of support is not necessarily required. There are changes to the existing regulations for grid operators and the UK’s Capacity Market that would help create the required conditions at no additional cost, while a high-level government roadmap and changes to the tax regime would incentivise the market. The huge benefits energy storage can provide are within reach but do need a push to be delivered, the good news for government is that this shouldn’t necessarily mean a costly one. SOLAR POWER This brings us back to solar power. The REA/ KPMG report sets out how large scale forms of solar can reach ‘socket parity’ within two years, again providing some form of support is required in this transitionary period, through the existing regime, or through new innovative routes such as the tax system. Without this the fantastic achievement of generating clean, green power at a lower cost than dirty, polluting oil and coal plants will not materialise. As we lead up to the crucial Paris climate change talks in December and look to create jobs and investment to fuel the economic recovery that is an opportunity we simply cannot afford to miss. L

Solar is one of the most flexible technologies and has proved popular from domestic rooftop systems right through to larger solar farms these are advance orders at this point as the first units won’t be delivered until 2016). What many don’t realise is just how close to widespread commercial uptake energy storage is (indeed some forms, such as pumped hydro, have been operating successfully for over 70 years). There are numerous demonstration projects around the country, including a 6MW lithium‑ion battery in the Midlands, and smaller domestic batteries in homes and offices, all operating successfully and using technology that is capable of being rolled out widely. Energy



customer like a public sector organisation be interested in energy storage? The answer is that when combined with solar or other renewable sources, storage systems allow an individual or organisation to be ‘independent’ of the grid and of imported power, therefore saving money and offering energy security, while large organisations can save money by optimising their consumption of imported power and benefitting from a range of payments from grid operators as a result of their flexibility. This nascent industry needs support and


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Written by James Kelly, chief executive, British Security Industry Association

Keeping the UK’s lone workers safe With approximately six million lone workers in the UK, it is imperative that employers mitigate the increased risk associated with lone working during the winter. James Kelly of the British Security Industry Association discusses lone working and some of the considerations that should be taken into account Sunday 25 October saw the official end of British summer time and the commencement of much darker, longer nights. It is estimated that approximately six million people in the UK regularly work in isolation or without direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that potentially puts them at risk. And the number of lone workers in the UK is expected to continue rising, largely driven by the advances in wireless communications technology and the rising cost of real estate, encouraging many employers to reduce their office space. Therefore, there is a clear need for employers to consider the policies and procedures in place to safeguard employees whose role might involve working unsupervised. DEFINING LONE WORKING Although there is no common definition of a lone worker across Europe, there does appear to be some commonalities in the definition across the UK. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as ‘those who work by themselves without close or direct

supervision’, whilst the NHS – the UK’s largest employer – defines a lone worker as ‘staff who work, either regularly or occasionally, on their own, without access to immediate support from work colleagues, managers or others. This could be inside a hospital or similar environment or in a community setting’. Lone working, almost by definition, can be both intimidating and at times dangerous. The protection of lone workers, therefore involves a two-fold approach, not only to provide safeguards, but also to offer reassurances to the people involved. The risks faced by lone workers usually fall within three main groups; physical or verbal violence and aggression; occupational risks such as slips, trips or falls; and personal well-being risks such



as medical conditions. Whilst these risks aren’t exclusive to lone working, they are greater, and if an incident does occur, the alarm may not be raised until it is too late. These risks may be higher still as winter draws in and the nights become longer. Employers have a legal obligation to keep their lone workers safe under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Employers have a duty to assess risks to lone workers and to take steps to avoid or control risks where necessary, however, despite this, many businesses do not know what safety solutions provide adequate protection for their lone workers. Part of the confusion lies in the issue of ownership; who’s responsibility is it? Who within the company should pay for lone worker security solutions? Is it a security expense, or a health and safety one? The private security industry has also struggled with this positioning, finding it hard to know who should be targeted within a company.

T numberhe workers of lone expecte in the UK is rising, dd to continue advanc riven by the es commu in wireless nic technol ations ogy

ADDRESSING THE ISSUES To address these important issues, the private security industry has worked with the police E




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 and end-users to develop a combination of practice, technology and standards, capable of providing an effective – and cost-effective – solution to reduce risk. The British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Lone Worker section comprises of professional security companies who primarily provide lone worker solutions with the means to both summon help in an emergency and to collect information that can be used in evidence, if necessary. Members of the BSIA’s Lone Worker section have created a myriad of devices and applications, equipped with mobile phone technology that connects employees quickly and discreetly with an emergency response system that has direct links to the police. FUNCTIONS Whilst there is a huge selection of lone worker devices available on the market, typically, devices provided by a credible supplier will all offer similar functional capabilities. Some of these functions include two-way audio connection between the Alarm Receiving Centre and the user; GPS tracking; ‘Man down’ alarms which automatically raise the alarm if a sudden impact is detected; and the ability to record evidence for prosecution purposes. Smartphone software applications are also available as an alternative to using a dedicated device, which is a viable option for those that do not want to carry around additional hardware. The section has also led on the development of British Standard BS8484 – Code of Practice for the provision of Lone Worker Services, which forms the basis for police response to lone worker systems. This important standard is employed and adhered to by all credible suppliers in the industry; a Police response cannot be guaranteed by a supplier who isn’t audited and compliant with



Lone working, almost by definition, can be both intimidating and at times dangerous. The protection of lone workers, therefore involves a two-fold approach, not only to provide safeguards, but also to offer reassurances to the people involved BS8484. Lone worker solutions which are compliant to BS8484 through audit ensures that at-risk employees are provided with the best and most cost-effective level of protection. Compliant solutions also protect employers from litigation and legislation. The implementation of this standard assures the Police that requests for police response are properly verified, originate from an approved Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and contain the right information required by the Police. The result is that false alarms are kept to a minimum which justifies the commitment by the Police to provide an ‘immediate’ response where possible. The Police manage alarms and approval for the ‘immediate’ level of response through their Security Systems Policy, by issue of a Unique Reference Number (URN). For lone worker alarms, the policy demands that all links in the chain are complete before a URN can be issued to an ARC, i.e. the provider, device and ARC are all accredited to the appropriate parts of BS8484. The BSIA’s lone worker section has also been very active in publishing guidance on a variety of lone working topics. Some of these publications include ‘An employees guide’ which offers guidance for employees on how to mitigate the risks of working alone; ‘An employers’ guide’ which offers easy-to-follow-guidance on what to look

for when sourcing a supplier; and guides specific to certain industries such as the transport and hospitality sectors. These guides are available to download from the BSIA’s website, free of charge and offer valuable guidance aimed at helping employers to ensure the safety of their employees. SOURCING A SUPPLIER When sourcing lone worker solutions, the BSIA recommends that providers are chosen based on their ability to demonstrate: Devices or smartphone applications certified to BS8484; That the provider is audited and certified to BS8484; That devices or smartphone applications are monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre certificated to BS8484 (Part 6) and BS5979 (Cat II); and that solutions that fit the lone working application and risk profile of your workforce. Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing any security product or service is that you are choosing from a reputable supplier that meets with the relevant British and European standards. Members of the BSIA are inspected to the highest standards and need to satisfy the Association that they meet with its strict eligibility criteria. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Fire Safety


Written by the Fire Industries Association


Knowing your fire safety law The Fire Industries Association’s Fire Safety Law leaflet looks at how public sector organisations can determine what fire risks are present and identify the measures necessary to minimise the risk to an acceptable level

Fire safety legislation in the UK is enacted differently under the three jurisdictions of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These differences are nothing to worry about here as they are largely identical in terms of where they apply and what people have to do to comply with them. This is a gentle introduction to the subject and is not a substitute for more detailed government advice which is referenced towards the end of this article. WHERE DOES IT APPLY? The law applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space: offices and shops; premises that provide care, including care homes and hospitals; community halls, places of worship and other community premises; pubs, clubs and restaurants; schools and sports centres; tents and marquees; hotels and hostels; and factories and warehouses.

The law does not apply to people’s private homes, including individual flats in a block or house. In England and Wales the law applies to the common parts of flats and HMOs, but not in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Broadly, the law does not apply to the underground parts of mines or off‑shore installation. It also doesn’t apply to anything that flies, floats or runs on wheels unless it is static and being used like a building, e.g. work in dry dock.

control of the premises (e.g. the owner and the managing agent); control over the activities on the premises (occupier); employs people; in many instances this will be a company or other organisation. They are responsible for the safety of people who may be legitimately, on the premises or who is not on the premises but might be directly affected by a fire on the premises. In many cases, responsibility may be shared between several people but it is not the responsibility of the fire service or any other statutory body. The person responsible (or persons if there are more than one), must make sure that everyone is safe from fire. If that is you, you or a person engaged by you must carry out a fire risk assessment to determine what the risks are and to identify those measures necessary to minimise the risk to an acceptable level.

Fire ties authori e law th enforce look into FIRE RISK l ASSESSMENTS and wil ints, carry a The guidance l p s m n o co i t a g documents that i t s support fire law out invefires and recommend a five stage after targeted approach to fire risk t u o carry ections assessment. The five stages begin with identifying the insp

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? The person responsible for fire safety is anyone who has, to any significant degree:

hazards within your premises including; sources of ignition, sources of fuel and any oxidising agents other than air. Secondly, identify people at risk. You must consider everyone who might be at risk from a fire on your premises, whether they are employees, visitors or members of the public. You should pay particular attention E



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RISK ASSESSMENTS  to people who may be at particular risk such as; people working near to fire hazards, lone workers, children, parents with babies, the elderly, the infirm and people with disabilities or anyone who may need special help. Additionally, evaluate the level of risk in your premises. You should remove or reduce fire hazards where possible. The residual risk should be minimised. You need to look at the means of detecting fire and giving warning. This includes: fire fighting and first aid fire fighting and summoning the fire and rescue service; escape routes including fire exits, emergency lighting and escape route signs. This should also include training for your staff, information on fire safety for anyone who may need it (e.g. staff and visitors) and a management system to make sure that your fire precautions, including your risk assessment, remain effective. Furthermore, record, plan, instruct, inform and train. You should: record the findings from the fire risk assessment as well as the fire safety measures you have taken and are going to take; if you haven’t already got one, make an emergency plan, tailored to your premises; give staff and occasionally others, such as hotel guests or volunteer stewards, information; provide employees training about the risks, the actions they should take to prevent fires and how to respond to fire if it occurs. Some, such as fire marshals, will need more training. This includes full time,

Fire Safety


If there is a very serious risk to life, the fire authority can issue a notice preventing the premises or part of the premises being used part time, temporary and unpaid employees. Lastly, review your fire-risk assessment to ensure it is up to date. You will need to re-examine your fire-risk assessment if you suspect it is no longer valid, such as after a near miss or if there is a significant change such as a change of processes occupants or the layout of the building. ENFORCEMENT Fire authorities are the main agency responsible for enforcing the law. Fire authorities will look into complaints, carry out investigations after fires and carry out targeted inspections. Where poor fire safety management is discovered they may prosecute. If there is a very serious risk to life, the fire authority can issue a notice preventing the premises being used for certain things, or preventing people from using all or part of the premises. The following legal instruments are the principal pieces of legislation which govern fire safety in the UK and are the ones specifically referred to in this document. In England and Wales there is the Regulatory Reform (fire safety) order 2005. In Scotland,

there is The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006. In Northern Ireland there is The Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010. CERTIFICATES AND OLD LEGISLATION The above legislation amended many other pieces of legislation. It also repealed or revoked, among others: The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997; Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001; and the Fire Precautions Act 1971. The Fire Precautions Act required the fire brigade or local authority to issue a fire certificate for certain classes of premises. The authorities no longer issue fire certificates and those previously in force will have no legal status but don’t throw them away. Any fire certificates you have may be useful as a starting point for your fire risk assessment. L FURTHER INFORMATION

LoGiK Services Ltd LoGiK Services Ltd are an electrical and mechanical contracting company based in Birmingham in the Midlands serving domestic, commercial, industrial and public sector clients. Our services cover Commercial, Industrial and Domestic projects for large national clients, and domestic property services for landlords as well as acting as a subcontractor for construction companies and general building contractors. • Industrial/Commercial Installations Industrial electrical installation & maintenance • Inspection & Testing Design & installation of all electrical systems • Domestic Electrics Domestic electrical installation & maintenance • Fire Alarms & Emergency Lighting Fire alarms inspection and testing • PAT Testing Emergency lighting installation, commissioning and maintenance to comply with BS5266 • Maintenance Installation of all Cat5 e structured data cable installations

The team at LoGiK Services Ltd are committed to our customers need for a high quality reliable service, which requires completion on time. We are able to work in accordance with personal requirements, design & build submissions or full tender packages working from a scheduled specification.

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PASSIVHAUS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED REHAU, specialists in the application of Passivhaus certified solutions in the construction sector showcases its range of innovative products and services specialist panel producer Rodenberg. It can be specified in single or double leaf variants and with either side panels or skylights as required. The RAU-FIPRO® six chamber profile has an 86mm depth and is available in a range of foil finishes or aluminiumfacing formwork to give architects and specifiers plenty of design options. Crucially, both GENEO® windows and GENEO® doors also offer market leading security alongside outstanding thermal performance. They can achieve burglary resistance up to class 2 without steel or class 3 if steel is specified.

The £26m fund to acquire and develop brownfield sites represents an amazing opportunity for developers to create new starter homes which set new standards in terms of design, quality and energy efficiency. REHAU will certainly be encouraging developers on these sites to embrace many of the Passivhaus certified solutions which were once considered cutting edge but which are now shifting rapidly into the mainstream. As specialists in the application of polymer technologies in the construction sector, the company’s range includes a suite of highly innovative products which were originally developed by REHAU in mainland Europe, where Passivhaus technologies were pioneered, and where they have been proven for many years. The includes GENEO® windows, GENEO® Inovent, a window that ventilates while closed, GENEO® entrance doors, and REHAU Polytec 50, a composite curtain walling system. The company also has a highly skilled commercial team who can help with the design and specification of Passivhaus compliant projects and who can assist in the preparation of drawings and in identifying experienced fabricators and installers. GENEO® WINDOWS GENEO® windows are fabricated using the UK’s first fully self-reinforced window profile system in a material which REHAU brands RAU-FIPRO®. RAU-FIPRO® is a fully recyclable fibre composite similar to that used



in aircraft and Formula 1 racing cars. It offers exceptional strength and torsional stiffness which means windows can be fabricated for the vast majority of applications without any need for steel reinforcement. Since it is steel which creates the thermal bridges within profile which reduce energy performance, these windows without steel are among the most energy efficient on the market. Up to 0.73 W/m²K can easily be achieved and they are BRE Green Guide rated A for domestic and A+ for commercial with a life cycle of 35 years. In Passivhaus terms, GENEO® windows have three surrounding seal levels so offer the best possible insulation characteristics necessary for achieving certification. They also have a sleek design with 115mm sight lines and a six chamber construction for enhanced thermal optimisation.

REHAU POLYTEC 50 REHAU Polytec 50 composite curtain walling is not just Passivhaus certified but is also approved by the Centre of Window Cladding and Technology which means it can be specified for new build work controlled by the NHBC. It can achieve a Uf-value up to 0.74 W/m²K and is ideal for installation in stairwells in multi-occupancy developments. Matching the aesthetics of aluminium curtain walling with slim 50mm external sight lines which are faced with aluminium, REHAU Polytec 50 is actually an in-stick system fabricated using galvanised box steel sections. These sections have an E-modulus which is three times greater than aluminium so it can be used to construct larger spans with the same geometry. It also has internal PVC profiles so that it is warm to the touch making it a comfortable option for residents.

GENEO® INOVENT Already available in Germany and Austria and currently being considered for launch in the UK, GENEO® Inovent offers all of the benefits of a standard GENEO® window but also incorporates a fully integrated automatic ventilation system with heat recovery for fresh, filtered air which operates even when the window is closed. This means no moisture, no mould and no noise from the outside.

THE REHAU HUB Many of REHAU’s Passivhaus certified products are on display at the newly opened REHAU Hub at The Building Centre in London. Here, architects and specifiers can see the products for themselves and talk to the company’s commercial team about their smarter approach to construction - #knowhau. This is REHAU’s package of support which extends from planning and budget advice to onsite support and CPD seminars. L

GENEO® ENTRANCE DOOR The GENEO® entrance door is available in both glazed and panel options, and in a wide choice of traditional and contemporary designs from

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Do starter homes have the potential to finish?

Housing & Planning


In August, a £26 million fund was announced for house builders that will be used to acquire brownfield sites to provide land for starter homes. Government Business analyses the housing situation in the UK and whether the government’s target of building 200,000 new starter homes by 2020 is likely to be met Communities Secretary Greg Clark and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have said that acquired brownfield site land will be specifically used for the development of properties available for first time buyers, with the government supporting architects, developers, councils, housing associations and small builders to meet the target of 200,000 new starter homes by 2020. An additional £10 million will also be available to local authorities to prepare brownfield sites for development. Discussing the funding, Clark said: “This competitive fund will build homes that will clearly show the wide range of new properties that will be available for first-time buyers as they take their first step on the housing ladder. We are also helping bring back into use more brownfield land for development, keeping the country building and delivering the homes our communities need.” Housing Minister Brandon Lewis added: “It’s further proof that this government’s long-term economic plan is on track, supporting the aspirations of hard-working people everywhere.” However, with much of the press coverage

claiming the Starter Homes policy is one that benefits the Conservative Party and not the housing needs of the country, it remains important to question whether the scheme is attainable and who is likely to benefit? STARTER HOMES The beginning of 2015 saw the introduction of the Starter Homes initiative, a programme aiming to help young first-time buyers, that being those under the age of 40, purchase a home. The New‑Homes website (www., launched alongside the initiative, unveiled a comprehensive database of new home developments, with up to 150,000 properties in England, Scotland and Wales. Amongst all the figures of housing developments are the less known statistics which show home ownership falling year on year and the proposition of affordable homes becoming slimmer and slimmer. The UK is in an age of renting, with many predicting that by 2025, half of people under the age of 40 will be living in properties owned by private landlords. Private rent is rising, and alarmingly, homelessness is too.

