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As the Chinese New Year approaches, how can authorities ensure public safety? CYCLING


Making the case for increased investment in cycling infrastructure


RAISING THE FOCUS OF THE INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY How drones are being used to revolutionise public services


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The government has confirmed that more than 100 councils will share a £866 million investment in local housing projects that will help build up to 200,000 new homes.


STEPPING UP SECURITY As the Chinese New Year approaches, how can authorities ensure public safety? CYCLING

REVITALISING TOWNS AND CITY CENTRES Making the case for increased investment in cycling infrastructure

More housing. More homelessness. Something isn’t adding up





How drones are being used to revolutionise public services


The funding is the most recent of the government’s £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund which aims to unlock new homes in areas with the greatest housing demand and build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. The news follows recent homelessness figures which indicate that rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh year in a row, despite the Conservative’s investing £550 million to address the issue.

Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @GovBusiness

Building homes is good news, but is also very easy news. Building affordable homes is key to the prosperity of the UK – helping first time buyers onto the market, breaking the cycle of extortionate rent and tackling the rising number of people who are living on the streets. The government needs to scrap the cap on the amount councils can borrow to invest in new and existing homes. Making it a local responsibility will solve the problem nationally. Michael Lyons, editor

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

226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Fax: 020 8532 0066 Web: EDITOR Michael Lyons PRODUCTION EDITOR Richard Gooding PRODUCTION DESIGN Jo Golding PRODUCTION CONTROL Ella Sawtell WEB PRODUCTION Victoria Casey ADVERTISEMENT SALES Steve Day, John Gladwin, Neil Haydon, Michael Kennedy, Bernie Miller, Paul Taylor, Bruno Russo PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Vickie Hopkins REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the All-New Ford Fiesta range: urban 40.9-80.7 (6.9-3.5), extra urban 67.3-94.2 (4.2-3.0), combined 54.3-88.3 (5.2-3.2). Official CO2 emissions 118-82g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience.




One per cent in council tax not enough: Wales to lower voting age; and 150,000 homes for social rent lost in five years

12 GB TOP 10

To mark our first issue of 2018, and to continue our look at Top 10 lists, GB takes a look back at the top read features from our website last year


One of the most effective ways to counterbalance austerity is through a thriving visitor economy. Judith Blake explains how Leeds is meeting increasing challenges with optimism




First aid training is a necessity for all industries, including the public sector. Ian Kershaw looks at the training courses available


Lesley Balkham explains how the HSE is working with industry to tackle risk in the construction sector. Plus; a look ahead to April’s Health & Safety Event



Amid current financial constraints, the benefits of leasing are shining through. Simon Goldie, of the Finance & Leasing Association, provides his advice on finance agreements

31 UAVs

Dr Sue Wolfe, from ARPAS-UK, provides a review of government policy and how drones are being used to revolutionise some public services


As the EU and the UK seek to move towards a more circular economy is there a continuing role for recovering energy from waste, alongside recovering materials? Roy Hathaway explores





Jonathan Carr-West looks at the likely trends for local government this year, including a shift away from central government to its local communities The Money Advice Trust has suggested that councils passed 2.3 million debts to bailiffs for collection last year. Peter Wallwork looks at current trends in debt collection within local authorities

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Russell Beattie reviews the current state of the building services sector, focusing on the ways in which the ventilation industry is pushing for energy efficiency


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ecobuild has announced the themes and inspiring speaker list for its 2018 conference programme Flood & Coast has become the authoritative annual conference for anyone involved in flood and coastal erosion risk management in the UK


Security officials and government authorities must learn from the attacks in 2017 to make 2018 a more secure year, says Gavin Hepburn, ahead of the UK’s Chinese New Year celebrations


The Sport and Recreation Alliance examines the current state of sport and physical activity in England


Investing in cycling infrastructure and enabling more people to get around by bike is the best ways to revitalise towns and city centres, writes Rachel White


Jane Longhurst outlines how the MIA plans to help the industry remain strong and stable over the next 12 months

89 PROCUREMENT The Cabinet Office has announced that the government and other public sector organisations have spent more than £3.2 billion on digital, data and technology services since 2012


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One per cent in council tax will not stop pressure The County Councils Network (CCN) has warned that new freedoms to raise an additional one per cent in council tax will only raise one tenth of the amount being cut from their budgets. Councils will be able to add a further one per cent to council tax to offset continuing reductions in core government funding. However, county leaders say that this will raise just £105 million compared to the £1 billion reduction in budgets by 2020 for the 37 county councils in the country – threatening local services and leading county leaders to make ‘unpalatable’ decisions. While the majority of county councils are likely to add on the extra one per cent, they are reluctant to do so and argue it will further entrench funding and council tax inequalities across rural shire counties. Instead, they suggest that there should be an extension of ‘transitional funding’ for the next two years to help prevent the widespread closure of frontline services and non-statutory services. Paul Carter, chairman of the CCN, said: “Residents in rural counties will be asking why they are paying so much more in council tax

than anyone else but receiving so much less. Two years ago we faced a similar situation, and the government listened to our concerns and introduced transitional grants. I hope ministers in Whitehall see sense and provide Sajid Javid with the resources he needs to extend this help and prevent unfair cuts and council tax rises in our county heartlands.” Meanwhile, the District Councils’ Network (DCN) has urged for changes to the ‘unfair’ system governing council tax increases which are curbing their key role in operating prevention services.

Government ‘shifting the burden’ of cuts to struggling families The Labour party has accused the government of ‘attempting to shift the burden’ of local government cuts onto struggling families. Responding to warnings of council tax rises, Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said that council finances were at breaking point and would not be stabilised by the minimal settlements and policy tools currently being offered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Gwynne said: “Almost eight years of cuts have devastated our local government services, and instead of providing new money, central government is attempting to shift the burden onto struggling families. The government must provide genuinely new money to fund our public services. Labour in power will always stand up for working people. That’s why we need to see as many Labour councillors as possible elected to stand up for our local communities next May.” READ MORE:




‘Concerning’ rise in pothole-caused breakdowns The RAC has recorded an 11 per cent increase in breakdowns caused by poor quality roads in the last three months of 2017, marking a ‘concerning’ rise. Although the Department for Transport is investing £23 billion to increase capacity and improve road journeys, the RAC say that many roads are ‘hanging in the balance’ with an increase in snowy and icy conditions causing particular problems. Between October and December, the firm was called to 2,830 pothole-related breakdowns, compared with 2,547 in the period the year previous. RAC chief engineer David Bizley warned that potholes represent a ‘serious road safety risk’ as they can cause broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels. Additionally, new analysis from the Local Government Association has revealed that the government plans to spend £1.1 million per mile to maintain its strategic road network between 2015 and 2020, but only £21,000 per mile for the local roads over the same period. Therefore, the LGA is urging the government to tackle the disparity in


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the maintenance funding it provides for national and local roads, so that councils can tackle the £12 billion repair bill, and to deliver a radical new strategy to provide a fully-funded plan for the growing number of vehicles on the nation’s roads. READ MORE:

Wales to lower voting age in electoral reform plans Under plans to modernise elections in Wales, those aged 16 and 17 could soon be able to cast their vote in council elections. The Welsh government wants to lower the voting age to allow younger people to vote at the council elections in 2022, and is also expected to announce plans to give non-UK citizens who are ‘living legally in Wales’ a vote. Wales’ next local authority elections are to be held in May 2022. The move is part of a wider initiative to ‘modernise’ voting in Wales, with Alun Davies, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, saying that changes to the electoral system would also see mobile polling stations trialled to allow people to vote in places such as supermarkets and libraries, as well as a pilot of electronic voting and counting. Davies said: “I am concerned we are still seeing far too many people, particularly young people, disengaged from the political process. There are many reasons for this but we must do more to make the process more attractive, welcoming and transparent. The proposals we’re announcing this week will, we hope, help increase participation and improve the democratic process for everyone in Wales.” READ MORE:



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Labour pledges 8,000 new homes for rough sleepers Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey has promised to tackle the scandal of ‘soaring rough sleeping’ by pledging to make 8,000 affordable homes available for people with a history of sleeping on the streets. If successful in the next General Election, Healey says that a Labour government will strike a deal with housing associations to make the homes available immediately as they fall vacant, and fund the replacements via Labour’s national housing programme. The 8,000 figure is double the number previously promised. With recent figures revealing that rough sleeping has more than doubled since 2010, and that rough sleeping is up 73 per cent in the last three years alone, the new homes strategy would be similar to ‘housing first’ – a relatively new type of programme established in the US and northern Europe, where rough sleepers with complex needs are moved into permanent accommodation quickly to give them a fresh start. Official figures have shown that rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh year in a row, despite the government investing £550 million to address the issue. From April councils will be legally obliged to provide services to anyone at risk of becoming homeless, not just those with a priority need such as vulnerable people or families with children. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures, which do not include people who are in hostels, shelters or sofa surfers, revealed that there were 4,751 people counted or estimated to be on the streets in autumn last year, marking a 15 per cent rise on the year before.

Over 150,000 homes for social rent lost in five years New analysis from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has shown that more than 150,000 of the most affordable rented homes have been lost across England in just five years. Arguing that ministers must focus on affordability, rather than just building more homes, the CIH is predicting that the loss of affordable homes will reach 230,000 by 2020, exasperating the country’s already broken housing market. Funding for social rent, which tends to be around 30-40 per cent cheaper than market rent, was cut by the coalition government in 2010. In its place, funding has been targeted towards homes for ‘affordable rent’, which can be up to 80 per cent of market rents. The institute says that the government could also make some simple changes to the right-to-buy scheme to help councils build more homes to replace those sold. Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the CIH, said: “For many people on lower incomes, the only truly affordable option is social rent. It

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is simply unacceptable that we are losing so many of our most affordable homes at a time when more and more people are in need. “We need to increase the number of homes we are building but it’s not just a numbers game – we need to make sure we are building the right homes, in the right places, and that people can afford them. The Prime Minister is absolutely right to make housing a priority, and some of the things the government is doing will help. “But government investment is still heavily skewed towards the private market. Our analysis shows that 79 per cent of the housing budget up to 2020/21 is directed towards private housing, with just 21 per cent going to affordable housing. Rebalancing this budget, so that more money is spent on affordable homes, could make a big difference.” READ MORE:



New homes at affordable prices in Hackney As part of Hackney Council’s regeneration programme, two-bedroom, modern new homes will be built at a genuinely affordable living rent. The plans would see eligible renters save nearly £10,000 a year on the average two-bedroom flat by setting rent at a third of average local incomes, roughly £1,000 per month for a two-bedroom property. The average equivalent market rent in Hackney is around £1,800 per month. As part of the #BetterRenting campaign, run by the council, the homes, which will not be available to buy, would also be let and managed through a wholly-owned company, meaning that tenants can be sure they won’t face unwarranted fees and charges or excessive rent increases. READ MORE:


Services stretched by ‘unprecedented’ elderly population Figures from the County Councils Network (CCN) have indicated that local services are at breaking point as a result of an increasingly elderly population and ‘outdated’ government funding. The data, provided by Pixel Financial Management, shows that the over 65s population growth in county regions rose on average by 10 per cent between 2013 and 2016, higher than any other part of England and the national average. This was also ten times steeper than average county population growth of 1.74 per cent. Northamptonshire County Council witnessed the highest percentage increase of 12.5 per cent. However, as this population boom is not recognised in the way government funding

is distributed to councils, county leaders have warned that ‘disproportionate cuts’ will force them into considering introducing new charges for social care and cutting other services elsewhere, such as children’s centres and libraries. With funding distribution ‘outdated’, the CCN is calling for the government to provide additional resource to close an estimated £2.54 billion funding gap for county councils by 2021, and that the Department of Health & Social Care should set out steps to ‘fairly’ fund county social care services as part of its green paper this summer. READ MORE:



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Joint inquiry launched on long-term social care funding

Free water refill points by 2021

The Communities and Local Government and Health Committees have launched a joint inquiry on the long-term funding and provision of adult social care. Ahead of the government’s forthcoming green paper, which will contain proposals to reform care and support for older people, the inquiry will seek to identify funding reforms that will command broad consensus to allow progress

in ensuring the long-term sustainability of both the health and care systems. Submissions will target how to fund social care sustainably for the long term, as well as the mechanism for reaching political and public consensus on a solution. READ MORE:


Glasgow to end plastic straw use Glasgow City Council is to stop using plastic straws and switch to more eco-friendly options in a bid to prevent tens of thousands of plastic straws a year going to landfill. Following a campaign from Sunnyside Primary School in Craigend, Encore, the council’s commercial catering division, will no longer provide straws with customers’

drinks and people who ask for one will receive an eco-friendly alternative. The use of pre-packaged drinks supplied with plastic straws will also be reviewed to see if more environmentally friendly options are feasible. READ MORE:

Shops, cafes and businesses will offer free water refill points in every major city and town in England by 2021 in a bid to cut disposable plastic bottle use. Water UK claims that the scheme could cut disposable plastic bottle use by tens of millions a year, as well as increase the availability of quality drinking water. According to the water industry leader, users will be able to use an app on their phone to find out where the nearest refill point is, as well as window signs indicating directions to the nearest refill point. The scheme has been in place since 2015 in Bristol with the city now hosting more than 200 stations. It is estimated that if every city resident in Bristol refilled one bottle once a week, the city could cut the use of disposable bottles by 22.3 million a year. In similar news, Blackpool Council is set to become the first local authority to manage its own water supply following its application to Ofwat for a water and sewerage licence. If approved, it is estimated that the move will achieve cost savings of up to £194,000 over three years, with savings of £50,000 expected in the first year alone. READ MORE:


Ministers accused of undermining children’s centres

New analysis by Action for Children has reported that approximately 1,000 children’s centres across England have not been inspected for over five years, as the government is ‘undermining’ them. Had Ofsted inspections not been suspended in September 2015, the children’s charity predicts that 969 children’s centres, representing 40 per cent of the total network, would now have been assessed for quality of performance and impact. Inspections were suspended ‘on a short-term basis’ pending a consultation on the future of the services. With the suspension in place, Ofsted retains responsibility for emergency inspections of centres if a safeguarding concern is

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raised. However, data, found via freedom of information requests to the inspectorate by Action for Children in July 2017, revealed that no emergency inspections were carried out as none were required. Despite the negative press, an Ofsted report of Birmingham City Council’s children’s services has heralded ‘continued progress’ and improvement in the quality of social work, while the inspectorate has given Rotherham Council an overall ‘Good’ rating in its latest inspection, following on from the much-publicised child sexual exploitation scandal in 2014. READ MORE:


Ministers urge councils to use electric car scheme Government ministers have encouraged local authorities to do more to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle air quality, as it is revealed that only five councils in the whole of the UK have taken advantage of an electric car scheme. Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, and Jesse Norman, Secretary of State for Roads and Local Transport, have written to councils urging them to take up the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which makes available up to 75 per cent of the cost of procuring and installing chargepoints. The funding has been available since 2016 but so far only five councils have come forward, so there is £4.5 million still available for them – enough for thousands of extra points.




GB Top 10



The top-read Government Business articles of 2017 The future of local government is unclear, with 2018 beginning amid the same financial uncertainty as the years preceding it. To mark our first issue of 2018, and to continue our look at Top 10 lists, Government Business takes a look back at the top read features from our website from last year


GB TOP 10: CHILDREN’S SERVICES (15 MAY 2017) In May 2016, Birmingham City Council’s children’s services began being run by a trust after years of failings that saw the department named ‘a national disgrace’ by inspectors. In May last year, the independent trust which will be responsible for children’s services in Birmingham appointed its first chief executive, Andy Couldrick, with plans to have the organisation fully set up by April 2018. In the second of our Top 10 series of 2017, one year on from Birmingham’s well publicised troubles, Government Business analysed the state of children’s services by focusing on the top 10 performing local authorities for their child care offering. Featuring top of the list was Leeds City Council. In 2015, Leeds became the first core city in the country to achieve a ‘Good’ rating overall, with ‘Outstanding’ leadership, management and governance. More recently in February 2017, the Department for Education chose Leeds City Council’s children’s services to be a national ‘partner in practice’ to share its expertise with other local authorities, with the council receiving £9.6 million of funding in the process.


As the second largest local authority in the country, Leeds has a population of 180,000 children and young people, one in five of whom are reported to be growing up in poverty. However, despite the challenges this represents, along with shrinking local authority budgets, the council has been successful in reducing the number of children in care by 15.5 per cent since 2011, nearly double the national average rate of 8.6 per cent.

areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty. 95 per cent of all first-time buyers will benefit from the cut, with 80 per cent not paying stamp duty. The reduction will apply immediately in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, although the Welsh government will have to decide whether to continue it when stamp duty is devolved in April next year (2018). It will not apply to Scotland unless the Scottish government decides to follow suit. SUMMARY OF BUDGET 2017 (22 NOVEMBER 2017) Philip Hammond delivered his second Budget as Chancellor in November 2017. The same month, Government Business provided a summary of the key points of his speech, covering Brexit, housing, public finances and health and social care. A stand out of the speech, Hammond revealed that stamp duty is to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000, and to help those in London and other expensive




ADOPTING A ‘TRANSPARENCY MANIFESTO’ (28 SEPTEMBER 2017) The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead needs to make 40 per cent in savings across all service areas over a three-year period. Louisa Dean, communications and marketing manager for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, told Government Business of the benefits of creating a touchless digital council. The focus is on implementing a new digital customer service strategy that enables efficient self-service. Historically, 82 per cent of resident contact has come via

telephone, with only 10 per cent of contact being made online. The council has set a target of reducing inbound call contact and increasing online interaction by 60 per cent. £2.6BN SPEND ON IT FOR PUBLIC SECTOR (9 OCTOBER 2017) In August 2017, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) revealed that the government and other public sector organisations had spent more than £1.2 billion with cloud and digital SMEs since 2012. Almost half of digital spend by the public sector – £1.39 in every £3 – is going to SMEs. Overall, public sector spend on cloud storage and IT support has continued to rise year-on-year, reaching a total of £2.6 billion. In 2012, the first government Cloud was launched, with 245 suppliers helping public sector bodies to introduce cloud technology into their service provision. The G-Cloud agreement was the first of its kind of encourage competition between suppliers, leading to a step change in the way government deals with SMEs, evidenced by the fact that its latest iteration has more than 2,800 suppliers signed up to deliver services, with 86 per cent of them SMEs. In this article, Dan Saxby, category director from the CCS’s Digital Future team, explained what has enabled the current sea change in government technology spend - and what the future might hold.


SMARTER ENERGY FOR A MORE EFFICIENT AUTHORITY (6 SEPTEMBER 2017) In April 2017, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) awarded funding worth £24 million to help develop clean and efficient heating systems to 13 local authorities across England. The funding was the first from a £320 million pot earmarked to support heat networks, which have been dubbed ‘central heating for cities’ and have the potential to reduce heating costs, in some cases by more than 30 per cent. September’s issue of Government Business saw us investigate how well local authorities across the UK are improving their energy efficiency, producing a Top 10 list of the leading trusts in that field. Successfully sitting top of the pile was Gateshead Council. The first of its kind and scale in the North East, Gateshead’s futuristic-looking District Energy Centre houses a small but highlyefficient power station which will generate and supply low-carbon, low cost energy for up to 350 local homes and businesses via a new underground network of high voltage ‘private-wire’ electricity cables. The centre is capable of capturing up to 85 per cent of the waste heat created during the energy generation process, which can then be fed directly to public buildings an homes via a network of underground heat pipes.


In ond the sec 017 of our 2 ies, GB ser Top 10 d the state analyse en services, r of child g on the top focusin rming local perfo orities auth PLANNING FOR GROWTH – THE SUM OF THE PARTS (13 JANUARY 2017) A new year brings new announcements and initiatives and January 2017 was no exception. We saw announcements on garden villages and starter homes, while the long-awaited Housing White Paper was published early in the year. The continued challenge with multiple initiatives is how to join up and create thriving, sustainable and inclusive places on the ground. As someone who was involved closely with the Eco Town programme from 2007 onwards, the Design Council Cabe’s David Waterhouse discussed the various initiatives that will continue to be at the forefront of local and national politics in 2017 and provided a view on what is working, what is not, and crucially, why.

5 WILL WE EVER SEE A PAPER-FREE PUBLIC SECTOR? (23 JANUARY 2017) Few people would dispute that a paper-free workplace is a hugely attractive proposition. It’s a much-discussed topic and many government departments, including the NHS and Ministry of Justice, now have targets set for going paperless. Sustainability charity WRAP released data that reveals how the average office worker uses up to 45 sheets of paper per day. More than half of this is considered waste. So there are obvious benefits to the environment that come with using significantly less paper. Bob Larrivee, chief analyst at AIIM, looked at the paper-free progress made by the public sector as organisations migrate to a more digital workplace and reported on digital service delivery.



GB TOP 10: IN DEFENCE OF FLOOD RESILIENCE (16 MARCH 2017) Floods during the winter of 2015-16 devastated communities across

GB Top 10


England. In the 15 months that followed, a number of councils stretched their resources and finances, embraced innovation and ensured that their communities are more flood resilient. In our very first Top 10 list, Government Business looked at the Top 10 local authorities for flood resilience, rewarding Sheffield City Council with the top spot. In November 2016, Sheffield was selected as the first core city in England to be protected from flooding to the same standard as London by 2021. Offering great potential for improving flood protection from its many rivers whilst enabling regeneration of the urban environment, Sheffield was one of a number of regions that experienced severe flooding in 2007, with damage affecting homes and businesses. In 2016, Sheffield City Council proposed an £83 million investment programme to protect the city from flooding, containing suggestions that propose temporarily flooding open spaces to protect homes and businesses, building new flood defences and opening up underground sections of rivers. SMART CITIES, BIG DATA AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT (19 MAY 2017) We live in an increasingly urbanised world. Currently more than 50 per cent of the world’s population live in cities, and this is set to grow to nearly 70 per cent by 2050. The smart city and big data agendas offer exciting benefits and opportunities for local authorities, people living in cities, and the business sector. The built environment sector has a key role to play in helping shape this revolution in data provision at city level. But how should the sector and other actors respond to key challenges, particularly as the UK government promotes further city devolution? Tim Dixon, a professor in Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment, at the University of Reading’s School of the Built Environment, explored the topic for the magazine.

9 THE CROWN COMMERCIAL SERVICE: GB INTERVIEW (16 MARCH 2017) As the growth and reach of the government’s Crown Commercial Service continues to increase, Government Business posed some questions to Malcolm Harrison, who stepped into the position of chief executive of the CCS in November 2016. The interview covered the aims of the department for 2017, the best way to operate public sector procurement and how the fast-developing transformation of digital services is changing the way the CCS works.

10 !



Leader’s Comment Written by Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council



Supporting communities in the age of austerity One of the most effective ways to counterbalance austerity is through a strong and thriving visitor economy fuelled by a programme of exciting, world class, international events. Judith Blake explains how the region is meeting increasing challenges with courage, optimism and innovation There can be little doubt that the last as we attempt to adjust and make savings, few years have been among the most which has required an incredible amount challenging periods in living memory for local of creativity and imagination from those government. Financially, we have been, and still working to provide the best quality continue to be, under more pressure than services possible for the people of Leeds. ever before and we’re faced with making Our approach to meeting these challenges the types of decisions those of us who have head on has been a programme of worked in local government for many years organisational change which has seen us never believed we’d have to consider. deliver a variety of savings, including staff In Leeds, these unprecedented changes to reductions of 2,500 since 2010 without our financial landscape have seen a further compulsory redundancy, an annual saving in reduction in our budget of £25 million this the cost of waste disposal of approximately past year on top of £214 million already £7 million following the completion of a cut in the council’s core funding new Recycling and Energy Recovery from government since 2010, plant in 2015 and more effective all at a time when we working with city partners e r a e Thes s for are seeing increased to maximise the impact e m i t demand for services of the ‘Leeds Pound’ by h g u t n to e m n from our residents. encouraging local money r e v Our first priority to be invested locally. local goand there is , e during this time has By taking these c r n fina ake fo t of course been to tough decisions, s t a h s muc t minimise the impact we’ve mitigrated the n e d on front line services negative impact on our resi

and our ies nit commu



our communities as much as we’re able, but we are bracing ourselves for the very real prospects of further funding reductions in future with, quite frankly, little or no fat left to trim. Nevertheless, we remain resolute in our determination to support our communities and to be a city with a strong, resilient economy which is prepared to stand up to the testing times to come. ENCOURAGING AN OUTWARD-LOOKING APPROACH Against this kind of grim financial backdrop, there is an understandable temptation for cities to narrow their focus when looking for ways to bolster their resilience, fostering somewhat of a siege mentality in an effort to weather the storm. But in Leeds we firmly believe that doing that would risk us becoming isolated and unambitious and that one of the most effective ways to counterbalance austerity is through a strong and thriving visitor economy fuelled by a programme exciting, world class, international events.