Shelter ed has publiciss on that familieings will rn average eaut of these be priced os in 58 per new home f local cent o by authorities 2020

Back in September 2014, as part of his election campaign, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We will make these starter homes 20 per cent cheaper by exempting them from a raft of taxes and by using brownfield land. I don’t want to see young people locked out of home ownership. We’ve already started to tackle the problem with Help to Buy mortgages – and these new plans will help tens of thousands more people to buy their first home.” This wasn’t the first time that housing stormed to the front of the Conservative policy push. The campaign was regularly branded with calls to ‘own your own home’, but arguably, the need for affordable housing is even higher than in September last year. Housing charity Shelter has publicised that families on average earnings will be priced out of these new affordable homes in 58 per cent of local authorities by 2020, while those on George Osborne’s new ‘National Living Wage’ will be priced out in 98 per cent of the country. The Shelter statistics also revealed that single people on low or average wages will struggle to afford a Starter Home in 2020 in the majority of local authorities. Even those on a higher than average salary they would be restricted from affording to buy in three quarters of local authorities. Additionally, London, the South East and the East have the lowest number of areas where affordable Starter Homes under the schemes threshold could be E




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STARTER HOMES  built, despite high demand in these areas. Shelter argues that, rather than replacing Shared Ownership or Social Rent, Starter Homes should be an additional option for first time buyers. The numbers themselves should not be undervalued. 200,000 new Starter Homes by 2020 equates to 40,000 per year for the next five years. Currently, there is approximately that number of affordable housing built each year across all building platforms. Starter Homes appears to be a very nice policy for builders and housing associations, but remain a disappointment for the average person or couple looking to purchase their first property. It is set to help those on an already substantial salary or those without children, but the majority of the UK working population will still struggle to find an affordable home. BE WARY OF RIGHT TO BUY In October 205, the government approved the agreement to open up the Right to Buy scheme to 1.3 million households as part of the Housing and Planning Bill. The initiative allows housing association tenants to purchase their home at a discount, with the government promising to compensate housing associations for the discounted prices. In addition housing associations may retain sales receipts in order to invest in new housing. While David Cameron attempted to shine gloss over the announcement, council leaders have warned that the extension of Right to Buy will account annually to a cost of £6 billion for the next four years. Cllr Peter Box, Local Government Association (LGA) housing spokesman, warned that ‘councils are ambitious to increase house building across all tenures’ and stated that ‘support measures to help people into home ownership’ must not be funded by forcing councils to sell-off their homes. Box said that: “This could result in additional costs for the government as more people move into the private rented sector and need housing benefit to afford higher rents.” The dangers of the scheme were further brought to light when a study published by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) claimed an estimated 7,000 council houses per year could be lost as the Right to Buy programme is extended to housing associations. The CIH stresses concerns over the sale of vacant high-value council homes which could generate enough money to replace both the housing association and council houses sold, and set up a new £1 billion brownfield regeneration fund. The CIH study showed that local authorities could be left with little money, unable to replace the homes they sell. Between 2,100 and 6,800 ‘high-value’ council homes are likely to become empty and be sold each year – compared to the government’s estimate of 15,000. Those sales would generate between £1.2 billion and £2.2 billion a year – compared to the government’s estimate of £4.5 billion. Furthermore, around 1.45 million housing association tenants would be eligible for Right to Buy during the first five years of the policy, with around 10 per cent (145,000) likely to take advantage. CLOSING THE FUNDING GAP £1.2 billion would be around half the amount needed to compensate housing associations for homes sold under the scheme – housing associations would need almost all of the higher £2.2 billion estimate, leaving virtually nothing for councils to replace the homes they have sold or for the brownfield regeneration fund. CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat has warned that the government should consider how it can close the funding gap in the next Spending Review. She said: “The government should examine how to close this funding gap in the forthcoming Spending Review, so that both housing associations and local authorities are able to replace the homes they sell with new affordable homes to rent. The government has said it wants to address our national housing crisis by driving up new house building so that we build one million new homes by 2020. But the combined impact of selling high value council homes and cutting affordable housing rents will make it virtually impossible for councils to play their part, as the government had originally planned.” L FURTHER INFORMATION

I n s u lat io n

Housing & Planning


Passivhaus by Kingspan

The new Kingspan Passivhaus has been designed by HTA Design LLP in collaboration with Potton. The idea behind the design of the housetype was to defy the stereotype that Passivhaus will not work with generous openings and a form that deviates from the typical boxy design with small windows. Visit

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Industry News Alternative Fuels • Electric Vehicles Commercial Vehicles Freight & Logistics • Interviews Fleet Management • Finance Driver Training • Road Safety • Tyres Telematics • Rental & Leasing Intelligent Transport Systems Road Tests FORMULA E















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Promoting the sustainable building sector The Greenbuild Expo takes place on 10- 11 November at Manchester Central, and features seminars with key advice for the construction industry on making buildings more efficient Reducing our buildings’ impact on the environment is at the heart of Greenbuild Expo, a free conference and exhibition taking place in Manchester Central on 10-11 November. As well as guidance on creating low-energy buildings, visitors to the event will also have access to expert advice on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green retrofit and much more. On top of the free seminar programme of

over 100 free sessions, there will also be an exhibition featuring some of the industry’s latest green innovations and energy-saving solutions. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will be holding its RHI roadshow at Greenbuild Expo and will be also be presenting on how the domestic RHI and the Green Deal will work together to ensure that all participants will be able to benefit from having a smarter, warmer home.

A popular feature returning to Greenbuild Expo for 2015 is Ignition, the UK’s only woodfuel event and biomass heating expo. With a dedicated seminar programme and exhibition area, Ignition15 will include advice on heat meters and using biomass for district energy schemes.

GreenBuild Expo


FUTURE CITIES ZONE In association with Future Cities Catapult, this main feature at the show in 2015 looks at what our cities and buildings could be like in the future. It combines a 110sqm interactive stand and two future cities debates on the central stage. It aims to inspire people within the built environment to look at things differently. A discussion, learning and realisation experience, this feature of the show will highlight the real challenges our cities face and that some solutions in part may already exist. Collectively this feature will help devise a way to make sure there is joined up thinking in the way that buildings perform in terms of energy and general running but also the roles they perform in the social arena and binding together the fabric of a city. Our cities will become larger as the population migrates to areas of prosperity. The resources therefore in terms of energy, water and space will all be stretched. What we do now – when it comes to how we heat and light our buildings – may not be what we do in the future. It’s difficult to predict whether we’ll be using renewable energy, coal, biofuel, gas, fuel cells or some new form of energy generation but we will need to manage what we use and when we use it better. So how does that look for a city? What will be the solution for energy? At times our creaking network comes close to falling over. Turning down power consumption in some areas, adding new sources of energy through emergency generation at peak times are all being made possible through Smart grid, and smart building technology but what lies ahead for energy flexibility? What will be the demand on water? For instance, only around 15 per cent of water delivered to homes is used to drink, yet it could all be drunk. We flush toilets, clean cars and water gardens with drinking water, will this resource be scarce in the future and would people in the future look at us now and think we are crazy? Population increases and our cities having to expand, what can we do in the space we have? We can’t really spread out further, so building up or down maybe the answer and we need to consider the flexibility of a buildings use. We may need more office space now, but would it have been predicted 25 E

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EVENT PREVIEW  years ago that many would be able to work from home? Will that trend continue and if so what do we do with all these office blocks. Security will play an increasingly important role in the future. The design of buildings and how they connect with others, both physically and through technology, could become the way crime is detected and prevented. Intelligent buildings with discrete scanning and identification capabilities are inevitable to track individuals who are not so welcome. They will also be able to help building users and visitors through mobile phone or other identifying technology and direct and welcome you to your destination or evacuate in emergencies. These are just some of the things that will be addressed in the future zone. It’s all about flexibility and looking at intelligent buildings in terms of all services so energy, water, fire, security, communications and so on that help create enjoyable safe and healthy living and work spaces. BUILDINGS & ENERGY EFFICIENCY Returning for its second year, Buildings & Energy Efficiency (B&EE) is aimed at the commercial buildings sector. B&EE will run alongside Greenbuild Expo and has been designed to highlight the technological developments in building and refurbishment methods when it comes to energy efficiency. Encouraging businesses and property owners to save some of the reported £1.6 billion wasted on energy bills each year it will also cover ESOS and new legislation for energy performance of buildings. Key industry figures will discuss the changing face of energy efficiency as collectively businesses in the UK are currently missing out on an estimated saving of £1.6 billion each year. Take a look at the up and coming ESOS legislation, BIM, building performance, integrating renewables, energy generation, the role that behavioural change plays in energy reduction, BREEAM plus much more. The Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards reward the best performing buildings in the UK. The Awards area, will highlight the shortlisted finalists, and the Buildings & Energy Efficiency Awards Gala Dinner takes place on the evening of the first day. DAY ONE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME On the first day of the Expo, 10 November, The Red Room will be hosting seminars on: ‘Passivhaus for new-build residential’; ‘Integrating low-energy refurb’; ‘Measurement of Energy Savings Measures in Buildings’; ‘Overheating in Homes’; and ‘City Energy Apps: Mapping our Future’. The Passivhaus seminar, jointly conducted by Mark Siddal of Leap and Helen Brown of Encraft, highlights the role that Passivhaus has to play in housebuilding in the UK. Taking place at 10:00, the seminar will end with a 10-minute opportunity for questions.

Following on from this at 11:00, The National Energy Foundation’s (NEF) Principal Energy Specialist, Luke Smith, discusses intergrating low-energy refurbishment in the social housing sector with everyday maintenance. Additionally, Richard Fitton from Salford University will present the latest results from the unique Energy House at the University of Salford. This test facility tests all manner of energy saving technologies from insulation to boiler controls. The latest findings will be presented, and also the innovative methods that are being developed to measure the energy performance of homes. At 14:00, ‘Overheating in homes’ will be presented by Nicola O’Connor from the Zero Carbon Hub. There is evidence that overheating is already happening in certain types of homes, and concern is rising in the construction sector that it will become more prevalent in the future. The Zero Carbon Hub (along with by industry and government) has gathered together the latest evidence on this issue and made recommendations on what the sector needs to do to be more prepared. O’Connor will present a detailed analysis of what can be done to prevent this escalating problem. The Red Room Day One Conference Programme is completed by Ruth Kerigan, R&D Director of IES, presenting on ‘City Energy Apps: Mapping our Future’. As part of the £24 million project funded by the Technology Strategy Board, IES created an Energy App for Glasgow Future Cities. In this session, Kerrigan will look at the ideas and technology behind it, its development, aims and where this kind of technology could take us in the future. Running alongside The Red Room is an

funding from Innovate UK. The session will include presentations covering the technical challenges and solutions; performance monitoring and resident liaison; on site delivery and supply chain integration. This will be followed by an audience Q&A session. The ‘Home Quality Mark’, led by BRE’s Gwyn Roberts, is the new standard from BRE designed to put the consumer at the heart of quality, sustainable homes. It provides the householder with indicators of energy, water, health and well‐being and other performance issues in a simple, digestible format. It is also designed to allow quality housebuilders to differentiate a better product. The development of the Home Quality Mark has been supported by a number of leading private developers together with the social housing sector.

GreenBuild Expo


DAY TWO CONFERENCE PROGRAMME Once again, GreenBuild Expo 2015 will include high quality, expert driven conference seminars on Day Two of the event. Highlights on the 11 November include: The Zero Carbon Hub investigating the route causes of the Performance Gap in their seminar ‘Building Performance Evaluation’ (The Red Room, 10:00); ‘Can refurbishment deliver energy efficient buildings?’, by the Green Gauge Trust’s Liz Reason (The Red Room, 11:00); ‘Passivhaus – is it really deliverable?’, a seminar on how local authorities and housing authorities can deliver high quality passivhaus homes (The Red Room, 15:00). In The Purple Room at 10:15, Willmot Dixon Energy Services’ Robert Hughes looks at how

Our cities will become larger as the population migrates to areas of prosperity. The resources therefore in terms of energy, water and space will all be stretched alternative seminar programme which will take place in The Purple Room. Discussions on Day One will include: ‘Environmental Assessments’; ‘Housing Association Performance Analysis’; ‘Retrofit at Scale’; and the BRE ’Home Quality Mark’. Starting at 10:15, the ‘Environmental Assessments’ seminar, led by GreenBuild Consult’s Gareth Davies, will focus on how to make the process of Environmental Assessment easier for developers. Immediately afterwards, at 11:15, SHIFT will analyse the sustainability performance of housing associations from 2012 to 2014. In ’Retrofit at Scale’, taking place at 12:15, PRP and the Institute for Sustainability will present a 40 minute workshop discussing their solution for ‘at scale’ social housing retrofit delivery which is currently being trialled with

to get successful, quality energy efficiency schemes off the ground in his seminar ‘Life in a Post-Eco World’. Later in the day (12:15), Oliver Heath discusses the emerging science of Biophilic Design, before Mark Atherton from Manchester City Council discusses the route forward for lowering Manchester’s carbon footprint in his seminar ‘Decarbonising Greater Manchester’. Closing Day Two of the Expo, The Sustainable Energy Association discusses the road ahead for the Renewable Heat Incentive. L

GreenBuild Expo 2015, Manchester Central, 10-11 November, 9.30am – 4.00pm FURTHER INFORMATION



We dare to be different Home Instead Senior Care specialise in providing older people with non medical care in their own homes. As a franchise owner, you can make the most of the opportunity to build a market leading, profitable business, while helping people live a better quality of life. You will benefit from the award-winning support of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise team and a rapidly growing demand for our services. No previous care experience is necessary, All you need is a head for business, great people skills, lots of drive and a determination to succeed. Over 165 UK franchises Achievable turnover in excess of ÂŁ1m* per annum with expected net profits of 15-20%** Finance available from our banking partners

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2016 marks an opportunity for public sector workers to make a change to the way that they work. Paul Stafford of the British Franchise Association examines why franchising is a good option December and January are naturally times for reflecting back and looking ahead to what’s next. Among the resolutions of more visits to the gym, quitting smoking and the like, the question of career paths and progression usually comes into focus. That’s particularly true if ‘less stress’, ‘better work/life balance’ or ‘earn more money’ are on your list of goals. Of course all too often by the time February and March come around, dreams have been shelved and it’s business as usual. But what if 2016 was different?

NEW YEAR, NEW BUSINESS? You might have considered self-employment several times over the past few years, while wages have stagnated. Plenty of people have: according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) there are now more self-employed people than at any time since records began, with around 15 per cent of the UK’s workforce running their own business. Of course, it can be a scary thought

going from secure employment to running your own business. Guaranteed holiday pay, sick pay, pension...there are many reasons why people don’t go into business for themselves. It’s not for everyone. On the other hand, it is a chance to do something you love, to be your own boss, set the pace, work flexibly so you have more time with your family and reap the rewards of your own hard work. If you’ve considered starting a business before but the thought is a little daunting, then there is a way of starting a business without being alone; where you’ll have initial training and ongoing support E

ng Accordiffice to the Oional of Nat (ONS) cs Statisti now more e there ar loyed people p self‑em at any time than records since an beg


Written by Paul Stafford, British Franchise Association

Is it time for a franchising change?





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ARE YOU READY FOR A NEW CHALLENGE? Do you want to be your own boss, work from home and create a £70k plus income? Benefits include: • 100% repeat business • Fits around family life • £70k plus income per year with positive cash flow • Expert training & support • Investment just £15,995 +vat with no hidden costs Bright & Beautiful is an award winning 21st century housekeeping franchise in a recession proof industry. Bright & Beautiful is a management franchise bringing the domestic cleaning industry up to date with ethical and fair employment opportunities, eco friendly products and a rewarding business for franchise owners.



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SELF-EMPLOYMENT  to call on anytime you need it, whether it’s for admin or practicalities, business planning or an operational challenge. It’s a model which is perfectly suited to public sector employees too, because it revolves around systems and structures alongside personal input and ideas. It’s often been called ‘being in business for yourself, not by yourself’. That system is franchising, and while you may not be familiar with it right now, chances are you regularly use the services of a franchised business. It might be your pet care or hair care, your car repairs, local pub or your children’s after‑school classes; the range is enormous. It’s a long time since franchising was the expansion model of choice for only global catering brands and fast-food chains (though they’re still around too). There’s now a myriad of businesses and sectors to choose from, covering everything from IT, children’s activities and gardening services through to letting agents, accountancy and home care. Whatever your passion, there’s likely to be a franchise for you. HOW DOES FRANCHISING WORK? Franchising is a form of self-employment: you own and run your own business, under the brand, systems and support of an established company. Support can come from the founder of the franchise, their operations staff or fellow franchisees. Often, it’s all of them. That’s a lot of experience and expertise to call upon when you have a question. How does this translate into reality? Can you really pick up the phone or email someone when you have a query over marketing, administration, how to win customers, how to keep them? With a good franchise, you can answer yes to all the above. A franchise that has proven its ethical values and ethos will support its franchisees; it doesn’t make money unless they do. AM I SUITABLE? This is a valid question, and one you must ask yourself if you are considering becoming a franchisee. Franchising isn’t for everybody. You’ll need to work hard: sometimes the hours might be long and the road difficult. If it was easy to run a business, there would be no such thing as employees. Whether it’s a long-held ambition to be your own boss, a desire for a new challenge, taking on something rewarding that fits around your family, securing your finances, or something else altogether - there are many different reasons people become franchisees, and that means an enormous array of different backgrounds, personalities and skill sets are found in the sector. That’s one reason why franchising is notably diverse and has no discrimination when it comes to what makes a good franchisee: each franchisor is looking for something specific to their business model. With that said, there are some common traits shared by many of those at the top

of their networks, the superstar franchisees that consistently shine and become ambassadors for what’s possible within a brand – regardless of the business sector, the type of franchise or their background before they became a franchisee. While not an exhaustive list, it’s worth seeing if the following resonate with you. Tenacity. Tenacity is a word every successful business owner is familiar with, franchisee or otherwise. Running a business requires determination and commitment in spades and, while ethical franchisors offer a proven model and plentiful support, a willingness to put in the hard graft to prosper is essential. Passion. A close companion to tenacity, this comes in many forms; it might be passion for the product or service, passion to make a difference to a local community and its people, the desire to achieve freedom, flexibility and a better work/ life balance, a belief in the company ethos and brand, a determination to achieve financial and professional independence – maybe it’s all of the above. Just make sure you’re enthusiastic about something. System addict. Investing in a good franchise means buying into proven systems that have been established and honed over years and have been shown to succeed. Use them; the best franchisees do, taking full advantage of the experience and expertise, maximise the tools available. Most franchisors welcome and



learn from both new franchisees, with their fresh eyes and ideas, as well as established ones. Think of it as the best CPD – learn new skills, ask questions, implement ideas. Franchisors might hold conferences, regular regional forums, have an intranet or other mechanisms for franchisees to share best practice with each other. Extra, extra. Franchisees have proven repeatedly that they can drive results from a business that an employed manager can’t or won’t – there are many examples and it’s one of several reasons why franchising is an attractive option to expand a successful business in the first place. Having that vested interest in the success and financial performance of a business means franchisees will go the proverbial extra mile for their customers, and the best of them do so time and time again. It’s your business and you need to lead from the front, do whatever it takes and if you have staff, inspire them to do the same. Truly exceptional customer service or client care is a given for outstanding franchisees. Keep perspective. Be aware of the bigger picture, which holds multiple connotations in a franchise context: understand that you’re part of the wider network; strive to develop and grow your business further, rather than settling in a comfort zone; be patient and honest with yourself, success can take time; plan for the future and review

It’s your business and you need to lead from the front, do whatever it takes and if you have staff, inspire them to do the same value innovative ideas from their franchisees within the framework of the business – perhaps the most famous example is that the Big Mac was invented by a franchisee – and will have communication channels for those ideas to be raised from their network. But if you’re looking to reinvent the wheel completely, franchising is probably not for you. Network connection. Training, support and back-up from head office should be expected from every franchisor – but good franchisees also understand the power of the network of business owners alongside them. Whether there are one or two other franchisees in the network, or more than 100, you’ve got access to an incredibly powerful group dynamic of business owners sharing similar experiences, tips and what’s working (or not) for them. It’s a huge benefit of being a franchisee and one which should be utilised – your peers are a resource to tap into and share your own experiences with, not your competition. Great franchisees are willing to

your goals and whether you’re achieving them; and recognise that you’re investing in a business, not buying a job, and that it might be challenging and stressful at times. If you’re ready for a change in 2016 but would like support running your business, then have a look into franchising. You can find information and advice via the British Franchise Association website. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS COULD SAVE LIVES Kelvin TOP-SET offers free trial of online root cause analysis course and introduces TOP-SET Live, the world’s first incident investigation app Kelvin TOP-SET, the leading incident investigation specialist is offering a free trial of its e-RCA Root Cause Analysis online course to all readers of Government Business. The company is also pleased to announce the launch of the world’s first incident investigation App – TOP-SET Live. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in global industry. With over 30 years of practical experience teaching and conducting incident investigation and Root Cause Analysis, Kelvin TOP-SET realises that, for many people, getting to the real root causes of incidents poses a serious challenge. With this in mind, Kelvin TOP-SET recently launched its online e-RCA course. The company believes that the Kelvin TOP-SET e-RCA course could help to save lives and reduce injuries in the workplace. The course can be completed online in approximately four hours and requires no prior knowledge of RCA. It is suitable for anyone who may be involved in incident investigation and for those who simply wish to gain a better grasp of the fundamentals of good Root Cause Analysis. Users are guided through the course with simple step-by-step instructions and a blended learning approach using videos, case studies with animated incidents, online exercises and interactive tests. Users learn how to conduct effective Root Cause Analysis and have ample opportunity to practise and perfect this vital investigation skill. The e-RCA course is highly interactive and can be easily accessed on multiple devices. TESTIMONIALS Here’s what some users are saying about the course: “The e-learning course was very well constructed with relevant content - it hits the spot” - Training manager, SapuraKencana Drilling. “The course did exactly what it said in the introduction. It was kept simple and the learning pace was adequate for people with no experience whatsoever... a great introduction to Root Cause Analysis” – Safety officer, Allseas. 2015 has also seen the launch of an innovative investigation App. TOP-SET Live enables teams to collaborate and solve problems from multiple locations in ‘real time’. Details, images, live sketches, audio and video can be shared ‘live’ from diverse locations. This means that team members can



work together using the same information and data at the same time even though they may be physically separated – for example communicating from an office location direct with an expert at the incident site. Iain Livingstone, developer of TOPSET Live, commented: “Unique aspects of this App are that users can see and speak to each other whilst drawing on the screen and incorporating symbols if required. This allows investigators to easily highlight details of complex equipment failures and problems so that issues can quickly be identified and resolved.” David Ramsay, Kelvin TOP-SET Group Managing Director said: “We are very excited to have launched TOP-SET Live. This application will be of great benefit to Government businesses. It is suitable for use in the investigation of incidents and the solving of problems in areas such as central Government, local authorities, government agencies, the NHS, the MOD, the emergency services, HM Prisons, housing associations and social services. COMMUNICATION TOOL It is a very powerful communication tool and enables crucial detailed information concerning incidents or problems to be discussed live. This substantially cuts down on time, travel and cost. Images and messages can also be stored for subsequent analysis and discussion.” “As long as a 3G or Wi-Fi connection is available, this App can be utilised anywhere in the world including remote locations. The

collaborative App was used successfully in a recent transatlantic investigation where several parties were able to simultaneously look at, discuss and draw on photographs of failed equipment. Although it has been designed for investigating incidents, it can be applied to any issue or problem and used as a valuable communication tool between several locations.” Investigation is a vital process for understanding and preventing incidents, and, with the recent introduction of the cost-effective e-RCA course and TOP-SET Live App, Kelvin TOP-SET aims to continue to assist major companies and government bodies around the globe with their investigation and problem solving needs. Mr Ramsay continued: “Kelvin TOPSET has an established reputation for its Incident Investigation courses, e-learning tools and software and I am confident that the TOP-SET Live App will provide even more benefits to our clients.” Although Government business is a prime sector for Kelvin TOP-SET, the company has a significant client base in many other industrial sectors including oil and gas, utilities, ports, marine, rail, airports and civil engineering. L FURTHER INFORMATION To learn more about TOP-SET Live please go to To access your free trial of the e-RCA online Root Cause Analysis course, please go to, click on the yellow register button and register using the following code: GB1115


Debt Recovery


Written by Sean Feast, Chartered Institute of Credit Management

Debt ed generatblic from punisations rga sector oot ‘financial are n and are not ’ services und by the o all b ules and same r ations regul

Debunking the difficulty of debt Sean Feast, managing editor of Credit Management magazine, looks at the challenging issue of collecting debts in the public sector and why the problem needs more clarity The issue of debt in the public sector is a difficult one. The challenge of collecting those debts is even more of a concern. But the simple fact is that in this time of austerity and when cash is limited, both the national government and local authorities have a moral and legal obligation to collect what is owed. And they know that it’s not going to make them very popular.

The subject is a difficult one to do justice to in a short article, but in simple terms, there are two ‘types’ of consumer-based public sector debt: debt owed to local authorities, primarily made up of outstanding council tax, rent arrears, and sundry debts such as library overdues; and debt owed to national government bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Department

of Work and Pensions (DWP), and any number of other pseudo government organisations such as TV licensing, the DVLA etc. LOCAL AUTHORITY DEBT When it comes to the former, some of the figures will make your hair stand on end. In 2014/15, local authorities collected a total of £24.6 billion in council tax, irrespective of the year to which it related. This was an increase of £0.7 billion, or three per cent, over 2013/14. By the end of March 2015 they had collected £24.1 billion of council tax that related to 2014/15 and achieved an average E Volume 22.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


FINANCE  in-year collection rate of 97.0 per cent, the same as in 2013/14. During 2014/15, local authorities collected £570 million in council tax arrears. In 2014/15 authorities collected a total of £22.9 billion in non-domestic rates, irrespective of the year to which it related, an increase of £0.3 billion, or 1.3 per cent over the figure for 2013/14. By the end of March 2015 they had collected £23.1 billion in non-domestic rates that related to 2014/15 and achieved an average in-year collection rate of 98.1 per cent in 2014/15, an increase of 0.2 percentage points over 2013/14. They also collected £646 million in non-domestic rates arrears in 2014/15. So far so good. But now here comes the scary part: during 2014/15, local authorities wrote off £191 million of ‘uncollectable’ council tax and £213 million of uncollectable non-domestic rates. At 31 March 2015, the total amount of council tax still outstanding amounted to £2.7 billion. This is a cumulative figure and includes arrears that may stretch back to the introduction of council tax in 1993. This is an increase of £129 million over the figure for 2013-14. To the same period, local authorities reported the total amount of non-domestic rates still outstanding amounted to £1.2 billion and again this figure is cumulative and includes arrears that may stretch many years. Local authorities have therefore written off more than £400 million in apparently ‘uncollectable’ overdues, and they still have £3.9 billion of debts to collect of which, no doubt, a similarly hefty portion will be considered ‘uncollectable’ in due course. ‘GOVERNMENT’ DEBT In terms of the latter, the figures are similarly stark: Francis Maude (the Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham) in an address at the start of this year regarding the coalition government’s Fraud, Error and Debt initiative said that the government currently collects c£40 billion each year but that bad debt owed to government now stands at more than £22 billion. To put that figure into context, that is almost half of the UK’s defence budget (c£43 billion in 2013/14). While the government has always used external collection agencies, in the last 12 months a new company has been created – Indesser (Integrated Debt Services) – specifically tasked with getting the volume of debt down to more manageable levels. Indesser will enable the 20 or so disparate government departments (it is starting with four) to have a single source for a wider range of collections services delivered through a panel of a dozen specialist agencies. Lord Maude claims that: “Government has always made use of private debt collection firms, but this new company offers a coordinated approach so that government can buy services as a single customer, which means less cost and less hassle for all concerned. It

Local authorities have written off more than £400 million in apparently ‘uncollectable’ overdues, and they still have £3.9 billion of debts to collect of which a similarly hefty portion will be considered ‘uncollectable’ in due course also enables us to deal with individuals in a more differentiated way. People who can pay but won’t pay should be pursued and we will do that more effectively through one agency. “But people who genuinely can’t pay have in the past suffered the stress of having multiple agencies and parts of government, approaching them in different ways. We need to do this in a much more holistic and humane way, without being too hard on those who genuinely can’t pay, but at the same time being more effective at getting the money out of people who can pay but won’t, and who will often play off the various parts of the system against each other.” Lord Maude appears to be clear on his position: debt that is owed should be paid. And I doubt few would argue with that fundamental premise. But how is it best achieved? Well, there appears to be a problem. FOLLOWING THE RULES For agencies involved in the collection of financial services debt (debt relating to the Consumer Credit Act) and typically generated by banks, building societies, credit card companies etc, there is a clear set of rules and guidance for them to follow from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There is also a clear process of redress for the consumer should something go wrong, via the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). But what about consumer debt generated outside of the financial services world? Debt generated from public sector organisations are not ‘financial services’ and are not all bound by the same rules, regulations and principles as the rest. This means they are under no obligation, for example, to treat their customers fairly, nor do they have to conform to the niceties of such things as a 30-day breathing space for the most vulnerable in our society. How such a perverse situation has been allowed to materialise is a moot point: it is certainly not the fault of the FCA who were ‘given’ the areas to regulate by HMT, but it is alarming on several fronts. Consumers in debt are typically indebted to four or five different organisations; they might, quite reasonably, expect to be treated consistently across the piece. In reality, however, whereas they might be given forbearance and understanding in managing their credit card debt, the same is far from guaranteed in managing an overdue tax

Debt Recovery


liability, or dealing, with their local authority. This is not, it should be stressed, to cast dispersions on any organisation in particular, but even these organisations are confused themselves, so much so that Indesser has been obliged to state that it will only work with debt collection agencies that are regulated by the FCA – even though they are being tasked with collecting monies from a sector over which the FCA has no regulatory powers. So should local authorities follow suit? Should they too insist that only FCA‑regulated firms need apply? The lack of any viable alternative may leave them with little choice. The advantage in doing so is that it provides a tangible benchmark against which best‑practice can be measured. A firm that is FCA authorised has jumped through hoops to get there. The disadvantage is that there are many specialist collection agencies who because they do not collect consumer debt, have no flagpole against which to run up their best-practice standard. Many will doubtless be members of the Credit Services Association (CSA), and therefore be obliged to adhere to the CSA’s Code of Practice. The FCA consulted heavily with the CSA before issuing its new ‘rules’. But by the Association’s own admission, it is a trade body and not a quasi regulator. In many respects, it appears it is now down to the client to ensure that any third party it employs adheres to FCA rules through B2B contractual clauses, rather than having the luxury of one over-arching regulator for both consumer and commercial debt. Which leaves the whole issue somewhat hanging. Local authorities are hesitant about using external collectors, mindful of the need to protect their reputations and concerns over a possible media backlash when something goes wrong; government departments now have their own resource, using agencies proclaiming their FCA credentials in the absence of anything better. And the losers? Certainly the agencies with specialist skills may find themselves side-lined simply because employing them will be deemed ‘too difficult’; and possibly the debtors themselves, confused by an unnecessarily confusing landscape, and unsure of who to turn to when they are not being treated fairly. L FURTHER INFORMATION




MAKING MEETINGS SIMPLE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A BETTER PLACE TO MEET? If you’re looking for professional meeting and training rooms available to hire from just £8 per hour then discover &Meetings. Our venues offer discrete and quality business environments, with full online booking and pricing including refreshments. Try us today...│0800 073 0499



The autumn has been a great season for event staging. With the Rugby World Cup fading from the memory, the Meetings Industry Association discusses the growing importance of hosting events

The England rugby team may have been out‑classed in this year’s Rugby World Cup but there’s no denying that the staging of the sporting event itself has been a spectacular feat of world-class planning and delivery. The UK really does know its stuff when it comes to hosting international events. We’ve proved this before with the London 2012 Olympic Games. The UK events industry currently ranks in the top five in the world for the number of events held, while London claims a place in the top 10 cities globally. There are over 1.3 million business events held in the UK annually and as a sector, events are worth £39.1 billion to the UK economy, contributing to exports, inward investment, infrastructure development, cultural appreciation and national pride. The spend by those accompanying attendees at business events is worth an additional £7.7 billion. Events bring communities together, face‑to‑face, to share expertise, create memorable experiences, make change happen, unite thought leaders and fuel innovation. Despite having leading event organising companies based here in the UK, we are still seeing a substantial amount of their business done overseas though, in what is clearly a highly competitive market. It’s our responsibility to be doing all we can to promote the UK as a pioneering, affordable, entrepreneurial, desirable destination for staging all sorts of events, whether that’s live music and sport, festivals and cultural events, or meetings and conferences, incentive travel, product launches, exhibitions and trade shows.

London ace pl claims atop 10 in the s when it citie global o the number comes tnts held; the of eve s over 1.3m UK holdess events busin ually ann

Written by Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association

Events proving lucrative for the UK

Conferences & Events


FIRST CLASS SERVICE STANDARDS The Meetings Industry Association (MIA) is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. It’s a proud milestone in our history as the voice of the conference, meetings and events industry, the champion of the Accredited in Meetings (AIM) accreditation scheme and the founder of the annual miaList, which recognises and rewards industry talent and commitment to excellence. It continues to be our vision to make sure that venues and suppliers in the meetings, conferences and events sector are given the opportunity to reach the absolute pinnacle of operational and service excellence. E



InspirIng spaces, incredible events

All new Government packages including refreshments and AV Flexible meeting space (4-1000+ delegates) Complimentary Wi-Fi 2000 complimentary car parking spaces 20 minutes from Central London, 6 miles from London Heathrow Airport and close proximity to M4/M3/M25 corridors

For all your conferences and events needs contact the team on: 020 8744 9997 conferences& Twickenham Experience Rugby House, Twickenham Stadium 200 Whitton Road Twickenham TW2 7BA

EVENTS INDUSTRY  We do this not just because we want their customers to have an outstanding experience, but because we truly believe that by setting aspirational standards and by encouraging everyone to be the very best they can be, we will help them to compete better on a local, national and international level and, ultimately, ensure the UK is a destination in demand. We award the AIM standard in recognition of their operational and service excellence. It’s an award of which every achiever can be proud. We believe that one day every venue of worth in the UK will be accredited and that corporate clients will only select AIM accredited venues because it will be those venues and suppliers who can demonstrate clearly that they meet the demands of event professionals and their procurement teams. As an association, we have had a strong year financially and demonstrated healthy growth in a large number of our membership programmes. Our income for 2014 increased nine per cent on the previous year. Our membership figures also remain very solid. We can see that optimism within the meetings industry is growing, with clients starting to spend money and attendance at events is up on previous years. GROWTH OF FACE-TO-FACE EVENTS According to a report from Oxford Economics, 40 per cent of prospects become new customers after a face-to-face meeting vs just 16 per cent without and 27 per cent of current business would be lost if it wasn’t for in-person meetings. It’s those sorts of figures that support our observation of a digitally immersed business world eager to retain that all-important human touch. Investing in producing more live events and more opportunities for professionals to bond and network in person is where we’ve been focusing our energy for

The value of Britain’s events sector the last 12 months and we’ll be upping the pace for 2016, concentrating on a small handful of key themes, investing in more PR to raise awareness of the events industry and its challenges. True engagement is about listening. It’s critical to developing and innovating and we recognise that listening is fundamental to building a really robust service that drives the events industry forward. We know from the sell-out attendance at our events this year that people still love standing in front of each other and doing business in a real‑time, one-on-one setting, even in a corporate environment increasingly dominated by big data, algorithms and machine learning. With all the technology in the world, little can replace the long-term-relationship cementing advantages of the real life conversation over a cuppa or a glass of wine. ACCREDITED IN MEETINGS Introduced by the MIA in 2007, AIM is the UK’s only nationally recognised quality standard for venues and suppliers to the meetings and events sector. It immediately highlights to professional conference organisers and event planners a venue’s compliance to industry standards. This includes codes of practice, legalities and ethical business operations, in addition to competence, quality of facilities and overall fitness for purpose. There’s a great deal to consider when securing meetings, events and accommodation spaces and there is a risk that the process can become fragmented. Working with an AIM venue avoids this, giving peace-of‑mind to buyers of meetings and conferences through many different avenues. Firstly an AIM venue provides accountability, an ethical code of conduct means venues committed to ethical business dealings. Additionally, it provides assurance of

Events bring communities together, face‑to‑face, to share expertise, create memorable experiences, make change happen, unite thought leaders and fuel innovation The Grand Hotel in Brighton has 13 recently refurbished meeting spaces that can accommodate up to 900 delegates

Conferences and meetings: £19.9 billion

Conferences & Events


Exhibitions and trade fairs: £11.0 billion Sporting events: £2.3 billion Music events: £1.3 billion Incentive travel and performance improvement: £1.2 billion Corporate hospitality and corporate events: £1.2 billion Outdoor events: £1.1 billion Festivals and cultural events: £1.1 billion (Source: MPI (2013), The Economic Impact of the UK Meeting & Event Industry ReportFinal) legal compliance, especially in health and safety, and a consistent provision of fit‑for-purpose facilities. Furthermore, AIM ensures that quality products result in satisfied organisers and delegates, and incorporates a robust complaints procedure to support meetings and events buyers. Gary Payne, the recently appointed chair of the AIM Development Group, highlighted its importance to public sector procurement. He said: “Risk management and return on investment are high on the agenda for government institutions and associated services. Placing business with AIM accredited industry suppliers means dealing with organisations they can instantly trust, with proven and effective management of their business from enquiry to completion.” A recognised accreditation, such as AIM, is a strong indicator of a venue where organisers can expect unrivalled levels of service and facilities when booking their event. MEETING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS To attain an AIM accreditation, venues have to undergo a rigorous inspection and examination of their whole site. Inspectors will take into account everything from accessibility, legal compliance and quality of event facilities right through to ethical codes of conduct and standardisation of best practice. The assessment involves 50 stringent grading criteria and includes: the location and accessibility of the meeting rooms and facilities; the suitability of the lighting and heating in meeting rooms; the levels of security; how often the rooms are cleaned and decorated; whether the space and furniture are adequate and suitable; the provision of in‑room services such as power sockets; what is supplied at no extra charge and E



MEETinLEEDS. Your perfect conference and event partner. Delivering a successful event is totally dependent on good teamwork. At MEETinLEEDS we consider ourselves an important extension of your organisation. To form a successful partnership, planning and good support is paramount, with an experienced team to hand at all times. Between us we have the skills to make your event a great success. No matter how efficient you are, a good team around you will achieve the desired results. Think of us as part of your team, and get in touch now. /meetinleeds


t: 0113 343 6100 e:

EVENTS INDUSTRY  how transparent the published prices are. Compliance with ten separate legal acts are also required by prospective venues in order to become accredited. This includes Health & Safety at Work and Fire Safety; Disability Discrimination; Employers Liability; Data Protection; Sale & Supply of Goods; Trade Descriptions; Consumer Protection; Weights & Measures; Race Relations, Sex Discrimination, Disability Discrimination and Age Discrimination; and Licensing Laws. To date there are over 500 accredited venues and suppliers across the UK adhering to a tiered system which encourages venues to continually improve, under the AIM Higher scheme. Separate from the entry-level status, AIM Higher comprises of AIM Silver and AIM Gold, applicants to these two accreditations are subject to a higher degree of scrutiny against a much tougher set of criteria.     Venues that have been awarded AIM Higher have completed a much more rigorous process, covering 50 pieces of criteria, a ten‑section self-assessment, produced a portfolio of evidence in support of their application and have been visited by an independent assessor who determines whether the venue is worthy of the accreditation and, if so, whether either of the higher standards should be awarded. AIM Silver or Gold offers the highest level of credence to support a venue’s claims about its facilities, as assessed by industry experts.