After hosting the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014, we were struck not only by the incredible sporting legacy the event left behind, but also by the extraordinary way it boosted the profile of Leeds and Yorkshire, resulting in a massive surge in visitor numbers. Figures from Visit England showed visitor spend in Yorkshire was up by 45 per cent in the 12 months following the event, with almost 25 per cent more people coming to the county. Evaluations carried out before, during and after the race showed it generated an estimated £102 million for Yorkshire and was watched by a total crowd of 4.8 million. That scale of positivity and excitement can have a tremendous knock-on effect on business and consumer confidence and is something we have worked to build on ever since as pressure on our own budgets have continued to grow and the need for inward investment increases in kind. Since 2014, the city has hosted a string of major events including the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Series in June, where our own Brownlee brothers took Gold and Silver in front of crowds of more than 50,000 fans. The direct spend from people coming to Leeds to watch the event was at least £1.2 million, with Leeds once again being showcased live to a watching audience all over the world and we’ll be hosting the event once again next year with similar crowds expected. The council has also always been an enthusiastic supporter of the magnificent Leeds West Indian Carnival, which has been celebrating in the streets for half a century, attracting in excess of 80,000 people to the city each year, and this year we were proud to be part of the event’s 50th anniversary. We have just hosted the MOBO awards for the second time in our history at the First Direct Area, our annual Light Night arts and light festival in October continues to grow each and every year and the city also holds

a diverse programme of events celebrating different communities including Leeds Pride and the annual St Patrick’s Day parade. As a city, Leeds has also shared the success of the opening of Victoria Gate, which holds the accolade of Best Shopping Centre in the World after being awarded the title at MIPIM in October 2016 and has seen Leeds currently ranking as the third best place to shop in the UK. By continuing to invest in and encourage a unique programme of events, we’re seeing real, tangible benefits to our local economy which we believe is going a significant way towards positively counteracting the consequences of austerity. Earlier this year for example, the STEAM survey, which measures the economic impact of the tourism industry in the UK, recorded that Leeds welcomed 27.29 million tourism visits in 2016, a 4.2 per cent increase from 2015. A DEVELOPING CITY These figures support our overall upward trend in visitor numbers which has shown a notable 9.7 per cent increase between 2013 and 2016, and the visitor economy sector is growing at an impressive rate too, with day visitors up by four per cent and overnight stays increasing by 5.4 per cent. Leisure tourism visits were estimated to have generated £1.64 billion in 2016, an increase of 15.9 per cent compared to 2015 and the tourism industry plays a vital role in supporting more than 19,000 full time equivalent jobs in Leeds, which is an increase of 3.3 per cent from 2015. Our business tourism also continues to thrive, and Leeds has become the

fifth most popular conferencing destination in the UK, improving its position in the International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) rankings by 149 places, putting it among the top 10 cities in the UK. Earlier this year, tourist guide Lonely Planet named Leeds one of its top ten European tourist destinations for 2017 and the recent UK Powerhouse report showed the city’s economy had grown by eight per cent since 2014, outstripping London in the process. And just a few weeks ago, PwC’s annual Good Growth for Cities report saw Leeds come joint top in a list of the country’s most improved cities. Continuing to build a reputation for having a bustling, thriving city and hosting world class events that people come from far and wide to enjoy, we are seeing a profound impact on the Leeds economy, which is in turn helping to create and sustain jobs for the people who live here. Looking ahead, and with the potential for further difficult decisions on the horizon regarding our own resources, we can continue to be a strong successful city by encouraging inward investment and harnessing the power of the millions of visitors who want to come and enjoy our city each year. These are tough times for local government finance, and there is much at stake for our residents and our communities. But we can and should meet these unprecedented challenges with courage, optimism, and innovation. By continuing to do that, we can still see our cities thrive and our economies grow. !

Leader’s Comment







Advertisement Feature


OPEX are relative newcomers to exhibiting within the UK Public Sector arena, despite having many long-standing and delighted clients across NHS and local government who understand the innovation and value that OPEX brings to their organisations It therefore becomes an interesting reflection exercise after exhibiting at shows such as the Public Sector Show in Manchester to understand the show’s ‘vibe’, attendees, discussion topics, combined with feedback from fellow exhibitors. OPEX’s experience of the show itself, and the quality of conversations with many informed and curios delegates representing an enormous breadth of UK public sector, was impressive. From central government agencies, ALB’s, police forces, local councils, NHS trusts to regional educational bodies – all had a common requirement, knowing that their particular organisation needs to move towards smarter and more cost effective digital workflow working practices wherever possible. The subsequent conversations, meetings and projects underway with a range of organisations for OPEX are heartening in their breadth and diversity. So from a Public Sector Show newcomer’s perspective – are we likely to exhibit again in the future? Unquestionably! Another interesting piece of insight is reviewing the much vaunted Insights Report on UK Public Sector 2017, published around the Public Sector Show during 2017. The report makes for insightful and telling reading from both a public sector perspective and from a supplier’s view. The key trends occurring time and again throughout the report are extremely insightful, with one of the most striking insights – though not unexpected – is that 85 per cent of all survey respondees agree that the most important challenges facing the public sector is ‘finance/resources’. This is not surprising given the austerity programme that the vast majority of the public sector has undertaken over the past few years and the continuing need to cut costs and ‘do more with less’. So the challenge for decision makers, managers and workers across UK public sector continues to be saving money whilst simultaneously improving the ‘customer’ experience – You and I – whilst transitioning many legacy working practices and people into a newly enable digital working environment. This is interesting, and no coincidence, when looking at the report key themes and

content, but drawing focus to the fact that ‘digital’ is mentioned over 60 separate times throughout the report. Digital can of course mean many things to many different people, but phrases such as ‘digital culture’, ‘digital by default’, ‘digital government’, a ‘digital first approach’, and the demand for both citizens and employee across the wider public sector to ‘engage digitally’ – all provide compelling evidence that the unstoppable march towards a far more digitally enabled and savvy world is well and truly underway. Some intriguing and compelling examples of varying types of public sector bodies having already taken massive positive steps towards this digital utopia are evident – seeing Kirklees and Wigan Councils alongside the Business Growth Hub – already having future-proof ‘digital strategies’ in place, with clear buy-in and backing from senior leadership teams across the organisations. There has to be a willingness to change and embrace new technologies across the board, and that willingness must have top-tier endorsement and a fierce compulsion to drive positive digital outcomes and success. PERFECT EXAMPLE Derby City Council, a client of Opex, is another perfect example of award winning digital transformational mindset in government, becoming recipients of the LGC award for Business Transformation for this project, enabling the council to improve efficiency and effectiveness when serving all council customers. A key element being Derby’s Document Management Centre, created to centralise all mailroom, printing and scanning functions, successfully changing from a manual system

to a fully digital solution by successfully implementing OPEX Scanners combined with integration of software. This resulted in a headcount redeployment from an extended team of 30 down to six, whilst delivering a hugely improved digital service for all. Going ‘digital’ is all well and good, but what does that actually mean – and what’s the benefit in doing so? There are legions of examples across the wider public sector of innovative digital projects and initiatives, such as Derby City Council, but the common element throughout is placing an organisation in a position of ‘doing more – with less’. A phrase that has been around for many years following years of public sector budget reductions and pressures on work space, but never more important than today. In all instances, the organisations have not only been able to reduce their spending (align to budgets), but improve the services to end-users, citizens and employees through the introduction of smarter digital working practices. It IS doable, and the gauntlet has been thrown down for all areas of government to embrace the digital challenge. OPEX Corporation provides state-of-the-art document imaging platforms and high-speed digital mailroom automation technologies. Our innovative ‘one-touch’ scanning approach, significantly increases customers processing speeds whilst transforming workflow efficiency and reducing arduous document preparation. ! FURTHER INFORMATION Paul Keefe, UK/ROI sales manager +44 (0)7764 205480



Local Government Written by Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive, Local Government Information Unit




What can local government expect in 2018? Jonathan Carr-West looks at the likely trends for local government in the new year, including a shift away from central government and instead sideways to the communities it serves What can local government expect from 2018? The short answer is more uncertainty. In all key areas of government policy that effect local government, 2017 has been a year of drift and there’s little reason to think this will change. The most obvious examples of this are in the reform of local government finance, the funding and delivery of social care and devolution to English regions. The reform of local government finance has started to take on an almost surreal aspect. There’s a consensus now that 100 per cent retention of business rates – announced with great fanfare by Chancellor George Osborne in 2015 and, in principle at least, the cornerstone of government policy – is not going to happen any time soon. There were always unanswered questions about how this was going to work in practice: what level of failure would be tolerated, what sort of tariffs and top ups would redistribute funding, and how often the whole system would be reset? But as the Local Government Finance Bill fell before the 2016 election and has not been reintroduced into the legislative programme, it’s hard to see how 100 per cent retention could now be made to happen even if there was clarity on the detailed mechanics of the system. What we do have is a series of pilots. The first tranche began in Liverpool, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West of England, Cornwall and Greater London in April this year and a new set of pilots will be announced shortly to begin in April 2018. For councils it clearly makes sense to get in on the pilots and retain more of their local business rates revenue but it is odd, to put it mildly, that we have pilots continuing while the policy they were meant

to be piloting no longer exists. This feels less like a coherent process of governance and more like a scramble for resources. And while this goes on councils are still completely in the dark as to how the sector will be financed beyond 2019/20. There are lots of more radical options for financing local government: from a wider range of local taxes to social financing but there’s little engagement with these at government level and many, such as hotel taxes, appear to be formally off the table. Under the current government, we can

get The Budd new ce announ ayors in metro mand North d Sheffiel yne, but this of the Tno sense of gives er policy a wid tion direc


assume that the direction of travel will remain towards greater fiscal self-sufficiency. Of course, given the turbulence of the last couple of years of British politics it would be a brave pundit who would bet the farm against a change of administration. It’s fair to say that local government finance reform has not been the manifesto top line for the Labour Party. They have committed to extra funding in the short term and a fundamental review of council tax and business rates, but we are unlikely to know more about that unless or until they are in government and, as we know these sorts of reviews take time. So the prudent expectation is that there will not be any immediate support or action from central government and that councils will continue to be more reliant on generating revenue locally. This is not always without controversy. There’s been a lot of discussion about councils investing in commercial property, for example, and there were rumours that the Treasury would seek to lamp down on this at the budget though, under pressure from the then, Department for Communities and Local Government they eventually pulled back. But this to and fro points to confusion at the heart of government and perhaps a wider uncertainty. We want councils to be self-sufficient and for local areas to be enabled and incentivised to drive growth. But we worry about giving them a free hand to do so. What if some places fail? What if some mess it up? At some point we will have to choose. Until then local government will just keep managing as it can. In adult social care – in which we have

a £2 billion a year funding gap – we’ve also seen many major decisions deferred. The March budget made available an extra £2 billion over three years: helpful in the short term but not nearly enough money in the long term. We were also promised a Green Paper ‘later this year’ which would address more strategic questions around the financing and delivery of care. Like many in the sector, we welcomed this commitment but pointed out that such a paper needed to cover a lot of ground. We need to think not only about direct funding of the system, but about support for self funders and help for people to invest in their own care. We need to address failures in the care market and we need to support more innovation in service delivery. Unsurprisingly perhaps, by the time the November Budget rolled round, it was announced that the Green Paper would be delayed until summer 2018. It would probably be wise not to hold your breath. In the meantime though there are things that councils can do to manage and mitigate provider failure, to focus their commissioning on outcomes and to use technology more effectively to support care recipients and help care workers to co-ordinate their work. DEVOLUTION DILEMMAS The final area of government policy in which local government may be hoping for more clarity in 2018 is around devolution. Without rehearsing the ins and outs of the last few years, we have seen successful devolution in the shape of combined authorities with elected metro mayors in several major city regions

but we have not seen much in progress in non-metropolitan areas of the country. Several devolution bids in two tier areas failed and although the government’s position remains that it is open to discussions, there appears to be little energy or resource behind this. At times, this debate has threatened to morph into a dispute about local government reorganisation. County unitaries, the two-tier status quo and new smaller unitary councils, based on clusters of districts, all have their supporters. And in some parts of the country, such as Buckinghamshire, there are competing proposals on the Secretary of State’s desk. No decision has been made about these or looks imminent; so for now this remains a phony war. There were announcements in the Budget of new metro mayors in Sheffield and North of the Tyne, but this gives no sense of a wider policy direction. It would be good to see a wholesale reboot of this policy area to provide a renewed impetus to devolution and continue devolving power to the cities and regions of England. So in all these areas we have seen minimal progress in 2017 and anticipate minimal progress in 2018. For a government that is long on challenge and short in political capital, these are not going to be priorities.

Local Government


For local government and its leaders, the ability to operate effectively in conditions of uncertainty has become an essential skill. And while central government pursues its own agenda, local government has priorities of its own. The broad outline of public service reform is clear. We need to move from a system that is geared towards acute intervention to one that is characterised by demand management, prevention, integration of services, multi-agency working and which is co-produced with, and designed around, the needs of service users. But that’s a very different vision of what a council does. It’s a convener, it’s a facilitator, it’s a catalyst of civic action. And that’s why, though it is frustrating that there is a lack of policy direction from central government, it is not, in the end, crippling. Because the change in how local government needs to operate means that its primary relationship is not upwards to the centre but sideways to the communities it serves and with whom, increasingly, it must work together around a shared civic vision that is generated locally. That’s the real priority for 2018. ! FURTHER INFORMATION

The change in how local government needs to operate means that its primary relationship is not upwards to the centre but sideways to the communities it serves and with whom, increasingly, it must work together Volume 25.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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With the unprecedented and sustained budgetary cuts in local government over the last decade, local authorities simply cannot afford to be anything other than efficient and on the ball when it comes to debt recovery, regardless of the type of debt

In terms of sundry debt, there are several recovery options available once judgment has been awarded, the choice depending on circumstances such as the debtor’s financial status, potential assets and the size of the debt. Charging orders, third party debt orders and attachment of earnings orders (individuals only) are recovery options, as is enforcement. Enforcement may be used to recover moneys owed by both private individuals, sole traders, and businesses. In the case of an individual debtor, the local authority will need to follow the debt pre-action protocol that was introduced in October 2017, before taking the matter to court to obtain judgment. Where the debt is for £600 or more – and this sum can include court costs – enforcement can be via a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) under a writ of control, which can often be the most effective option for the recovery of sundry debt. THE JUDGMENT The judgment is transferred to the High Court for enforcement purposes – leave is not required – and a writ fee of £66 is payable to HMCTS. In most cases, the HCEO will undertake the transfer up at no charge. The writ is valid for 12 months and may be applied for on a judgment up to six years old. THE WRIT FEE The writ fee is recoverable from the debtor, along with judgment interest at eight per cent (calculated daily), court fees and enforcement fees, which are set by the Taking Control of Goods Regulations (Fees) 2014. If no money is recovered, all the local authority has to pay is the writ fee and the £75 + VAT compliance fee. Once the writ has been issued, the HCEO will send notice of enforcement to the debtor, giving them seven clear days (excluding the day of despatch, Sundays and bank holidays) in which to pay in full to prevent any further enforcement action. This is called the compliance stage and the statutory fee is £75 + VAT. REFUSING TO PAY If the debtor does not pay or wishes to enter into a payment arrangement,



enforcement will progress to enforcement stage 1, which entails an attendance by an enforcement agent, acting under the authority of the HCEO. If payment is made in full at this stage, enforcement is complete. The fee for enforcement stage 1 is £190 plus 7.5 per cent of the sums to be recovered over £1,000, both + VAT. If a payment arrangement is set up, the enforcement agent will take control of the debtor’s goods, sufficient to cover the amount owed. Normally these goods are left on the premises for the debtor to continue to use under a ‘controlled goods agreement’. Under this agreement the goods remain in the control of the HCEO until the debt is fully satisfied, and the debtor may not sell or dispose of them. To do so is a criminal offence. If the debtor still refuses to pay, or breaks a payment arrangement, the enforcement agent will reattend under enforcement stage 2. The fee for this stage is £495 + VAT. The final stage is the sale or disposal stage, where the debtor’s goods are taken for sale, usually at public auction. The enforcement agent will normally estimate the auction value of the controlled goods, but will obtain specialist valuations where required. The debtor is sent seven clear days’ notice of the sale. The fee for the sale or disposal stage is £525 plus 7.5 per cent of the sums to

be recovered over £1,000, both + VAT. Any surplus after the sale will be returned to the debtor. If the full sum is not recovered from the debtor, whether by payment or sale of goods, the compliance fee and auctioneer’s fee (if relevant) are paid first, and the balance divided proportionally between the HCEO and the local authority. VULNERABLE DEBTORS One final consideration with any form of debt recovery is dealing with vulnerable debtors. There is clear direction in the Taking Control of Goods regulations 2013, but we would suggest that HCEOs should go beyond this, so we have set up welfare teams and trained all our office and field teams on vulnerability and mental health. Our training provision – available to all local authorities via one of our Group companies, Excel Civil Enforcement – comprises level 2 and level 3 courses, as well as workshops. We are the only enforcement agency which is an approved (educational) assessment centre delivering Regulated Qualifications and Quality Mark training and is also a CILEx approved assessment centre. ! FURTHER INFORMATION Please take a look at our complimentary eBook:


The Money Advice Trust has suggested that councils passed 2.3 million debts to bailiffs for collection in 2016/17. Peter Wallwork looks at current trends in debt collection within local authorities Debt collection, and debt collectors, are a popular subject for the media, and this is particularly so when it comes to the activities of the public sector, and especially local authorities. As the economy continues to bump along the bottom and interest rates rise, those who are ‘just about making do’ will face tough decisions, and the number of those in debt is only likely to increase. Add to this the challenges of Universal Credit and the issues it has caused, the situation becomes even more acute. The payment of larger bills such as council tax and rent will inevitably fall behind, and in the most extreme of cases, people may find themselves out on the street. The need to protect the consumer, and especially the most vulnerable in society, is

a given. No public servant – whether MP or council leader – will win any votes for suggesting otherwise. But this needs to be balanced with the need to protect the public purse. Hospitals, schools and local transport absorb huge amounts of cash, and in this current age of austerity, they are already under-funded. Failing to collect money that’s due to pay for essential services simply exacerbates a problem that is already very difficult. The issue is more about how this can be best achieved to deliver a fair outcome for the individual, and a fair outcome for the ‘public’.

ney The Mo st says Tru Advice increasing that an of councils numberking hard to are worrove their CHARITY RESEARCH imp llection Recent research from the Money Advice Trust, the charity debt co tices that runs National Debtline, helps c pra to show the scale of the challenge. In 2017, the Money Advice Trust published a report that suggested that councils passed 2.3 million debts to bailiffs for collection. It also suggested that the use of bailiffs to collect council tax and other debts has risen by 14 per cent in the last two years,

although the picture across the country was mixed: four out of ten councils had actually reduced the number of instructions issued. While the word ‘bailiff’ is often lazily (and wrongly) used as a generic term for all debt collection and debt collectors, they actually have a very specific role at the final stage of the collections process, to ‘enforce’ a debt that the council is legally entitled to collect. More correctly known as enforcement agents, and represented primarily by their own industry bodies and adhering to their own Codes of Conduct, they have the right to visit a property to remove and sell goods to repay certain debts, including council tax arrears, parking notices and other debts owed to councils. The increased use of enforcement agents is interesting because it comes despite the government’s guidance that enforcement action should only ever be used as a last resort. It also coincides with figures that show that one in four calls to National Debtline in 2017 were about council tax arrears. Both serve to illustrate the scale of the problem that local authorities face. "


Written by Peter Wallwork, chief executive, Credit Services Association

Debt collection: achieving balance

Debt Management



Case Study


The Zinc Group explains why turning to bailiffs is not always the right initial choice when recovering debt In 2017 both Westminster and many other local authorities came under fire from the press regarding their use of bailiffs when it comes to the recovery of outstanding council tax and/or parking fines, with bailiffs being called in to collect debts by councils in England and Wales on more than two million occasions last year. Council tax arrears accounted for 60 per cent of cases sent to bailiffs by local authorities in 2016-17 and that number looks set to increase in 2018. The use of bailiffs has risen by 14 per cent compared with two years ago when similar research was carried out by the charity the Money Advice Trust. Councils are under enormous financial pressure, and they of course need to recover what they are owed in order to fund vital services. However, many councils are far too quick to turn to bailiff action especially when dealing with customers who may be vulnerable. Prevention better than cure, one tactic which is often overlooked by many local authorities is the prevention of an accumulation of arrears before action is

taken, early intervention can often be key is safeguarding payments and ensuring the best outcome for local authority customers whilst at the same time avoiding the costly and drastic use of bailiffs. The Zinc Group believes that it has a solution which could help local authorities save money and reduce their debt provision whilst ensuring that all customers are treated with respect and dignity.

Dougie McManus, CEO of the Zinc Group, said: “By working with customers at a very early stage we can intervene to establish what is preventing them from making a payment, quite often the reason stems from an unexpected change is circumstance such as a job loss or reduction in hours, or it can simply be an unexpected cost such as the washing machine breaking down, which leaves the customer unable to pay. By working with customers who are only a few days late on payments we can help them manage the situation and prevent it from spiralling out of control.” By using the very latest technology the Zinc Group is able to reach more customers in default at a time that best suits them, they can use the Zinc portal and manage everything online, download the app from android or the apple store, and even use IM to talk to an agent. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0330 100 0852

Debt Recovery Specialists Using the Latest Technology to Engage with Customers in a Meaningful Way

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Debt Management


# Drilling down into the specifics, council tax debts were passed to enforcement agents on 1.38 million occasions between April 2016 and March 2017. Parking notices were passed to enforcement agents around 810,000 times, and there were around 50,000 referrals to enforcement agents for housing benefit overpayments. GOOD PRACTICE However, most encouragingly, the Money Advice Trust says that an increasing number of councils are working hard to improve their debt collection practices – and that four in 10 (38 per cent) actually reduced their reliance on enforcement agents in that time. It also said that it found many examples of good practice. For example, the vast majority of local councils surveyed (97 per cent), ‘signpost’ residents in financial difficulty to free debt advice, and 50 councils have now signed up to the Local Government Association’s joint Council Tax Protocol with Citizens Advice. A further 38 councils are currently considering signing the protocol, which

As the economy continues to bump along the bottom and interest rates rise, those who are ‘just about making do’ will face tough decisions, and the number of those in debt is only likely to increase aims to help councils to prevent residents from getting into arrears in the first place. In addition, 23 councils in England have introduced a policy of exempting residents on the lowest incomes, who receive council tax support, from enforcement action altogether – a step the Money Advice Trust and other charities have been actively calling for, for some time. Nevertheless, almost half of councils (44 per cent) have no formal policy for dealing with residents in vulnerable circumstances when collecting debts – and while the vast majority signpost residents to free debt advice, 10 councils reported that they did not take even this basic step, and that is certainly a concern.

EARLY INTERVENTION Whilst acknowledging that councils are under enormous financial pressure, and need to recover what they are owed in order to fund vital services, the Money Advice Trust describes the growing use of enforcement agents to collect debts as ‘deeply troubling’; it believes that some councils are far too quick to turn to enforcement action, and should only ever be used as a last resort. Early intervention, it argues, is vital. On this point, we would entirely agree. Working with consumers early, ensuring they get the free debt advice they need and agreeing repayment arrangements that are affordable and sustainable is a mantra that all Credit Services "




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FINANCE # Association (CSA) members follow. CSA members are primarily debt collection agencies (DCAs) who work in an outsourced capacity for major banks, credit card companies, telcos and utilities, and whose skills and expertise are also used to good effect by a number of local authorities (and indeed every element of government). Our role is all about early engagement, creating a dialogue where one might not already exist, and supporting the client’s own in-house collections teams where needed. Since many of our members collect consumer-related debts for financial services firms, they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). One of the challenges our members face, however, is that those working outside of the financial services space, including local authorities, do not face the same requirements, nor do they have to follow the same rules that are there to protect the most vulnerable. It has, in effect, created a ‘two-tier’ system and as such, the way that a consumer is treated can vary significantly. It also causes unnecessary confusion.

There is no point in aggressively pursuing people because if, for example, the consequences of that pursuit mean they become homeless, we’ve then got a responsibility to house them – and that costs the council money ETHICAL COLLECTIONS One way to address this issue, however, is to apply FCA standards to public as well as private sector debts. Hammersmith and Fulham Council, for example, has done precisely this. It has teamed with one of our members to launch a new joint venture, H&F Ethical Debt Collection. It is an attempt to create the best of both worlds, combining the DCAs collection and data-led skills with the council’s knowledge and understanding of the public sector. Its ultimate mission is to help other councils improve their financial position, look after their residents better and avoid increased service demands.

Debt Management


The model is an innovative one. As a partner, it can deliver a range of flexible solutions from a complete outsourcing service, outsourcing debts from the moment they are overdue, to complementary services working in tandem with a council’s existing operation. It can also help with training to ensure the most up-to-date thinking and techniques are deployed, and to help prevent customers from falling into debt in the first place, for example through the greater use and understanding of direct debits. As Michael Hainge of Hammersmith & Fulham Council says: “There is no point in aggressively pursuing people because "




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FINANCES # if, for example, the consequences of that pursuit mean they become homeless, we’ve then got a responsibility to house them – and that costs the council money. If you make someone homeless, and they have children, there’s an increased risk of the children entering the care system. “Not only is that a blight on their life chances, but we will end up having to pay for every child we’ve got in care so it makes no financial sense for anyone. Debt collection for local authorities is part of a bigger picture of supporting central government and supporting communities, which can be a difficult balancing act. Members of the CSA are working hard to play their part in achieving the levels of balance required.” ! FURTHER INFORMATION

Lowest-income households facing debt New research, carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), has revealed that a third of the lowest-income households in Britain have loans and credit card debts that outstrip the assets they hold. Unsecured borrowing, such as loans, overdrafts and credit cards, has been rising by nearly 10 per cent a year in the UK. Commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the analysis estimates the extent of unmanageable debt and states that a quarter of very low-income households have high debt repayments or are behind on bills or repayments. While about half of British households have some unsecured debt, the majority of this can be paid off as over 60 per cent of unsecured debt is held by households with above-average incomes. However, households that are behind on payments and are already spending large amounts of their income on servicing debts are facing an even more difficult future. This is most likely to be low-educated young adults. Helen Barnard, head of analysis at

Debt Management


the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “More than one in five people on low incomes have problem debt compared with just one in 20 of those at the top of the income scale. This is putting huge pressure on household finances: on average, those with problem debt in the bottom fifth spend £457 a month on paying back their debts, out of an income of £1,012. “Low income household are facing a difficult 2018, with rising prices, frozen benefits and a wage squeeze all putting further pressure on household incomes. The government, regulators and lenders need to not only look at increasing access to affordable credit, but also at the financial pressures that can lead families to take on debt in order to get by.” FURTHER INFORMATION





Written by Simon Goldie, head of Asset Finance, Finance & Leasing Association

Leasing and the benefits of leasing


Amid current financial constraints, the benefits of leasing are shining through. Simon Goldie, of the Finance & Leasing Association, provides his advice on finance agreements ‘More with less’ is a common refrain across all government departments, and the problem is particularly acute in health and education, where pressure on finances could have a very real effect on patient care or children’s schooling. Smart procurement can go a long way to maintaining quality of service, which is why the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has been speaking to the government and public sector about the benefits of leasing. Paying for the use of equipment over an agreed period avoids the need to buy outright, making this type of finance suitable for even the most stringent budgets. In fact, a vast range of items can be leased, including anything from basic office furniture to the most specialised medical equipment. In addition, finance agreements can often be tailored to the customer’s needs, with flexibility on both the terms and repayment schedule to help with cash flow or other expenditure constraints. As with any financial undertaking, it’s important to research the options to decide which ones offer the best value. Although there are two types of lease, the current guidance from the Department for Education limits schools to using operating leases only (the kind more tailored to short-term leasing), because it views the other kind – finance leases – as ‘equivalent to committing the school to a loan’ – which would require permission from the Secretary of State. We are speaking to the government about this, because schools need to have the freedom to lease in the most efficient way. In addition, we are watching closely the development of IFRS 16, the new lease accounting standard published by the International Accounting Standards Board. It has yet to be decided how IFRS will apply to the UK public sector. If it did, it would remove the distinction between operating and finance leases by introducing an accounting model that requires a lessee to recognise assets and liabilities on their balance sheet for all leases with a term of more than 12 months, unless the underlying asset is of low value. Our concern is that the new standard’s complexities may create undue burdens for those considering leasing as a finance option. The government is very aware of the benefits of leasing and is currently thinking about


the possible impact of IFRS 16, including ways that it could be implemented without affecting the ability of UK public services to continue to use this important funding option. The UK’s independent Financial Advisory Board issued a consultation document in 2017 to assess whether the UK government should adopt the international standard for public sector accounting. At this stage, it is still unclear whether it will, and if so what exemptions may be put in place. In any case, it is unlikely that IFRS16 would come into force before 2020, or perhaps even later. In the meantime, the FLA’s basic checklist for Successful Leasing in Schools provides good tips that can be applied across other public services.