Any venue that achieves this standard must be re-assessed every three years, this is to encourage continual improvement and is key to the AIM message of maintaining high standards in the meetings and events industry. PROSPECTIVE BUYERS AND BOOKERS AIM is fast becoming a recognised benchmark across both the public and private sector, ensuring quality and excellence across the board; combining the exceptional service and facilities that all buyers should expect when choosing a venue. The advantages of hiring an AIM accredited venues are tenfold to the book. It ensures business with venues that care and have integrity, as well as events and meetings where delegates are well looked after as commitment to service excellence is paramount.  Additionally, AIM accredited venues ensure hosting an event where the facilities and event spaces are fit for purpose and of high quality standards, and accountability through an ethical code of conduct. AIM accreditation assures clients know every element of the venue’s costs in advance, and establishes industry-approved contracts and terms and conditions. Doing business with credible, legally compliant venues is of prime importance and the accreditation makes sure that there is a standardisation of best practice, that

all procurement boxes ticked, and that a stress-free venue selection is on offer. AIM’S SUMMER HOT VENUE SPOTS AIM offers a selection of hand-picked, chosen locations that are recommended for summer conferences and events. The selected best are listed below. Situated on Brighton’s famous seafront, The Grand Brighton is a luxury Victorian hotel, designed and built in 1864. The historic hotel is only a 10-minute walk from Brighton rail station, with services running into London Victoria in 55 minutes and Gatwick Airport in just 30 minutes. With 13 recently refurbished meeting spaces that can accommodate up to 900 delegates, as well as award-winning catering, state of the art AV technology and luxury bedrooms, The Grand Brighton is an ideal location for both large scale exclusive events, as well as smaller more intimate meetings. The Brewery has announced its summer events package for 2015, with the return of its secret summer garden. Offering a secluded events space in the heart of the City of London, this year’s idyllic secret garden has been expanded from one to two structures, increasing outdoor capacity to 800 people. It is set to be an even bigger hit with city dwellers this year. Priced from £80 E

One Great George Street in central London has 21 function rooms: the Great Hall can hold 400 guests

Conferences & Events



The Liverpool Gateway Conference Centre The Gateway has 11 suites for hire with plenty of circulation space. The largest conference suite can accommodate a theatre audience of 120 with break out suites available for refreshments and syndicates. Our ICT suite hosts groups up to 16 delegates with access to their own ICT workstation. All main conference/training suites have lcd projectors and computers/laptops available. Located 5 minutes walk from Lime Street with some secure parking on site, but surrounded by affordable parking. of es ce ciliti n e ri y fa pe ex ualit ’ s -q ar ye igh 12 ing h vid pro

0151 298 3200 Volume 22.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE



THE CENTRE OF ATTENTION Whether on the University campus, or at the nearby Conference Park, our venues are ideally situated. With an enviable reputation for quality, efficiency, value for money and with a variety of flexible spaces from heritage to contemporary, we are sure to meet your needs.

An award-winning venue for your meetings, conferences and events in a central location

Your event will have the grandeur of the University setting, but at an affordable cost and your delegates can’t fail to be impressed. Simply tell us your requirements and we’ll do the rest.

Getting down to business...

Our dedicacted events team are experienced at working with the public sector and provide the highest level of customer service

#goodtogreetyou Nottingham Conference Centre public sector DDR £32+VAT

Get in touch today!

0121 415 8400



Contact a member of our expert team

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EVENTS INDUSTRY  per person, all inclusive packages include full event management support, gourmet street food, cocktails and Pimms on arrival, unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks as well as access to an after party inside The Brewery. Center Parcs has first class meetings and events facilities across all its sites – Longleat Forest, Sherwood Forest, Elveden Forest and the recently opened Woburn Forest. Each site has The Venue, a dedicated and purpose built conference and event facility which can accommodate up to 600 delegates. For smaller meetings, the Villages also have boardrooms set in the same woodland setting as The Venue. These are suitable for AGM’s, strategic away days and add an extra element of quality for VIP delegates or guests.    Center Parcs specifically tailors its rates for a variety of delegates, and offers both a day delegate rate – including meeting room hire for the day, lunch, access to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise – and a 24 hour rate which adds overnight accommodation, a three course dinner and cycle hire. Center Parcs offers distinctive expertise in conferences and events, presenting solutions for everything from intimate board meetings to large conferences and team building activity days. In fact, Center Parcs is now widely known for its teambuilding options which large number of delegates book as an add on to their meeting, capitalising on its outdoor setting and refreshing environment.

One Great George Street is a premier conference, events and meeting venue in central London close to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and opposite the Treasury Building. Set in a‑magnificent Grade II‑listed, four-domed, Edwardian building the venue is home to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). It was constructed in 1910 and became an established events venue in 1987.    There are 21 function rooms which offer flexible space for a wide range of events. The stunning Great Hall with marbled columned walls, ornate gold lead and embellished ceiling, can hold up to 400 guests for a reception and 240 people for an awards dinner. There are two lecture theatres, each with tiered seating and capacities of 106 and 204; both are fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual technology. In addition to these larger rooms there is also space for more intimate meetings or private dinning events for 18 to 22 people.      WELL-EARNED REPUTATION The venue has built a well-earned reputation for providing flawless service in impeccable surroundings. The renowned in‑house executive chef, kitchen and catering team have the experience and knowledge to work with you on your specific requirements to produce a bespoke menu for the perfect

The MIA in numbers The MIA is one of the fastest growing associations in the conference, meetings and events sector, founded by a proactive group of hotel and conference centre operators and booking agents to lead the conference, meetings and events industry, providing accreditation, industry awards, research and a voice to government. It has 530 accredited members. For more information, visit

Conferences & Events


event. Expertly-trained sommeliers are on hand to suggest suitable wines to complement each dish. The venue has an in-house audio visual team from Eclipse Presentations who are permanently on hand to provide all stage and technical production services. Sustainability and accessibility are extremely important to One Great George Street. The team are always looking at ways to improve and enhance the venue in order to make sure the highest standards are met. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Purpose built for meetings, training and conferences and set in 26 acres of peaceful Buckinghamshire countryside, Lane End Conference Centre provides a dedicated environment for meetings and events. The venue offers 104 en-suite bedrooms and five distinct buildings, each with its own self-contained training suite, lounge, dining room and bar. Motorway: Junction 4 M40 / Junction 8/9 M4 Airport: 27 miles from Heathrow airport Train: High Wycombe station 7 miles

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The Business Show 2015


The Business Show, taking place on 3-4 December, offers a wealth of opportunity, advice and information crucial for ongoing business growth within a challenging economy Bianca Miller, most notable for her appearance on the BBC’s The Apprentice, will discuss personal branding online. Learn how to effectively use the internet to showcase and develop your brand to niche audiences using platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, your brand website etc. Understand how to network utilising your personal brand whilst leaving a lasting legacy. Miller is the award-winning director and founder of `The Be Group`, and diverse hosiery brand `Bianca Miller London`.

The s Businesomes elc Show wses from NETWORKING businesustries, and Imagine making more contacts in one hour d many in committed to than some people do in a Speed Networking remains e everything iscareer. an intensive session d i v r pro of two‑minute miniove you to impr iness meetings. This corporate take on speed dating is the bus

The Business Show welcomes businesses from a cross-section of industries, and remains more committed than ever in providing you with everything needed to improve, evolve and expand your business. The Business Show 2015 has an array of recognisable and highly anticipated Keynote Speakers, including: motivational speaker Brad Burton; England cricket captain Alistair Cook; Dragon’s Den businessman Touker Suleyman; West Ham United owner David Gold; BBC Apprentice runner-up Bianca Miller; and business coach Shweta Jhajharia. At The Business Show, England cricket captain and all-time record Test run scorer Alastair Cook will provide insights into his approach in leading the national team across the globe against some of the game’s

best and most competitive teams in front of the world’s most partisan crowds. Cook will also reveal his strategies in dealing with the pressure and demands that come with being both a professional athlete and captain of the England cricket team, drawing on moments from his illustrious career. Owner of football club West Ham and women’s retailers Ann Summers, David Gold will be interviewed on stage about his rags to riches story from an East London council estate to the owner of one of England’s most famous football clubs. He owns Gold Group International, one of the most profitable private businesses in the United Kingdom, and in May 2005 he bought the oldest surviving FA Cup trophy for almost half a million pounds at auction to prevent it going to Germany.

perfect place to start filling your book of contacts, with people spanning a range of different sectors and industries. It’s all about maximum impact, because after your two minutes each way is up, the whistle blows, and you change partners. Maybe you’re looking for a web designer? Are you on the lookout for a mentor in your chosen industry? Or are you searching for a potential business partner? The possibilities and outcomes are endless. Additionally, The people behind the explosive growth of 4Networking – with over 5,000 networking events around the UK every year – are bringing their winning networking formula to The Business Show. Taking the best of their ground-breaking breakfast, lunch and evening events, 4Networking have designed a format unique to The Business Show which will give delegates the opportunity to build actual relationships with other business owners on the day. Brad Burton, founder of 4Networking, explains why his team decided to offer their format to The Business Show. He says: “What do you actually need when you’re getting a business going? Sales appointments. That’s what you need. So we’ve put together a format which will fast-track the process of getting those appointments and give you the opportunity, actually at the show, to have a E



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EVENT PREVIEW  real conversation with other business owners.” Each session will last 45 minutes and every attendee will be offered the chance to join 4Networking’s national network at a specially reduced price – only available on the day. Register with 4Networking at Stand 60 for the sessions that will take place every hour, starting at 10am and finishing at 4pm both days. Elsewhere, Business Connections is always a huge draw at Business Startup because it is such an easy and efficient way to reach out to tens of thousands of visitors who are every bit as serious about their business as you are about yours. The Business Connections area has a wall where you can post and reply to notices, sorted by industry. The idea is simple: proudly pin your business card to the wall for all to see. If you`re looking to make a particular kind of connection, say so – and potential partners will pin their card to your request. Make sure you scan the wall for people looking for what you can offer and respond by pinning your card to their request and pick up some extra clients. It’s beautifully straightforward and hugely effective, which is why many regular visitors make a beeline straight for it when the doors open. Those at LEN Speed Networking believe that talking to every person who comes your way is inefficient because you never know if that person is the target you need to connect with. Moreover, you can talk to a maximum of 10 to 20 people then give up and leave, whether you’ve found the right connection or not. LEN Speed Networking offers a real speed networking opportunity, where you can get a microphone on the stage and in one minute say the most important things needed for efficient and productive networking! Simply say your name, what you are looking for and what you offer; this way only the right

people approach you! Don’t miss the LEN wall‑of‑fame, where you can put your details if you are looking for investment or put notes for finding projects to invest if you are an investor. MASTERCLASSES The Business Show 2015 will be hosting several masterclasses to help its visitors gain the essential experience and knowhow to run a successful business. Business mentoring can help strengthen your business and your own entrepreneurial skills, and can be invaluable in getting your business off the ground, or taking it to the next level. At the Mentoring Masterclass, you’ll learn from the experience and mistakes of more experienced business owners, be guided through achieving the objectives of your business, and you can leverage off their contacts to help open new doors for your business. A mentor will also make sure that the goals and objectives that have been set in your business are achieved. There are also Masterclasses on: ‘Becoming a Public Speaker’; ‘Branding’; ‘Business Growth’; ‘Digital and Growth’; ‘Growing your Business’; ‘Influence and Reach’; ‘ LEN Anti-Pitch Panellist’; ‘ Mobile Apps’; ‘Online Marketing’; ‘Profit Building’; ‘Start, Scale and Sell’; and ‘Win Investing’.

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BUSINESSES FOR SALE Attend The Business Show’s seminars to learn everything you need to know about the buying process – including how to find your dream business, how to raise the finance to buy it, and what you can do to make sure your deal goes through. Whether you are buying or looking to sell, the Businesses For Sale Live session on how to sell will help you prepare your exit strategy and maximise the value of your business. Industry experts with more

buying and selling experience than you can shake a stick at will be on hand to help you demystify the business transfer process. All in one place, all under one roof; Businesses For Sale Live has everything you need to know about getting started or getting out. Between 10.00-12.00, there will be a session on ‘How to Buy a Business’. This seminar will inform delegates on everything needed to know about how to buy a business. How do you find the right business for you? And what happens once you’ve found it? You’ll learn about all the aspects of the sale process - from where to look for a business for sale to working out your exit strategy. Following this between 12.00-13.00, there will be a session on ‘Unusual Ways to Raise Finance When Buying a Business’. Your bank is the first place you turn when you need money to buy a business, but it’s not your only option. From crowdfunding and angel investment to borrowing from your family, the advice you need to find the right finance for you is here. Between 13.00-14.00, the ‘Get Ahead of the Start-Ups: How to Buy Success’, will be of interest for those thinking of starting a business? Why not buy one? Find out how buying an established business could help you leapfrog the start-ups to business success. This immediately precedes ‘How to Sell a Business’ at 14.00-15.00. From the headline on an advert to the fine print on a contract, selling a business can be a complex and arduous process, looking to simplify the process and clarify any concepts that maybe confusing. If you’re struggling to make heads or tails of your heads of terms, this is the seminar for you! Finally, running from 15.30-16.30, Businesses For Sale Live closes with ‘Business Buying Nightmares; How to Avoid Your Deal Falling apart’. Doing your research on a prospective business is paramount to a successful sale. You need to understand exactly what it is you are buying. The only way to do this is by conducting thorough due diligence; but what is due diligence? And why is it so important in the business buying process? L

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D-Tangle can fit any cable up to 1,200mm in length and 1.25mm in width and also comes with a removable clip feature. D-Tangle comes in five different colours; blue, red, white, yellow and black. Another important feature is its advertising capabilities. Anyone can customise D-Tangle

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Waste Management


Keeping our recycling policies out of the bin Steve Lee, of the Chartered Institiute of Waste Management, advises that the policy landscape for waste and recycling should be a major consideration for local authorities Earlier this year, the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed that detailed analysis ahead of the Spending Review showed that councils face almost £10 billion of cost pressures by 2020. In the accompanying press release, LGA chair Gary Porter said: “Vital services, such as caring for the elderly, protecting children, collecting bins, filling potholes and maintaining our parks and green spaces, will simply struggle to continue at current levels.” In this context, and given that waste is the third largest area of budget spend, recent developments and trends in waste and recycling merit a closer look.

A SYSTEM UNDER STRAIN It must be said upfront that local authorities have made unprecedented strides with regards to waste and recycling in the last 15 years – helping the UK to achieve the fastest progress in Europe during that time. As a nation with significant landfill capability, we may have started at the back but the fourfold increase in recycling is a public sector success

story. Even in the tough times since 2007, councils have worked hard to keep up the momentum and sustain the same levels of service through efficiency saving measures. This resilience is evident in a report published in February by the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) and waste consultancy Ricardo-AEA, which assessed the impact of austerity on local authority waste collection and cleansing services. The research found a range of innovative approaches being taken by councils across the UK and Ireland to deliver efficiency improvements E

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RECYCLING  and savings, including partnership working, smarter IT, and a variety of operational measures such as route optimisation and extending vehicle and equipment life. However, there are now some storm clouds on the horizon. Recycling rates in England are flatlining, so much so that there is now genuine concern that the UK may not reach the 50 per cent EU recycling targets by 2020. Granted, our performance is certainly being helped by the strong progress being made in Wales – which announced a 56 per cent recycling rate for 2014/15 recently – and the potential for Scotland to follow suit as its Zero Waste Plan policies take full effect. Complacency, however, is not an option for two reasons; the first is that Wales and Scotland are proactively driving recycling through robust policy measures and (some) targeted funding, two drivers that are lacking in England; the second is that high performance by other UK countries is unlikely to be enough to compensate for the slump in the recycling rate in England. Part of the problem is that we have picked all the low hanging fruit. Pushing beyond the current recycling levels means tackling more difficult challenges such as recycling provision in high density housing, and hard-to‑reach and transient audiences. It also means addressing some of the barriers – perceived or real – that limit the recycling behaviour of even the most committed householders, result in high levels of contamination, or constrain the markets for secondary materials. This is leading to some difficult but important discussions among stakeholders in the recycling chain, particularly around the value chain for recycling and how further improvements are ultimately going to be paid for. Waste arisings in England are on the rise again after a few years in decline. Flytipping has risen by 16 per cent in the last two years according to a Press Association Freedom of Information request. Litter and the expense of clearing it up remains a challenge even after years of national campaigns – so much so that a 23 strong group of organisations has just written to the government urging it to set up an Advisory Committee on litter to provide leadership and co-ordination. All these add up to a challenging set of conditions for councils; the need to do more with less, on a frontline service that is close to the hearts of residents, at a time when support from Whitehall is at its lowest and market conditions are unpropitious.

it seeks to develop a revised Circular Economy (CE) package, the first iteration having been revoked because it lacked ambition? Well, it could make things significantly more challenging or it could kick start a smarter, more holistic approach that genuinely moves us towards a more resource efficient future. As a concept, CIWM believes that the pursuit of more circular economic practices and models is desirable as a concrete way of addressing longer term societal issues such as sustainable economic growth, climate change, resource scarcity and security. It is not only about the environment, it offers increasingly tangible benefits in terms of economic growth, competitiveness, and jobs. The European Commission has a responsibility to provide the leadership and overarching framework to allow Member States to progress towards a more circular economy. It not only has a powerful role to play in driving the appropriate economic thinking and behaviour but also in tackling market obstacles and ‘failures’ that can only be addressed at a pan-European level. CIWM has warned the Commission that it should be under no illusions about the ability of municipal authorities to shoulder significant additional responsibility for waste. Challenging economic conditions over the past few years have put significant pressure on public sector

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THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY So how do these pressures and constraints play out in the context of the more ambitious policy landscape being explored by the EU as

encourage change at the beginning of the product cycle through a fundamental review of the role of product design, standards, procurement and consumption models. The ‘push’ mechanisms might be landfill bans, smarter recycling targets for municipal waste that don’t focus solely on volume but on environmental impact, a re-use target to support this important part of the waste hierarchy. We could even flip the grid completely and opt for a residual target for municipal waste that shifts the focus towards overall consumption and waste generation. The pull mechanisms might include a shift in the focus of taxation to cover resource use; at the very least, the Commission could explore the role of differential VAT rates to support both the recovery and use of secondary raw materials. Essential in the package, meanwhile, will be supply chain interventions, right from product design (recyclability, recycled content, disassembly) through the point of purchase and use phase (clear labelling and user guidance on environmental performance) to the point of discard (re-use and repair incentives, Extended Producer Responsibility schemes). Ultimately, CIWM believes that a stronger focus on product stewardship through the existing Producer Responsibility regime and Extended Producer Responsibility approaches is the single most effective mechanism that could be deployed in the CE Package. Waste is ultimately a market failure, with the burden of managing and paying for this failure currently sitting largely with consumers and municipal authorities. While this approach has brought us a certain distance on the path

Waste Management


Local authorities have been successful in meeting public policy objectives regarding waste and recycling, delivering significant improvements in performance over a decade and a half despite the tighter economic conditions of the past few years spending across the EU and if we want to up the ante we must recognise that municipal authorities are by and large no longer in a position to shoulder the full burden and costs of collecting and recycling waste to facilitate the return of secondary raw materials into the production loop. They are also not in a position to significantly influence the waste streams which they have to manage – and hence CIWM has strongly urged the Commission to ensure that responsibility is properly shared across the whole product supply chain PUSH MECHANISMS To do this, the CE package must focus on the big picture, linking different areas of policy and legislation to create smart, synergistic ‘push’ mechanisms at the end-of-pipe in terms of waste and ‘pull’ mechanisms to

towards more sustainable practices, it is not fit for purpose to deliver the CE aspirations now being formulated, and should better reflect the requirements of the Polluter Pays Principle set out in the EU Waste Framework Directive. Local authorities have been successful in meeting public policy objectives regarding waste and recycling, delivering significant improvements in performance over a decade and a half despite the tighter economic conditions of the last few years. But there is more to do and the next few months will be important in shaping the future landscape. In doing this, the critical role that local authorities can and should play in creating a more resource efficient society must not be ignored or underrated. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Libraries set to receive £2.6 million to provide free Wi-Fi

Internet record storage in Surveillance Bill As part of planned surveillance laws, internet firms will be requested to store details of every website visited by UK citizens in the last year. Home Secretary Theresa May has insisted that the powers are necessary to fight terrorism and has promised tough safeguards. The Bill is expected to propose that ‘internet connection records’ are held for 12 months in order that they can be requested by authorities. Such data would consist of a basic domain address, and not a full browsing history of pages within that site or search terms entered. Currently, the May and other senior ministers sign warrants allowing the security services to hack the computers of suspected

terrorists and criminals. Over 2,700 were signed last year. Under the new guidelines, it is being reported that a panel of 10 or more judges will review the warrants and have the power to overrule ministers. May has long argued for such powers, as well as strongly campaigning for similar rules to be implemented on phone records for online communications. The draft Investigatory Powers Bill is due to be published later, and will be examined by both Houses of Parliament before the Bill is debated and voted upon. READ MORE:

GT News


According to Arts Council England, libraries have been promised £2.6 million in funding in a bid to provide better Wi-Fi to users. The Arts Councils announced that a total of 68 local authorities will receive £2,646,078 to provide and enhance free Wi-Fi to library users in over 1,000 libraries. The programme is part of a plan to certify that over 98 per cent of public libraries have easily accessible Wi-Fi by March 2016. Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, described the initiative as ‘a vital step to ensuring that all public libraries can provide Wi-Fi access to their communities’. He said: “As more services become available online, this will increasingly make libraries the place to go for people who don’t have the access or the confidence to use digital services.” The increased funding will enable libraries to extend their services and tackle digital exclusion by making it easier for people to develop their digital skills. The funding scheme is part of the Arts Council’s Wi-Fi in Public Libraries in England fund, which is being delivered on behalf of the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). READ MORE:


Cyber security step up for Bank of England

The Bank of England has increased its spending on cyber security in an attempt to tackle the growing threat of cyber attacks. The Bank has also revealed that it has been training and testing staff via ‘fake’ phishing campaigns, with recent reports commenting that the campaign has proved largely successful. According to the minutes of the latest Court of Directors meeting, ‘staff had to be aware of the risk of revealing their bank roles through social media’ as well as the risk from ‘phishing attacks in the Bank’. Additionally, The Bank of England and the US Treasury are planning to run simulated cyber attacks later this month, to further test financial institutions’ ability to withstand hacking threats. Operation Resilient Shield will be the first joint exercise to gauge banks’ response to hackers looking to steal information or devastate the financial sector on a transatlantic scale. The Operation follows last month’s


Sunderland launches tender for £500m ICT deal

TalkTalk cyber attack, where hackers accessed 1.2 million customers’ email addresses, names and phone numbers. The mobile operator has also confirmed that 28,000 obscured credit and debit cards details were stolen, along with 21,000 bank account numbers and sort codes, and around 15,000 dates of birth. READ MORE:

Sunderland City Council has launched a tender to find a technology partner to help develop an alternative service delivery model for ICT. The proposed model would see the appointed supplier oversee a ‘full transformation’ of the Council’s ICT services, which could eventually bring together £500 million of spending across public bodies in the North East, depending on how may public sector bodies opt to join. A separate ‘City Thought and Action Leadership Capability’ will also be designed by the partner, which would facilitate better data and technology collaboration. The proposed agreement and framework would initially last six years. The closing date for expressions of interest in the tender is 20 November. READ MORE:



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Three Councils set to merge financial systems

South Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridge City Council have announced plans to merge financial systems. The three councils have published a tender for a contract to replace their current financial systems, as a part of a wider move to create shared front and back office services across a number of delivery areas. The tender says: “The Councils have identified the need to use a common financial management system to enable sharing and to maximise cashable and non-cashable benefits. “It has therefore been decided to

GT News


Council seeks private cloud supplier in £75m deal

replace all three councils’ current financial systems with a modern and flexible system common across the three councils.” The contract is planned to be split into two phases, with the first phase covering the supply, configuration, implementation and testing of the system, and the second phase covering hosting, support and maintenance services. The plans will cost the councils an estimated £750 million collectively, but it is expected to pay for itself within five years. READ MORE:

Hampshire County Council is looking for a supplier to provide a private cloud customer platform solution in a contract that could be worth up to £75m. The Council has launched a tendering process for a partner to provide a system including software, a customer relationship management and eCommerce solution along with knowledge management capabilities and business intelligence and analytics functionality. The contract would be awarded for an initial five years, but could be extended by two five-year periods. Hampshire has a number of shared service agreements with other public sector bodies which will be able to make use of the contract – Oxfordshire County Council, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Hampshire Constabulary and the County’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. The tender also makes it clear that Hampshire is intending to expand its shared service offering and ‘therefore provision for potential significant growth has been made in this procurement and will be required to be reflected in the agreement’. The closing date for responses to the tender is 25 November. READ MORE:


Greenwich launches smart city strategy

Councils urged to test their disaster recovery plans Councils have been urged to test their disaster recovery plans after new research has revealed that nearly 40 per cent of city councils have not tested plans in the past year. Databarracks submitted a freedom of information request (FOI) in order to examine how major cities are prepared for the possibility of an IT disaster. The results found that while every major city has a disaster plan organised to restore functionality, 38 per cent of these systems have not been regularly tested. Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, said: “All of the councils that responded to our FOI showed excellent best practice when it came to prioritising the most critical IT systems in a disaster and they all had structured plans in place that outlined their priorities for recovery. “This is particularly difficult for the

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has become the latest local authority to launch a ‘smart city’ strategy, aimed at delivering more efficient services to citizens. Its strategy aims to collect and integrate data better to understand and model the impact of changes on the built environment and the public. The strategy focuses on four strands: transforming neighbourhoods; transforming infrastructure; developing ultra-fast broadband; and transforming public services. Denise Hyland, leader of the council, said: “We have to invest in a modern built environment, in globally competitive connectivity, in the skills of our people, and in the transformation of our own public services to meet the needs of all our citizens, young and old.”

public sector, as not only do they need to protect revenue-generating systems such as council tax, but they also need to protect their care systems such as children’s services, for example. “However, just having a DR plan in place is not enough – plans need to be regularly maintained, updated, revised and tested to guarantee their effectiveness. The results of our FOI request exposed that a significant proportion of city councils had not tested plans for over a year, meaning that they cannot be confident in their effectiveness in the event of a genuine crisis.” The research also found that there were wide variations in Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) with some councils aiming for a few hours, while other took as long as four days. READ MORE:




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A breach of trust for local authorities?

Information Technology


In August, privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch revealed that local authorities recorded 4,236 data breaches over a three year period. Government Business analyses aspects of the report and asks whether the data we submit is really secure? In an ongoing attempt to achieve optimum efficiency and the ultimate customer service, people are handing over more and more personal data to local authorities. While this presents an immediate risk, it is done with an expectancy that our information will he kept safe and secure, and will only be made accessible to those who are appropriately trained and in a position in which they need access. However, this is not always the case. A report by Big Brother Watch, ’A Breach of Trust’, has shown that between April 2011 and April 2014 there were at least 4,236 data breaches. A previous Big Brother Watch report, ‘Local Authority Data Loss’, reported that between July 2008 and July 2011 there were over 1,035 data breaches. The increase between the two four year periods is quite substantial, and is a major cause for concern. FINDINGS Of the data breach findings from April 2011 to April 2014, 401 instances of data loss or theft were recorded, with 628 instances of incorrect or inappropriate data being shared on emails, letters and faxes. This included 5,293 letters which were sent to the wrong address or contained personal information not intended for the recipient. A remarkable 75 per cent of the reported instances of loss or theft of equipment in the report took place at Glasgow City Council. Additionally, there were 159 instances of data being shared with a third party, 99 cases of unauthorised people accessing or disclosing data and a concerning 658 instances where children’s personal data was involved in a data breach. In Aberdeenshire City Council, an unencrypted laptop containing the details of 200 school children was stolen. While the laptop was eventually recovered, no disciplinary action was taken. Which leads to another worrying statistic. The report states that 68 per cent of cases investigated involved no disciplinary action. Furthermore, where action was taken on data breaches, a minor 2.1 per cent resulted in resignation or dismissal, and only one court case relating to data protection has taken place. Until proper punishments for the misuse of personal information is implemented the problem possesses the potential to grow further still, especially

Whilst fines may, at first, appear to be a strong deterrent, on closer inspection it is clear that they have not reduced data breaches or indeed raised awareness amongst staff and organisations of the severity of data loss or data breach considering how the gathering of data increases year on year with new technologies and a move to paperless systems. DATA PROTECTION ACT The Data Protection Act (DPA) states that whenever information is collected it should be done so for ‘legitimate purposes’ and when used it should not adversely affect the individuals it relates to. Whilst the DPA’s aims are laudable its effectiveness is undermined by Section 55, which covers the unlawful obtaining and disclosure of personal information. Big Brother Watch has repeatedly called for custodial sentences, rather than solely fines, to be introduced to provide a real deterrent to those who misuse personal information. Whilst fines may, at first, appear to be a strong deterrent, on closer inspection it is clear

that they have not reduced data breaches or indeed raised awareness amongst staff and organisations of the severity of data loss or data breach. For example, Glasgow City Council was fined £150,000 following the theft of two unencrypted laptops which held 20,143 names and addresses along with the bank details of over 6,000 people. This may sound substantial but when set against the scale of the breaches repeatedly committed by the Council it quickly loses its impact. It is worth noting that the Council has revealed a further 74 unencrypted laptops which are unaccounted for. A further failing of the DPA is that data protection breaches are classed as civil offences. Anyone who knowingly commits a breach will not receive a criminal record. This raises the potential for an individual to gain further employment that allows them E




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DATA SECURITY  to access personal information, despite the fact they have been punished for committing a data protection offence in a previous job. Until the gaps in the system are addressed, breaches will continue to occur. In its current form the DPA doesn’t represent a workable deterrent to those who are intent on illegally obtaining and disclosing personal information. According to the findings, 167 (38 per cent) of all local authorities reported no data breaches between 2011 and 2014. It is probable that local authorities are using different criteria to determine what is and what isn’t a breach, which is unhelpful. It creates a false impression of the scale of the problem and opens some local authorities (which may have stricter reporting criteria) to unfair criticism when compared to others. Additionally, it is often the case that similar breaches are met with wildly differing responses. Hammersmith and Fulham met two instances of ‘data loss’ with disciplinary action but allowed a further 41 to be treated with no further action. One stand-out example is the decision of Welwyn Hatfield Council to give an employee a verbal warning because they failed to bcc an email, whilst others such as Wyre Council took no action. This is a case that would merit a more restrained approach than disciplinary action. Further issues are raised by the large number of cases where no information

was provided. This was mainly because the information itself wasn’t held. A lack of information on what breaches have taken place make it very difficult to ensure that lessons have been learned. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS Big Brother Watch proposes a number of policy recommendations which would help to deter wrongful access of personal information, reduce accidental breaches and improve the level of standardisation across local authorities. Firstly, they argue that a custodial sentence should be an available punishment for serious data breaches, as current penalties for serious data breaches do not deter individuals who are seriously considering breaking the law. Judges presented with serious data breaches should be able to hand out custodial sentences if the perpetrator is found guilty of a serious breach. Secondly, serious data breaches should result in a criminal record. Individuals who carry out a serious data breach are not subject to a criminal record. An individual could therefore resign or be dismissed by an organisation only to seek employment elsewhere and potentially commit a similar breach. In organisations which deal with highly sensitive data, knowing the background of an employee is critical.

Moreover, data protection training within local government should be mandatory, as knowingly breaching the Data Protection Act (DPA) is only part of the issue. Concerns exist at the ease with which a breach can unwittingly occur due to poor training and management. This can be avoided by ensuring that anyone who works with personal information is comprehensively aware of their responsibilities and the proper procedures. The report campaigns that policy should be changed regarding the mandatory reporting of a breach that concerns a member of the public. When we give information to a local authority we expect it to be properly protected. When this fails to happen we should have a right to know why. It is important that whenever a breach occurs the people involved are informed as soon as possible. This will allow the individual to take action to mitigate the breach. The research shows that there is no standardised response for a local authority when dealing with a breach, raising postcode lottery concerns. To remove confusion and improve confidence it is important that all local authorities act in the same way to prevent data breaches from occurring and respond when they do occur. L

Information Technology



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CCS Frameworks


The Crown Commercial Service Postal Goods and Services framework agreement provides access to public sector bodies across a range of roles for the provision of postal goods. Government Business looks at the agreement and the latest news regarding the government’s procurement department The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is in place to make sure that small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to government contract opportunities, making it easier for them to do business with government, and making sure that 25 per cent of government’s spend, either directly or in supply chains, goes to SMEs by 2015. Additionally, CCS makes sure that departments publish details of future projects and contracts on the Contracts Finder website every six months, giving businesses the confidence and time to invest in relevant skills, labour and capabilities to win these contracts. It works to obtain simpler, more flexible EU procurement rules in Brussels to support economic growth

by making the procurement process faster, less costly and more effective for both business and procurers; this will affect more than £45 billion of central government spend (more than £230 billion for the UK public sector) every year. This will help commissioners of public services to become more effective through the Commissioning Academy and use commercial intelligence more effectively to improve the value gained from contracts across government. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

As a guide for suppliers hed Establiser 2012, and buyers there is a b m standard set of terms e v d o n in N al Goods a and conditions s t for framework the Pos agreement ha , agreements and s s r e a Servic of three ye er call-off contracts for a term ossible furth ject goods and services bought under with a pextension sub the agreement. r y The template for one‑yeathe satisfactorhe call-off contracts t o f t ce o n a forms the basis of the m r o f per rs terms and conditions supplie

in individual further competitions and can be supplemented or refined with additional terms to suit the requirement. All CCS suppliers must submit monthly management information (MI) returns. This is done online through the MISO system. You will need to include the unique reference number (URN) for each customer listed on the return. Failure to submit MI returns correctly or within the agreed timescales may incur admin fees. The CCS is updating its internal Customer Relationship Management system and as a result the weekly downloadable list of URNs will be changing. The existing sheet of four tabs will reduce to three, listing all live URNs with customer details, a second detailing merges and a third detailing name changes. Legacy tabs will be added for the time being showing older changes that are not present on the new system. The sub-sector is now known as organisation type and is being updated to better and more accurately describe the organisation within its sector. POSTAL PROCUREMENT OVERVIEW The three procurement organisations are referred to through out the guidance documents as the ‘Category Team’. Two significant steps within the procurement process were the Category Team’s engagement with both the E



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 market and the stakeholder group. Both forums were paramount to the overall success of ensuring a positive outcome i.e. the Contracting Bodies needs are reflected vs. awarding a place on the Framework to capable and proficient providers. The Postal Stakeholder Group featured representatives across the wider public sector and central government departments. The procurement was conducted via the Open tendering procedure. The evaluation involved two stages referred to as the ‘Selection Stage’ and the ‘Award Stage’. Potential Providers who satisfied the Selection Stage were then taken forward to the Award Stage of the evaluation process. The Selection Stage consisted of assessment in five sections. This included: background questions; grounds for rejection; terms of participation and compliance; framework specifics; and previous experience and comparable contracts. The Framework suppliers were required to demonstrate that they could competently fulfil the quality criteria which covered: operational requirements; environmental

CCS Frameworks


The benefits allow full market engagement and testing across the supply market and will serve as a one-stop-shop for all postal goods and services. This is deployed by the public sector, for the public sector properties; and technical proficiency. The Framework Suppliers were required to provide best prices as part of their bid. The prices under each of the Lots are the maximum payable. This means that at Further Competition a Contracting Body can expect to pay equal or less than the maximum price. Established in November 2012, the Postal Goods and Services agreement has a term of three years, with a possible further one year extension subject to the satisfactory performance of the suppliers. A further competition or direct award call-off agreement can be put in place for up to two years beyond the expiry of the

agreement, effectively meaning that a contract can run until 16 February 2020 or 2021 dependent on whether CCS implements the option to extend the agreement. The agreement offers a true collaborative procurement process conducted by CCS, YPO and ESPO, who all replaced their previous agreements. The main objective was to let a new agreement and capture new technological advances offered by the market to meet the needs of the public sector. The benefits allow full market engagement and testing across the supply market and will serve as a one-stop-shop for all postal goods and services. This is deployed by E




DX has been a trusted service provider for 40 years and is CCS approved, offering peace of mind to government, health authorities and wider public sectors. DX offers: • Collections and deliveries as an approved framework service supplier • Agreed rates to easily enable you to award any tenders directly • Ability to send and receive time critical documents between departments via the DX Document Exchange • Secure handling of confidential items via a fully BPSS standard vetted network • Fully tracked service and dedicated account managers RM1063 – Postal Goods and Services Covering: • Lot 1 - Collection and delivery • Lot 4 - International Mail Service

RM1006 – Courier Services Covering: • Lot 2 – Next Day • Lot 4 – Dangerous/Hazardous Goods • Lot 5 – Secure Services - Lot 5, Sub Lot 1 – Valuable Goods - Lot 5, Sub Lot 2 – Restricted Goods - Lot 5, Sub Lot 4 - Documents

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POSTAL GOODS  the public sector, for the public sector. CCS will make available an assistive toolkit and easy to follow user guidance on how to access the agreement, the services and the available goods. Sound contractual safeguards are in place as a result of pre‑determined terms and conditions, and competitive rates and discounts are available. THE LOTS The Postal Goods and Services agreement can be used across seven lots. Lot 1: Collection and Delivery. Lot 1 covers the collection and delivery of physical mail items of up to 2kg for public sector customers throughout the whole of the United Kingdom. Services under lot 1 include but are not limited to: bulk mail; standard mailings; sorted and unsorted mail; unaddressed mail; secured mail; undelivered mail; and some bespoke requirements as defined by the contracting body within the mail profile. Lot 2: Hybrid Mail On-Site Solution. Lot 2 covers the provision of a hybrid mail solution that is within the contracting body’s premises and utilises the existing equipment that is owned or leased by the contracting body together with supporting software provided by the successful supplier.