STARTING TO THINK ABOUT LEASING You should always go through your normal commissioning process for the equipment. This might involve a pre-purchasing review to confirm what equipment is needed, and the preparation of specification and evaluation criteria. It is good practice to obtain a range of quotes from various suppliers to understand what is available and compare prices. You may also want to review the government’s advice to schools on how to plan and run an efficient procurement process to buy goods, works or services and ensure your existing commissioning process is sufficiently robust. At this stage it is always a good idea to compare the cost of leasing against the cost of purchasing. You should also shop around, as the most competitive quotes for purchasing the equipment might come from a supplier that doesn’t offer leasing – or vice versa. It is also important to make sure you are comparing like with like. This can include whether different equipment models have a similar level of functionality and whether some options include extras like maintenance and supplies. WHAT TYPE OF LEASE IS RIGHT FOR ME? If you do choose to use leasing, it is important to choose the right type of lease. Operating lease agreements typically have a shorter duration than the full working life of

As with ial nc any finaing, it’s k underta to research nt importaions to decide the opt ch finance whi nts offer e agreem st value the be

the equipment. The leasing company (‘lessor’) retains the risks and rewards of ownership, and an investment in the equipment being leased. Finance lease agreements usually run for all, or a substantial proportion, of the equipment’s estimated working life. The leasing company (‘lessor’) transfers all of the risks and rewards of ownership of the equipment to the customer (‘lessee’).If you are unsure about the type of lease on offer, consult your school’s finance manual or seek appropriate advice. THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN TAKING OUT A LEASE Know the finance company. Although some equipment manufacturers may supply both equipment and finance, many businesses offering leasing arrangements to schools are equipment suppliers who offer finance via third party finance companies. When you are dealing with an equipment supplier you should always check who the finance company will be. Most finance companies are members of the FLA. FLA members follow the FLA’s Business Finance Code which sets out standards for providing information, customer service and complaints procedures. Minimum lease period. This is the shortest period for which the school will have to make rental payments for equipment. The period is fixed regardless of other factors

such as changes in technology or changes in the school’s needs. When taking out a lease you should consider how long the school has tended to keep similar equipment in the past, or speak to other schools leasing similar equipment to ensure that the minimum lease period is appropriate. At the end of a lease you will generally be offered the opportunity to continue leasing the equipment at fair market rentals or to return the equipment to the leasing company. Either option might be appropriate for your school but you should ensure you understand each alternative and what you might need to do in each instance (e.g. give notice that you will be returning the equipment). MAINTENANCE AND SUPPLIES It should always be clear when maintenance or supply services are included or excluded in the lease. The simple checks below can help you understand the obligations of each party, and who will provide any services under the lease agreement. For maintenance, firstly check whether the maintenance contract is separate from the lease agreement. If it is, check whether the length of the two agreements is the same, and how much notice might be required to terminate each. Check what level of service you will get – for example, will there be regular maintenance visits or will you need to



alert the maintenance provider in the event that a fault occurs? You should also check the maintenance charge amounts, and whether a similar level of service could be obtained from a different supplier at lower cost and check what would happen if the company providing the maintenance went out of business, and how this might impact on your use of the equipment and lease payments. With supplies, check whether the provision of supplies is covered by a separate agreement from the lease. If it is, check whether the length of the two agreements is the same, and how much notice might be required to terminate each. Additionally, check that it is clear what will be provided and by whom and check whether it would be better value to buy supplies separately over time as and when they are required. Lastly, check what would happen if the company providing the supplies went out of business, and how this might impact on your use of the equipment and lease payments. Always seek specialist advice before upgrading, whether from the local authority, the National Association of School Business Management, or other professional associations. Last but not least - like any finance product, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. ! FURTHER INFORMATION




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Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Written by Dr Sue Wolfe, ARPAS-UK

UAS or drones in government or public services Drones or UAS are becoming increasingly used in public services and are recognised as an inherent part of UK government’s Industrial Strategy. Dr Sue Wolfe, from ARPAS-UK, gives us a review of government policy and how drones are being used to revolutionise some public services Only a few years ago, UAS was primarily the domain of research and defence, but now this disruptive technology reaches every single one of us, whether through TV footage or the toys we buy for our families. Going by many names and acronyms – drones, UAVs, RPAS and SUA, the term UAS, Unmanned Aircraft System, is possibly the closest description. The UK was one of the first countries to develop commercial applications of UAS, and in 2013, the trade association and professional body, ARPAS-UK, was formed to support this fast evolving industry and to influence regulation and promote safe operational best practice. Its members all comply with a common code of practice. With a wide-ranging membership including commercial UAS operators, training companies, governmentfunded organisations and insurance and legal practitioners, and now against the backdrop of 3,558 commercial operators approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority at the end of December 2017, ARPAS-UK explores its perspective of what UAS means for the public sector. It looks at

central government policies and initiatives aimed at driving economic growth in the sector, as well as practical ways in which UAS are already helping public services.

UAS AND GOVERNMENT POLICY UK Government Policy and Initiatives: a 2017 report from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) showed that UAS do not fit easily within the traditional aerospace sector, and that they represent a Local t fundamentally different e n model of operation m n r e gov n using to existing aviation e markets. There are have be a number many challenges – r UAS fo By 2016, 12 development timescales s. are much shorter, of year ils in the UK interoperability with c n he off-the-shelf peripherals cou roved t p p a d is increasingly important, a h AS while stringent safety use of U requirements must still be met. One of the major factors which will enable faster growth in the UAS sector is the ability to operate in a safe and regulated manner Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). In addition to technology challenges are the limitations of our ability to harness the full capabilities of UAS, thinking beyond direct replacement of current processes to

entirely new approaches. The government has co-ordinated a Pathfinder Programme to do just this, centred on a common goal of achieving routine BVLOS by 2020. A series of visionary projects within that programme are underway, looking at applications including: Powerline and other infrastructure inspection; project management of construction projects through earthworks; the future of maritime search and rescue after 2020; and improving efficiencies in survey operations. The Pathfinder Programme works closely with the Drone Industry Action Group (Drone IAG), facilitated by BEIS and of which ARPAS-UK is a member. The Drone IAG was established in October 2016 with an aim to support and shape the business environment facing companies in this sector. The government is also developing policy to underpin the development of this new industry. The Department for Transport (DfT) launched a consultation on the safe use of drones at the end of 2016, the response to which was published on 22 July 2017, and included proposals in the following key areas: stimulating drone innovation and enterprise in the UK; ensuring safety and operation within the law; and laying the foundations for a developed drone market. The response was followed in November 2017 by a DfT announcement of its intention to publish a draft Drone Bill in spring "




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INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY # 2018. The bill will include a registration scheme and mandated use of an app for flight planning, helping to ensure safe operations, and paving the way for the devices to be harnessed for a range of uses by businesses and public services. Following a consultation in 2017, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will begin to introduce new regulation for UAS operations, which will also be adopted in the UK. The DfT draft Drone Bill looks to be consistent with those regulations, and additional comments and recommendations regarding safety risk have recently been published by the CAA. INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY AND SUPPORT FOR INNOVATION Hazardous applications and extreme environments: The UK government is further embracing UAS technology through inclusion in its Industrial Strategy and consequent provision of research and development funds. In November 2017, BEIS published its industrial strategy white paper which refers to Four Grand Challenges, one of which is to ‘put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution’. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), announced in May 2017, forms part of this strategy providing a £4.7 billion increase in research and development over

Surrey and Essex Police were early adopters of UAS. Surrey’s deployment of UAS was through a targeted patrol team for neighbourhood response, as well as a command search and operations planning unit four years. Funding for UAS applications is already being made available for demonstrations of robotics and artificial intelligence in hazardous applications and extreme environments such as nuclear power plant inspection and offshore oil and gas. Social and economic impact in cities: Through Innovate UK, the government announced the allocation of £500,000 to the Flying High Challenge, in conjunction with Nesta. This is a particularly exciting venture, encouraging innovative new thinking by convening city leaders, regulators, public services, businesses and industry around the future of UAS in cities. By collaborating with selected cities, the Flying High Challenge will support cities to create visions and strategies regarding if and how UAS could operate in their communities, based on local needs and ambitions. For example, UAS could have a range of socially beneficial uses from transporting urgent medical supplies to inspecting and repairing infrastructure.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems


UAS IN PUBLIC SERVICES Local government: While Flying High is looking into the future of UAS in cities, local government and other public services have already been using them for a number of years. By 2016, 12 councils in the UK had approved the use of UAS and now in 2018, there are many more. Moray Council was one of the first to use procured UAS services to help reduce their survey costs, while Promote Shetland was one of the first publicly funded organisations to demonstrate the importance of UAS footage in tourism, contracting local UAS operators to showcase Shetland’s stunning landscape. UAS are now used in wide ranging applications in local government, from media and tourism to building and roof inspection. Some local authorities are investing in UAS equipment and the specialist training required to become approved operators of drones, while others retain flexibility of equipment and expertise by procuring services. "



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Consulting ABJ Consultants comprised of its senior staff delivers real-time customized solutions to countries, states, prime ministers, presidents, fortune 500s, corporate and private entities globally. We provide experience generated from years of expertise in military, federal-local, commercial, and private applications. ABJ consulting brings cost-efficient solutions with high returns and long-term gains. “ABJ builds partners and solutions”. ABJ retains the world’s leading experts in numerous industries such as; software development, UAV operations, securities, mission-critical inspections, algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and in the matter of any use case solutions.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems

INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY ! ARPAS-UK is supporting these applications by working with trade associations and professional bodies in relevant areas, such as the Landscape Institute and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, in development of guidelines for safe operations of UAS in those sectors. Police, Fire and Rescue: Police air operations typically use video and thermal imaging cameras to locate missing persons and track suspects, and radio systems to communicate with officers on the ground. The majority of air operations is provided in connection with crimes in action, and about a quarter of deployments are to aid searches for missing persons. Increasingly, police services are turning to UAS to help undertake this work more effectively. This requires real time imagery for situational control or post flight analysis, and day or night flight operations. Surrey and Essex Police are examples of early adopters of UAS in these applications. Surrey’s deployment of UAS was through a targeted patrol team for neighbourhood response, as well as a command search and operations planning unit. Early applications in Essex were focused on rural crime, which is a serious issue for both individuals and businesses and includes the theft of livestock, plant machinery and fuel. Essex police have also considered using UAS to track and deter hare coursers, poachers and rural

In 2018, there are many more councils using UAS technology, benefitting from the wide ranging applications in local government, from media and tourism to building and roof inspection burglars, as well as in coastal environments and potential flooding scenarios. Many fire and rescue services also rely on UAS to make operations safer, faster and cheaper. Mid and West Wales (MWWFRS) used UAS early on to allow incident commanders to have on-demand footage of incidents to assist decision-making to bring incidents successfully to a close. One successful application was in the reduction and successful resolution of wildfires.

It is clear that UAS are a strong and growing part of the UK economy, used in increasingly broad applications in both public and commercial applications. ARPAS-UK recognises that this is an exciting and innovative time for the industry, exemplified by the diversity of its members and the breadth of evolving applications. " FURTHER INFORMATION


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What is aerial thermography and how is it going to benefit your organisation? Alex Williamson discusses Conventional roof surveying involves scaffolding, working at height, teams of surveyors, disruption, and often a wait for results followed by a correspondingly large invoice. New technology comprising of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, equipped with a hi-resolution photo and thermal imaging cameras is changing this way of working. Aerial thermography is much safer than conventional surveying for external building fabric, as working at height is a significant factor today in industrial accidents. Finding ways to reduce or avoid working at height whilst producing higher quality information is of great interest. Due to the non-contact nature of UAV based surveys, exposure to dangerous surfaces such as asbestos or sharp metal edging is also avoided. Subsequent ‘hands-on’ evaluation will still be required where problems are identified, however this can now be specifically targeted based on the outcome of the aerial data. New forms of information can now be produced from this type of survey, enabling enhanced preventative maintenance strategies. Infrared data can identify moisture damage and variations in external building temperature, both of which are invisible to the naked eye. This allows a unique view as to flat roof integrity for example, as it is possible to identify the locations and extent of damage despite the roof looking OK when manually viewed. It’s also much faster, as it captures information over larger areas in greatly reduced timescales. Aerial surveys can take tens of minutes depending on the target area, compared to many days when carried out completely hands-on. High resolution photo imagery is typically captured during the survey. This can also be beneficial to organisations

in other ways such as for marketing purposes or more detailed boundary identification. WHAT CAN BE SURVEYED? Roofs are of primary interest, as they can be a significant source of building heat loss and subsequent increased energy consumption, and are very expensive to repair due to the access required and corresponding disruption. Flat roofs typically have shorter life spans than pitched roofs, and so extending their life using targeted proactive maintenance is financially attractive. Solar panels installations can have reduced output due to a number of reasons (notably cell manufacture defects, electrical wiring issues, and surface contamination). This can affect the financial return on investment of the installation, and jeopardise functionality where the solar installation is powering a solely off-grid facility. Underground pipe leaks can be identified with careful ambient condition planning. This allows leak location and extent to be identified without the cost and disruption of excavation assessments. Chimneys and high-rise building infrastructure also benefit as they currently require significant working at height to survey. Other applications are emerging such as identifying soil moisture content for precision agriculture, and identifying below-ground structure to aid archaeological assessment.

Aer thermo ial is much graphy convent safer than i for exteonal surveying fabric, w rnal building i height ath working at ke in indus y factor t acciden rial ts

Written by Alex Williamson

UAVs and thermal imaging: an aerial survey

WHAT DOES IT SHOW? A major benefit is the ease of which information can be interpreted. Infrared data is presented in the form of a ‘thermogram’ – this is a thermal image which has been processed by a trained ‘thermographer’. Temperature variations down to 0.1°C can be identified. The qualitative information displayed allows the thermographer to identify thermal anomalies, and to cross reference them to standard hi-resolution photo image data also captured during the survey process. This is important as thermal anomalies can have a range of causes – photo images show the anomaly in detail which shows the specific location of the anomaly, and potentially the cause – e.g. fallen leaves on a solar panel. It is also possible to identify quantitative thermal data – actual temperatures. However, this requires a more extensive understanding of the target structural properties and ambient environment. It also requires use of a radiometric type thermal imaging camera. Absolute temperature accuracy is unlikely to be better than +5°C, although the temperature variation accuracy can still be done to 0.1°C.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


HOW ARE SURVEYS CARRIED OUT? UAVs can only be operated legally for commercial gain by organisations that have specific Permission for Commercial Operation (known as a PfCO) from the UK Civilian Aviation Authority. This permission ensures that operators are trained and assessed to safely fly UAV’s, and that they hold adequate public liability insurance. Operators will take time to understand the requirements of the survey, during which time they will also carry out flight and site safety planning assessments. This is essentially a risk management process where hazards are identified and assessed. Take-off and landing locations are defined together with plans for emergency situations. UAV flights used for surveys do have to meet a number of legal requirements in addition to mitigating local risks. Flights can be conducted in congested areas with adequate planning, however the more densely populated, the greater the restrictions on the survey. Surveys can be a mix of automated flight #



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THERMAL IMAGING ! to ‘map’ wider areas such as flat roofs, together with manual flight to specifically capture data in areas of particular interest. It is more efficient for staff with facility maintenance responsibility to be closely involved in the planning survey, and helps ensure easy interpretation of the survey report. HOW DOES IT WORK? Thermal cameras contain a sensor called a microbolometer. This sensor measures infrared energy intensity, which is converted to temperatures and subsequently an image based on a number of specific settings. Infrared energy captured has a wavelength in the region 7 – 14µm (visible light has a wavelength of 390 – 700nm). All materials give off infrared energy, which is a mix of internal energy as a function of its temperature, and as a result of reflected infrared energy from the surroundings. Thermographers are able to setup the camera before the flight, and post process data after the flight by knowing the target material properties and local environment conditions. Untrained use of thermal imaging equipment can actually lead to misleading and even wrong thermal information – it’s important to be trained! ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES? Preparation is required to maximise the chance of good quality thermal data capture.

Aerial surveys can take tens of minutes depending on the target area, compared to many days when carried out completely hands-on. High resolution photo imagery is typically captured during the survey For example, at least a 10°C difference between the internal building and external ambient temperature is necessary to ensure that any thermal anomalies can be clearly identified. This in turn requires the building to be thermal ‘soaked’ – i.e. to have had the heating on to maintain internal temperature for a number of days prior to the survey, and for the survey to be conducted when the ambient temperature is low. This is clearly easier to achieve in the winter. Weather conditions are also very important. Surveys cannot be carried out when it is raining or when there are strong winds. The sun has a significant effect on thermal surveying. This can be beneficial – for example, moisture in the ground or in damaged roofs cools more slowly than the surroundings, which shows up clearly on a thermogram. However, the sun can also provide unwanted and uneven heating which can mask and distort results. It is common place to conduct

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


thermal surveys just after sunset, just before sunrise, and sometimes at night. These considerations must be clear and understood by facility managers in order to get the best chance of capturing high value data. Good operators will work with facility managers to ensure all considerations are clear, understood, and appropriately planned. The cost of aerial thermographic surveys should be compared with the cost of traditional surveying methods, and consideration be given to the benefit of identifying issues requiring rectification earlier than has previously been possible. "

This article was contributed to by Alex Williamson who is the Director of Mapair Thermography Ltd., an aerial thermography surveying company based near Cambridge. FURTHER INFORMATION

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The Facilities Event, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 10-12 April, is dedicated to facilities professionals in all sectors and delivers what the industry needs, exactly where it is needed in the heart of the UK. Government Business looks ahead to the show Productivity is at an all-time low. In March, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that the global economy is still below the four per cent average growth rate between 1987 and 2007. This means there was more robust growth prior to the financial crisis of 2008. Despite being 10 years ahead, we’re 20 years behind. And the UK has some of the lowest productivity rates of the G7. The CBI has called for a productivity boost to be the number one priority for business and the government, and the OECD added that only

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FM Matters theatres and the FM Dialogue theatre. Designed to empower and inspire, the FM Matters theatres will deliver three keynote sessions per day, from leading FM speakers and industry influencers. Meanwhile, the FM Dialogue theatre provides an opportunity to be part of the conversation and engage in the three daily panel debates, led by a panel of senior FM experienced professionals. A PEOPLE-CENTRIC APPROACH TO FM Day one in the FM Matters theatre (10 April) will begin with a session on HR & FM joining together to create a new role, in Raj Krishnamurthy’s discussion on the future of workplace optimisation. There has been a clear rise in activity based-working in the #



Case Study


ASAP Comply highlights the importance of changing the building regulation system following Grenfell fire The Guardian reported that ‘Dame Judith Hackitt’s interim report into building safety called for an overhaul of the construction industry to put safety above cutting costs’. Sadly, ASAP Comply occasionally comes across clients who, in attempting to save costs, no longer pay for fire engineers to design and specify the works but instead allow unqualified contractors to put forward designs and let building control ‘police’ the end product. ASAP Comply echoes her conclusion that ‘what is initially designed is not what is being built, and quality assurance of materials and people is sadly lacking’. At recent building fit out inspections, ASAP Comply uncovered fire safety issues which contracted ‘official’ building control inspectors had missed. These included fire/ smoke sealing missing, intumescent strips on fire doors missing or incomplete, excessive gaps around fire doors or doors poorly fitted, missing emergency lights, missing sounders and incomplete or absent evacuation signage. Other worrying discoveries included fire doors missing, incomplete or missing fire

rated walls, builders’ work holes filled with the wrong foam and test caps still left on auto detectors and sprinklers. Over four and half years have elapsed since two coroners’ reports into high rise fires recommended a complete overhaul of the regulations. In the meantime, the Grenfell Tragedy occurred, again prompting a demand for an overhaul in building fire safety. Improvements cannot wait another four years – they must be made now, even if they are incremental and in specific, focused areas. For example, both architects and senior fire-fighters have condemned Grenfell’s single-staircase design and lack of sprinklers in the building. It would be a start to ensure these are addressed for

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all high-rise buildings as a minimum as a first step in tackling the systemic failure of the current regulations. Dame Judith’s conclusions push for simplification of complexity, addressing competence options and ensuring materials used are fit for purpose. It is essential that we put in place minimum standards which will give both confidence and reassurance. A ‘cultural and behavioural change’ is needed across the whole sector, she said, adding ‘the mindset of doing things as cheaply as possible and passing on responsibility for problems and shortcomings to others must stop’. Let’s hope 2018 brings a step change in building regulations and practices so that preventable catastrophic events like Grenfell never happen again. For further information on property compliance visit ASAP Comply’s website today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0151 363 2333

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EVENT PREVIEW ! workplace in recent years. However, despite the popularity of this approach, it still attracts significant criticism. Opponents to activity based-working often argue that it does not increase productivity, and if anything has a negative effect on it. However the evidence for this is flawed as when talking about productivity in a workplace setting it is often quantified in terms of worker ‘output’, which for the knowledge economy is almost impossible to measure. What really matters is that employees are comfortable, happy and able to do their jobs. Businesses must optimise their working environments to enable this, and use the most cutting edge technology to do so. But who is responsible for this within the corporate structure? FM, RE, IT, HR? There’s an argument to be made that the most logical solution is to create a new role, somewhere between FM and HR, to oversee the implementation and ongoing management of space optimisation technology and to ensure that it fulfills its purpose. Krishnamurthy, CEO of Workplace Fabric, will explore this topic. Until October last year, C-J Green was the group chief people officer at FM service provider Servest. She’s now stepped into the position of chief executive officer for the UK and Ireland. Her role may have changed, but her passions haven’t. Being a successful CEO, who is heavily involved with the day-to-day running of the business, means being brave enough to find and champion new approaches in order to change the status quo. C-J will discuss her journey from HR manager to CEO in her session on a people-centric approach to FM, emphasising why there’s a place for HR at the helm of the ship. The final session on the first day in the FM Matters theatre will provide a Land Securities case study, looking at how to create a collaboration environment suitable for

global business. With a growing number of options available on the market, what are the challenges to overcome when choosing the equipment that is suited to your business? Learn from Land Securities about the creation of collaboration suites and a digital platform for its new London HQ building. FM AND LEADERSHIP The NEC is a familiar destination for many FMs having played host to facilities-focused events for many years. But the Facilities Event is just one of more than 140 conferences and exhibitions held at the 20-hall venue. In this interactive keynote, delegates will hear from Team NEC, including Jeremy Dicks from soft services partner OCS, about the challenges of managing this international venue. Furthermore, day two of the event will witness Oliver Heath, director of Oliver Heath Design Ltd, discuss compelling research that demonstrates how we can harness the human attraction to nature to reduce stress, aid recuperation and boost productivity by using Biophilic design principles. But, along with developing technical skills, what about leadership and people skills to lead the change and collaboration? Where are our future leaders? How are we developing our people pipeline? Geoff Prudence, of FM & Building Services Groups, will discuss his experience and views in his usual open,

apprenticeships and how FM organisations might make use of these learning programmes and the apprenticeship levy.

The Facilities Event


PART OF THE CONVERSATION The Stoddart Review called for the FM, real estate, HR and IT teams to work much more closely together to support the core business. Is there evidence that this is happening? And what are the true benefits of this approach? How can it be achieved? Raj Krishnamurthy will be returning to speak in the Facilities Dialogue theatre to explore this is more detail. Following this, the One Team mantra session will ask how realistic is it for competitive service providers to put that competitiveness aside to deliver better value for the core organisation. On day two of the FM Dialogue theatre, a number of leading figures in the world of FM will explore what productivity in terms of the workplace is, and how do we measure it? The panelists, who include Bernard Crouch, director of Acumen FM and Bruce McDonnell, managing director of Incentive FM, will also question whether we are measuring the wrong thing in terms of workplace effectiveness? Sessions on the final day include an exploration of how FM is using the tech it employs, and health and well-being – the opportunity FM has been waiting for?

The NEC is a familiar destination for many FMs having played host to facilities-focused events for many years. In this interactive keynote, delegates will hear from Team NEC about the challenges of managing this international venue engaging and thought provoking style on the importance of good leadership skills and collaboration to shape the future. The introduction of degree apprenticeships as a means of achieving challenge change and collaboration. The session from Dr Paul Wyton, from Sheffield Hallam University, will cover the purpose and benefits of degree

FIRE SAFETY SESSIONS Co-located with the Facilities Event is the Fire Safety Event, which will maintain a focus on improving life safety, business continuity and business protection for organisations. Sessions will look at a range of topics, including preventing false alarms, suitable risk assessments, safe evacuation, fires in tall buildings, protecting hospitals, insulated panels and facade systems, evacuation during a terrorist attack, lessons learnt from Grenfell and visual alarm devices. " FURTHER INFORMATION


Facilities Management Written by Russell Beattie, chief executive, Federation of Environmental Trade Associations



More sustainable building practices Russell Beattie, chief executive of the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), reviews the current state of the building services sector, focusing on some of the ways in which the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry is contributing in the push towards energy efficiency Last year we witnessed a tumultuous 12 months across the political landscape and we seem no closer to resuming anything approaching normality. The Brexit negotiations filled the headlines, and we endured an unexpected election call, bringing even less clarity to the situation. Along with many of our fellow organisations, we have continued to work to ensure that our sector is heard as myriad details of transitioning out of the EU are worked through. Two of last year’s most popular television programmes, Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, both shown on the BBC and narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough, showed us elements of the natural world that fascinated, educated and alerted us in equal measure. Both programmes issued some severe warnings about the state of our planet, particularly relating to climate change. The damage caused by plastics has also been brought to public prominence and we can expect greater awareness of this to be reflected in consumer attitudes. The building industry is in a prime position to be one of the standard bearers in promoting greener technology, benefiting the environment for generations to come and this remains at the forefront of our thinking at FETA.

The buildingin a y is industr ition to be os prime p the standard one of in promoting bearers reener g ogy technol

MINIMUM ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARD Buildings must of course fulfil their primary purpose, providing shelter from the elements, but they must also provide a safe and healthy environment in which occupants can live, work and operate. Soon there will be a new requirement to adhere to as we attempt to increase the role buildings play in protecting the environment. After the Minimum Energy Performance


Standard (MEPS) takes effect on 1 April 2018, all commercial leases will need to achieve a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’ before they can be let to new occupiers or renew an existing tenancy. The government estimates that around 18 per cent of current buildings in the UK are currently failing to meet the minimum rating of E for the EPC and hence there is significant pressure on affected landlords and building owners to make the necessary changes. Failing to comply with the upcoming standard will mean landlords no longer being able to let a property until the requirements are met. It could also result in a significant fine. For those less than three months in breach of the MEES Regulations, fines will be equivalent to 10 per cent of the property’s rateable value, subject to a minimum penalty of £5,000, and up to a maximum of £50,000. After three months, the penalty rises to 20 per cent of the rateable value, with a minimum penalty of £10,000 and a maximum of £150,000.


BUILDING CONTROLS In buildings of any age, function and standard, significant reductions of energy consumption and CO2 emissions can be achieved relatively easily. Individual regulation of room temperature using window contacts, daylightdependent lighting and building automation systems adapted to customer requirements can all contribute towards conserving energy. The use of building automation systems will not only allow for an energy efficient building, but will also save on the overall building operating costs using existing energy resources. It will lower CO2 emissions and will enable the owner/operator to work towards the best possible energy efficiency standards. Innovative building energy management systems influence the energy efficiency of a building in many areas. They can ensure precise control of temperature, humidity

and air quality in the room and optimal generation and distribution of heating and cooling. Once automation systems are in place, monitoring and management facilities can be used to calculate and display the total energy consumption within the building, allowing users to analyse energy usage and plan improvement measures. MODERN HEATING SYSTEMS Another clear move towards more sustainable building practices was announced by the government in October, laying out plans to phase out the use of heating oil for hot water and building heating (domestic and non-domestic) during the 2020s. The details of how this is to be achieved have yet to be determined, but this declaration is seen as a path to eventual regulation. Focus initially will be towards new build but will then be directed to existing building stock using heating oil. FETA regards this as a clear signal of intent toward ‘cleaner heating’ systems and heat pumps of all genres can contribute significantly to this as low emission technologies. Most heat pumps already have the ability to be switched on or off by external means, such as by an electricity grid during high demand where the spot price (that paid by the electricity distributor) is very high. In the future, we can expect to see devices that can monitor the reaction of the building they are heating to the input of heat and calculate the likely degradation profile should the device be disabled for a time due to a high electricity price or high carbon dioxide emission rate. Heat pumps provide real potential for harnessing the benefits of ever-expanding and developing IT capabilities. The only limit is our ability to understand and practically apply such benefits with special consideration for commercial viability. AIR CONDITIONING FETA has set up a new A2L refrigerants working group and has released a guidance note entitled ‘An introduction to A2L refrigerants and their use in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump applications’. Introduced in 2015, the F Gas Regulation requires the introduction of refrigerants with significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) and will ban new equipment which uses hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with a GWP of over 2,500 by the year 2020. As a result, new refrigerants are being developed by manufacturers; in many cases these are pure, or blended, HFOs (Hydro Fluoro Olefins). Whilst having much lower GWP rates, some of these new refrigerants do exhibit flammability characteristics (albeit in the lower or ‘mild’ classes). To recognise this, and their difference from higher flammability refrigerants such as hydrocarbons (classified as A3), a new A2L

classification has been introduced by ASHRAE. The new working group offers clear guidance on A2L refrigerants and the implications of their use, sharing information and communicating changes and updates as soon as they occur. It is also working with standards bodies to ensure any new standards being developed reflect the need for wider usage and knowledge of such products. Many FETA members are already involved in this process. DUCTWORK A property’s duct system is a complex network of tubes in the walls, floors and ceilings; it carries the air, hot and cold, around the building. Ducts are made of sheet metal, fibreglass, or other materials and ductwork air tightness is the fundamental ductwork property that impacts the uncontrolled leakage of air through duct leaks. Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces will increase a building’s heating and cooling bills but this can be reduced by professional sealing and insulating practices. Poor duct air tightness can be caused by a variety of factors, including; inadequate or missing sealing media, worn tapes, poor workmanship around duct take-offs and fittings, ill-fitted components and physical damage. As well as the energy saving benefits, the quality of a building’s indoor environment is important to consider too. Reduced

Around 18 per cent of current buildings in the UK are currently failing to meet the minimum rating of E for the EPC and hence there is significant pressure on affected landlords and building owners to make the necessary changes. Failing to comply will mean landlords no longer being able to let a property until the requirements are met leakage helps direct the airflow to go exactly where it is intended, ensuring a good indoor environment. A duct system that is not air tight will allow dust and dirt to enter and circulate throughout the building. The particles could include insulation fibres, pet dander, waste from insects and rodents, or pollen. Ducts also provide comfortable habitats for pests. Both insects and mice can crawl through small cracks and gaps. A LEADING LIGHT It is likely that 2018 will see more of the same in terms of high level policy debate and, as ever, it will be the expertise and commitment of our active members which will be key to delivering optimal outputs for our sector. When addressed individually, many

Facilities Management


building systems and components have some sort of impact on efficiency but grouped together, heating, ventilation and air conditioning can account for a significant proportion of an organisation’s overall energy consumption. By analysing these elements, understanding how they fit into the ecosystem of the building and identifying key legislative requirements and trends, the building services sector can make a real statement on energy efficiency, helping to establish the UK as a leading light in the movement towards more sustainable buildings. " FURTHER INFORMATION



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POWERING ON WITH FG WILSON GENERATORS FG Wilson has installed over 600,000 generator sets since 1990 which means quality and in-service reliability are important. With the aid of managing director Ann Brown, the company explain how its generators are key to the critical power needs of a public sector building “I think working through a challenge is in our DNA,” says Ann Brown, managing director of FG Wilson. Coming from someone else, this might sound like a cliché, but this time there is some force behind the statement. Just over 50 years ago, FG Wilson was one of many small engineering companies in Northern Ireland, owned and managed by its founder Fred Wilson. Then came the energy crisis of the early 1970s. Turbulence in the Middle East led to restrictions in the supply of oil and higher prices which created huge transport and power infrastructure problems in many western economies. With electricity rationed in the UK, Fred saw an opportunity. He chartered planes and flew in electricity generator sets from the US, auctioning them from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport. A booming global export business followed and FG Wilson quickly found itself on a steep growth curve as Fred began manufacturing himself. Today, FG Wilson manufactures generator sets powered by diesel or gas engines with power ratings from 6.8 – 2,500 kVA for small to very large businesses. In the UK, FG Wilson products are most often installed for standby power in case the mains supply fails or for temporary power on construction sites. There has always been a need for guaranteed power supply: think of hospitals or other critical services. But today Ann is seeing a different type of customer: “In the UK, we’re lucky to have a stable power supply but what is needed is quality power, with zero risk of power outage. As the world has become more digital and the risks or costs of power outages and going offline become huge, businesses and organisations are taking a greater interest in protecting power supplies. That means reliable power generation products which are well supported. From the start, that’s exactly what we’ve set out to do.” RIGOROUS TESTING Over 600,000 FG Wilson generator sets have been installed globally since 1990. With a number of that magnitude, FG Wilson takes no chances with customer trust. Every new product goes through rigorous testing at a $26 million Engineering Centre in Larne, about 20 miles north east of Belfast, which also houses Europe’s largest fully automated hemi-anechoic



chamber, providing state of the art acoustic research and test capabilities. And every product is released with a full suite of parts at FG Wilson’s aftermarket facility in Desford near Leicester, which stocks 11,500 product lines and ships up to three million parts annually. The product range starts with a standard offering which can be reconfigured in a multitude of ways. Ann says: “In the early 1980s, FG Wilson was among the first to bring mass-scale production to generator sets, yet still offer a wide range of product options to allow easy customisation. And when we need to, we’ll start from scratch and design, build and install a generator set to a custom configuration.” DESIGNING BESPOKE POWER PROJECTS That ability to design bespoke power projects has been a core element of FG Wilson from day one. In the 1970s, FG Wilson built up its name designing, building and commissioning mini power stations in the Middle East, often in very inhospitable operating environments. The tradition continues today: in some

European and Middle Eastern cities, it’s possible to look across the skyline and pick out large landmark buildings which rely on FG Wilson generator sets for standby power. The custom business for large generator sets is important to Ann. She concludes: “We know this is something which FG Wilson does well. We’ve a long track record of experience, within our organisation and within the dealer network, world class facilities, and very importantly, innovations developed with customers can feed their way into our standard product range. Today our designs have moved on while the philosophy of our founders remains as strong as ever: self-contained generator sets which are easy to install and operate, designed for a long and productive working life, supported by a wide and professional dealer network and which represent value for money.” " FURTHER INFORMATION




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10 points to consider when specifying a generating set Using guidance from the Association of Manufacturers of Power Generating Systems, Government Business looks at what local authorities should be looking at when considering specifying a generator WHAT IS THE APPLICATION? What kind of generating set is required? What type do you need? There are many, and clarity at the outset helps you look in the right places, and saves you time. Is it for mobile use, or permanently installed? Is it for standby use as a back up to the mains, or will it be the prime source of electricity? Is it to be used occasionally or constantly in use? Residential or commercial, and so on. These are all considerations that assist you with identifying the right supplier and finding the right solution. WHAT POWER IS REQUIRED? Knowing the application is a starting point, but equally to specify

any generating set can only be done by establishing how much power that it (or they) are required to provide. There are many ways of calculating power requirements, from simply adding up the connected load, to calculating its diversity of use over time, to considerations of the maximum demand. You should consider power in terms of both real (KWe) and apparent (KVA) power, the difference is known as the power factor and generating sets are specified by convention at 0.8pf – so a 500KVA Generating Set may only provide 400KWe of power. In considering the power, you should also consider the way in which the power is required. Generating sets can only provide a portion of their

Genera sets canting powere be wide va d by a ri includinety of fuels biodies g diesel, el, natural petrol, g and LPGas

rating in a single go (known as a load step). If you require a lot of power all at one step, this may affect the size of the generating set or you may find it more economic to consider staging the power demand. Some equipment, such as motors and pumps, also have differing loads when they are first started (a typical motor may present a load six times of its running current and two and a half times its running power); this must also be considered. WHAT PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS ARE REQUIRED? Electrical equipment is sensitive to changes in supply, both in terms of voltage and frequency. When specifying a generating set you need to know how sensitive your equipment is and what disturbance level it #





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! can withstand. Generating sets are supplied at a number of performance classes, which define their stability for voltage and frequency under steady load conditions and also under conditions of changing load. WHAT RATING IS REQUIRED? Engines have different power ratings depending on how they are to be used. An engine will have a different rating if it is to be used constantly rather than if it is to be used only occasionally in emergency situations. The basic ratings are known as Continuous Operating Power (COP), Prime Rated Power (PRP), Limited Time Power (LTP) and Emergency Stand-by Power (ESP). The difference between these four ratings for an engine can be as high as 30 per cent of the

Knowing the application is a starting point, but equally, specifying any generating set can only be done by establishing how much power that it (or they) is required to provide engine rating. It is therefore important that you select the right rating for your application. WHAT FUEL IS THE GENERATING SET TO USE? Generating sets can be powered by a wide variety of fuels including diesel, biodiesel, petrol, natural gas and LPG. The most common fuel for standby power is diesel, owing principally to storage stability, cost

and availability. The type of fuel determines the type of engine. Particular care must be taken with BioDiesel or BioDiesel-blends as it can degrade in storage and cause the generating set to fail. Special fuel cleaning or ‘polishing’ may be considered. WHAT ARE THE AMBIENT CONDITIONS? The ambient temperature, and altitude and even humidity in coastal locations, will #



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INTRODUCING THE NEW HONDA EU22I INVERTER GENERATOR Kicking off 2018 for Honda (UK) is the launch of the new EU22i, successor to the best-selling EU20i from Honda’s ultra-portable inverter generator range Offering a 10 per cent increase in power, plus a range of enhancements to make it more durable and user friendly, the new EU22i still remains as quiet and almost identical in size and weight to the EU20i which it replaces. The EU22i is available to buy now with the price remaining competitive at £1,249 (incl VAT) – the same as the outgoing model. The new EU22i retains the advanced technologies for which the original is renowned since its introduction in 2001, using inverter technology to offer power clean and stable enough to charge sophisticated devices including laptops, tablets and mobiles, while strong and capable enough to handle more demanding equipment or act as a back-up. Honda’s revered Eco-throttle mode also remains – constantly adjusting engine speed to precisely match electrical output with load – saving fuel, reducing operating noise and extending engine life when maximum output isn’t needed. The ability to seamlessly link the unit to another for extra power through parallel operation also remains. Maximum power output is up by 10 per cent to 2.2kW thanks to the all-new four-stroke Honda GXR120 (120cc) engine, operating

at a lower speed to the GX100 (100cc) featured in the EU20i, with operating noise a quiet 91db (A), improving fuel economy and increasing operating time up to 8.1 hours on one fill. The new engine also offers improved handling of varying load demand, with faster speed recovery when load increases, and cleaner combustion which meets stringent Euro5 emissions standards. Despite the increase in power and capability, the EU22i retains the same dimensions and almost the same weight as the outgoing model. Dry weight is 21.1kg, a negligible 400 grams up on the original, and with a full tank of fuel just 24.2kg – the same as that of the EU20i. At just 509mm(L) x 290mm(W) and 425mm(H), the lightweight EU22i remains truly portable, with a large carry handle allowing easy handling by one person. Honda’s trademark durability, reliability

and ease-of-use which runs through all of its’ products is further ensured through a range of enhancements. A new fuel valve arrangement prevents fuel going stale during extended periods of storage by allowing the fuel supply to be switched off while the engine is running until all fuel in the carburetor is consumed and the engine stops. Draining the engine in this way before storage ensures no problems and easier starting when it’s time for the EU22i to be filled with fresh fuel and get back to work. Engine oil changing and filling is also easier and cleaner than before, thanks to an extended rubber channel to contain oil while emptying the sump, and a larger diameter filler opening to simplify top-ups and allow direct filling from a can. Durability enhancements to the recoil starter housing offer improved resistance to wear and damage. The new EU22i comes with a five year manufacturers warranty for leisure customers and one year for professional users. Honda introduced the world’s first portable generator featuring inverter technology in 1987, providing electricity clean and stable enough to power sensitive appliances. In the mid-1990s, the company went on to launch the EX500, using a micro-processor to produce sine-wave electric current with the stability to match that of mains power. The EU20i arrived on the market in 2001, offering up to 2.0kW of portable power in a compact lightweight package, going on to become a firm favourite in the leisure market – particularly camping, caravanning and boating – and for domestic and light-commercial users. Honda offers a full line-up of inverter generators from the 1.0kw watt EU10i up to the range-topping heavy-duty 7.0kw EU70is. " FURTHER INFORMATION Visit for further information




POWER SYSTEMS ! affect the performance of a generating set and its constituent components. High temperatures and altitudes can limit power whilst low temperatures can result in difficulties starting. The full range of ambient conditions over which the generating set is expected to operate must be taken into consideration. WHAT AUTONOMY IS THE GENERATING SET REQUIRED TO HAVE? The autonomy of a generating set is how long it is expected to be able to run, with or without human intervention. It is normally expressed in hours against load (e.g. the generating set must run for 72 hours at Full Load). This affects the size of fuel storage (and therefore the physical size of the generating set as a whole) and other aspects such as cooling and lubricating oil systems. WHAT STANDARDS OR REGULATIONS IS THE GENERATING SET REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH? A key consideration for any generating set is what standards it is required to comply with. For generating sets being supplied into the EU, many of these will be product-based

and encompassed under the requirements of CE Marking, such as the Machinery Directive, Low Voltage Directive, and more. Additionally, it is important to know of others which are specific to an application or locale-based, such as emissions, noise or fuel storage regulations, especially where generating sets are to parallel (synchronise) with the main utility. WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT THAT THE GENERATING SET IS TO GO IN? Generating sets have many inherent hazards. It is therefore important that where they are to be sited or installed is considered. Generating sets may increase the fire risks, due to presence of heat and fuels – how will that be managed? Building Regulations give much guidance on installation of generating sets in buildings, and state what must be achieved; indeed planning permission may be required. They cause environmental risks due to the stored fluids, fuel, coolant etc. How will this be managed? In the UK, the Pollution Prevention Guidelines give much guidance on this subject. Generating sets produce hot exhaust

Engines have different power ratings depending on how they are to be used. An engine will have a different rating if it is to be used constantly rather than if it is to be used only occasionally in emergency situations


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gases – where will these be discharged to prevent risk to people or the environment? They are very noisy – what noise can be accepted on site or remote from the site? Much legislation applies to this both in the UK and across Europe. They require access for maintenance and fuel deliveries etc. – how will this be managed? HOW IS THE GENERATING SET TO ELECTRICALLY INTERFACE WITH THE SITE? The generating set has to be connected to the physical equipment it is to support. What are the basic requirements of this – what voltage, what frequency? Will the interface be automatic, manually operated, and will there be paralleling with other sources of generation? Another generating set or the mains? Regardless it is also essential that the electrical protection of the generating set, the equipment it is connected to and people using it are considered and appropriately provided for. It is essential that all electrical work is carried out by suitably qualified personnel. It will involve determining what protective devices are required, together with arrangements for protective earthing, neutral earth referencing. When supplies from different sources are present (e.g. a generating set and the mains supply); they can never be allowed to operate in parallel to a piece of equipment without appropriate switching equipment permitting them to do so. " FURTHER INFORMATION



HEAT INTERFACE UNIT Electronic HIU’s to protect your network from inefficiency & failure while reducing energy use and cost to your tenants. “Only the Altecnic HIU could support the full remote control of flow in the heat network we needed to deliver a 5th generation heat network and optimise system performance. It was the first and remains the only OpenTherm (Nest, Tado) compatible HIU on the market even today.” Marko Cosic Technical Director Coheat Ltd

The SATK32 will automatically control output to hold a configurable low return temperature limitation (RTL) and can be pre-configured and pre-commissioned prior to install, while the Modbus output allows individual or global remote configuration via BMS or Modbus network. It limits the primary flow rate for network protection failure and provides a configurable integral room controller compatible with smart controllers such as ‘Nest’, Hive’ etc. Our fully ‘clamshell’ insulated HIU unit reduces heat, and the configurable preheat setting saves energy and cost for the tenant and the network equating to an:

Annual bill of just £93 per dwelling for both heating and hot water or 0.03 pence/kWh. Altecnic Ltd, Mustang Drive, Stafford, ST16 1GW T: +(44) 0 1785 218200 E: Registered in England No: 2095101


As the EU and the UK seek to move towards a more circular economy, in which waste is either prevented altogether or brought back into productive use, is there a continuing role for recovering energy from waste, alongside recovering materials? Roy Hathaway, Europe Policy Advisor at the Environmental Services Association, considers the prospects for the UK waste-to-energy sector As I write this in January 2018, the uncertainty surrounding the future direction of waste management policy in the UK is starting to clear, but has not been completely dispelled. The government has just published its 25 year Environment Plan, which has a chapter on increasing resource efficiency and reducing pollution and waste, and includes a section on improving management of residual (i.e. non-recyclable) waste. But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has yet to produce its resources and waste strategy which, we are told, will supply the necessary supporting detail on how the Plan’s ambitions will be realised. Similarly, in Brussels, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers have reached provisional agreement on the Circular Economy proposals amending EU waste legislation. But, assuming this agreement is formally adopted by the EU, we don’t yet know whether the UK government will convert the new EU legislation into UK law in its entirety, or will make adjustments to render it more suited to UK circumstances in a post-Brexit world.

UK RECYCLING RATES What do these emerging policy developments mean for the future of waste management in the UK? I’ll start with the prospects for recycling rates, as this will, to a large extent, determine how much non-recyclable residual waste will be left over and potentially available for energy recovery. The provisional Circular Economy agreement would set municipal waste recycling targets of 55 per cent by 2025, 60 per cent by 2030, and 65 per cent by 2035. These are not directly comparable with the current EU recycling target of 50 per cent by 2020 for household and similar waste because they are based on a different calculation method. But the key point is that the Circular Economy package does not contain any significant measures to grow the markets for recyclable materials, many of which are currently weak. This means that achieving the new EU targets looks problematic. This is particularly true for the UK. The recycling rate in England, which accounts for over 80 per cent of UK recycling, has stalled at around 45 per cent. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest single factor is the absence of sufficient demand for recyclable materials at

The g recyclin land, Eng rate in counts for c which a per cent of over 80 ycling, has UK rec at around stalled er cent 45 p

a price which makes it economic to collect and sort them to the required standard. For too many materials, notably plastics, manufacturers still prefer to use virgin raw materials rather than recycled materials. Moreover, UK recycling rates are very dependent on exports, and China’s decision to impose tighter restrictions on its imports of recyclable material is likely to put further downward pressure on prices. Unless governments in the UK and elsewhere put in place strong new measures to increase demand for recyclable materials – for example via mandatory eco-design rules, extended producer responsibility, or green public procurement – the Environmental Services Association (ESA) estimates that UK recycling rates are unlikely to rise much beyond 50 per cent by 2030.

Written by Roy Hathaway, Europe Policy Advisor, Environmental Services Association

The role of energy recovery in UK waste management



SUSTAINABLY INCREASING UK RECYCLING RATES So there is a lot riding on Defra’s resources and waste strategy, expected later in 2018. Will it endorse the newly agreed EU recycling targets, or will it diverge from them, reflecting Defra ministers’ well-publicised dislike of weight-based targets? If so, what will the alternative UK targets be? And most of all, will Defra’s strategy contain credible measures to sustainably increase UK recycling rates beyond 50 per cent – and at what cost? This matters because if waste cannot be prevented, re-used, composted or recycled, !



Case Study


Wilo takes the lead in search for energy solutions that reduce energy usage, energy bills and emissions Whilst Wilo are renowned the world over as a major pump and pumping system manufacturer, in recent years, the emphasis has been changing from simply being a supplier of pumps, to becoming a supplier of energy solutions. Wilo is increasingly moving away from being a reactive supplier of simply what a specifer requests. Today it is a proactive supplier of solutions where companies and organisations that want to find ways of reducing their energy usage, energy bills and emissions, find a partner in that search. Wilo is knocking on their door with a way of doing just that. Every major building relies heavily on pumps of various designs, shapes and sizes to run the heating, air conditioning, chilled water, potable water supply, to distribute harvested rainwater and to remove the sewage and greywater from the building. Their roles are many and various but all are vital. Modern pump technology allows these tasks to be undertaken far less expensively, simply by replacing elderly existing pumps with modern high efficiency pumps, designed Wilo_GB_Advert_Nov_2017.pdf to do their jobs better, quicker, 1 25/10/2017

less expensively, in a more environmentally friendly way and more reliably. They aim to offer a win ‘to the power of several’ solution. The key words are ‘lifecycle costs’. Modern pumps are undoubtedly more expensive than their elderly relatives. The new technology in the modern pumps has a price. But the payback from modern pumps is usually extremely fast in relation to the capital cost because the energy required to run these new pumps is far less, often infinitesimally less, meaning that over a 15-year lifecycle, huge savings in terms of energy cost can 15:49:29

be made, large emission reductions can be shown and with far less energy use goes far lower energy bills and far lower operating costs for the building. The process for achieving these huge savings can be disarmingly simple. An initial visit to discuss the requirements. A return visit to survey the plant rooms. A programme to assess the existing set up and to ascertain the most sensible replacements utilising the latest technology. Calculation of the life cycle costing improvements available and presentation of the cost savings and the emission reductions available. It’s a process that Wilo has been through many times, with a number of predefined target buildings – universities and colleges, government buildings, banks, hotels and leisure facilities and manufacturing bases. Visit Wilo’s website for more information or give the company a call today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01283 523 000

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WASTE MANAGEMENT ! then the remaining options are either to recover energy from it, via combustion or other technologies, or to dispose of it to landfill, which for most materials is the least preferred option. It is not defeatist, but simply realistic, to say that by 2030 or 2035 we as a society are not going to be able to prevent, re-use, or recycle all of our waste. There will still be residual non-recyclable waste. The question is, how much will there be, and what is the best means of dealing with it? This is why recovering energy from waste can play an important role in the more circular economy of the future. In recent years, the UK’s waste to energy sector has grown rapidly, to the point where it now deals with around 38 per cent of UK household waste, reducing landfill to a mere 16 per cent. Initially this growth was fuelled by Defra’s PFI programme, designed to ensure that the UK met its EU landfill diversion targets. Once Defra was satisfied that had been achieved the programme was ended and since then UK investment in energy recovery facilities has been mainly by the private sector. Over the past five years, the industry has invested around £5 billion in UK recycling and recovery facilities. ESA and its members have commissioned detailed modelling exercises to understand what further investment is required for the future. Their conclusions are clear: based on the most realistic estimates of future recycling



In recent years the UK’s waste to energy sector has grown rapidly, to the point where it now deals with around 38 per cent of UK household waste, reducing landfill to a mere 16 per cent rates, the UK needs significant additional energy from waste capacity to complete the move away from landfill and to complement recycling. If recycling trends follow those of more mature recycling societies in other parts of Europe, then the industry expects that the UK may achieve medium to long-term municipal waste recycling rates of 55 per cent. At this level of recycling, it is forecast that the UK’s residual waste treatment capacity gap will be almost six million tonnes in 2030. It remains to be seen whether Defra’s resources and waste strategy will contain measures that will change these assumptions. Some commentators have expressed concern that the UK may be heading for over-capacity in energy from waste facilities, and that this risks holding back UK recycling rates. The available evidence suggests otherwise. The UK is still land-filling 16 per cent of household waste and a similar proportion of commercial waste. The UK also exports over three million tonnes of refused derived fuel (RDF) to energy from waste plants in other EU countries. Moreover, because current and future investment in UK waste to

energy plants is mainly by the private sector, we safely assume that investors will not come forward unless they are satisfied that there will be sufficient feedstock for the new facilities. If the private investors get their sums wrongs, they will bear the cost – not the public purse, as is the case in many other EU countries. The worst of all worlds would be if Defra were to announce new higher recycling targets but take insufficient action to make them happen. In this case, the UK would face a significant shortfall in residual waste treatment capacity, meaning either a reversion to landfill or an increase in waste crime – something nobody wants to see. Energy recovery from waste can play an important role in preventing this unwelcome scenario. Provided the UK government puts in place the right long-term policy measures, the private sector waste companies will be able to deliver the recycling and residual waste treatment capacity needed. " FURTHER INFORMATION




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First aid training is a necessity for all industries, including the public sector. Ian Kershaw, of the First Aid Industry Body, looks at the training courses available The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 introduced first aiders in the workplace by employees being trained on a 24 hour First Aid at Work (FAW) training course. Between 1982 and 2009, over 2,000 training organisations were approved and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to offer the FAW course. Following a consultation with employers, trade associations and training providers in 2009, the FAW course was reduced to 18 hours and saw the introduction of the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) course of six hours duration. A First Aid Annual refresher of three hours was also introduced. First aid courses are applicable to all industries, including the public sector.