Lot 3: Hybrid Mail Off-Site Solution. Lot 3 offers a hybrid mail solution that is wholly external. Lot 3 suppliers will receive work electronically and will be responsible for the printing, addressing, enveloping and delivery (physical or electronic) of mail items. Suppliers will offer a range of electronic and physical delivery options, such as SMS or email and will provide supporting software where necessary. Lot 4: International Mail Services. Lot 4 covers the provision of international mail services, including the collection of mail items from public sector customers from all areas of the United Kingdom for delivery to recipients around the globe. Services include but are not limited to: bulk international mail; standard international mail; sorted and unsorted mail; secured international mail; undelivered mail; and some bespoke requirements as defined by the contracting body. Lot 5: Franking Machines and Mail Room

Equipment. Lot 5 covers the provision of franking machines and mailroom equipment (including associated services and consumables) either for lease or purchase to public sector organisations in the UK. Products included within the scope of this lot are: new and remanufactured franking machines; folder inserters; letter openers and address systems. Lot 6: On-Site Inbound Mail Solution. Lot 6 is designed for contracting bodies who have a requirement for mail items to be delivered to their premises. Suppliers will offer services including timed delivery, pre‑sorted delivery, numbered box services, post opening, mail screening and tracked/ signed for services. Suppliers will also offer the capability to digitalise inbound mail using the contracting body’s existing equipment and to provide a supporting software package. E

CCS Frameworks


In an era of ever increasing focus on digital delivery, local authorities across the UK still rely heavily on postal services to deliver services and vital information to their communities




Now in d n its secohe year, t with ship relationMail has Royal secured economy, visibility alreadynt benefits and security; support a c and advice to help each signifi e London authority improve efficiency for th ughs and take advantage of o r o B innovation over the life time

 Lot 7: Off-Site Digital Inbound Mail Solution. Lot 7 provides services relating to digitalisation of mail items sent to the contracting body. Services include but are not limited to: opening, scanning and electronic distribution of mail; archiving, destruction and indexing services; mail screening; cherished or valuable document handling; and some bespoke services to be defined by the contracting body. THE VALUE FOR MONEY CHALLENGE In 2013 when a consortium collaborative group of London Boroughs, led by the London Borough of Camden, looked for a supplier who could meet their requirements for collection and delivery of their mailings they wanted to be sure that they would be getting the best possible value for money. Competitive pricing was essential but they also wanted a supplier who provided: a high quality service on a consistent and reliable basis; the flexibility and scale to be able to handle variations in volumes; a set of services which met the requirements of different mailing applications for speed,

of the contract; confidence that they would operate in way that met all social value criteria and were committed to developing their role in the community. Through a compliant further competition under the CCS Postal Services agreement (RM782) Royal Mail was awarded an agreement to supply the London Boroughs postal collection and delivery services. Each individual borough signed up to the agreed Call Off Terms and Conditions to take advantage of the value for money offering provided by Royal Mail.

ROYAL MAIL SAVINGS In an era of ever increasing focus on digital delivery, local authorities across the UK still rely heavily on postal services to deliver services and vital information to their communities. Increasingly they are finding that far from being an outdated medium mail is complimentary to the digital by default

CCS Frameworks


strategy and can be a highly cost-effective way of achieving required service outcomes and connecting with difficult to reach groups. These factors apply just as much, if not more, in London and postal services will continue to be an important area of expenditure for the London Boroughs for the foreseeable future. As part of the implementation of the services, Royal Mail has provided Account Management and Technical Field Service support to ensure that authorities are accessing the most appropriate and cost efficient services. This support, backed up by a dedicated customer service helpline, contract manager and, where required, specialist consultants has then been maintained through the agreements life. Regular management information reports are supplied to help London Boroughs understand what they are spending and saving on postal services and the level of service and support they are receiving from Royal Mail. Progress and performance is shared, and a partnership style of relationship has developed, through well-attended quarterly review meetings which are open to all London Boroughs and are also used to review future strategies for mailing E




Delivering Digital Transformation Services at a true fixed cost, on-time and to stringent SLA’s

Hunter Macdonald is one of the UK’s fastest growing, digitally aligned, technology companies. It was built by former IT Directors and technologists who understand that success isn’t about delivering most projects on time, or almost delivering to SLA, it’s about ensuring our client’s expectations are always exceeded. We are truly passionate about providing cost-effective IT Services to HM Government and helping to make Public Services Digital by Default. As a viable alternative to tier 1 suppliers, we pride ourselves on being responsive and dynamic. We are already trusted supplier to HM Government and have experience working across a number of central and local government departments, performing delivery programs, cost-saving initiatives and service operations. 75% of our team is cleared to at least SC level and 100% are fully committed to supporting HM Government as it transforms to meet its digital agenda. Privately owned, with no bias towards any organisation or product set, we are not swayed by commercial interests. We are always willing to put ‘some skin in the game’ and believe we should only be rewarded when the goals of our clients are met. Hunter Macdonald is an end-to-end IT Delivery and Services organisation with offices throughout the UK as well as Internationally. Our services range from Application Design and Cloud Adoption, through to Cost Reduction and Service Operations. Our agile and flexible approach is disrupting the marketplace and we are demonstrating it is possible to deliver IT Solutions and Services at an attractive price-point which deliver the benefits the public sector demands.

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POSTAL GOODS  activity, developments within the market, and opportunities for innovation. Now in its second year, the relationship with Royal Mail has already secured significant benefits for the London Boroughs. In addition to benefiting from the quality of Royal Mail’s services, and high performance against contracted KPIs, a cost efficiency saving of £750,000 was shared by the participating London Boroughs in 2014/15. With more London Boroughs now taking part it is expected that the savings figure will be in excess of £1 million by the end of 2015.

Competitive pricing was essential but customers also wanted a supplier who provided: a high quality service on a consistent and reliable basis

CCS Frameworks


E-AUCTIONS An eAuction can help you drive competition amongst bidders to deliver significant price savings. There may also be an opportunity to aggregate your requirements with other customers to achieve greater savings for all. During an eAuction bidders compete with each other in real time and have multiple opportunities to improve their price, encouraging bidders to offer greater price savings than a standard best and final offer approach. eAuctions can be based on price alone or can also take other criteria, such as quality, delivery or service levels, into consideration. ‘Reverse’ auctions can increase savings if you are buying goods or services. ‘Forward’ auctions can increase revenue if you are selling. E

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GAME CHANGING TECHNOLOGY NoSQL expands the art of the possible with public sector data Thinking innovatively: Scenario 1: It’s a scene all levels of government can relate to — volumes of data scattered in databases and file systems in different formats, unable to be accessed, searched or analysed easily. To more quickly respond to property history requests, Local Government developed a repository for land use data residing in a MarkLogic NoSQL database where it can be viewed, correlated and analysed. Tasks that once took days or weeks now take minutes or even seconds. Thinking innovatively: Scenario 2: The Defence Department created the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) to enable all branches of the DOD, including the military, to share information via the cloud. But with different agencies and military services using different data collection and storage systems based on relational database technology, searching and sharing is complex and laborious. An independent test consisting of 20 million records using MarkLogic Server showed that the same amount of work could be done 59 times faster, with average response time 32 times faster than the previous system. Thinking innovatively: Scenario 3: The Federal Aviation Administration needed a way to make faster, more accurate decisions during crises. Built on the MarkLogic platform, the FAA’s Emergency Operations Network Dashboard combines all data sources including valuable semi- and unstructured data sources such as PDFs, email, social media posts, weather reports and news stories. The system includes powerful search, discovery and collaboration, creating a common operating picture that allows personnel to properly manage emergencies on the ground and in the air. TAPPING THE UNREALISED VALUE IN DATABASES While these Departments might have achieved similar results with existing technology, it would have taken much more time and money, and involved multiple databases. Faced with growing volumes of both traditional structured and newer unstructured data — social media, text, geographic data and much more — along with mandates to increase efficiency share information and improve service to the public, departments are beginning to face the fact that in many cases, traditional approaches and tools just aren’t measuring up. But it’s even more than just becoming efficient; it’s about tapping the unrealised value in government databases by combining structured data in SQL-based databases



The cost savings, combined with information ingestion that is 120 times faster than relational databases, improves performance on unstructured information by as much as 100 times versus relational databases with new sources of unstructured data that make better use of technologies more suited to handle them, like NoSQL and Hadoop. “Agencies no longer have to limit their hypotheses to traditional data sources, but can expand their world to look at other data sources,” said Kevin Shelly, vice president of MarkLogic Public Sector. By finding patterns that you haven’t been able to find before or took too long to find, agencies can take the quick, decisive action they need to take to save lives, find and mitigate risk, improve efficiency, save money and improve service to the public.” COST SAVINGS MarkLogic is a database platform with a difference. As the only Enterprise NoSQL database, it combines billions of data points and documents from many highly disparate data sources into a secure, searchable repository. Not only does this create a single view of data, but also provides rich search, query and real- time alerting capabilities. And it’s lightning-fast: it can search and analyse petabyte scale

data with sub-second response times. It’s also extremely cost-effective. With systems built on MarkLogic, government departments can use less expensive distributed commodity hardware. The cost savings, combined with information ingestion that is 120 times faster than relational databases, improves performance on unstructured information by as much as 100 times versus relational databases. It also reduces the amount of software code by 70 per cent, decreases development time for new software applications by 50 per cent, and reduces overall development costs by 90 per cent. OUT-OF-THE-BOX THINKING By combining out-of-the-box thinking with next-generation technology, the public sector can achieve and surpass their goals and know that they are prepared for whatever is required. L FURTHER INFORMATION For more information please visit

CCS Frameworks


POSTAL GOODS  Benefits include: a legally compliant process; providing transparency to all parties; potential for increased savings or revenue; allowing bidders multiple opportunities to bid; and removing the requirement to undertake a traditional price evaluation. The service includes: assessing the suitability of your procurement for eAuction; providing advice on the eAuction strategy that will best meet your requirements; agreeing timescales to meet your needs and project managing the eAuction process; providing wording on the eAuction process to be included in your tender documentation; building and testing the eAuction; training your bidders in the use of the eAuction software; managing the live eAuction; and reporting on the results of the eAuction. Since January 2013, CCS has provided a rolling programme of fortnightly auctions as a managed service for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The service delivers the Government’s ECO Brokerage initiative and facilitated trades worth £329 million in the 2013/14. In the same period, a regular programme

of vehicle purchase eAuctions saved customers £12.2 million. Additionally, a forward eAuction for the sale of recycled newspapers generated £1.8 million revenue for local councils. IT Hardware eAuctions have achieved as much as a 33 per cent price reduction. Liquid Fuels eAuctions achieved a 46 per cent price reduction, and Office Supplies eAuctions have achieved up to a 47 per cent reduction in price.

, Already nt ce 26 per ment rn of gove s directly CONCERNS OVER BUYER AWARENESS ow spend flndirectly to A new survey of and i inesses and technology SMEs has us revealed ‘widespread small b 2020, this concern’ that public by sector procurement rise to staff o t t e are not using all s is t n e c r available tools to buy e p 33 services from smaller firms. The research, conducted by techUK, has found that while initiatives such as the government’s Digital Marketplace portal and G-Cloud frameworks were well received, more work was needed to boost civil-servant awareness of how SMEs can meet their needs. The government has set a target of directing 33 per cent of procurement spending to SMEs by 2020. According to

the CCS, the current level is 26 per cent. Speaking at the launch of the research, CCS chief executive Sally Collier said there was a ‘very targeted’ intention to try and address an ongoing disparity between central and local government demand through services like G-Cloud. Collier said: “We know that small businesses can be highly innovative and have the expertise we need to secure more value for the public sector. That’s why the government is changing the way it does business to open up public sector procurement to more small businesses. Already, 26 per cent of government spend flows directly and indirectly to small businesses and by 2020, this is set to rise to 33 per cent.” Naureen Knah, techUK associate director, said: “SMEs are overwhelmingly positive about the government’s new target, and G-Cloud is the clear ‘star of the show’. The next phase needs to focus on raising awareness and use of important tools such as G-Cloud, Contracts Finder and Mystery Shopper. Government and industry need to work together to enable and support better collaboration through the supply chain.” L FURTHER INFORMATION contracts/rm1063


Providing flexible and affordable legal advice EdLex Solicitors is a specialist employment and education lawyers providing a range of flexible and affordable legal and HR support services to local authorities, schools and academies. EdLex is passionate about providing legally assured and compliant environments for its clients. The company’s diverse and fully qualified lawyers and HR professionals bring decades of experience and commitment to the education and wider local government sectors. Flexible service level agreements keep the client in control. Each agreement is time and content limited to suit needs and budget and can be delivered on or off site, allowing clients to build a personalised and tailored legal/HR service. EdLex also provides ad hoc advice and legal services where required, including training seminars, independent

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to use drag and drop functionality; Alerting emerging risks in real time; Actively monitoring your network for abnormal behaviour, performing “Deep Packet Inspections” and supporting forensic investigations of malicious activity; Performing Network Discovery against your known inventory, identifying and neutralising unmanaged assets; and Modelling your Business Processes and quantifying their regulatory and financial impact on your organisation. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0208 123 7708



An approved supplier on the Scottish Government Hosting Services Framework, brightsolid delivers cloud to a number of PSN accredited customers from its Tier III data centres in the North East of Scotland. Richard Higgs, CEO of brightsolid, said of the company: “We are proud and grateful for the relationships we’ve built in the Scottish Public Sector over the last 20 years as it’s these relationships that have shaped our cloud philosophy today. For example, our experience of hosting the 2011 Scottish Census means we can provide environments that meet government ‘Official Sensitive’ security levels, formerly IL4. Hence the first objective in our philosophy; ‘security is at the

One of the greatest threats to information security is likely to come from within your own organisation. Uninformed users can unwittingly respond to phishing emails, accidently open trojan attachments and visit cloned websites infected with malware. These attacks are particularly hard to defend against. Technology makes cyber attacks more difficult, but even the very strongest security technology can be overcome by an unsuspecting employee. Everyone needs to be vigilant and look out for fake emails and websites, and know how to navigate them. Employees are the last line of defence. Infosec Cloud provides high quality, web-based interactive security awareness training combined with frequent simulated phishing attacks, case studies, live demonstration videos and short tests.

Cloud and application hosting specialists


Protecture: Ensuring data protection compliance

heart of everything we do’. “Our ultimate goal is to deliver on our mission of technical innovation with personal service and are very excited to share knowledge about the projects that we’ve been working on with local councils and the NHS. “These projects share common themes: collaboration, cost saving and process efficiency. Our promise is to help improve on these, revisiting the 5 strategic aims set by our customers at the time of contract signature, to ensure that we are surpassing expectations and working as an IT partner in the truest sense.” FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01382 429 000


the importance of managing information risk and the role they play in delivering compliance. Protecture will prepare senior management and key staff for the significant changes and work required to comply with the forthcoming EU Data Protection Regulation. The company provides an external review and full-scale audit of your policies and procedures, to ensure they are up to date, especially in key areas such as remote working, Bring Your Own Device and social media. Contact Protecture for a free consultation. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 691 5731

Training to combat phishing and ransomware attacks

This integrated testing and training program is costeffective and requires a relatively short amount of employee time (at their desks). It is suitable for organisations of all shapes and sizes. The program makes sure employees understand the mechanisms of: spam, phishing, spear phishing, website security, pop ups, adverts, malware, ransomware, social engineering and physical security. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01256 379970



Better training reduces risk. It doesn’t require exhaustive studies of past regulatory action to discover that data breaches, particularly in the public sector, have many common, repeating elements. We really should be learning from these mistakes; however, much of the training available today doesn’t look to the root causes and so fails to protect both organisations and individuals. The recent email disclosure of highly sensitive medical data by a London NHS clinic serves as a stark reminder that we humans remain very capable of repeating errors that can lead to devastating harm. Incorrectly sending emails with contact details in the ‘To’, rather than the ‘Bcc’ box, has happened before and will happen again. It’s time to train staff better. It’s time to learn from other professionals, where mistakes can be deadly. Human Performance and Threat and Error

One of the greatest recent challenges facing the public sector has been in enabling cross-departmental sharing of personal data, including sensitive data, in order to achieve the efficiency and effectiveness necessary to improve services within a budget. Linking of data is vital for the future of many public services but, as the Law Commission highlighted, this is an area of great complexity. Kaleidoscope has successfully enabled sharing across health, social care, police, education and social housing providers and commissioners to realise the value in combined data. Projects range from developing new ways of flowing data through integrated service pathways, to running engagement and participation events, and creating communications campaigns for staff and service users. Projects achieve lasting cultural change. The result is greater confidence in

The secret to effective data protection training

Management (TEM) are crucial elements of airline pilot training. Incorporating TEM principles into data protection training builds invaluable confidence in staff to identify threats (outside of their control) and errors (which they make) which demonstrably lead to harm and significant fines. When staff are enthused and given skill and opportunity to become involved, they can be more so much effective in predicting and preventing the breaches we continue to see. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0203 291 3415

Delivering guidance for data protection



Through partnerships with care and support organisations, CareZapp connects existing services, the care community and technology to support new home care services and commerce. CareZapp enables each to better inform and support care at home and improve service retention and referrals. This is done by offering new services that consolidate care applications and best of breed technology, whilst empowering families, caregivers and care organisations to create a private network of care and securely communicate among each other with a free App. The network can consist of any combination of care groupings, such as; family, friends, neighbours, community supports, home care providers, and social and healthcare professionals.