The fut shape o ure first aid f the t sector graining oing forward is a ma for the t industr ter y to dete rmine

LÖFSTEDT REVIEW (NOVEMBER 2011) The Professor Ragnar Löfstedt Review of Health and safety legislation recommended that the Health & Safety (First Aid) regulations 1981 should be amended to remove the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first aid personnel. It was accepted fully by government. It also recommended a review of the First Aid Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACOP) as well as revised guidance clarifying what is suitable for different environments to help businesses


Written by Ian Kershaw, First Aid Industry Body

Assessing the first aid training industry

adopt measures that are suitable for their workplace. These changes will give industry greater flexibility to choose what is right for their workplace, and possibly reduce costs. It was also accepted fully by government. Löfstedt envisaged a more open market in terms of training provision, giving ‘more flexibility’ and providing a certain standard of training and qualification was maintained. Professor Löfstedt said: “The future shape of the first aid training sector going forward is a matter for the industry to determine. I understand that feedback to HSE shows that many employers will simply seek to find in built assurance similar to that they gained from HSE approval in whatever guise it is or becomes available. This assurance may be found in a trade body approval and monitoring scheme [an example being the First Aid Industry Body], or from a nationally approved and accredited qualification delivered by an Ofqual awarding organisation. Some training providers may choose to attach themselves to one approval system or another, whilst others such as yourselves may choose to continue as a standalone unit relying on their quality and reputation to secure market share. Any choice of future associations lies with the individual training organisations.” #

First Aid





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Following a consultation with employers, trade associations and training providers in 2009, the FAW course was reduced to 18 hours and saw the introduction of the Emergency First Aid at Work course of six hours duration ! THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE CHANGES (2013) As from the 1 October 2013, the HSE was no longer involved in the approval and monitoring of first aid training providers. The only involvement that HSE would have in the future was in relation to the content of the first aid courses. These course are the FAW, 18 hours teaching time over a minimum of three days, the EFAW, 12 hours teaching time spread over a minimum of one day and the First Aid Annual refresher which is three hours teaching time. THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION Apart from the first aid courses under the jurisdiction of HSE, there is also a Paediatric First Aid (PFA) and an Emergency Paediatric First Aid (EPFA) course under the jurisdiction of the Department for Education document Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (2017). Annex A of this document gives details of the content of the PFA course which is 12 hours teaching time and the content of the New EPFA course which is six hours teaching time.

an assessment of the quality assurance systems of any provider or class of provider. The Introduction of Blended Learning It is now acceptable to conduct the following courses (FAW, EFAW and PFA (12 hour) using blended learning, which is a combination of classroom and distance learning so long as certain guidelines are followed. INTRODUCTION OF AUTOMATIC EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR (AED) HSE stated that from 31 December 2016 workplace first aiders should be trained in the use of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s) as the Resuscitation Guidelines 2015 now state that the management of a casualty requiring Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is to request an AED. As a minimum this should include how to switch on the AED and where to place the pads. Finally, our wish is to see trained first aiders in

First Aid


as many places as possible and not just for the workplace but the standard of training must be properly monitored and regulated. We are also pleased to see the introduction of basic first aid procedures to children in schools and nurseries. Surveys have been conducted in the past that indicate first aiders in the workplace can have a positive effect on general health and safety. Remember first aid can be a lifetime skill but it must be refreshed on a regular basis. "

The First Aid Body (FAIB) was created in 2012 at the request of training providers many of whom were previously approved by the HSE. The main focus of FAIB is achieve high quality first aiders across all areas of Industry including the public, private and voluntary sectors. We also feel that at the root of good training providers is competent trainers which is why FAIB introduced the National Register of Trainers/Assessors in 2016. FAIB is totally Independent and provides support and guidance to both employers and training providers alike. Our training providers are monitored by FAIB inspectors who have many years of experience and no conflict of interest. FURTHER INFORMATION

CERTIFICATION The HSE FAW and the EFAW course is certificated for three years and the First Aid Annual Refresher is certificated for one year. The PFA and the EPFA is certificated for three years. All of the above courses, with the exception of the First Aid Annual Refresher, must be refreshed before the end of the three year period otherwise the certificate is not valid in the workplace. HSE guidance for Employers (October 2013) As part of the recommendations of the Löfstedt review, HSE produced guidance for employers which made clear that an employer must provide adequate and appropriate first aid equipment, facilities and personnel to sure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. The guidance advises on the levels of due diligence that an employer may be required to follow. When selecting a training provider an employer should check: the qualifications expected of trainers/assessors; monitoring and quality assurance systems; teaching and standards of first aid practice; syllabus content; and first aid certificates. All of these checks are conducted by the First Aid Industry Body. However, the guidance does not promote, recommend or support any particular route to delivery. It does not comment on the quality of individual training courses or the service provided, nor does it provide



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Lesley Balkham, HM Inspector of Health and Safety in Construction Policy and Management Unit, part of the Health and Safety Executive, explains how the organisation is working with industry to tackle risk in the construction sector. Plus; a look ahead to April’s Health & Safety Event Construction work ranges from large, high-profile projects undertaken by major principal contractors like Crossrail or Thames Tideway, to small refurbishment projects in shops and homes or domestic roof repairs by self-employed builders. More than two million people work in the construction industry – approximately seven per cent of Britain’s workforce. The industry has a total turnover of over £296 billion and is dominated by smaller firms, with more than 84 per cent having no employees. Although there have been significant reductions in the number and rate of fatal incidents and work-related ill-health and injury over the past decade, construction remains a hazardous and high-risk

industry, accounting for almost 30 per cent of all fatal injuries to workers. In the five years up until March 2017, nearly 200 construction workers died and many thousands more received life-changing injuries. Each year around 80,000 construction workers suffer from an illness they believe was caused or made worse by their work, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), skin or respiratory conditions and depression, stress or anxiety. Most fatal incidents involve small businesses, and nearly half of all reported injuries

occur during refurbishment activities, where there can be a lack of awareness of even basic health and safety standards. The work is also peripatetic in nature, employment is often short term and there are high levels of self-employment, sometimes as part of the informal economy. At this end of the industry, some practices, attitudes and equipment are as bad as those that would have been seen 20 or more years ago. Given the higher risk environment and often hazardous nature of the work carried out, what is being done to lower the rate of fatalities, injuries and work-related ill-health in the construction industry? #

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Written by Lesley Balkham, HM Inspector of Health and Safety in Construction Policy and Management Unit, Health and Safety Executive

Acting together: tackling risk in the construction sector

Health & Safety




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TAWI are the creators of the original vacuum lifting unit (VacuEasylift), with over 30 years experience of manufacture, installations and servicing of successful systems all over the globe. We enjoy strong working relationships with many partners such as, GlaxoSmithKline, Toyota, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Pepsico (Walkers) to name just a handful in the UK alone. TAWI provide not only the leading product for vacuum lifting (VacuEasylift), but also our brand of Lyftman jib cranes which use aluminium and/or steel profiles for quick and smooth operation (as opposed to heavier and less manageable steel only systems), our award winning Protema range of mobile lifters for weights up to 200KG, and more on special projects, including IP65 rated equipment, and much more; this makes TAWI the complete provider for materials handling.

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RISK MANAGEMENT ! THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK For the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as the regulator, construction continues to be a priority sector. In April 2015, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) came into force. The regulations cover the full process of managing health, safety and welfare during the delivery of a construction project from concept, through design and build to handover and future use of a structure. The regulations emphasise the importance and influence that each dutyholder – client, designer and contractor – has on the way that construction risks are identified, reduced, controlled and managed, throughout the project, regardless of the scale or scope of the work. Clients are expected to influence the way a project is procured and delivered. The function of planning, managing, and co-ordinating the design stage of the project is brought directly into the project team and under the control of a designer. The construction phase of the project is planned, managed, monitored and controlled by contractors. SUSTAINING A DOWNWARD TREND HSE is tackling the rate of injury and fatalities in the construction sector through the carrying out of intelligence-led inspections of construction sites where information indicates serious health and safety risks are not being controlled. A proportionate approach is taken toward compliance and the embedding of the principles of CDM, directing inspection and enforcement activity at those failing to manage and control risk, particularly health risks and refurbishment activity. Clients and designers are then held to account where they have not done all they can to ensure that the construction project is being carried out without risk to health or safety. EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY THEIR PART However, it isn’t just the regulator which is tackling the risks in construction; HSE is ensuring that the industry itself has a voice too. HSE’s Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) is made up of key industry stakeholders and advises on industry issues relating to health and safety, acting as the public face and voice of the construction industry, ensuring that the industry is actively involved in identifying the risks and their solutions. CONIAC is organised around five working groups which represent the themes of HSE’s Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy; Ttackling ill-health; managing risk well; supporting small employers; keeping pace with change; and sharing our success. The chairs of each group form a steering group which is focused on helping the industry, particularly small businesses, achieve improved risk management and control. In December 2017, HSE extended this industry involvement even further with the

Responsible for health and safety at work? Supported by the BSIF, The Health & Safety Event is the perfect education and networking opportunity for anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace. Government Business previews April’s show. The Health and Safety Event, co-located with The Facilities Event and The Fire Safety Event, has been developed to suit anyone responsible for health and safety at work. As well as the BSIF Safety Awards, held by the British Safety Industry Federation, the event will also run a seminar programme across a number of theatres: the Safety Dialogue Theatre; the Safer Logistics Theatre; the Lone Work Theatre, new for 2018; and the NEBOSH Education Pavillion. The Safety Dialogue Theatre offers delegates a unique opportunity to ‘join the debate’ and contribute directly to discussing the topic of the day. It is an ideal opportunity for peers to share experiences and network with a panel of recognised authorities on each topic. Safety Dialogue is a collaboration between the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), Nebosh, AIF, NASC, ISRP, BSIF, The Energy Institute, title sponsor 3M and additional sponsor IOSH. The Safer Logistics seminar and feature area is building on last year’s exciting debut with a better than ever line-up of partners to provide first class presentations tackling key safety hot spots in the world of warehousing and logistics. Safer Logistics brings

launch of the wider stakeholder network, the Construction Industry Advisory Network (CONIAN) which was set up to promote engagement with workers through their representative organisations, and to provide organisations with direction on managing construction risks well. HSE recognises that it is only through acting

Health & Safety


together expert guidance and advice from leading industry bodies including the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and RTITB (formerly the Road Transport Industry Training Board). This year, the Lone Worker Feature Theatre is being hosted by the Lone Worker Safety Expo team. Speakers representing many industries will explore the challenges faced by lone workers and share best practice on assessing and managing the specific risks faced by lone workers. There will be interactive sessions that will provide delegates with practical tips and ideas to take away along with opportunities to ask questions to experts in their field. Supported by NEBOSH, the Education Pavillion feature will provide direct access to advice and guidance as well as market leading vendors for those seeking to improve standards of training and education in their work place. Whether you are seeking to enhance your career, make a move in to health and safety or simply need to improve knowledge and understanding among your workforce, this feature is for you. FURTHER INFORMATION

together, regulators, workers and industry, that Great Britain can further improve the health and safety record in the construction industry and move toward a safer, better skilled, more productive and smarter future. " FURTHER INFORMATION




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ecobuild, the must-go-to event for forward-thinking professionals in the built environment, has announced the themes and inspiring speaker list for its 2018 conference programme. Government Business takes a look at what the 2018 iteration of the show has to offer ecobuild is returning to the ExCeL London in March 2018 and, under the new ownership of Futurebuild Events Ltd, things are set to be very different. The event is being designed and built around the industry, giving public sector professionals the chance to experience the latest technology, discuss and debate changes to legislation and explore responses to the big issues facing the industry. The event is not only being shaped through comprehensive industry feedback, but also with direct input from leading industry influencers. These include Jane Duncan, Lynne Sullivan, Nathan Baker, Julie Hirigoyen, Darren Richards and Peter Murray – who are all members of the ecobuild Steering Group, which is helping to set the agenda for the event. Martin Hurn, managing director of Futurebuild Events, explains:

“New, independent ownership offers a unique opportunity to completely overhaul the event. We believe that to be as relevant and valuable as possible, we need to understand and act on what built environment professionals want to see at ecobuild. Our role is to facilitate the agenda, rather than dictate it.” THE CONFERENCE PROGRAMME ecobuild 2018 will have a key focus on sustainability, giving public sector professionals the opportunity to highlight, debate and present issues that matter now and will still matter in the future. Central to this is the comprehensive conference programme, which will provide an interative platform for examining the big issues facing the built environment and create an action plan for change, focused on real solutions. The programme kicks

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off with a session looking at some of the most pressing global issues – delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda. This session will be chaired by the former Labour head of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley. The keynote speaker is Paula Caballero, Global Director of the Climate Programme at the World Resources Institute. Paula is one of the driving forces behind the development of the SDGs. Day one of the event will see an NLA session on London’s air pollution – ideas for a healthier and greener city, chaired by Catherine Staniland, director at New London Architecture. Panellists include Glenn Higgs, associate director at WSP, and Dr Julie Foster, architect and consultant on applied urban climatology. On day two of the conference, a panel discussion on the response to the #




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EVENT PREVIEW ! Grenfell Tower tragedy will be chaired by Jane Duncan, head of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety. The session will explore how the industry can ensure it learns and implements the lessons and bring about systematic change, with panellist including Richard Cook, Head of Residential at Lendlease, and Paula Higgins, founder and CEO of the Home Owners Alliance. The third day of the conference programme will see Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Bioregional, lead a session looking at making the commitment – a call for action by political leaders, business and construction. As part of the session, a panel of experts including Baroness Young of Old Scone, Dr Kayla Friedman and Rachel Whale, will develop an action plan to lead the industry into a more sustainable future. ECOBUILD SUSTAINABILITY SHOWCASES Surrounding the conference arena will be the ecobuild sustainability showcases, home to a collection of truly innovative solutions to the issues facing the built environment. The showcases will ensure sustainability is at the heart of the event and allow architects to touch, feel and experience the innovative installations. They will feature five full-scale builds. These include the Zero Bills Home Lite from ZEDfactory, which has been designed to minimise fossil fuels and annual energy bills. The home offers a complete response to the housing crisis, with build times reduced to four weeks. The Edible Bus Stop returns with The Hive, a pocket park highlighting biodiversity, biophilia, health and well-being. Another highlight is the WasteZone, curated by architect, academic and activist Duncan BakerBrown, which will allow visitors to discover waste’s potential as a valuable resource. The sustainability showcases also include a full-scale demountable Passive Pod House from the Building Research in Architecture group and the Sustainable Product Showcase, where The Passivhaus Trust and the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products will present top innovations. THE FUTUREBUILD DISTRICTS This year sees the introduction of a series of futurebuild districts. Each focusing on a distinct, critical segment of the built envinronment, the districts have been designed to act as immersive and stimulating areas where people, brands and companies will be able to network and develop profitable relationships. The districts will showcase cutting-edge industry innovations and help tackle the big issues facing the built environment, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to touch, feel and truly experience the technologies. The dedicated District Energy district will see the largest gathering of international experts in the design and implementation

Ecobuild 2018


The sustainability showcases bring the latest thinking from across the industry to attendees in a way that they can physically interactive and engage with, and will complement the core objective of developing an action plan for change of local energy networks. As district energy develops in the UK, the seminar programme will highlight the promise and practicalities of delivery. Here, professionals can learn more about the sector’s progress in the UK District Energy Association-hosted seminar programme. Among the sessions is a discussion on ‘How to deliver a scheme and what are the possible solutions’ – hosted by Simon Woodward, Chairman of the ukDEA and Emma Floyd, Project Director at BEIS. There will also be a networking lounge and the launch of a local authority knowledge workshop, hosted by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which will outline key projects and funding opportunities to help with district energy projects. Within the Building Performance district, visitors will be encouraged to look far beyond the construction and design of buildings, instead considering the well-being agenda across new build, refurb and retrofit projects too. Leading brands responsible for providing the envelope of a building will showcase the latest construction materials, products and technologies. The district will also be home to the RIBA bookshop and lounge – a vibrant space next to the seminar area, which will be designed by Freehaus, a young architecture practice which won a competition in conjunction with Rockpanel and ROCKWOOL. ENERGY PERFORMANCE The Energy and HVAC district – supported by the Carbon Trust, CIBSE, GSHP Association, RECC and the Renewable Energy Association – is where public sector professionals can explore how the requirement for energy performance and efficiency is at the heart of all modern construction. Here, leading companies from within the sector will showcase new technologies, the latest innovations and best practice across renewables, smart buildings and HVAC. The government’s Clean Growth Strategy is among the key policy moves shaping the agenda for the energy and HVAC seminar programme. The district is also home to the CPD accredited energy and HVAC seminar theatre, which will explore policy and deliver mechanisms for driving carbon reduction. It will also look at the key priorities between energy generation, demand manangement, decarbonisation of heat, the delivery of new smart, energy storage and more.

Public sector professionals will also have the chance to discuss solutions in water management, external landscaping, biophilic design and more in the Green and Blue Infrastructure district. They will also be able to gain insight into the growth of green and blue infrastructure as a building service to maximise occupier well-being. In association with the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Infrastructure district will demonstrate how the built environment can come together and plan for the future. This district has a dedicated seminar theatre, along with a curated product gallery and expert advice clinic. OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS New for 2018 is the Timber district, in association with the Structural Timber Association and supported by Wood for Good and TRADA. This will be a showcase for the latest technological innovations and systems, alongside the Timber Talks seminar programme. Another new addition is the Concrete district, delivered in association with The MPA Concrete Centre, British Precast and This Is Concrete. Here, information and inspiration will be shared around the potential of concrete as a sustainable material. Following its success last year, the Offsite district will return for a second year in partnership with Explore Offsite. The exhibition will feature ground-breaking offsite construction solutions and masterclasses, while the area will also play host to the Offsite Buyers and Specifiers Forum. The forum will facilitate tailored and private oneto-one meetings in the Forum Lounge, with confirmed buyers including the Chief Buyer for Permission Homes, Project Co-ordinator at Barratt PLC and Strategic Procurement Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine. KEY PARTNERSHIPS ecobuild is working with a number of strategic partners who are contributing to the overall strategy and shape of the event, to ensure it is wholly reflective of the industry’s needs. Notable partners include the Considerate Constructors Scheme, the RIBA, CIAT, NLA, Bioregional, CIBSE, The Edible Bus Stop and the Edge. The event will also host the BREEAM Awards and the Offsite Construction Awards. " FURTHER INFORMATION



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Flood & Coast 2018: an event not to miss

Flood & Coast has become the authoritative annual exhibition and conference for anyone involved in flood and coastal erosion risk management in the UK. GB looks ahead to Flood & Coast 2018, to be held on 20-22 March at the Telford International Centre Final preparations are in hand for a major annual gathering of UK flood and coastal erosion risk management professionals in March. Flood & Coast 2018 offers an invaluable opportunity for local authority and government professionals to advance and enhance their knowledge of the latest developments in flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCRM). The event, convened by the Environment Agency at the Telford International Centre from 20-22 March, also provides a unique opportunity to network and share ideas with influencers and decision-makers from the FCRM community across the UK, EU and the wider world. Delegates and visitors will include representatives from the Environment Agency, local authorities and related agencies, water companies, research academics, businesses and manufacturers. Representatives from local communities directly affected by flooding are also expected to attend. An expected 80-plus exhibitors will bring together specialists from across the supply chain delivering FCRM technology and solutions. Clare Dinnis, deputy director Strategy Delivery with the Environment Agency, and chair of the Flood & Coast 2018 Advisory Committee says that Flood & Coast is ‘the authoritative event’ for flood and coastal erosion risk management in the UK. She commented: “Flood and Coast offers a single opportunity for individuals and organisations to come together from across so many different geographical and technical areas. It’s where they can share

ideas, learn about and discuss developments and innovations in flood and coastal erosion risk management. It’s a fantastic forum for developing partnership working, building and strengthening networks across the community of professionals.” The conference will be accompanied by a trade show and exhibition that will showcase practical tools, technologies and innovations, and present unrivalled networking opportunities. Flood & Coast 2018 will be the third event of its kind, growing year-on-year to become an essential calendar date for the FCRM community. INDUSTRY INPUT Flood & Coast 2018 features an extensive and exciting programme of conference sessions, workshop and seminar live sessions. The themes underlying this year’s event have been planned not only to follow on from the Flood & Coast events of 2016 and 2017, but also as a direct result of feedback from the FCRM community of professionals. The conference programme is based around three broad themes: shared ownership and action – looking at the development and growth of partnership working, responding to shared challenges such as financial pressures, shifting priorities and climate change; building resilience – looking at approaches to manage risk to local communities and infrastructure, through planning and place shaping and through property level protection; and future challenges and innovation – not just in areas like climate and technology, but wider challenges such as the potential

impacts of Brexit. A fourth area cutting across all of these will be the Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy. The public body feels that now is the right time to start a conversation within the community of professionals on what direction the next strategy should take, what challenges it faces and what it will need to achieve.

Flood & Coast 2018


AN IDEAL FORUM FOR CONVERSATION Day onw sessions, on 20 March, will consider partnerships, resilient infrastructure, evidence and innovation and working with communities. Afternoon topics will include natural flood management, international learning and working with suppliers. Day two sessions, on 21 March, will explore modern asset management, spatial planning and FCRM, working with communities, and how partnerships can realise multiple benefits. Afternoon sessions will include asset management partner perspectives, planning, FCRM and growth, property flood resilience, and a networking session: women in FCRM. Day three sessions, on 22 March, will consider FRCM future skills, as well as partnership working in incidents, working with communities and managing climate change. Final afternoon topics include international collaboration, understanding future flood and coastal risk, and supporting communities at risk. The themes and topics for the three-day event have been chosen by the 16-member Flood & Coast 2018 Advisory Committee, which comprises industry leaders and representatives drawn from across the industry. A FORUM FOR SHARING IDEAS Flood & Coast’s exhibition plays a central role in showcasing professional and technical excellence while providing unmissable opportunities for networking. Some 80 exhibitors are expected at the event and comprise a who’s who of flood and coastal erosion risk management professionals. Attended by representatives from national and multinational companies, local authorities, government departments, water companies, RFCCs, regulators and other national agencies, as well as community Flood Action Groups, the exhibition adds a vital dimension to the event. Dinnis says: “The exhibition space last year really had a fantastic buzz and I look forward to the same atmosphere in 2018. After being inspired by what they’ve heard and learned at conference sessions, delegates can see in the exhibition some of the practical tools, technologies and innovations on offer. It’s also a great place to network and further that learning whether you attend the conference sessions or not.” Last year’s event illustrated this throughout, with many of the themes from the conference being enthusiastically explored afterwards in the exhibition, which featured an impressive range of skills, technology and innovation. #








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EVENT PREVIEW ! If the conference is the ideal forum for building on professional and technical excellence, the exhibition is a brilliant opportunity to share ideas. As Dinnis also comments: “It’s a safe space where people can bring along new ideas and innovations and test them with people across all sectors of the professional community.” AND THE WINNER IS… One eagerly anticipated element of Flood & Coast 2018 will be the Environment Agency’s Project Excellence Awards dinner, sponsored by AECOM. Winners of the prestigious awards will be announced at the dinner and networking event on Wednesday 21 March. The awards celebrate best practice in projects completed during 2017 that contribute to improving flood and coastal risk management and building local flood resilience, and that demonstrate a direct outcome with public benefits realised. The 2018 awards aim to identify and recognise best practice in: programme and project delivery; working in partnership; asset management; leading innovation; making the most of every pound; sustainability; and community leadership. One of two new categories for 2018 – Inspirational graduate of the last decade – has sought to identify individuals who have played a key role in any work that has

contributed to any of the wider categories in the award scheme. A second new category will identify and recognise projects that demonstrate international excellence. The Project Excellence Awards are one of many invaluable networking opportunities offered throughout the three days of Flood & Coast 2018. These range from the formal networking reception on the opening day to informal networking in the exhibition area throughout the event. A LOOK BACK TO FLOOD & COAST 2017 Working in partnership, integration and communicating effectively emerged as key themes and collective learning from last year’s Flood & Coast. Over three days, more than 300 conference delegates attended plenary sessions, workshops and panel sessions. They listened to, learned from and took part in debates about themes covering shared ownership and action, building resilience and future challenges and innovation. Speakers were drawn from the highest levels of government, local authorities, water companies, the insurance industry, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the National Farmers’ Union as well as Environment Agency chair, Emma Howard Boyd, and other senior figures from the agency. Early in the conference, strong themes emerged around the importance of flood

risk information being communicated in a way that is not only understood and trusted by recipients, but that also inspires people to take action. Speakers also explored the value of continuing strong relationships among professional bodies and partners, rather than collaborative working only when problems arise. The conference heard calls for more wide-reaching collaboration that linked national and local planning with not just flood risk, but also housing, infrastructure and economic growth. Speakers discussed resilience in greater detail, with calls for proactive working to make flood resilience the norm, reducing the devastating effects of flooding on communities. Presentations and debates from plenary sessions were backed up by conference sessions that included practical examples of flood management and lessons learned in recovery from flooding. Global sessions provided fascinating insights from international partners, with presentations on the benefits of sustainable urban drainage systems, lessons from Chinese Sponge Cities, and contrasting – and complementary – approaches to flood risk management in the UK, the US and Europe. " FURTHER INFORMATION

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Stepping up security efforts for the Chinese New Year Security officials and government authorities must learn from the attacks in 2017 to make 2018 a more secure year. Gavin Hepburn, director at ATG Access, describes the importance of ensuring the public is kept safe during the UK’s Chinese New Year celebrations The run-up to the Chinese New Year is officially underway. In China, millions will gather for two week-long celebrations that will commence on 16 February to welcome the Year of the Dog. But it’s not just China that will be holding celebrations; here in the UK, many large events are also due to take place. London is expecting around 700,000 people to emerge onto its streets to attend themed parades and events. In

fact, London hosts the biggest Chinese New Year event outside of Asia, in terms of the number of people that attend. What’s more, in the Midlands and further north, major cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle are also preparing to host themed parades, light shows and firework displays. But, with such large volumes of people expected to attend the festive celebrations, it is important that security is stepped up to protect the public from a possible terror attack, especially given the surge of recent

Londonng ti is expec00,000 7 around o emerge t people ts streets onto i d themed to attendes and para ts even

attacks that have occurred across Europe. So, how do we keep the public safe this Chinese New Year? First, let’s take a look back at what security measures were implemented at the recent Christmas events across the UK. AN INCREASED POLICE PRESENCE Many people attending events throughout December – another busy time for outdoor celebrations – will have likely noticed the increased presence of armed and unarmed police officers across the UK. Deploying more police on the streets was in direct response to the recent terror attacks across Europe, such as in London and Barcelona, which lead to the UK being placed under a ‘severe’ threat level. In Birmingham, undercover police officers were deployed at the Christmas markets #



There has been a continuous demand for better, more advanced security products within the public sector and, after a turbulent few years regarding the economy and multiple national security threats, the demand for physical security within, and around buildings to ensure safety for both property and employees, is even greater. But with changes to the mind-set of our modern society and a strong reli ance on technology simplifying every day processes, there comes a growing expectation that these advancements are implemented, if possible, to all areas that can streamline an activity in some way. Preventing Tailgating and Unauthorised Access Now that building security regarding access control is a pivotal part of the initial design process, there needs to be a combination of consideration for high security technology that doesn’t sacrifice throughput, safety or intuitive usability. But by investing in the development of their security product range, the entry experts at Boon Edam have been able to successfully tailor their high security solutions to meet the needs of both architect and security/site manager. With major cities being essentially a giant showroom for the Dutch born company . The misconception of functional not being beautiful, that once shadowed the public sector regarding security design, has finally been transformed as Boon Edam’s range of high security doors and portals continue to proudly dominate the UK market. The Circlelock which offers the highest level of security access, is a portal consisting of a round drum and two sliding doors. Typically found withi n data centres, the Circlelock works as a single-entry solution where the user enters the portal, and doors close around them, activating security system technology to determine authorisation. This process allows for successive bi-directional traffic. And although throughput is low, the Circlelock offers complete security and peace of mind for buildings that require the highest level of protection . T: +44 (0)1233 505 900 | E: | W:

With a choice of three or four door wings and offering the optimum balance between high security and throughput is Boon Edams range of Tourlock. These security revolving doors offer simultaneous bi-directional traffic, which enables users to enter and exit at the same time. Rotation may only be activated through a card reading authorisation system, where during the 180° rotation, an inbuilt securi ty system will check for security breaches such as tailgating and piggybacking. Both high security products come in a range of aesthetic finishes from powder coating to anodised aluminium, and extra reinforcement solutions such as high resistance glass make them a popular choice for specification 140 Years of Experience meets Future Proof Technology A growth in the need for absolute secure build ing access within the public sector, has been extended throughout Boon Edam’s high security range of doors and portals. The large investment that has been allocated for research and development within the entry specialist company has been shown through state-of-the art technology, that can be installed in all of their high security products. StereoVision for example uses time-of-flight technology, where both the Circlelock and Tourlock allow for a camera to be integrated within the ceiling of the door creating a 3-dimensional impression of the person using both products helping to detect tailgating and piggybacking. With over 140 years of experience in creating quality engineered access control products, and by investing in the continuous development of their security range, Boon Edam Lim ited have been able to successfully innovate their high security door solutions. Through re‑configuring and re‑designing the standard door or portal, allowed the company to modernise the basic functionality of an access solution by incorporating multiple configuration tools allowing for a truly bespoke yet future proof product.

PUBLIC SAFETY ! to mingle in with crowds and attendees, and to spot any suspicious behaviour and activity. During the Manchester Christmas markets, meanwhile, armed police officers in plain clothes were deployed for the first time. These were accompanied by traditional armed officers in uniform. 2017 New Year’s celebrations also sparked the introduction of heightened security measures due to growing concerns that an attack could be imminent. More police were present at public events and hotspots, such as at London’s Trafalgar Square. It was also revealed that the Special Air Service (SAS), the UK’s most elite special forces unit, was deployed to protect and monitor crowds in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, as the country welcomed in the New Year. The elite fighting unit was armed with the world’s most powerful sniper rifle in addition to armour-piercing rounds that can bring a moving vehicle to a halt from over a mile away. It is safe to assume that similar tactics will be deployed at the up-and-coming Chinese New Year celebrations, with armed police officers patrolling public areas to safeguard the large crowds that are expected to gather. BOLLARDS AND BARRIERS TO SECURE THE PERIMETER Heavy-duty concrete bollards and barriers have also been a familiar sight over the

recent festive period, with city councils having installed them to bolster security against a potential hostile vehicle attack. In Manchester and Birmingham, for example, heavy-duty barriers were used to create a ring of concrete around the perimeter of the Christmas markets to prevent any vehicles from mounting the pavements. Conversely, Bath City Council decided to install large concrete blocks around key landmarks, such as Bath Abbey, to deter vehicles from entering public walkways. The council also utilised the large concrete blocks as barriers around the Christmas markets in a further move to keep attendees safe from a vehicle attack. While concrete barriers do provide an increased level of protection against vehicle attacks, they can also create additional dangers because of their size. Where there are thousands of people gathered for an event, the large and intrusive concrete blocks could act as a hindrance more than a help, as their size could obstruct any narrow public pathways. Blockages would also likely occur, which



could lead to members of the public injuring themselves by people pushing and trampling on one another if an incident was to happen. FIT FOR PURPOSE AT OUTDOOR EVENTS Security bollards and barriers have advanced a great deal over the past few years. The security sector has had to adapt and innovate new products to ensure it is capable of dealing with the evolving terror threat, mainly hostile vehicle attacks at outdoor events. Of course, not every public event requires a permanent bollard or barrier solution to be installed. Events that just happen for a short space of time, perhaps once or twice a year, would only need a temporary solution to safeguard the area while the event was underway. Rather than causing huge disruptions, temporary security measures allow for public areas and roads to be closed for a finite period of time before they can be re-opened for their intended use. This is where temporary Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers present the ideal #

With such large volumes of people expected to attend the festive celebrations, it is important that security is stepped up to protect the public from a possible terror attack





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PUBLIC SAFETY ! solution. These temporary barriers are capable of withstanding a direct impact from a vehicle attack – some can even stop a 7,200kg lorry travelling at 32kph in its tracks, and within less than five meters of penetration. And because the barriers have been designed to come in modular, lightweight components, they can be easily transported and installed, making them perfect for use at a temporary events. Securing a road takes just under 30 minutes without the need for heavy machinery, large-scale disruption and extensive road closures. Locations can therefore be secured quickly and just before the event takes place, meaning as little disruption as possible is caused for everyday users of roads and streets. Some temporary barriers have now also been designed to be completely pedestrian permeable, meaning that cyclists, people with prams and those walking on foot can easily pass through. This will prevent large queues from forming in small areas, which will also stop people from injuring themselves or others by pushing to get past. We are in times of great uncertainty, as an attack can never be ruled out. This is leaving governments and security officials with the difficult challenge of keeping people safe by predicting and preventing future attacks from happening. It is important that people feel safe whilst attending public events, so



It is important that people feel safe whilst attending public events, so security measures must be capable of dealing with threats, whilst ensuring they don’t cause distress or disruption to the general public security measures must be capable of dealing with threats, whilst ensuring they don’t cause distress or disruption to the general public. Security officials and government authorities must learn from the attacks in 2017 to make

2018 a more secure year. If not, then we may sadly witness yet more devastating attacks. " FURTHER INFORMATION

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE | Volume 25.1 01223 290029


The Sport and Recreation Alliance examines the current state of sport and physical activity in England and outlines how the sector is responding to a rapidly changing landscape Sport and recreation has the power to change lives and bring communities together. Local clubs and organisations across the country encourage people, regardless of age, ability or background, to engage in physical activity by being a participant, volunteer, coach or spectator. This isn’t something new. Many people will know through their own experience that sport and recreation has had a positive impact on their lives and the lives of people they know. In recent history, public investment into sport and recreation has focused on achieving two key outcomes – winning medals at global sports event and increasing the number of people engaged in individual sports and activities. But since 2015 there has been a significant shift in focus. Medal success and participation are still invested

in, and important, but as set out in the government’s sports strategy, Sporting Future, they aren’t the only things that matter. Future public investment will be linked to five key outcomes which are physical well-being, mental well-being, individual development, social and community development and economic development. Therefore, the wider benefit and impact of sport and recreation is reflected and recognised through the allocation of public money. One consequence of this approach is focusing investment not on specific types of organisation but rather on the outcomes organisations can deliver, an approach described as organisational

neutrality. A potential consequence of this is that a more diverse range of organisations will be funded, provided they can demonstrate the impact they make. But as with other areas of public funding, there isn’t more money to invest. On a positive note, the sector did benefit from less significant cuts in then 2015 Spending Review – but the new strategy still sets out an ambition for sport and recreation to address a greater range of public policy issues, so at best it is being asked to do more with the same money, and as soon as inflation is taken into account, that means doing more with less. Consequently many sport and #

Written by the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Putting physical activity at the heart of local communities

Sport & Recreation


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PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ! recreation organisations are looking to diversify their income streams and are learning to work better with all strands of government and other sectors to make sure that the power of sport and recreation reaches as many people as possible. WHY IS ENCOURAGING AND ENABLING PEOPLE TO BE ACTIVE IMPORTANT? Being active has huge benefits to individuals and local communities. Research tells us that people who volunteer in sport have 10 per cent higher self-esteem, emotional well-being and resilience. Sport and recreation also helps to break down social barriers and promotes community cohesion which in turn influences social and economic community development. Interest in childhood obesity has intensified and the government responded in August 2016 with the release of a new strategy. But an underlying problem is how society is leaning towards leading a sedentary lifestyle. Approximately 11.5 million people in England alone do less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity sport and physical activity per week. The negative impacts of being physically inactive are huge. There are increased chances of anxiety, depression and the physical health effects can include diabetes, heart disease and it shortens life expectancy. Additionally, there are significant disparities between socio-economic groups when it comes to engagement with physical activity. Active Lives, Sport England’s measurement of sport and physical activity across England, revealed that people who are long term unemployed or have never worked are the most likely to be inactive. THE LANDSCAPE OF PUBLIC FUNDING Although focus is often put on the investment made nationally through UK Sport and the Home Country Sports Councils, the majority of investment in sport and recreation happens at a local level. Local authorities are responsible for improving the health and well-being of their communities and they

Public investment into sport and recreation has focused on achieving two key outcomes – winning medals at global sports event and increasing the number of people engaged in individual sports and activities play an instrumental role in the provision of physical activity for local people. Working together with local authorities presents both opportunity and concerns for the sport and recreation sector. Councils with a good understanding of the problems directly impacting their local communities can tailor their approach to improve the health and well-being of local people. But again, funding presents major concerns for local authorities and the Local Government Association predicts that by 2020 there will be a £5.8 billion funding gap by 2020. And there are huge pressures on the investment choices that need to be made. In 2014, it was reported that four per cent of public health grants focused on inactivity whereas other areas, such as sexual health and alcohol misuse, received 36 per cent and 30 per cent of the total spend respectively. A FOCUS ON INACTIVITY One of the most significant changes we have seen in England is a specific focus on tackling inactivity. In May 2016, Sport England committed to put 25 per cent of their resources into this area and have started to engage and fund a much more diverse range of organisations who have to be able to demonstrate their ability to engage with and influence the participation levels of this group. Sporting Future set the tone for making sure that sport and recreation organisations worked towards becoming a more productive, sustainable and responsible sector. Many have embraced the challenge and been creative in the way that they are

Sport & Recreation


approaching new opportunities for funding. Last year, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) raised £100,000 through crowdfunding to support their Mend Our Mountains campaign to fund repairs to damaged paths on some of Britain’s most popular peaks. The BMC has reignited the campaign again this year hoping to raise £1 million pounds for some of Britain’s best-loved landscapes. It isn’t just crowdfunding that organisations are looking at to raise funds and awareness. Technology is also changing the way people want to watch sport and in a first ever for Table Tennis England, they crafted a broadcast rights agreement with TheLADbible group to deliver live video of the European Championships. The partnership saw 2.1 million views of the Facebook Live video, opening a whole new digital audience for the sport. GOOD, LOCAL SPORT FACILITIES Making sure that there are good local facilities for people to get active is incredibly important. Some of the biggest rises in the number of people getting active have been integrated alongside other services like schools and GP practices. Sport England has a strategic facilities fund that is designed to support the sector and deliver outcomes that are essential to local communities. Realistically, the resource coming directly from central government and local authorities will continue to decline so the focus on income diversification is going to continue. Positively, there are some great examples of how organisations are already thinking and putting into practice creative ideas that generate revenue and reach new audiences. Funders are also supporting and leading this change by shaping their strategies to consider what the needs will be of communities in the future. Funding initiatives like the strategic facilities fund aim to put in place infrastructure that puts physical activity at the heart of communities for generations to come. The scale and pace of change in the world means that we all have to be ready for the challenges of the future and this means understanding what will be effective in helping more people to lead any active and healthy lifestyle. Collaboration between funders and sport and recreation is going to be a key part of making sure that people, from all backgrounds and regardless of ability, embed physical activity into their everyday lives. " FURTHER INFORMATION




Investing in cycling infrastructure and enabling more people to get around by bike is one of the best ways to revitalise towns and city centres, writes Rachel White, senior policy and political advisor at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity Local authorities currently face myriad of complex issues, including a physical inactivity epidemic, an air quality crisis and clogging congestion. However, there is one thing they can invest in that will tackle all these issues head on: networks of direct, segregated cycle routes connected with quiet back street routes that get people from home to work, school and other amenities. This doesn’t just tackle these social and health issues but it creates more liveable, vibrant towns and cities where businesses want to invest and people want to live. THE CASE FOR INVESTING IN CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE One in four adults in England get less than 30 minutes exercise a week. Busy, sedentary lifestyles mean many people have little time to fit exercise into their daily routine. This

puts our health service under pressure and is some studies predicting a child born today estimated to cost the UK economy £20 billion in the west will have a life expectancy five a year. The National Cycle Network – a years less than their parents due to physical network of quiet and off road inactivity. With families having less time routes across the UK that to fit sport into their days, local Up to 2 Sustrans is the guardian authorities need to help make 0 bikes ca of – has been found cycling and walking short into the n fit to save the NHS journeys the natural choice £1 million a day and instead of getting into a car. a single space of c the implications This is particularly a r m modal s could be far important in relation to hift to caking greater if towns the school run. Only two ycling a great w and cities helped per cent of primary school a y t t ackle co o people incorporate children currently cycle to ngestio cycling into their school in the UK, according n in town an daily routines. to the government’s National cities d Children who require Travel Survey, compared more exercise to stay to nearly 50 per cent in the healthy are particularly Netherlands. Our recent School Travel affected by physical inactivity with Survey, in partnership with the Scottish #

Written by Rachel White, senior policy and political advisor, Sustrans

Strategic use of cycling can revitalise UK towns and cities







Docked bike hire scheme for Cardiff From May 2018, Cardiff will see the introduction of 250 bikes across 25 docking stations in the city. The scheme, to be run by nextbike, will then double in 2019 where 500 bikes will be available across 50 stations in the city. The company provides over 120 international schemes, including in Bath, where the scheme was launched in 2014. The bikes are also operated in Milton Keynes, Exeter, Belfast, Edinburgh and the University of Warwick. Caro Wild, cabinet member for Sustainable Planning and Transport, said: “We are delighted to welcome nextbike into Cardiff. A bike hire scheme is a vital part of a true cycling city and I am delighted nextbike have recognised the great potential for cycling in Cardiff. We’ve seen in London how their bike scheme really increased the accessibility and visibility of bikes and we think nextbike will do the same for Cardiff. Cardiff is a compact and relatively flat city so cycling is a good option for shorter journeys. This scheme is only part of the Cabinet’s plans to improve the cycling infrastructure to encourage people that live in or close to the city to leave their cars at home and consider alternative options.” Recently, Swansea Council and Swansea University announced that they would be introducing a bike share scheme after the university beat 22 others to raise £100,000 and win a Santander competition. FURTHER INFORMATION



Local authorities have an opportunity to transform their town centres and put people back at the centre of their town planning by promoting cycling as the best way to get around for everyday journeys ! Parent Teacher Council, highlights that fears over physical safety are the main barrier preventing parents and carers from allowing their children to travel actively to school. Fewer people driving and more people making their journeys by bike rather than by car also reduces air pollution. Sustrans found that if the targets to double journeys by bike and increase walking by 300 stages per person in England’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy were met, this would prevent more than 8,300 premature deaths from air pollution alone over ten years. Additionally, there would be £5.67 billion worth of savings to the public purse – through the avoided costs associated with poor air quality, including NHS treatment for respiratory diseases. On top of the health and air quality benefits, up to 20 bikes can fit into the space of a single car making modal shift to cycling a great way to tackle congestion in town and city centres. This further improves air quality and makes town centres more liveable and vibrant. Apart from the economic benefits from improved health through more active populations and better air quality; people on bikes and walking have been found to spend almost a third more in local shops than those that travel by car which is good news for local economies. CHANGE IS HAPPENING World cities are investing in cycling globally with startling effects. Oslo has the ambition to be car free by 2019 and for cycling to make up 25 per cent of modal share by 2025.The city’s population is expanding rapidly with 1.4 million people living in the metropolitan area and the negative effects on air quality

that this will cause if they all decide to drive. There is a plan in place to transform it into a cycling city with a budget of €140 million a year to invest in cycling. To see rapid change they have reduced car lane space at junctions; removed car parking to form bike lanes and are developing wide pedestrian streets, with cycling increasing by 65 per cent between January 2016 and January 2017. Closer to home, London is investing in its holistic ‘healthy streets’ approach which puts people first and looks at how to improve local environments by providing more space for walking and cycling and more public space for people to interact. Bold measures include taking space away from cars to provide more space for pedestrians and people on bikes with £17 per person per year being spent on cycling infrastructure. People on bikes now make up 70 per cent of traffic on Blackfriars Bridge since the segregated cycle superhighways were built. Manchester’s new Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman, has recently called for a £1.5 billion investment in cycling and walking infrastructure over the next decade. However, many local authorities are still not investing in cycling infrastructure and we need to look at why. OVERCOMING BARRIERS One of the greatest barriers is political will. The paradigm of the motorist and the car is still dominant but this creates unnecessary divisions and conflicts. They are not two separate groups of people, as most people who ride a bike also drive a car. Decisions about how to use road space and town centres should be about what is best for the health and vibrancy of the

local population not pitting one road user against another. There is still a fear that it is politically unpopular to take road space away from the ‘motorist’. However, Sustrans’ Bike Life reports found that 78 per cent of residents living in seven major cities across the UK want more protected bike routes to make cycling safer, even when this could mean less space for other road traffic. Now we need political leadership to take this forward. Central government has a role to play in leading investment in cycling and to give local authorities the confidence to do so. A lack of funding and wider resource has too long been a barrier to investing in cycling infrastructure with many authorities resources stretched to their limits. However, with the return on investment from implementing cycling infrastructure at typically over 5:1, combined with all the issues it tackles, it is well worth finding the resource. There are also opportunities for funding through the Clean Air Fund for those authorities mandated to produce Clean Air Plans and many authorities are working on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans. But, central government does need to provide more funding, redirected from the vast roads budget, to help local government roll out these plans in practice and this is something Sustrans is pushing for. Local authorities have an opportunity



Oxford sets out cycling statement of intent Oxford City Council is set to install new signs on all 11 roads leading into the city centre, proclaiming Oxford as a cycling city. The aim is to remind motorists to be more aware and respectful towards cyclists, and set a statement of intent for the city. The council’s recently-published draft Vision 2050 set out plans to create accessible cycling routes across the city to help tackle congestion and reduce air pollution. The new signs are reported as the first time a UK city has installed cycling city signs. The council invested £367,000 on improving cycling infrastructure within the city between 2012 and 2016, which resulted in new signage, cycle training and the removal of barriers on the cycling network. Councillor Louise Upton said: “As to transform their town centres and put people back at the centre of their town planning through reallocating road space; providing protected, segregated bike routes; and promoting cycling as the best way to get around for everyday journeys.

well as reminding drivers to be more aware of cyclists within Oxford city centre, these new signs will be a statement of intent from Oxford City Council. Our long-term aim is to replicate Leiden and significantly increase the number of people commuting to work by bike. This obviously won’t happen overnight, but this is one step towards that goal. Getting more people cycling is key to how we see the city developing. It is one of the best ways we can reduce congestion and pollution – and it will also help people stay fit and healthy.” FURTHER INFORMATION The rewards for taking these measures are vast – healthier, happier people and more economically vibrant places. " FURTHER INFORMATION

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The meetings sector, like so many others in the UK, has been dealing with uncertainty since the Brexit vote in June 2016, yet figures suggest the majority of venues have been relatively unaffected so far. As we start a new year, Jane Longhurst is predicting cautious optimism for 2018 and outlines how the Meetings Industry Association plans to help the industry remain strong and stable over the next 12 months Three weeks after UK voters went to the polls to decide whether we remained or left the EU, the Meetings Industry Association (mia) asked its members about its impact so far on business. Confidence, as you may expect, was low and uncertainty remained high. Many were not expecting the leave vote and had not prepared for the outcome, so it was perhaps unsurprising that they felt the impact immediately: 92 per cent of mia members noted that enquiries either stood still or declined in the weeks following the vote with just eight per cent seeing bookings rise. When asked how they planned to conduct business in the wake of the vote, the majority (68 per cent) said they would be implementing a range of diversification and cost-savings strategies to soften the impact. Half froze non-essential spend while 20 per cent halted project capital expenditure and recruitment to save costs. FACING CHALLENGES With confidence at a low and uncertainty high, as one of the fastest growing and influential membership organisations in the sector, we knew it was imperative we give our members and the industry as much support as possible to ensure it could continue to grow despite the challenges it faced. The mia immediately increased its range of events and business initiatives to ensure all members were best equipped to maximise business opportunities and minimise the potential impact of Brexit – including a high-profile roundtable event with James Heappey MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK events industry. We held our own conference, events and workshops designed to inspire and empower members, such as our ‘Don’t stop – rethink’ event in March, where we encouraged the meetings, conference and events industry to take the lead and make the most out of the current economic situation. With staffing a concern for 20 per cent of members following the Brexit vote, we launched a campaign alongside internationally-renowned leadership and organisational development expert Roffey Park Institute to raise

awareness of mental health, compassion and resilience in the events and hospitality sector. The campaign focused on the impact that mental health and compassion in the workplace has not only had on recruitment, staff retention and engagement, but ultimately on the bottom line. Michael Jenkins, CEO of Roffey Park, said: “The direct and indirect benefits of improving human relationships cannot be understated: making work a better place to be is good for wellbeing, good for mental health in particular, and fantastic for the employer brand.” PERFORMANCE AND FUTURE STABILITY Looking back at performance from the last year, we can see that the industry hasn’t been immune to Brexit’s impact, but it has fared better than expected. Members responding to the miaTouchstone question on whether businesses had experienced any changes in meetings and events business directly attributed to Brexit, overwhelmingly (92 per cent) said it had made no difference. In the immediate aftermath of the referendum there was an average drop in meeting booking enquiries of around 10 per cent, however, this decline has been replaced by a more buoyant level of enquiries as between May and October 2017, for example, they were typically up by around five per cent on the comparable period in 2016. One area proving to be particularly successful is weddings, with miaTouchstone participants indicating that bookings were typically up by around 50 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year – a positive and strong revenue source for many venues. The meetings industry has faced challenges over the last 18 months, just like any other industry operating in the UK has, but as results show it has weathered the Brexit storm and is in a stronger position than many to grow from. This year it’s crucial that the mia continues its work offering a critical voice for education, training, best practice and collaboration – bringing together every group in the events sector. Our goal is to

strengthen in numbers, which we are well on-track to achieve, and continue to build the mia’s political stance providing clarity around the big issues and ongoing guidance. As we continue to face the uncertainties and challenges caused by leaving the EU, we know the sector is coming under increasing pressure to retain and look after its talented staff. Our research examining the mental well-being of the sector illustrated that the industry both needs and requires more compassionate workplaces to make it a more desirable and rewarding place to work. Therefore, a key part of the mia’s work for 2018 attracting and retaining talent in the industry, will include supporting the sector with a number of dedicated workshops, as part of our comprehensive events programme, to create environments to foster improved well-being. We’ll also continue to offer members more commercial opportunities as well as champion best practice through initiatives such as our prestigious miaList and our AIM scheme, which continues to rapidly grow and expand. New venues are joining all the time and those on our AIM Higher scheme – achieving silver or gold accreditation – are retaining it. With high standards through AIM guaranteed and enquiry levels remaining positive, the sector should continue to be cautiously optimistic that bookings for meetings will continue to grow in 2018, no matter what the year throws at us. "

Written by Jane Longhurst, chief executive, Meetings Industry Association

Strong and stable: the meeting industry in 2018

Conferences & Events







Spend on digital services passes £3 billion mark The Cabinet Office has announced that the government and other public sector organisations have spent more than £3.2 billion on digital, data and technology services since 2012 The Cabinet Office’s latest quarterly published sales data shows that thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now signed up to provide their digital, data and technology services to government, and public bodies are utilising their expertise to drive the UK’s digital transformation. As a result of this, sales have reached £3.2 billion, with 48 per cent of this being spent on SMEs. This means that £1.43 out of every £3 is going to SMEs. The Digital Marketplace, created in 2014 by Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and Government Digital Service (GDS) to make government procurement easier and more transparent, hosts the G-Cloud, Digital Outcomes and Specialists and Crown Hosting Data Centres frameworks. Additionally, frameworks available through the Digital Marketplace in 2016-17 contributed towards CCS delivering £725 million in savings including commercial benefits for taxpayers. Niall Quinn, director of Technology Strategic Category for CCS, said: “In the three years since Digital Marketplace was launched, we have overhauled the public sector procurement landscape, harnessing the expertise of innovative companies and giving thousands of SMEs the opportunity to supply to government for the first time. We’re now planning the next steps of our journey, making the platform and processes more commercial, more flexible and better tailored to the needs of users - both buyers and suppliers.”