Based in Fareham, Hampshire, DataWizard has been operating for over three years, carrying out a broad range of professional administrative support services for businesses and charities, delivering a timely and reliable service. DataWizard can provide a virtual admin service (one off or regular) for when your admin team is overloaded e.g. holidays, sickness, seasonal peaks or to release staff for other projects. DataWizard offers a range of administrative services including letters, reports, presentations, quotations, online emails and appointments, data entry, mailshots, mail merge and envelope filling. DataWizard can improve efficiency by creating databases to hold records and automate much of a manual paperwork system, e.g. customer contacts; orders; stock control. Data is backed up

The simple way of connecting care at home

By improving communications, care coordination and service insights among a network of care, care at home is more effective. Care and support organisations can also offer more advanced care support by combining services and technologies. This helps to better maintain safety, health, wellbeing and independence at home through the CareZapp care platform. CareZapp helps to delay the need for more expensive care options, while also supporting transitional and integrated care, increasing the quality of life for the care recipient. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 00353 8705 16705

Products & Services


sharing personal data in complex multi-organisation scenarios. The company’s work supports engagement with professionals and the public to achieve optimum data utilisation, fairly and lawfully. Working at a national, regional and local level, Kaleidoscope has produced national guidance. It is engaged in supporting national policy in health and social care across a number of workstreams, helping them to provide innovative solutions to clients that realise local needs and deliver national strategies. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3637 1111

Trusted administrative assistants you can trust

regularly and security is always of utmost importance to reflect the clients needs for confidentiality. DataWizard is happy to accept work via email, post, courier, telephone, conference calls or video calling (usually Skype). The work can be transferred on CD, hard copy (printed or hand written) or during face to face meetings. A detailed, no obligation, written quotation, based on requirements will be provided before any work is undertaken therefore the total cost is known in advance. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01329 481202



Products & Services




Geofire designs and manufactures electromagnetic fire safety devices, including fire door holders and closers. The company’s wire free Salamander and Agrippa ranges are perfect for retrofitting into government buildings, where minimum disruption, but maximum protection is paramount. The Agrippa acoustic products are a cost effective plug and play type solution; the devices learn the sound of your specific fire alarm, releasing the door in the event of a fire. The releasing trigger reacts to a particular sound rather than simply a loud noise, significantly reducing false activations. This new innovation in the industry is wire free, so it can easily be retrofitted to any door. The Salamander radio controlled products connects wirelessly to a controller which is easily wired into the existing fire alarm system. All of the products in the range

Trading for over 30 years, APE Fire and Security boasts a wealth of experience and expertise in security and fire system solutions. Services provided include installation, maintenance and support of a range of products which include, but are not limited to: intruder alarms, smoke screens, CCTV, access control and fire alarms. APE protects people and property using the latest industry technology, effectively and reliably, supporting customers with experienced engineers available 24 hours a day. Completed projects are further complimented by ongoing emergency call-out and expert after-care services. Some of the industries supported by APE include: education, construction, public sector and retail. With an impressive collection of accreditations and awards which include: NACOSS Gold member; SAFE Contractor approved; CHAS (Contractor

Wire free fire safety from Geofire

are battery powered and wirefree, saving time, installation costs and any disruption. Each controller can manage up to 99 door closers, door holders and an unlimited number of zleepsafe pillow alarms. To find out more about Geofire and its product range, visit the Geofire website. For help in understanding the difference between acoustic and radio controlled products, and which would suit your application best, visit the news section for the latest whitepaper. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01388 770 360



Allfire is a leading provider of fire risk management and fire engineering solutions with over 20 years in the fire safety industry. Allfire delivers solutionfocused compliance to customers of all sizes. From the supply of fire fighting equipment to the installation of the latest fire suppression systems such as FirePro, Allfire provides the complete range of fire protection solutions. Covering all areas of the UK, Allfire has a proven track record in supplying cost effective fire safety solutions. In 2014, Allfire saved one of its clients alone over £1.6m through the detailed interpretation and

Security Red Alert is a privately owned, professional and dependable SIA and SSAIB approved company. It has been providing security solutions to local authorities and businesses for over two decades. Based in South West London, its primary areas of expertise are the installation and servicing of: Fire Detection Systems; Access Control; Intruder Alarms; Risk Assessment; Portable Fire Extinguishers; and Electronic Gates and Barriers. Risk assessments the company can carry out include fire risk, asbestos risk and legionella risk. Security Red Alert products and services are designed and fitted to customer’s exact requirements. Fire, vandalism and theft are a constant threat to any business. It is an employers responsibility to safeguard their employees

The solution provider for fire risk management


Tailor made security and fire system solutions

application of standards. Allfire focuses on industry and regulatory changes and invests heavily in the latest technology in order to offer clients the best advice and solutions on the market. Allfire takes an innovative approach to fire risk management and fire engineering, enabling the company to deliver the right solution. The right solution is the most appropriate combination of compliance to standards, value for money, quality, customer experience and expedience. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01798 812999


Health & Safety) accredited; and BAFE (SP203-1) accredited, customers are guaranteed commitment to service excellence and assurance that APE advice is expert and qualified. Irrespective of whether APE has installed your existing systems, the varied and multiskilled engineering base means that competitively priced quotes are offered for maintenance contracts. For further information, please call, email or visit the APE website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 08000345046

Offering the highest level of security assurance

and business premises against such threats. Security Red Alert and its operatives have been helping businesses and local authorities do just that for the past twenty years. For a quotation, or if you would like Security Red Alert to submit a tender, please contact the company on the details below. Its highly skilled and experienced staff have a proven track record of working with schools, charities and other public sector services. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 083 1230



C.S. Todd & Associates Ltd. is a practice of independent consultants. Formed in 1982, they specialise solely in fire safety and fire engineering. The practice is a registered firm under BS EN ISO 9001. The multi-disciplinary team comprises of both chartered and graduate engineers, with specialist experience in fire protection and fire engineering. The team includes experienced fire safety professionals with backgrounds in local authority fire and rescue services. The practice delivers consultancy services in all aspects of fire safety, including fire risk assessments, surveys and audits, guidance on the design of new premises, specifications for fire detection and alarm and fire suppression systems. In addition, the company offers specialist fire engineering advice, monitoring and carrying out fire evacuation drills, various levels of fire safety training and ad hoc advice on fire safety matters.

Optonica Led UK Ltd is a new entrant to the UK LED lighting market, representing the interests of a larger European trading group with significant experience in the LED sector. With five other offices in Europe, it has managed to gain the reputation and the confidence of its partners through a carefully selected product range, timely deliveries and customer service. With more than 2,000 products on stock such as spots, strips, power supplies, bulbs, panels, floodlights, high bays, downlights, furniture lights, Optonica Led UK will aim to meet even the most pressing or unrealistic deadlines. Industrial projects carried out by Optonica Led UK include street lights, hospitals, schools, shopping centres, buildings,

Protecting people and property since 1982

The practice also provides expert witnesses for contract disputes, litigation cases and prosecution cases. C.S Todd & Associates are certificated by the National Security Inspectorate under the UKAS-accredited third party certification scheme for companies that carry out fire risk assessments, BAFE SP205. For further information and details about public training courses please visit the website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01252 792088

Importing and providing a rich range of LED products



Are you confident that if the Fire Service visits your premises today, you can show you have fulfilled your fire safety obligations? Adena Fire prides itself on ensuring that its clients are fully compliant with all relevant fire safety legislation. All of the company’s consultants and engineers have many years’ service as British Fire Service professionals, and combine this with industry qualifications and experience in fire safety services to thousands of clients in both the public and private sectors. This means that Adena Fire is able to take a more pragmatic, risk-based approach to fire safety - allowing more costeffective solutions to be adopted – providing recommendations that often save its clients’ time, money and unnecessary stress. Adena Fire services include: fire safety consultancy; fire risk assessments; fire safety

Dextra Group plc. are at the cutting edge of luminaire development. With seven subsidiary companies, all facets of the lighting industry are covered, including retail, distribution, airports, offices, transport and supermarkets to name but a few. Offering industry leading service levels of standard and bespoke energy efficient products in record breaking time, ‘total service’ is key to the company’s success. With the backup of the ‘just in time’ manufacturing ethic, its ‘made in the UK’ products are delivered by its own liveried fleet of vehicles allowing Dextra’s sales teams to effectively operate in competitive, diverse markets. Three acclaimed awards were won at the end of 2014. These included the Insider Media South West Advanced Manufacturing award, Dorset Business Company of the Year and Lux’s Manufacturer of the Year – a prestigious award,

An established fire safety services provider

training; dry and wet riser testing and maintenance; and fire strategy planning. You can be confident that when you employ Adena Fire, you will receive professional, personal and completely independent advice and services tailored to your specific requirements. So if you would like to discuss your requirements, or would simply like some advice on how the company could help, please don’t hesitate to contact Adena Fire via the details below. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0845 6432 999

Products & Services


restaurants, bars or simple home renovation along with a wide range of household luminaires. Competent staff will guide clients through the latest in the industry and how to make the most of their budget. With a team of qualified specialists, always perfecting knowledge and exploring the world of the rapidly developing LED technologies, Optonica Led UK manages to stay at the cutting edge without compromising on any aspects of its commercial operations. For further information please visit the Optonica Led UK website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0208 9659 777

Cutting edge luminaire development

recognising Dextra as the best lighting manufacturer in the UK. Customer service and after sales care will not be compromised and this ethos is embraced by all employees. This strong belief in high service levels has led Dextra to become the largest privately owned UK luminaire manufacturer. The company has 37 years experience in the field and is bound to sufficiently fulfill even the most specific of requirements. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01747 8458100



Products & Services




Snopake are major suppliers to the office, education and government sectors, with a wide product range from desktop essentials, such as sticky notes, glue and correction products, to an extensive range of polypropylene display books, ringbinders, filing and organisational products. Snopake’s Polyfile, launched 15 years ago, remains the brand leader to this day and with one sold worldwide every six seconds, it’s a firm favourite. Snopake products are meticulously designed with particular attention given to the durability and general usage of the product. The company’s UK design team adds unique Snopake features, such as closures and indexing, and the majority of Snopake filing products include an industry leading five year guarantee. Choosing Snopake means buying with confidence, enabling you to source products that

Trodat UK is a subsidiary of Trodat GmbH, which began in Vienna in 1912. The company prides itself on producing self-inking stamps which lead the way in the global market. As the UK’s largest manufacturer of custom self-inking stamps, Trodat provides the reseller and office products industries with high-quality stamps through its Marking Centre in Paisley. Trodat UK provides products precisely to its customers’ requirements, working with a network of thousands of businesses to provide its customers with the best selfinking stamp possible. Trodat UK also provides high-quality components and support to the rubber stamp maker community throughout the UK. Trodat places great emphasis on efficient energy use and careful treatment of raw materials throughout the entire value creation process. Trodat

Passionate about office and desktop products

are long lasting, innovative and offer value for money. Its Swordfish range of shredders, laminators, trimmers, pencil sharpeners and electrical accessories, are all designed to perform perfectly every time using tried and tested technology. The Platignum range of pens offers a quality writing experience. Snopake is proud of its brands and hopes that you will enjoy using any one of the company’s many products, all designed with you in mind. So, contact Snopake by visiting the company website and let Snopake help you get organised. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0208 991 1666



Cablebugs are simple, clip on cable identifiers. You only need to write on, and clip on to solve all of your cable confusion. Available in 12 different colours and two different sizes, Cablebugs fit wires and cables ranging from 2mm-7mm in diameter. Cablebugs are a unique solution you will wish you had thought of yourself. With over 1.5 million units sold globally last year, the product is hugely successful in large offices, government businesses, schools and hospitals, with the testimonials to back this up. Used commonly in large server rooms, cabinets and also in numerous office situations, Cablebugs are not only useful for security purposes, but to organise all of your cable chaos. Save yourself the hassle of unplugging the wrong wire by

Durable began manufacturing in Germany in 1920 and is one of Europe’s largest office product manufacturers. The company operates in 80 countries, including its UK headquarters which has experienced significant growth. Durable has since become known as a pioneer in developing and producing office supplies. Creative conception combined with continual focus on innovation, quality and design has always played a major role in its corporate philosophy critical factors that determine the success and future viability of any company in today’s competitive marketplace. Durable has also recently launched LUCTRA®, the award winning luminaire range. The humancentric table and floor lamps are backed by the latest scientific research, ensuring

Specialists in designing clip on cable indentifiers


Producing high quality self-inking stamps

using our simple identifying solution. Cablebugs can be used to colour code, write on, or can be used with sticker sheets for a neat, professional look. Find out more on the Cablebugs website and use code GOVBUG25 to receive a huge 25 per cent of your first order. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01273 493090


stamps also are characterised by particularly long service life and therefore need less frequent replacement. The Professional is the ideal stamp for daily office use as it guarantees clean, precise imprints. For years it has stood for reliability and professionalism. Accurate workmanship and high quality materials make it an enduring champion in the Trodat product range. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0141 8849 200

Durable - A pioneer in office supplies

enhanced wellbeing and productivity through the use of state of the art LED technology that closely simulates daylight.   The Table Pro model from the LUCTRA® range has also been shortlisted for the 2015 FX International Interior Design Award in the Product of the Year category. This shortlisting continues a great run of award success for LUCTRA®, with the Table Pro also being shortlisted in the BOSS Awards and winning the Red Dot Award for product design earlier this year. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01202 851130



Instarmac, home to Ultracrete, the brand of proven and tested highway maintenance solutions, is a Times Top 100, market leading company. It is a specialist in the manufacture and distribution of cement and bitumen based products and has delivered to the world market for over 35 years. Instarmac has built a solid reputation based on the research, development and manufacture of innovative materials for use in highway maintenance, urban regeneration, tiling, commercial flooring and internal finishing. It’s world-renowned first time permanent cold lay asphalt patching materials are used around the globe for repairs in roads, footways and cycle tracks, and provide the perfect surface finish to their Manhole Reinstatement System. All products are fully and independently HAPAS approved by the British Board of Agrément, greatly reducing the total cost of

Speed Ramps is the UK’s cheapest supplier of recycled traffic management products. As the exclusive reseller to a UK manufacturer with over 40 years experience, Speed Ramps guarantees to be the cheapest door-to-door supplier. From cable ramps, kerb ramps, speed ramps and traffic cones to vehicle stoppers - Speed Ramps offers same day dispatch with carriage and fixings full operational capability. Speed Ramps offers a personal, professional and reliable service with no hidden costs. It guarantees to beat any genuine like-for-like quote. All of the company’s speed ramps are stamped, made in England and come with a minimum 12 month’s manufacturer’s warranty. SR30/50/75mm Speed Ramps are sold as kits for £24/£30/£36 plus VAT per meter including end caps, fixings and carriage.

Leading manufacturer of highway materials

asset installation and ownership. Instarmac’s range of materials covers an array of repair and refurbishment needs, including post and fence fixing, anti-skid products, line marking and overbanding systems, high specification concretes and early strength gain, fast setting mortars. These products are backed up by first class technical, training and site support, helping you to get it right first time, saving time on site and eliminating repeat visits. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01827 871871

Cheapest door to door Speed Ramps in the UK



How many local authorities have, due to austerity, lost experienced members of staff, and with them the skills and knowledge, built up over many decades in relation to construction materials testing and pavement engineering? Pavement Testing Services (PTS) can bridge this gap, offering specialist testing and advice on highway related maintenance. With over 13 years of experience working with many local authorities, PTS can offer services ranging from site testing, including coring, structural and skid testing, UKAS laboratory testing, highway scheme design, interpretive reporting and whole life costing, for various highway treatment options. More requirements are now being placed on authorities to be compliant with new EU legislation, relating to certification and product conformity. Local authorities must now only specify materials that have a CE marking. PTS

Aggregate Industries is a leading player in the construction and infrastructure industries. It produces and supplies a wide range of construction materials including aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete, precast concrete products and cement. It also boasts over 80 years of experience in highways maintenance, road surfacing construction and associated civil engineering services. With hundreds of successful major construction projects under its belt, Aggregate Industries is the go to supplier of asphalt for roads, car parks, pedestrian footpaths, highways, airfields, pavements and sports surfaces. With over 40 plants nationwide, the Express Asphalt service is specifically tailored for smaller commercial or DIY applications. As a major supplier of ready mixed concrete and floor screed, Aggregate Industries has a substantial range of products covering every popular

Offering expert highway maintenance assistance

can offer advice on this and on material specification, what type to use, where and when. Claims between councils and contractors can be very expensive and time consuming; PTS has a long history of providing ‘expert witness’ services to a number of local authorities and successfully defending claims due to poor workmanship resulting in early life material failures. The company’s prime aim is to assist local authorities in delivering quality products that represent value for money. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: Tel: 01772 792899

Products & Services


The company also stocks signs and poles in adherence with Highways Agency guidelines, and supplies a user friendly installation guide. Speed Ramps has a network of CHAS and constructionline accredited installers to provide a one-stop shop to any speed ramp requirements. For more information email the company with the details below. Visit the Speed Ramps website to place an order or request a free no obligation quote. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01480 432055

Delivering high quality road solutions

application, from private driveways through to city construction as well as concrete mixed to be placed underwater, withstand chemical abrasion and colourful concrete mixes to add aesthetic appeal to structures. Aggregate Industries prides itself on best practice in sustainability having become the first company to be certificated to BES 6001, The Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products, developed by the BRE and a founding member of the UK Green Building Council. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01215 171005



Products & Services




SAS Lining Services is a company specialising in the application of thermoplastic road markings. The company covers all aspects of road markings including: extrusion/ vibraline (multi mark machine); milled studs (cats eyes); high friction surfacing (BBA Type 1 Approved) and thermoplastic road markings to public highways, car parks and industrial estates meeting all requirements for private and local authorities work. SAS Lining Services has been trading for 12 years, building a reputation of quality and reliability while undertaking numerous Council Term Maintenance contracts. The company is ISO9001, National Highways Sector Scheme 7, CHAS accredited as well as Construction Line (60872) approved – working

Platform Lifts are lifts that have been designed to give ease of access to all floors at an affordable cost. They can be installed with minimal builders work with a small pit and can be installed within a shaft or stand alone units with there own enclosure. Access & Platform Lifts offers a full range of disabled access lifts. From fully enclosed platform lifts installed in there own enclosure or within a shaft up to six stops down to a small open platform step lift. The enclosed platform lifts can be a traditional open platform within an enclosure but now the company is offering a fully automated platform lift with a full lift car and automatic sliding lift car doors so giving the feel and security of a passenger lift. This also gives ease of access for wheelchair users and other building users as there are no hinged doors to hinder the access and the security of traveling in a fully enclosed lift car. Access & Platform Lifts also offers a full range of domestic lifts