Warren Smith, director of Digital Marketplace, added: “We’ve started to bring the tools, techniques, technologies and culture of the internet to public procurement and contracting. What we’ve achieved so far is testament to an amazing team and the importance of user-centred, design-led, data-driven and open approaches, but we’ve only scratched the surface. The next three years, to 2020, will see a step-change where these approaches are mainstreamed across government.” GOVERNMENT LEGAL DEPARTMENT On 8 January, the Government Legal Department’s (GLD) opened up bidding for up to £12 billion of government contracts to thousands of SMEs. Chris Stanley, a lawyer within the GLD Commercial Law Group has spent the past year condensing some 50,000 words of the existing CCS contract terms into a new slimline Public Sector Contract. The finished document promises a more user-friendly route to government work and a quicker, more streamlined way of working. Not having to wade through dense contracts will save money and resources not only for SMEs but also within government itself. Chris paired with Tracy Hughes, a content designer from the Digital Marketplace team

at GDS. The two went through the entire draft document line by line, cutting and trimming the more opaque legalese and getting rid of any duplication, so that the meaning was clearer and more comprehensible for non-lawyer users. Public sector buyers which have greater legal capabilities, such as the Ministry of Justice, will still be able to adapt the contract to suit their more specialised requirements. The prize is considerable: the government facilities management marketplace alone is worth around £12 billion and covers everything from mechanical and electrical engineering to cleaning. The new contract will not only make it easier for companies to bid for government work but will also establish a benchmark for good business ethics by integrating some new corporate social responsibility obligations. Chris Stanley said: “There are some smaller organisations that may not have extensive procurement experience. They are run by skilled people but they won’t always have the resources to deal with complex contracts. Without a user-friendly government framework they are likely to pay a far higher price for goods and services using less favourable terms.” "

The govern m facilitieent manage s men market place a t lon is worth around e £12 bill ion

FURTHER INFORMATION government-spend-on-digitalservices-passes-3bn-mark




CONTENTS GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY 16.1 New drive for ultrafast broadband In the week that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced that it has delivered on its manifesto pledge of extending superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017, Openreach has vowed to introduce ‘ultrafast’ internet connections to three million premises by 2020. The BT-owned firm has said that Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester will form the first phase of the programme that will connect ‘up to 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs’, increasing internet speeds from 24 megabits a second under superfast broadband to 100 megabits. While the two announcements may seem good on paper, they mask the fact that the UK lags behind other countries in offering high speed internet access through fibre connections directly to homes or businesses. Super fast broadband is reasonably cheap, and has proven successful at providing good broadband to regions in good time – as highlighted by the 95 per cent achievement. But, as Alex Neill of consumer group Which? highlighted, the majority of British homes have experienced a problem with their broadband in the last year. The change to ultrafast shows a shift in strategy, but a shift perhaps too slow in arriving. Michael Lyons, editor


Superfast broadband for 95 per cent of UK premises; and fewer than half of all businesses and charities are aware of GDPR four months before they come into force


Essex County Council is bringing information together to create a single record of a child from birth to adulthood. Emma Toublic, head of education information and business systems, talks about the positive impact the initiative is having and the support it provides to children and families


Digital must be the enabler, not the driver, of reform. Eddie Copeland, director of Government Innovation at Nesta, explains why real innovation starts with people





As more of our public services move online, and the average age of our population rises, digital inclusion has become more necessary than ever before. The local government sector can no longer ignore the importance of web accessibility, says Hilary Stephenson, managing director of digital user experience agency Sigma

21-22 March 2018 marks Data Centre World’s 10th year as an industry-leading event. With hundreds of leading data centre and technology providers set to be in attendance, Government Technology looks at the conference programme in detail, including the co-located Cloud Expo Europe and Smart IoT shows

Government Technology 90



Digital Minister Matt Hancock has announced that the government has delivered on its manifesto commitment to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by the end of 2017. According to, 19 out of 20 UK homes and businesses now have the opportunity to upgrade their internet connections to superfast speeds of 24 Mbps or faster. The aim to close the ‘digital divide’, aided by a £1.7 billion investment by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, has seen the rollout of superfast broadband

Superfast broadband for 95 per cent of UK premises reach more than 4.5 million UK premises previously viewed as ‘not commercially viable’. The figures show that the Northern Powerhouse is one of the most connected regions in the UK, with 97.2 per cent of the North East enjoying unprecedented access to superfast broadband. The North West follows only shortly behind with 96 per cent of the region having access to superfast broadband. READ MORE:


Social care failing on council websites Council social care teams responsible for meeting Care Act requirements to provide information, advice and guidance to the public are falling short of best practice in their online provision, says a new report. Socitm’s Better Connected report is based on a survey of websites for all 152 English councils that have responsibilities for providing social care services. The survey tested the quality of provision with a question set focused on the task ‘find services to help elderly relative stay in own home’. 41 per cent of councils were found to provide a good or very good service for this task, compared with 52 per cent that did so for a similar social care task from last year. However, the survey found that just

24 per cent of sites make it easy to find providers of personal care services like dressing and washing, 32 per cent to find gardening or shopping services, and 44 per cent information about community-based social support activities.

UK cyber attack ‘when, not if’ A major cyber attack on the UK is a case of ‘when, not if’, says the head of the National Cyber Security Centre. Speaking to The Guardian, Ciaran Martin, security chief, said the country had been lucky to avoid a ‘category one’ attack – targeting infrastructure like energy companies and financial services. But Martin said the UK was increasing its defence capabilities. His comments follow General Sir Nick Carter’s call for more defence spending to tackle the threat, threatening that the UK needs to protect itself from ‘cyber warfare’ from Russia. READ MORE:


Prepare for stronger data protection laws New research has revealed that fewer than half of all businesses and charities are aware of new data protection laws four months before they come into force. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to be implemented in UK law via the Data Protection Bill in May 2018, as part of plans to help the UK prepare for a successful Brexit. However, the survey finds that only one in four are aware of the incoming regulation, and just over a quarter of businesses and charities who had heard of the regulation made changes to their operations ahead of the new laws coming into force.


May announces £20 million Institute of Coding READ MORE:


Government commits to signing Tech Talent Charter Digital and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that the government will sign up to the Tech Talent Charter to help tackle the gender imbalance in the tech workforce. The charter covers all organisations employing people in technology roles and commits signatories to include women on interview shortlists wherever possible and collect and submit anonymised data for an annual diversity report.


GT News


As part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s push for gender equality, minister Margot James will write to major tech firms asking them to sign up to the charter to help support gender diversity across the industry. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was the first government department to sign the charter. Other government departments are now expected to follow suit.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced the creation of a new Institute of Coding which will receive £20 million to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap. The consortium is formed of businesses including IBM, Cisco, BT and Microsoft, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 25 universities, and professional bodies such as the British Computer Society and CREST. The Institute of Coding is a key part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, and is centred around five core themes: university learners, to boost graduate employability; the digital workforce, to develop specialist skills; digitising the professions, helping learners to retrain; widening participation, to boost equality and diversity in technology-related careers; and knowledge sharing and sustainability.



Data Management Written by Emma Toublic, head of education information and business systems



Improving the lives of Essex’s young people

At Essex County Council, we have launched an initiative designed to help ensure our education support teams are equipped with the knowledge they need to see a more complete picture of a child’s life, so that they can provide the most appropriate help, as early as possible. As part of this, we have embarked on a journey towards creating a single record of a child – from birth through to adulthood.

Essex County Council is bringing information together to create a single record of a child from birth to adulthood. Emma Toublic, head of education information and business systems, talks about the positive impact the initiative is having on the support it provides to children and families When a child or young person disengages from education, the opportunities for a positive, fulfilling and happy future start to fade. The important role we play as local authorities is to identify and address the issues that might have resulted in this happening, to get the child back into the classroom and on the road to success. But to get to this point, the teams involved need to understand the circumstances the child or family are experiencing. The reasons why a child might turn their back on school can be many and varied. They


IDENTIFYING THE GAPS The first step was to review the way children’s services staff in Essex shared information about the children and young people they support. This part of the project revealed that data was being recorded and stored in a variety of different places. For example, this meant that if a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) started missing school after moving to another part of the county there could be a delay in this information getting to their caseworker. Other information that might be relevant could be difficult to access straight away too, such as details of historical poor attendance or exclusion from school.

There isual id an indivr every fo record at can be child th y authorised db accesse actitioners pr need y e h t n whe mation infor

may be struggling to cope with incidences of bullying at school, or falling behind in a particular subject. It might be that they are encountering difficulties at home or there are problems with their daily transport arrangements. Their family might just need some additional support to provide the stability the child needs to re-engage in their studies.

Data Management

available to all the teams that need it from the moment it is keyed into the system. LOOKING AHEAD When multi-agency teams have the information they need to work efficiently and effectively together, local authorities can provide the support children and families need at any point in time. But in Essex, this information is also enabling us to plan the help they might require in the future too. So, if a child with a hearing impairment registers at a children’s centre, we can put them in touch with the services they currently need, but also set the ball rolling to get the support in place for them by the time they start school. This helps to ensure there are no delays in delivering the help and equipment the child needs to flourish at school and enables us to plan budgets more accurately for their requirements in the months and years ahead. As the child grows up, their needs will change, and with forward planning, we are better placed to meet these needs – be it their transport to and from school, additional support in making the transition to secondary school, or help accessing college courses and work opportunities. FREEING UP STAFF An additional advantage is that our management information system is now hosted in the cloud, so our staff no longer need to worry about carrying out routine maintenance or software upgrades. These are all taken care of. We wanted to join up data on children and families to help eliminate any time lapse in helping a child such as this back into their lessons. For us, making this a reality involved gathering information from 700 disparate databases, spreadsheets and paper files where children’s services teams had been storing information and hold it centrally. A SINGLE RECORD With the focus on bringing the different jigsaw pieces of a child’s life together, we are building a clear picture of the lives of children and young people, so the right action can be taken to help them, at the right time. There is an individual record for every child that can be accessed by authorised practitioners when they need information about a child they are supporting, and teams can add updates as work with the family progresses. Our vision of a single view of a child follows an individual right from the early years, through education and youth services and beyond. The data is now stored securely and centrally in our management information system, Capita’s One solution, and we can set appropriate permissions to ensure that practitioners can access the information they need. INFORMATION SHARING With a single record in place, data can be shared efficiently and securely between teams so that decisions can be made quickly based on the latest information. Before, we would need to arrange meetings for up to

At Essex County Council, we have launched an initiative designed to help ensure our education support teams are equipped with the knowledge they need to see a more complete picture of a child’s life 10 different people to come in and discuss support and provision for a vulnerable child or young person. Each professional would arrive armed with paper-based records or spreadsheets, and it would take time to pull together all the strands of the child’s situation in order to decide on the best course of action. Now, with the new system in place, our teams are able to keep track of the families and children they support in just a few taps of their screen, as the information they are authorised to see is instantly available. Having a central source of information gives caseworkers key information when they are visiting families, such as notes on accessing a property or a record of a dog at the address. This means that our staff can be fully prepared before they arrive at the house. There are benefits for parents and carers too. Caseworkers can keep track of a family’s changing circumstances and parents only need to tell the council once if they move house or their child changes school. The new information will be made

This frees staff to focus their time on tasks that make a difference to the children and families we support – and spend as little time as possible engaged in administration. One of our key annual undertakings is processing school admissions, for example, which this year took just 15 minutes. We are only part of the way through our journey, but we are already seeing the positive impact of having a central hub of information on children and young people in Essex. By giving our teams the tools to slot the jigsaw pieces of a child’s life in place, no matter how fluid, they will have a clearer picture of their circumstances – today and for years to come. This will help ensure that our staff are best placed to identify the issues holding children and families back and tailor the support needed to make a real difference. This is the vision we are making a reality to improve the life chances of the people of Essex. " FURTHER INFORMATION



Digital Transformation Written by Eddie Copeland, director of Government Innovation, Nesta



Putting people at the heart of digital reform Digital must be the enabler, not the driver, of reform. Eddie Copeland, director of Government Innovation at Nesta, explains why real innovation starts with people For the best part of the last decade, ‘digital’ has been the watchword of local government reform. Councils have embraced the idea that online technologies can provide services that are cheaper to deliver and easier for citizens to use. Many councils have started by improving the way they publish information, making their websites easier to navigate and use on different devices. Next, they have focused on improving or creating new ways to access services online, from reporting missing bin collections to paying council tax. Much of this work is aimed at channel shift: encouraging people to engage online rather than by mail or in-person visits, which are more expensive. Progress has been good. According to the Better Connected survey by Socitm, 54 per cent of all 416 council websites now provide a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ service in 2016-17. This is welcome news. But there is a risk that such digital change is more cosmetic than transformative. Having well-designed websites is all well and good. However, they will change little if they are just a new digital front face for the same old processes behind the scenes. Indeed, rather than lowering costs, channel shift can perversely increase costs in some service areas by making it easier for citizens to report problems in the first place. Furthermore, in their drive to make more ‘user-centric’ services, some organisations miss the fact that their own staff are also users. While creating a modern digital experience for their residents, too many councils still expect their staff to work with antiquated technology or paper records. Smart councils are therefore adopting cloud-based tools that not only integrate with their websites, but also enable smarter back-end processes. Such tools can enable

staff to access the information they need wherever they are, whether in the office or out on frontline duties. This is good for breaking down silos, and can also reduce costs compared with running and supporting software and hardware in-house. For many councils, this is as far as digital transform goes. That is unfortunate, as it misses the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity. THE £5.8 BILLION QUESTION First, the challenge. Councils today are facing unprecedented pressure to deliver more and better with less. Thanks to growing and ageing populations, demand for many services has soared. At the same time, budgets have been dramatically cut, with the local government sector experiencing a 40 per cent reduction in its central government grant since 2010. According to the Local Government Association’s Future Funding Outlook, local authorities in England alone face a £5.8 billion shortfall by 2020. If digital is to speak to this challenge, it is not enough merely to increase the efficiency of transactional services. Councils must urgently address expensive and complex service areas such as social care, which are not about optimising the flow of information, but are based on human interactions supporting complex needs. In these service areas, while we have seen exponential improvements in the technologies available, there has been little innovation in the structures and processes they are applied to. Before they consider what role digital will play, service managers should therefore

first answer the question: ‘How do we want to work?’. Might there be a fundamentally better way of addressing a given social need rather than merely optimising the existing way of doing things? At Nesta, we believe the answer is ‘yes’. And the big opportunity starts with people, not technology. WHERE DO GOOD IDEAS COME FROM? Innovation starts with good ideas. The people who best understand the problems to be addressed and the opportunities to do things differently are often those working at the coalface of their particular field. In the case of local government, this will be council staff and especially frontline workers. The difficulty is that these people often lack the time, resources and permission to try new approaches, or even to show they have a good idea in the first place. Local authorities wishing to innovate should therefore seek to tap into the knowledge and ideas of these in-house experts. This is part of the rationale for Nesta’s collaboration with the Welsh government on a programme called Innovate to Save (I2S). I2S is a £5.8 million initiative that provides grant funding and non-financial support for public and third sector staff who wish to propose and test new ideas that can improve services and deliver cashable savings in their area of work. Ideas that prove successful in practice are then issued with more significant funding and support to scale up in the form of a loan. In its first round, more than 120 public and third sector employees took part, and 50 ideas were put forward, highlighting the willingness of public sector staff to offer ideas if only they are given the means to do so. The programme also recognises an important truth: councils cannot expect to determine what will succeed a priori. They need to run experiments in the real world. They should enable those closest to the problem to trial those new ways of working for themselves.

While creating a mod experieern digital residen nce for their council ts, too many s their st still expect a with anff to work tiq technol uated ogy

WHO DELIVERS? Councils should also ask whether they can use technology to involve people in different ways, including those outside local


government. In a search for inspiration for alternative operating models for public services, they could do worse than observe the characteristics of some of the leading and most disruptive digital companies. The defining feature of the internet era is the platform business model. Companies using platform models have been ripping up the rule book in areas as diverse as how we connect and communicate (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), shop (Amazon, eBay); and how we exchange our time and skills (TaskRabbit, Uber), money (Crowdfunder, Seedrs), space (AirBnB) and assets (Peerby, Streetbank). Though some platforms have been criticised for the terms under which they operate, they have other, separable, characteristics that are of direct relevance to public services. To name just a few: platforms represent the most efficient mechanisms ever conceived to unearth new, and then match supply and demand of people, time, assets, space, or money. They are highly scalable. They have low operating costs. These are precisely the features that many local authorities are seeking for their own operations. It would be wrong to suggest that all problems could be solved if only we had ‘Uber for social care’. However, approached thoughtfully, the benefits of the platform model need not be confined to the private sector. That’s the thinking

that underpins Nesta’s ShareLab Fund, which supports early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges. In our first round, launched in 2016, Nesta awarded grant funding and mentorship to eight UK-based organisations. Among these were Social Value Exchange, which brings together suppliers who need to create community benefits (due to the provisions of the Social Value Act) with community-based organisations who already are – but who lack resources. Meanwhile, TrustonTap connects older people and their families directly with carers, avoiding the need for traditional agencies. This allows customers to pay substantially less for their care, and also enables carers to earn substantially more than they would through agencies. Many of these platforms will operate entirely outside of local government, but in a way that may relieve pressure on public services. However, platforms can also be run or commissioned by councils themselves, or plug directly into traditional public service models. The former idea is neatly demonstrated by Casserole Club, a peer-to-peer alternative to meals on wheels, created by FutureGov, specialists in designing public services for the digital age. The latter is demonstrated by GoodSAM. When somebody calls the emergency

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services to report that an individual has had a cardiac arrest, as well as dispatching an ambulance, many ambulance trusts are now able to send out an alert to GoodSAM. The GoodSAM app alerts qualified first aiders in the vicinity of the victim, highlighting their location and that of the nearest defibrillator so they can hurry to the scene. When every second counts, those volunteers can make the difference between life and death. Indeed, they have already been proven to do so. In both cases, the websites and apps are not just bolted on to the same old operating models. Instead, they use technology to augment the capacity of public services by tapping into volunteer networks.

Digital Transformation


MAN AND MACHINE All these examples speak to a broader point about how local authorities need to think about digital. Quite simply, councils need a much bigger vision for the role of people: shifting from a focus on creating user-centric services, to one that prioritises tapping into the best ideas of their own staff and redesigning the models in which people are engaged. Digital must be recognised for what it is: the enabler, not the driver, of reform. Real innovation starts with people. " FURTHER INFORMATION

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Web Access Written by Hilary Stephenson, managing director, Sigma



The importance of web accessibility The local government sector can no longer ignore the importance of web accessibility, says Hilary Stephenson, managing director of digital user experience agency Sigma As more of our public services move online, and the average age of our population rises, digital inclusion has become more necessary than ever before. Just as all physical government buildings must, by law, be accessible to all who wish to access them, so too must their digital gateways. Digital inclusion is a right, not a privilege, and an inadequate web accessibility offering should no longer be an option. This issue is set to become even more pressing for local government bodies over the next nine months, due to EU legislation which means that, by legal mandate, all public sector websites and apps must meet EU accessibility guidelines by September 2018. Sadly, as it stands, we don’t appear to be adequately prepared for this. Some central government services have fantastic accessibility policies in place, led by, which has been designed from the ground up to be as inclusive as possible, offering options for almost every user regardless of ability or access need. However, others simply aren’t making the grade and local government sites are struggling to keep up. At the start of the year, the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM) tested the accessibility of 416 local council websites – a third of which failed the process, suggesting that we still have a long way to go before the deadline later this year. However, it is our opinion that the local authorities sector should view this incoming legislation not as a barrier to be overcome, but rather as a fantastic opportunity to improve their digital offering, creating public services that are inclusive and working to the benefit of everyone. WHAT IS THIS EU ACCESSIBILITY LEGISLATION? The legislation in question, known as the ‘Directive on Web Accessibility for Public Sector Websites, was formally approved on 26 October 2016 after the European Commission noted that 80 million people within the EU are currently living with



a disability, with this figure expected to rise to 120 million by 2020. Described by the European Disability Forum (EDF) as ‘a crucial milestone to achieve an inclusive digital society’, the directive stipulates that, moving forwards, all new websites and mobile apps from public sector organisations will have to be accessible, and all existing sites will have to be updated within 24 months of the directive being formally approved. This will go a long way towards solving a very real problem. After all, this is not just a case of being unable to access our favourite websites - we will all need to make use of the services our local council offer at some point, which are critical to our day-to-day lives.

as more and more of our public services have become digitised. Whilst, in the past, most communication with your local council would be conducted over the phone, it is now completely possible to pay your council tax, apply for various benefits, and even pay your parking tickets, completely online. As the government adopts this ‘digital by default’ approach – moving more and more public services to the web – digital inclusion becomes more important than ever before to ensure that all can access and effectively use these services moving forwards. With this in mind, the fact that one in five of us (the number of people in the UK currently living with disabilities) may currently struggle to use these services simply cannot be ignored in a modern, functioning society.

An nt importa many LOCAL AUTHORITY why WEBSITES AND reason vernment ACCESSIBILITY o g s local are perhap An important reason why s e t i e s c many local government b a r e b w o em n is t websites are perhaps r e w o sl slower to embrace digital inclusio inclusion is the perceived digital erceived cost. Local councils tend to the p st be strapped for funding, and are co

WEB ACCESSIBILITY AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECTOR Web accessibility, also known as inclusive design, is the assurance from a business (or public body in this context) to its stakeholders that people living with impairments, regardless of whether these impairments are physical, cognitive, visual, auditory, or even merely situational, are able to interact with and effectively use their digital services. More broadly, a focus on digital inclusion encourages us to consider IT skills gaps, financial exclusion and confidence levels, for the 12.6 million adults in Britain who don’t have the basic digital skills they need to benefit from the online world – with nearly six million people having never used the internet. Essentially, this all stipulates that all public sector websites and mobile applications must, by law, be accessible to everybody, regardless of any relative disability. This has become particularly important in recent years

therefore likely to be more reluctant to commit funds towards what they view as non-critical areas, which support only a minority of their service users. This is why it’s vital for local authorities to realise that the cost of making a website accessible is actually a fairly modest outlay in comparison to the return on investment. Inclusively designed websites are far easier to use and maintain, and also cater to a much wider audience. Of course, awareness of the issue is entirely different from knowing exactly what needs to be done to make a website accessible, and therefore compliant with the incoming legislation. Because of this, we’ve included below a set of simple, easily-actionable design tips for improving the inclusiveness of your website right here and now.

Visual impairments – For users with impaired vision, always make use of strong colour contrasts to make the information stand out on the page. Larger text sizes are also important here. Ensure all important information is included on HTML web pages – never hide important information behind a separate download. When you require input from your users, never rely on a single medium (such as colour) to convey meaning. Instead, use a combination of colour, shapes and text to make it completely

clear what you are asking your users to do. Audio impairments – Users who are hard of hearing will struggle to understand audio content, and will therefore be reliant on text, which should always be written in a simple, linear format. Any audio/video content which is included on the site should be clearly transcribed or subtitled. When requiring users to get in touch, always ensure that you’re offering text-based methods of communication such as email or instant messaging, as those who are hard of hearing may prefer not to use the phone. Cognitive impairments – When it comes to cognitive impairments such as autism, the priority is to reduce the cognitive load for those browsing the site. Employ a simple colour scheme, avoiding bright, contrasting colours which are likely to cause overstimulation. Refrain from using walls of text, instead break up the content using simple sentences and bullet points. Finally, stick to simple, consistent layouts as cluttered pages fracture the user’s attention and increase cognitive load.

Web Access


WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW Overall, this accessibility directive presents a challenge to the public sector – one which must be overcome quickly if it is to be compliant with the legislation by next Autumn. We all deserve full access to local government digital services and information, particularly as governments increasingly adopt a ‘digital by default’ mantra, migrating vital services online. With the EU-imposed deadline becoming closer by the day, the fact that one in three local government websites currently don’t make the grade is a concern, and one which we need to be addressing now. However, those who take a proactive stance towards overhauling their digital offering have a unique opportunity to increase stakeholder engagement, save on costs, and help facilitate a future wherein all have equal access to public services, with none being discriminated against or left behind. " FURTHER INFORMATION

It’s vital for local authorities to realise that the cost of making a website accessible is actually a fairly modest outlay in comparison to the return on investment

The emergence of the digital-native citizen and why government services need revolutionising There’s a lot of talk about how businesses need to transform to become more market relevant and more efficient than the competition. A valuable tool in this drive for transformation is technology. Digital technology promises to transform both the supply and demand chains, as well as processes for managing staff. However, an increasingly important reason for the drive towards digital is that customer expectations are becoming more attuned to slicker digital delivery. Customers are also citizens. They occasionally need to consume government services and often the experience is not wonderful – it’s out of touch with a digital-native population and with the type of experience provided by the commercial sector, such as Amazon’s wifi-connected buttons which allow their customers to order goods with one click. By comparison, government seems sluggish and complicated. The difference is that what government does is complicated, in a way that commercial business isn’t. Often government provides services that are not related to markets and sometimes insists that people ‘engage’, usually in

relation to legal requirements or regulations. The problem is that these engagements can be fussy, complicated or arduous. However, they needn’t be. Indeed, there’s a compelling argument for taking the fuss and complication out of routine processes, in a way that the commercial sector clearly has. Earlier this year the Government Digital Service (GDS) published a paper that stated the quite obvious: for government to deliver excellent public services to users it must be equipped to do so properly. A culture of open, digitally-enabled policy making and service delivery is critical to our future success. The fact that GDS exists and is addressing these issues is a step in the right direction. Often the best means of addressing problems is to accept that they exist. There are also different challenges in central and local government. The citizen

cannot see why government can’t be more joined up to ensure that processes aren’t being duplicated or information unshared. And then there’s the issue of transformation. In October last year the Institute for Government published a report which addressed the need for transformational change. It highlighted the approach adopted by GDS when it was established by Francis Maude in 2011. The GDS approach, under Mike Bracken, was not to write grandiose reports on how digital transformation might be achieved. Instead it identified major transformational opportunities and set about introducing digital approaches to doing things better. This ‘let’s do it’ approach by government is refreshing. At the heart of the approach is a commitment to doing things in a more agile way by looking at the detail of the problem and how the solution might make things better for the consumer of the service – the citizen. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 028 9045 4166



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21-22 March 2018 marks Data Centre World’s 10th year as an industry leading event. With hundreds of leading data centre and technology providers set to be in attendance, Government Technology looks at the conference programme in detail Data Centre World 2018 will bring delegates an unrivalled line up of world-class suppliers to the data centre sector, thousands of hours of free content from over 600 of the industry’s leading practitioners and first class peer networking opportunities. Since the show’s launch back in 2008, it has gone from strength to strength, attracting even more data centre managers and senior IT professionals from enterprise, the public sector and small businesses. Data Centre World brings together the world’s leading minds, industry leaders and practitioners to share their extensive wisdom and discuss the latest topics and concerns surrounding the data centre industry. The 2018 edition will welcome over 550 leading industry speakers, over a jam packed content-led two days. Leading speakers include representatives from UBS, BRE, Deutsche Bank, Ford Motor Company, EURECA Project, as well as many more. Building on the success of what’s now an unstoppable one-of-a-kind feature, the Live Green Data Centre will once again a working showcase at the heart of Data Centre World.

Nowhere in the world will you find this practical implementation of cooling units, fans and cables in this unique way. The very latest products will be showcased from 30 companies, with Live Big Green Data Centre sponsors Cellwatch, Excool, Reilly UPS, Starline, TTK, Stanley Security, OPS, Dunwoody and Socomec all present to showcase the latest products and thinking from the industry. Back for a third consecutive year, the Live Green Data Centre will be joined by new, innovative exhibition features, including a GDPR stream, Diversity & Talent in the data centre industry and an AI & Machine learning stream where you can discover how to find new trends and patterns from large and diverse data sets which can allow you to deliver new, personalised or differentiated products and services. Efforts to promote diversity in the data centre industry are increasing, but still we still have a long way to go. As part of the Diversity & Talent stream, delegates will hear from industry academics and leaders about the very latest and most pressing matters surrounding diversity and talent within today’s data centre landscape.

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Speakers include Tech UK, GCHQ, Massive Interaction, CNet Training & Next Tech Girls. With the GDPR deadline fast approaching, the regulation will provide unique challenges and opportunities to organisations using cloud services. Learn how to be GDPR-ready in the dedicated GDPR stream, where confirmed speakers include Dovu, TechUK, DMA Group & Venom IT. FOCUS AREAS The focus areas mirror every part of evolving today’s data centre – it’s technologies, products and processes and the increasing demand for data centre excellence. As part of the Data Centre Design and Build focus area, delegates can learn more about the latest techniques in building and designing the modern data centre, with green business solutions and carbon footprints becoming significantly more important considerations. Sponsored by BSRIA, industry experts will also provide practical case studies and projects as to why it’s so crucial to design and build an efficient, effective and operational cost controlling data centre. Sponsored by the LPCB, the Physical Security focus area will examine how to !




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EVENT PREVIEW " maintain a secure data centre and tick all the right boxes in making sure it is protected. Protecting data centres is a crucial part in today’s world. Physical security breaches can lead to high value equipment falling into the wrong hands: theft, corporate espionage and terrorism can come to play – these are the major implications for data centres and their customers. In today’s technological environment it’s so crucial to keep up to date with the speed and usage of networks and to make sure your data centre can cope with the demand. In the Data Centre Routing & Switching areas, delegates can discover companies that supply applications which provide simple bandwidth and little delay sensitivity. AMPS will be heading up the Power & Energy theme of the show, showcasing how its a ‘very important part of our industry with regards to power and generating sets and vital that the two industries work together’. Regardless of what industry you work in, power is a crucial part of our daily lives and without this we are lost, from health right down to our finances, power controls all aspects of our lives. Data Centres simply cannot afford to have any issues with hazards. This is a major consideration for all data centre managers and designers. Whether you are concerned with fire detection, alarm systems or security

With the GDPR deadline fast approaching, the regulation will provide unique challenges and opportunities to organisations using cloud services protection products, you can’t afford to miss the chance to discover the latest improvements in this sector as part of the Fire & Security Protection Products focus. Data Centre automation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of running data centres of all sizes, along with the smaller models. More and more businesses are moving to cloud, this means an increase in data centre demand, and as such an automation is here to make data centres to run better. Come and learn, first hand about solutions like optical switching, which gives full control of physical fibre connections and improves reliability and security, but most importantly future proofs critical infrastructure as part of the Robotics Automation focus. CLOUD EXPO EUROPE There’s no escaping the importance of cloud technology and no turning from the power of a solid cloud strategy. At Cloud Expo Europe 2018, hundreds of global experts and industry-leading suppliers will showcase

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EVENT PREVIEW " the right approach and solutions to tailor their IT environment; and the DevOps Innovation Theatre, which will focus on topics ranging from Microservices and DevSecOps, to ‘shifting left’ and DevOps for the database. CLOUD SECURITY EXPO Cloud Security Expo is the fastest growing section of the Cloud Expo Europe event series attracting a record breaking 19,926 enterprise IT and security buyers and specialists in March last year. The explosion of data breaches, ransomware and DDoS attacks have been unprecedented, with ransomware incidents alone increasing by a staggering 1,500 per cent over two years. Cloud Security Expo provides the tools, training and techniques to ensure companies are compliant and secure as they transition their business assets to the cloud. As well as a leading exhibition, the expo provides a great opportunity to hear from over 150 expert speakers sharing insight and inspiration. Already confirmed to speak are the National Cyber Crime Unit, The National Crime Agency, City of London Police, Microsoft, Avira, Trend Micro, Facebook, John Lewis, Burberry and Dovu. BIG DATA WORLD As more data processes and systems become mission-critical, they will also be expected to

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– Smart IoT is the only place to be. With seemingly endless challenges and directions, this one event is your compass. Come and address the key issues surrounding security, data sharing, and the million dollar (pound, euro, yen) question: how can businesses harness the IoT to generate revenue? The Smart IoT Keynote Theatre will enable delegates to hear from global IoT thought leaders on where the market is going and what the current business opportunities are. Alongside the Keynote Theatre, Smart IoT 2018 will also run a Data Management & Integration Theatre, a System Integrators & Manufacturers Theatre, a Security of Things Theatre and a new programme on bridging the knowledge gap between the complexities of technological innovation and the delivery of practical commercially viable services, run by Smart Cities in partnership with Bristol. #

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plannings, ballast and much more. By adopting systems and procedures from larger organisations and other areas of the haulage industry, Grabking can streamline its processes in order to make your life easier. And whilst keeping the ‘smaller haulier’ mentality, the company can guarantee all customers a truly personal service. For Grabking the message is really easy: “Keep it simple and deliver”. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01279 734900



Mr. Fire Safety employs some of most qualified and experienced fire safety officers currently operating in the UK – each with over 30 years’ experience in the fire safety sector, and active members of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers. Specialising in reasonable cost, high quality fire risk assessment and bespoke training packages, the team covers the whole of the UK from its base in the heart of the Midlands. The company comes from an enforcement background so are fully conversant with the most recent fire regulations to ensure your business meets its regulatory obligations. Working directly with you, Mr. Fire Safety helps your business to stay safe from fire, putting in place strategies and processes to reduce risk. There may be many ways to meet the requirements of regulation; the company will discuss a variety of

Orangebox firm is one of the most efficient rubbish removal in the country. While cooperating with the company, you can be sure that you will be provided with best quality services and that all your orders will be approached individually and with due respect. Staff at Orangebox do not mind helping you with loading and sorting litter and construction leftovers in order to ensure that your home, office, garage, or backyard will be cleaner than ever before. They know that aside from regular customers, there are those prospective ones, who debate whether or not it is beneficial to start collaborating with the experts. If you have any doubts, let Orangebox dispel them by presenting you with a comprehensive list of our distinctive features. Depending on the order placed, the company can take advantage of a smaller car suitable for minor undertakings, but when

Helping your business to stay safe from fire


Specialist services for WEEE and e-waste

options, allowing you to make informed decisions. Having worked with local authority fire and rescue services and other fire safety consultancies, Mr. Fire Safety understands fire and why many people need help with fire safety. That’s why it has created a fire safety ‘one stop shop’, providing support services including fire door repairs, sign surveys, supply and fitting, fire extinguisher supply and maintenance. The company’s engineers also install emergency lighting and fire alarm systems. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07951 098 662


& CRB/DBS checked personnel; large or small quantities accepted; high security vaults for complete peace of mind; ISO: 9001, 14001 & 27001 (pending) and B.S EN 15713 accredited; all waste is disposed of under the waste hierarchy policy, so you can be rest assured that from collection to disposal, your carbon footprint is minimal. For more information, please speak to one of Spinnaker’s customer care representatives. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 02392 293 234 james.ponsford@

Clearing any sort of rubbish with Orangebox

there is a set of large-size litter to be taken care of, it will then resort to its biggest and most reliable trucks, thanks to the utilisation of which professionals will be able to load unwanted items onto the container and afterwards transport them to the nearest garbage dump. Simply contact the company to book an appointment and get a quote today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07825 652345 orangebox_orangebox@ www.orangeboxrubbish



Bentley Copse Activity Centre is an outdoor activity centre with over 15 adventurous activities and offers a range of accommodation for groups in its extensive forest woodlands and twenty-eight acres of natural Hurtwood forest. A not-for-profit organisation, the company can offer high quality adventurous activities at a lower cost than commercial providers and has been inspiring and educating children for the last 93 years. Bentley Copse Activity Centre offers: weekend package offers

Southport Theatre & Convention Centre is situated on the North West coast, just 30 minutes from the M6. It is one of Merseyside’s largest and most versatile venues with conference and banqueting facilities for up to 1,800 delegates. A 1,600-raked seat Theatre Auditorium on site is suitable for any conference or awards event. Also available is the Floral Hall, comprising of 1,000sqm of flat floor space on two levels with a theatre capacity of 900 and banquets for up to 650. The contemporary Waterfront Suite can be configured from one large exhibition space to six separate meeting rooms with a total of 750sqm floor space which can comfortably hold 680 people theatre style and up to 400 for banqueting/dinner dances and weddings. The Lakeside

Accommodation in the heart of Surrey Hills

for scout and guide camps; school residential and activity days; Duke of Edinburgh in the heart of Surrey Hills; weddings; children’s birthday parties; and team-building days. Bentley Copse is open all year round to any group wishing to book to stay. Resident staff are on site to assist you throughout your visit at Bentley Copse. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01483 202 424


The venue that makes your event number one

Products & Services


Suite is also perfect for smaller events with a capacity of 110 for a dinner dance or 160 for a theatre style conference. The venue has state-of-the-art facilities and on-site technicians for all events and with the 4-star Ramada Plaza Hotel next door, accommodation couldn’t be closer for your event. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0151 934 2455 wendylucas@ www.southporttheatreand


Providing vehicle hire and Global solutions for road management for 50 years surfacing and road safety SHB Hire Ltd is a family owned and operated company with 50 years of experience in vehicle hire. The company currently owns Europe’s largest 4x4 hire fleet and the UK’s largest buggy and ATV fleet with a range of over 16,500 specialist, commercial and executive vehicles. SHB offers flexible, customised hire and lease solutions to meet the customer’s demands and vehicles built to customer’s specifications in its fabrication and body shop facilities. The company’s diverse, specialist fleet together with national coverage and flexible packages deliver an unbeatable customer driven range of services. SHB’s supply covers all business sectors across the UK including the public sector, local and national government, TV and film, highways, infrastructure and the events

industry, to name just a few. Understanding individual client needs combined with experience in the market makes SHB the ideal supplier for your vehicle hire and management needs. As well as supplying private contracts, the company also has the ability to provide vehicles as part of a framework solution, working on frameworks such as: NWUPC, NEPO, YPO, ESPO and Crown Commercial. Contact the company for details on how you can hire today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01794511458

Hitex International Group is constantly focused on promoting road safety through the provision of high performance reflective road marking, anti-skid/high-friction surfacing and permanent road repair products. The company works with its clients to meet the evolving challenges of global road networks with fully integrated, innovative solutions for a wide range of road infrastructure projects, ultimately working together as a team to improve road safety. The group comprises of four interlinked companies L&R Roadlines, Hitex Traffic Safety, Somerford Equipment and TexturePrint, with the combined expertise of the group offering complete end-to-end solutions for clients. These services are provided to both UK and international clients incorporating material development, material

sales, application vehicles and equipment, contracting services, training and support services. The safety and well-being of all road users are at the core of all ongoing development programmes. The group is also committed to sharing its vast wealth of skills and knowledge. This ambition is achieved through comprehensive operative training programmes and the provision of practical assistance whenever required to ensure product installations meet international best practice standards and maximise the potential benefits for Hitex’s worldwide customer base. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0151 355 4100



Products & Services




Monticello House, set in the heart of London, is the ideal venue for your conference needs. Based in Russell Square, Monticello House offers the ideal location for commuters, with only a five minute walk from Russell Square station and a 10 minute walk from Holborn and Tottenham Court stations. It is also only a 15 minutes’ walk from Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross Mainline stations. Monticello House entertains seven rooms that are able to host from 15 to 46 people for a variety of events. From conferences to training days, the changeable layout makes it easy for the Study Centre to accommodate any occasion. With high-speed internet and smart white boards, the centre is equipped to help with all the technology you may need for

BMA House is a central London venue, specialising in the latest technology enclosed in a charming Grade II listed building. In 2017, BMA House achieved an impressive Gold Green Tourism rating for its inspirational environmental ethos and excellent practices throughout the business. Home to the British Medical Association, BMA House has 29 spaces for up to 320 guests, including two impressive outdoor spaces: the Courtyard and the Garden. They specialise in conferences, AGMs, large dinners and summer parties. Floor to ceiling round-headed windows designed by famed architect Sir Edwin Lutyens creates one the venue’s best features – day light filled rooms. For each event, the client has contact with one dedicated member of the team who knows their event brief inside out. Customer service is everything at BMA House, and

Spacious meeting rooms in the heart of London

your event. The centre has also teamed up with external caterers to offer guests a range of food and beverage options to support their varying needs, including vegan and healthy eating options. Why not plan for your next business function to be held in one of London’s most academically and historically rich squares? FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 7580 9922 www.anglomonticello



Set in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, this delightfully quirky and intimate venue, in addition to providing musical entertainment all year around, is available for external hire. Clonter Opera Theatre offers a wide range of facilities suitable for numerous alternative activities, including conferences, training and away days and fairs. Clonter consists of a 400-seater auditorium in which to make presentations; six adjacent break out rooms of various sizes for more interactive and intimate sessions to take place; a spacious foyer complete with bar to facilitate networking; extensive outdoor space in which to run additional activities (weather permitting) or just to take a break in between sessions surrounded by mature woodland, aiding a true break away from the city. With the wide range of its own events, Clonter is well-equipped, with two kitchens, to arrange catering of every kind and

Allianz Park, the home of Saracens Rugby Club, is the perfect venue to host your next event. With over 18 event spaces, whether you are looking for a conference space for 2000, a team building day on the pitch, or a day meeting for 10, Allianz Park is the perfect space for you. You will also find the warm-up track from London 2012 in Allianz Park’s Olympic Bar so you really can walk in the steps of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah. All rooms have natural day light, air conditioning, AV solutions and great views onto the pitch or throws field. The venue offers great rates and fantastic catering from its in-house catering team, who can cater for all events – big or small. The stadium is also home

A remarkable venue for conferences and events


Historic elegance with a contemporary twist

organise entertainment, if required, and free car parking. Whilst away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Clonter is only a 10 minute drive from two towns, Holmes Chapel and Congleton, and 20 minutes drive from Macclesfield and all their respective railway stations, and 5.5 miles from the M6. Shuttle minibuses can be arranged. With the increasing speed of life, Clonter’s rural setting is increasingly being identified as the ideal alternative environment in which companies can really get away from the office for a day. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01260 224 514


the passionate team excels at creating a seamless experience from start to finish, working with clients to turn each event plan into a success. There is a constant focus on investing into the upkeep, restoration and improvement of the venue, with a strong emphasis on all things green, healthy and sustainable. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 7874 7020

A versatile venue with a view

to some of the priory collection of sporting memorabilia. Allianz Park is located just 20 minutes from central London and is easily accessible via public transport. The stadium is also a couple of minutes from the M1 and M25, so is ideally located for all. Visit the company website for more information and imagery of our event spaces. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3675 7200



Lucas Credit Services is a market leader in digital contact strategies for debt collection. The company is firmly established at the vanguard of a rapidly changing debt collection industry. Its board of directors has exceptional experience in handling recoveries across diverse industry sectors, which requires an understanding of how to ensure a business remains at the forefront of change and innovation, whilst continuing to deliver great service and outstanding customer outcomes. Many customers, if asked, say they prefer to use email rather than letters or telephone calls, and the rate of change toward digital communication is profound. In the collections world, Lucas Credit Services has pioneered the use of email as a mode of conversation, thus satisfying the preference of this rapidly increasing number of people. For these customers, a digital journey is a better journey.

Caja is a leading business innovations and solutions consultancy, led by a core team of experienced directors, creating and collaborating to deliver core competencies across public, private, health and education markets. Caja has available a wide range of skills and capabilities with a key area of expertise being integrated business services transformation (people/ process and technology) across functions such as HR, finance, payroll and procurement. Caja works with a range of partners in order to provide innovative and seamless technology-enabled services to its clients. Caja’s approach is collaborative and participative with a focus on knowledge and skills transfer. Supporting a range of different organisations in the private and public sector to develop and improve performance. Services and capabilities include: business challenge

Offering digital contact debt collection solutions

Many customers now keep their email addresses longer than their physical addresses and with the cost of email just a fraction of the cost of letters, the company can also reach some customers that letters and telephone calls cannot. If you think Lucas Credit Services could help your department, with company expertise, superb in-house systems, and extremely cost-effective solutions, please call the company today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01274 957070

Delivering business value through transformation



Domitius Consulting is an independent consultancy which utilises mind mapping and process mapping to analyse and streamline system processes for both public and private sector organisations. The company works collectively with all individuals within a business to highlight bottlenecks, bring innovation and change processes for a more efficient, improved performance. A business already possesses subject expertise by having an understanding of customers’ requirements. Domitius Consulting helps to unleash that knowledge. Services include: process mapping; ideas generation; data efficiency;

Faseha Healthcare Recruitment Ltd’s healthcare staff are thoroughly vetted and dedicated to making a real and lasting difference for everyone it supports through the delivery of high quality, clinically effective and efficient care. The company’s aim is to ensure that the safety, physical, mental and social well-being of your patients and service users are protected at all times. Working closely with its clients, F-HR develops a full understanding of client needs and look after them with care and attention to detail – guaranteeing measurable results every time. The agency supports public and private sector healthcare organisations by placing nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health professionals, health scientists, social workers and support workers into temporary, permanent or contract roles. It is driven by a high commitment to achieve

Bringing your business innovation and efficiency

pre- and post-audit review; and project feasibility. The company’s mission is to improve business performance by finding solutions to problems, whilst smoothing out bottlenecks and creating a flowing environment. Businesses use process mapping as a tool to review their processes in a constantly changing environment. Every level is involved, which allows businesses to review, analyse and understand their processes and to highlight issues and clear bottlenecks. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 07768 127 334

Products & Services


and board advisory; business transformation; organisational design; change management; operational management; leadership development and coaching; commercialisation; knowledge transfer and capability development. Caja works in partnership, challenging and supporting clients to develop solutions which align with their strategies, delivering successful outcomes and ROI, with a least risk approach. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01782 443 020

A bespoke recruitment solution which suits you

the highest standards of service by passionately monitoring the quality of its staff and services. F-HR achieves the highest standards of service through attracting and nurturing the best people and fully understanding the client’s unique needs. F-HR’s CQC Registered Home Care services gives individuals with special needs the opportunity to stay in their own home. This could be for people who are getting older, are chronically ill, are recovering from surgery or are disabled. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01233226068



Products & Services




With GDPR approaching fast and adding to existing regulations, regarding documentation that you need to keep and which you may need to access either occasionally or regularly, you will benefit from Access Records Management’s comprehensive document management service. Few companies have the time, knowledge or experience to manage document management effectively in-house, and Access Records Management can help. The company has been providing the highest standards of document management service for over 20 years. It operates specialist records centres that have round-the-clock CCTV surveillance, fire protection and intruder alarm systems. Documents are managed on behalf of companies of all sizes and in all sectors, including government and local authorities. Services include document storage, collection and retrieval services, destruction and, if

Henstaff Court - a business and conference centre with a difference - is a fine country house set within a private estate of some 260 acres, only ten minutes drive from Cardiff City centre. Whatever the occasion, be it a board meeting, conference or corporate event, the charm of the location and the dedicated business facilities with state of the art equipment, will contribute to making your business a calming yet productive experience. The conference facilities at Henstaff Court consist of an ante-room and two board rooms. Styles vary from oak-lined to classically traditional and modern with a maximum capacity of up to forty people. Catering can be arranged to meet clients’ needs. Blending attention to detail and making visitors feel welcome is a primary management goal, and this is combined with a high level of service. Henstaff Court’s management drive ethos is

Freeing up your time, space and money

required, bulk scanning to a variety of digital formats. When you need documents Access Records Management can have them delivered in rapid time, even the same day if necessary. You will gain peace of mind that your records are protected in a professional, safe and secure location in line with current standards and legislation. For special discounts for government departments and local authorities, please call the company or email quoting code GBMAG. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0808 278 1613 info@accessrecords

‘Charm, elegance and style in the modern world’



Sky Hi Imaging is an aerial photography business based in Gloucestershire but offers a national service. The company specialises in aerial inspection and surveys using state of the art unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with cameras that can zoom in by 180x. This capability enables the company’s drones to stand off from the subject, for added safety, while still clearly identifying any problems that may need attention. Sky Hi Imaging’s UAVs can be deployed quickly without the need for expensive access equipment or the need to put personnel in danger. The company can complete your survey/ inspection at a fraction of the cost of using traditional methods. The data collected is stored on secure servers to be accessed by

Dillglove is a major distributor of cycling accessories including Cegasa batteries; Widek bicycle bells and accessories; Miranda brakes and accessories, chainsets, cranks and e-bike components; Spark Freewheels; Wowow reflective wear; gloves; mirrors; mudguards; pumps; reflectors; tubes; tyres; tools. In addition, Dillgrove is the proud exclusive distributor for SMP4BIKE saddles, probably the best saddle range in the world – handmade in Italy to exact standards and medically designed and tested by physicians. Bicycle seats have

friendly, yet highly professional. The company aims to provide as much, or as little service, as is required by its clients. The centre is easily accessible from all points of the compass: 10 minutes drive from Cardiff City Centre and three miles from M4, Junction 34. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 02920891444

Professionals in taking Importers and distributors photos from another view of cycling accessories


the client. If there are multiple projects to be undertaken then all the results are stored in one easy-to-access location. Promotion video, images and events are catered for with Sky Hi Imaging’s quadcopter’s equipped with 5.2k video cameras. These cameras have several interchangeable lens configurations to suit different applications – never having to compromise on quality. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01242 697 273


been revolutionised with the patented SMP design. A full range of test saddles are available so you can try before you buy! Dillglove Limited have over 35 years of experience as importers and distributors of cycling accessories to the bicycle trade. Should you require any accessory that is not listed, feel free to contact the company and let staff use their extensive knowledge and sourcing capabilities. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0121 354 4127



Sports Surfaces (UK) Ltd supplies and installs quality, safe, functional sports floors to meet the specific needs of its clients. It is a family company that has established a strong product portfolio over the last 25 years. The team has a sound, well-respected standing within the indoor sports surfacing industry. Sports Surfaces (UK) Ltd acts as distributor-installers for all its products, meaning there is one point of contact throughout the entire project facilitating communication and delivering a timely project. The company installs a wide variety of durable, resilient, multi-functional indoor sports floors at international sports venues as well as educational and recreational establishments across the UK and Ireland. It is routinely involved in design and specification, speaking with designers & architects and working with main contractors.

T F Installations Ltd, founded in 2012, is a dedicated specialist company in fire detection, fire alarm system design and security systems. It has quickly become one of the most respected fire system companies in London and the South East following a series of high profile installations and has developed a founding reputation for providing innovative products and superior services that meet and exceed its clients’ expectations. The company predominantly works directly for end user clients in the commercial sector, offering a complete range of services to its clients; from sales, fire alarm system design, installation, testing, commissioning through to ongoing maintenance and technical support. This includes identifying client needs, determining options and designing systems at the most competitive cost without compromising quality.

Uplifting, removing and refurbishing sports floors

The team at Sports Surfaces (UK) Ltd works on new build installations but often works on refurbishments direct for the client. It has a wealth of experience working on a multitude of different types of refurbishment projects and assist offering advice and support whether it be to the bursar, business manager, PE staff, sports centre manager, facilities manager or headteacher. Sports Surfaces (UK) Ltd recognises each project is different and it tailors to meet each customer’s needs. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01244 321 200

The fire detection and security specialists



Whether you love riding down the country lanes and off-road trails or on the open road, you can find the bicycle ideal for you at Hancock’s Cycles in Hertfordshire. Whether you are just getting started on two wheels or you are ready to hit the open road, Hancocks Cycles has a bicycle that suits your needs and requirements. The company stocks Diamondback, Marin, Raleigh, Claud Butler, and Dahon bikes. A large range of electric bikes are also available. Electric bikes offer powered assistance on the road, so those struggles with hills or cycling against headwinds are a thing of the past. You’ll be able to rest at ease knowing you can achieve many miles of smooth and reliable cycling with electrical assistance.

SHB Hire Ltd is a family owned and operated company with 50 years of experience in vehicle hire. The company currently owns Europe’s largest 4x4 hire fleet and the UK’s largest buggy and ATV fleet with a range of over 16,500 specialist, commercial and executive vehicles. SHB offers flexible, customised hire and lease solutions to meet the customer’s demands and vehicles built to customer’s specifications in its fabrication and body shop facilities. The company’s diverse, specialist fleet together with national coverage and flexible packages deliver an unbeatable customer driven range of services. SHB’s supply covers all business sectors across the UK including the public sector, local and national government, TV and film, highways, infrastructure and the events

Products & Services


In 2012, T F Installations Ltd was appointed an Engineered Systems Distributor (ESD) for Notifier Fire Systems, a subsidiary of Pittway Corporation of America, one of the world’s leading fire systems manufacturers. The company’s partnership with Notifier ensures that it is able to offer the best service possible – having become a specialised company with a strong reputation for the quality of installations with personal service as a local company backed by a multinational company leading the way in fire prevention technology. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01727860657

Your local bicycle shops in Providing vehicle hire and Cheshunt and Stevenage management for 50 years

All year round offers and quantity discounts are available, with Hancock’s Cycles pleased to announce that it is members of both Cyclescheme and Cycleplus, meaning customers could benefit from at least a 25 per cent saving on a new bike for work. Both schemes must be applied for through your employer. Hancock’s Cycles also offers a repair and servicing solution, all of which is carried out in a a timely and affordable manner. The company’s friendly staff will be happy to deal with your queries. Pop in or call for all your cycling solutions. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01992 623922 Tel: 01438340004

industry, to name just a few. Understanding individual client needs combined with experience in the market makes SHB the ideal supplier for your vehicle hire and management needs. As well as supplying private contracts, the company also has the ability to provide vehicles as part of a framework solution, working on frameworks such as: NWUPC, NEPO, YPO, ESPO and Crown Commercial. Contact the company for details on how you can hire today. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01794511458



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Government Business 25.1  

Business Information for Local and Central Government

Government Business 25.1  

Business Information for Local and Central Government