The thermoplastic road line markings specialists

24/7 covering all of Yorkshire, North East/North West England and the Midlands. Staff team members are experienced, qualified and skilled to NVQ Level 2 standard and attend continuous training with Road Safety Marking Association and CITB to further build knowledge and skills. The company’s relationships with all team members is based on equality and mutual respect. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01482 633860

Platform lifts, wheelchair lifts and domestic lifts



Bradshaw Electric Vehicles has recently supplied Blackpool Council with an electric pedestrian controlled vehicle to help maintain street cleansing standards and service the litter bins within the town centre and tourism areas. The pedestrian controlled vehicle will assist with the dayto-day work that is carried out to keep the town safe, including servicing duties, cleaning and rubbish collection. The vehicle replaces an older model that Blackpool Council previously had for a number of years and compliments the fleet of five Bradshaw supplied vehicles. Not only does the electric vehicle have a huge saving to the environment but it also allows easy access to areas more difficult to get to, and reduces the requirement of refuse collection vehicles and associated driving licenses for employees. The pedestrian controlled PFB1500, with a payload of

The Children’s Playground Co. Ltd (CPCL), a TUV Certifed Company founded in 2001, is a market leader in the design, manufacturing and supply of bespoke play equipment of Robinia wood. In January, CPCL is celebrating 15 years as a thriving business with many special surprises and offers to come. The company’s aspiration is to create distinctive, stimulating, imaginative and challenging playgrounds - integrating their natural surroundings and to design equipment for children of all abilities. The company works together with its customers to ensure that its playgrounds are individually challenging, bespoke and unique.

from a simple though floor lift to a multiple stop fully automated lift, again they can be installed in a purpose built shaft or a smart glass and steel tower. Access & Platform has a website for the domestic lifts supplied, please see below for more information. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01909 486 704 South: 0203 1891704 Scotland: 0141 2915704

At the forefront of Design, manufacturing supplying electric vehicles and supply of playgrounds


1,500kg and a tow load of 2,000kg, has a steel mesh cage body with half drop down hinged sides, double rear doors and removable aluminium floor tray. Various options and chassis lengths are available. Blackpool Council delivers around 150 services to approximately 142,000 residents every single day and continues to work towards some big projects that will improve Blackpool. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01780 782621 www.bradshawelectric


The company has its own inhouse installation team and design service is free of charge. In the 14 years since CPCL was established, several of its playgrounds have been awarded the ROSPA 5 star award. Its dedication to high quality and imagination does not stop there. CPCL is currently in the process of launching a new range of ‘Multi use games’ along with a new range of outdoor fitness equipment taking ‘Challenging The Child’ to a whole new level. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01902 422 515 sales@thechildrens www.thechildrens



Gone are the days when lower floor living meant a dark, damp cellar with no headroom. Glatthaar is on hand to solve all of your old basement problems. Over the years, Glatthaar, a German company founded in 1980, has created concepts that provides its customers with warm, bright and spacious living areas. Building a house is a long term and probably the single biggest investment that you will ever make, and if you are planning to put a basement bellow your new home then the right choice of basement company is vital. Quality and competence, rather than price should be your primary consideration when selecting your partner. Poor quality products and installations are not easily remedied and can prove expensive and a nerve racking experience. For over 30 years, Glatthaar-

Quadra was founded in order to provide a technical design consultancy operating within the architectural sector of the construction industry. Its founder, Chris Stone, has 30 years’ experience and set up Quadra in 2004. The company has grown, taking on both mainstream architectural design commissions and a wide variety of specialist consultancy work across a broad client base, and covers a wide array of commercial sectors. Gaining ISO 9001 accreditation in 2007, Quadra continues to develop working on new buildings, refurbishments, extensions and conversion projects, covering contemporary properties and listed buildings alike. The company has successfully negotiated consents for projects across the South West in particular, where indepth technical knowledge has assisted with heritage justification statements in

Specialising in basement design and construction

Fertigkeller has specialised in all aspects of basement construction including design, calculations, off-site manufacturing, on-site building and many other additional services. Glatthaar builds on average, between 2,500 and 3,200 basements across Europe each year, all being pre-fabricated in Germany and transported to their final destination. This method maintains its ability to guarantee that every project is bespoke and that customers gain something completely different. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01932 344 454

Combining excellent tech skills with creative flair



Using Passivhaus comfort and energy efficiency principles, Beattie Passive provides a patented design technology that simplifies the delivery of Passivhaus, and delivers significant cost, health and environmental benefits. Uniquely, Beattie Passive tests and certifies all buildings upon structural completion, providing quality assurance that Beattie Passive buildings deliver the superior performance as designed. The innovative Beattie Passive Build System and Retrofit System (TCosyTM), raises building standards and provides high performance structural thermal buildings, that deliver Passivhaus energy and comfort standards. The Beattie Passive System offers full design flexibility and can be built to any design, shape or style of home. The simple build system provides a fast and efficient construction process. It can be built on-site by your contractors, or off-site and delivered as a panel system.

Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates is the UK’s leading supplier and producer of specialist decorative and dried aggregates, used across the UK and worldwide. The company’s dried aggregate products have become increasingly popular as the specialist producer is able to offer the highest quality, consistent product as well as the largest range of colours and textures. The ‘always in stock’ philosophy ensures the company can react to customers’ requirements immediately. Derbyshire’s specialist’s anti-skid products are widely used in a variety of traffic calming and safety schemes worldwide and the company prides itself on being the premier supplier of white dolomite for the white lining industry and it is unrivalled in its quality and service. Derbyshire Specialist Aggregates bags and supplies rock salt nationwide. Its

Affordable high quality, energy efficient homes

The simplicity allows you to also build with your own DLO. Not only is the Beattie Passive system cost efficient to build- it is the same cost as traditional builds, but it also dramatically reduces heating requirements by up to 90 per cent, lifting residents out of fuel poverty and providing them with a more comfortable environment to live or work in. The Beattie Passive system lifts the quality of buildings and provides high levels of sound, fire, flood and radon protection. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 08456 449 003

Products & Services


support of consents. Technical competence has also been essential in undertaking IT rich, laboratory and scientific/healthcare projects as well as allowing Quadra to work on airport and crematorium projects too. Repeat business forms a significant portion of Quadra’s workload. In this context, the company seeks long-term relationships with clients, contractors and consultants alike as they work with each in a variety of ways, including the provision of lead consultant services. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01453 882222

The leading producer of Resin Bound Aggregates

dedicated bagging facility means it can produce to meet demand. The company also produces and supplies thousands of tonnes of decorative and landscape material Nationwide and all products are in stock at all times, ready for immediate delivery. From slate chippings direct from Wales to cobbles and pebbles, limestone and gravels. The house sales and technical support team are always available to help with any problem solving, special requirements and technical enquiries that you might have. Free samples of all the company products are available on request. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01629 636500



Products & Services




Warm Space has been making buildings more energy efficient for over 20 years. In both the domestic and commercial markets the company has installed all types of insulation and solar PV systems, heating, and energy saving solutions, giving you lower energy bills, helping the environment and helping residents to make energy go further. Having worked with a number of councils and housing associations, Warm Space understands the challenges of installing efficiently, effectively and on time to reach specific deadlines. Experienced technicians ensure that both clients and residents are delighted with the installation and will strive to resolve any on-site problems as quickly as possible.

MedHand International AB is a developer of mobile medical resources. Its patented mobile library application, Dr Companion, provides a suite of leading medical books from major publishers such as OUP, Elsevier and Wiley. Dr Companion is used by thousands of healthcare professionals, medical trainees and medical students to provide answers at the point of care, sometimes in remote locations. The Dr Companion App can be downloaded free of charge from various App Stores and its functionalities include crosstitle search, bookmarking, highlighting and annotation. The App is available for iPhone, iPad and Android users. MedHand will be launching a Windows App later this year. Once downloaded, no internet connection is needed to access the App and its content. More

Dedicated to helping you make energy go further

Back in the office, the Warm Space Customer Service team will be there to keep clients informed of progress and deal with any post-installation questions. Warm Space employs its own DEAs and GDAs, sales people and installation teams. As a result there is no sub-contracting, no handing off of problems and complete ownership of each project. If you need advice on energy efficiency challenges, feel free to give Warm Space a call and arrange a visit. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 028 2499



Arco is the UK’s leading safety company, distributing quality products and providing expert consultancy and training to help make work a safer place. Founded in 1884 and with a heritage spanning four generations, Arco integrates traditional family values with pioneering innovation. Offering a world-class range of safety products including personal protective equipment, clothing, footwear, gloves and hygiene, Arco can fulfil all your requirements whilst delivering sustainable procurement savings. Headquartered in Hull, Arco reaches its customers through its extensive product catalogue, interactive website, local sales offices and a network of over 46 trade counters. Finalists at the 2015 Scotland Excel Supplier Excellence Awards,

Anthea Harding focuses on developing Emotional Literacy, the ability to recognise and name emotions and display them productively. It also aims to further the ability to empathise with others. To assist in the process of teaching emotional literacy, the company has developed a floor mat called the Emotional Literacy Floor Sheet (ELFS). The floor sheet can be purchased with instructions or training can be offered to benefit from its full potential. It also offers continuing professional development (CPD) sessions. The ELFS allows the child to walk through the process of being taught emotional literacy. In acquiring these new skills, the child’s confidence grows. The children realise that they are able to problem-solve, which impacts on their academic ability and helps them to maintain and develop healthy relationships. As children’s self-esteem increases they also learn to establish boundaries in their lives and

Products and training to make work a safer place


Mobile resources for healthcare professionals

Arco are proud suppliers to the Public Sector and are key holders of a number of prestigious framework agreements including the Crown Commercial Services, Crescent Purchasing Consortium, Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation and NHS Supply Chain. In addition to central and local government contracts, Arco supplies the wider Public Sector including the education sector, NHS, Ministry of Justice and Environment Agency. To discover the perks of working with Arco, contact them today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01482 222522


than 170 leading medical titles are available as MedHand Apps. MedHand offers special institutional packages that include a number of pre-selected titles, which are distributed to all users. Alternatively, users can select a specified number of titles from a bespoke titlelist. Subscribers may also choose to add their own local documentation to the App, for example, local guidelines. MedHand also offers bespoke App development services. For more information, please email or phone Isabel Rollings, citing ‘PSI’. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07833451595

Developing emotional literacy

around their own space. This helps them to respect others and their boundaries. Using two mats, it is possible for children to hear others’ opinions, learn about individual differences and understand that it is possible to disagree with people and still get along. Being emotionally literate helps children to plan their lives and accept challenges that will enhance their future and alleviate anxiety. FURTHER INFORMATION



Goal4Youth aims to inspire children and young people. The company has over 27 years experience in delivering fun, challenging and motivating programmes to young people, locally as well as internationally. It inspires children and young people through a successful ‘4 Steps to Success’ programme. This programme teaches students how to set and achieve their goals and make positive choices. The programme looks at Achievements, Positive Thinking, Barriers and Goal Setting. Some of the benefits of the programme are: increased confidence, improved educational outputs, improved skills, relationships and health. Goal4Youth has now developed a new Life Coaching Programme, which can be used in schools by teachers and peer educators. The Training Kit provides all the materials and equipment to deliver

FOZ Designs has been busy producing remarkable print, graphic and web designs along with brands and publications for consumers and businesses in fine and applied arts, government, education, third sector and the wider community. As one of the most modern commercial printers in London, it has a long established reputation for providing exceptional reliability, with high quality, cost effective print solutions to a wide range of clients. At the core of every design project, FOZ Designs aims to reflect commercial clarity and inspired creativity. The company ensures that its ideas match your goals and deliver the results you set out to achieve. It provides clients with a range of design services, including websites, advertising, annual reports, brochures, catalogues and corporate stationery. FOZ Designs provides a vast spectrum of printing potential

The new, fun and exciting training kit

this four-week programme. The ‘4 Steps to Success’ Goal Setting Kit can be used for one to one work, small groups and groups of up to 30 students. All materials and worksheets are on hard copy and CD, so you can print off all worksheets as and when needed. More information on preordering the kit is available on the Goal4Youth website. Goal4Youth is delighted to say it is launching the kit at the Education Show in March, so you are welcome to visit the stand. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07740 469390

Energetic and creative printing and branding



Are you confident in your work supporting children and families? Local authority staff play an important role in identifying and supporting children and families that may be vulnerable. To enhance this work Family Action has established a new service to deliver Training and Consultancy nationally. Drawing on a long history of practical experience in supporting vulnerable children and families, Family Action aim to help organisations support and develop staff through tailored learning, development and wellbeing programmes, focusing on early identification of issues and developing support mechanisms to address these. The organisation designs and delivers strategies and services to make a real and lasting difference to families. Family Action offer professional

Gone are the days of paying fixed labour costs for staff during the quiet times as you only pay for what you need. An ideal solution for dealing with variable workloads or merely to help out with the growing demands on your own administration staff when they are overloaded, off sick or on holiday. Outsourcing your digital audio and copy typing to an external online provider not only frees up valuable time for you to concentrate on the more important aspects of your business but it can also be an efficient and economical way of acquiring a typing service at a fraction of the cost of employing a typist or secretary. Files can be securely uploaded for transcription into MS Word via the internet; be it verbatim interviews, general meetings, disciplinary or grievance meetings, conference calls or

Professional training for support services

yet practical training and consultancy covering all aspects of support and engagement. Consultants design and deliver training support packages that are highly targeted to meet specific needs within your organisation and also offer a range of standard training programmes. All of Family Action’s work is based on well established research and evaluation, always with the aim of making a long term, positive impact. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3640 2303

Products & Services


from business cards, marketing materials, catalogues and brochures as well as creative concept design, all from within an in-house capability. As a client you will be offered the very best in service. FOZ Designs will ensure the finished product exceeds your expectations every time whilst being on time - a great combination. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 8981 9396

Accurate and quality trascription services

simple letters you need typing by an online team of professional transcribers who manually type up everything that is said. By paying per audio minute according to the duration of the recording, it’s like having your own secretary and administration office whenever you need, but without the burden of office space, training or salaries. This makes it the perfect solution for those who may at times have large volumes of work needing to be typed within a short time-frame. For more information please visit the XS Typing UK website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0207 993 5674



Products & Services




110 Rochester Row is a bespoke new conference and events centre, based in the heart of Westminster, just a few minutes walk from Victoria Station. Centrally located, it is the ideal space to host seminars, workshops, training days, board meetings, strategic reviews, as well as product launches, holding up to 180 guests. The company is a registered charity, with close links to the NHS. 110 Rochester Row is fully equipped with complimentary projectors, screens, microphones and super-fast broadband in each room to ensure your event runs smoothly and effortlessly on the day, without time consuming and over-complicated organisation. In addition, the establishment is highly flexible, allowing you to configure the space to fit with your requirements and make it provides an extensive range of training across the UK to suit staff in every sector. Courses are primarily delivered in-house so can be tailored to meet the requirements of any workplace, thereby ensuring that delegates remain compliant with all legal obligations, meet recommendations underlined by the HSE, and upkeep a high level of occupational health. All training follows HSE guidelines and meets industry best practice and principles. Health and safety cover various topics and sectors ranging from first aid training, fire safety training, food safety courses, health and safety to train the trainer courses. For those working in a sector requiring specialised training programmes, such as care and construction, it is also able to offer a range of

An innovative meeting and events space

your own by integrating your brand with its technology. Service is central to the company and simplicity is built in, with modern, clean and accessible surroundings, alongside a fully DDA compliant premise. We are suitably priced to match even the most demanding of budgets whist still delivering superb events. Please email or call us to discuss your needs. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0207 828 2888

Offering adept training accross every sector

specifically designed courses. Courses are designed to suit both businesses and individuals, and so courses can be delivered both in-house in groups of up to 12 people at any one time; or via open courses at centres across the UK. If you have any queries, or would like to learn more about the options available to you, please call for free, or visity the company’s website. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0330 1345 909 www.healthandsafetytraining


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service 110 Rochester Row 98 150 Minories 52 Access & Platform Lifts 94 Adena Fire Safety Services 91 Adept Telecom 78 AFI Group 23 Aggregate Industries UK 93 Allfire 90 Anthea Harding Educational 96 APE Fire & Security 90 Arco 96 Aspect Safety Mirrors 70 Beattie Passive Build System 95 Bilfinger GVA 22 BLP Insurance 38 Bradshaw Electric Vehicles 94 Bright and Beautiful 46 Brightsolid 88 Brotherwood 18 C.S Todd & Associates 91 Carezapp 89 Centiant Intl 87 Data Team Business Media 74 DataWizard 89 Derbyshire Specialist 95 Dextra Group 91 Durable UK 92 DX Network Services 80


Edlex Solicitors 87 Education Catering Support 38 EES Renewables 27 Family Action 97 Fibre Technologies 34 Finders International Probate 50 Firesolve 25 Foehn 12 Ford 14 FOZ Designs 97 Frontier Software 8 G.I Energy 42 Gateway Conference Centre 57 Geofire 90 Glatthaar Fertigkeller 95 Goal4youth 97 Hayter IBC Heald 30 Home Instead Senior Care 44 Hunter McDonalds 84 iCompli 89 IDentilam 58 InfoGov 88 Infosec Cloud 88 Instarmac Group 93 Integrated Payment Solutions 30 Kaleidoscope Consultants 89


Kelvin TOP-SET 48 Kingspan Insulation 39 Kyocera Document Solutions BC Laidback Life 63 Lane End Conference Centre 59 Langley Waterproofing 4 Lenovo Technology UK 62 LoGiK Services 35 Maintel 76 Mark Logic UK 86 Medhand International 96 Mitsubishi IFC NETconnection Systems 85 NetSupport Software 72 Nexus Industries 20 Nottingham Conference Centre 58 One Touch Laser 68 Optonica Led 91 Parker Software 60 Pavement Testing Services 93 Protecture 88 Public Power Solutions 10 Quadra Bec 95 REHAU 36 Rotatrim 74 Rotowash 24

SAS Lining Services 94 Scarab Sweepers 19 Seat 16 SE Controls 32 Security Red Alert 90 Skeletank 42 Smart Choice Franchise 46 Snopake 92 Specialist Computer Centre 82 Speed Ramps 93 Supagrass 46 TC Facilities Management 28 The Cable Label Co 92 The Childrens Playground 94 The Deck Tile Co 24 The Senator Group 6 Trodat 92 Tutorcare 98 Twickenham Experience 54 University of Leeds 56 Uretek 66 Venue Birmingham 58 Warm-Space Insulation 96 Wilo UK 64 Xpress Relocation 24 XS Typing UK 97


NEW LT-F3000


Merging productivity with after cut appearance in short and tall grass For playing fields, roadside verges, parklands and rough areas Designed to handle areas with as little as 3-4* cuts per year Productivity and versatility with low cost maintenance

*Dependent on environmental conditions and mowing speed

Government Business 22.6  

Business information for Local and Central Government

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