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ISSUE 27.1

Business Information for Local and Central Government GROUNDSCARE

CREATING PLACES OF GROWTH How public sector organisations can ensure that local green spaces are in the best condition as Winter turns to Spring


A PARKS PERSPECTIVE A smart investment for infrastructure spending, why further funding for parks is needed


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ISSUE 27.1

Business Information for Local and Central Government GROUNDSCARE

CREATING PLACES OF GROWTH How public sector organisations can ensure that local green spaces are in the best condition as Winter turns to Spring

Cabinet reshuffle raises climate questions Sajid Javid was offered to stay on as Chancellor by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on condition he fired his advisers.


A PARKS PERSPECTIVE A smart investment for infrastructure spending, why further fundin for parks is needed


Such an offer was not one that he felt comfortable accepting, stressing that ‘no self-respecting minister’ could do so. The former Local Government Secretary’s departure from Number 11 only increases the apparent tensions growing between the Prime Minister’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings and cabinet ministers. Andrea Leadsom, Theresa Villiers and Julian Smith also fell victim during the reshuffle, having all stood against the party line at some point in the recent past - Villiers notably for being against airport expansions. The new Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has been a vocal supporter of the expansion of Heathrow Airport and increasing the number of airport runways in the South East of England, while George Eustice’s appointment as Environment Secretary raised eyebrows given his record on climate change votes.

Follow and interact with us on Twitter: @GovBusiness

Following the devastating flooding that has caused problems across the UK in recent weeks, plus COP26 taking place in Glasgow this November, the climate issue should be top of ministerial priorities, not neglected as the Prime Minister removes difficult ministers from their roles. Sharma was recently appointed as President of COP26, despite having generally voted against measures to prevent climate change. Let’s hope progress is not halted because of Johnson’s reshuffle. Michael Lyons, editor

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Business Information for Local and Central Government

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226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Web: www.psi-media.co.uk EDITOR Michael Lyons PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Kanolik PRODUCTION DESIGN Joanna Golding PRODUCTION CONTROL Lucy Maynard WEB PRODUCTION Victoria Casey ADVERTISEMENT SALES Hassan Ali, Steve Day, Bernie Miller, David Morgan, Lee Morris, Emma Parsons, Vimla Stephen ADVERTISEMENT SALES SUPERVISOR Neil Haydon PUBLISHER Karen Hopps ADMINISTRATION Shelley O’Neill REPRODUCTION & PRINT Argent Media

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Contents Government Business 27.1 07 News


Package of support announced for storm-hit areas; Public land sales creating minuscule amounts of affordable housing; Service cuts prompting worries for health visitors

13 Groundscare

The British Association of Landscape Industries looks at what public sector organisations should be doing to ensure that their green spaces and gardens are in the best condition for the upcoming months

19 Groundscare

Rob Pearce, project manager at The Parks Alliance, explains why parks are one of the smartest investments for infrastructure spending


23 Sports facilities

While the prospect of developing a brand new sports facility or redeveloping an existing one is exciting, it can also be a daunting task. We revisit advice from the Sports and Play Construction Association on the key things to consider


47 Risk management

Victoria Robinson, head of Marketing & Communications at the Institute of Risk Management, discusses the importance of reviewing risk culture in an organisation’s ongoing work

51 Conferences & events

For meetings, incentives, conferences and events, look no further than Wales - where the Year of the Outdoors will highlight the benefits of the natural outdoors in Wales

52 G-Cloud

Jos Creese, CEO of digital consultancy business CCL, looks at why digital public services means a move away from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions

55 G-Cloud

Emma Hammett discusses the importance of first aid training in the workplace and how it can empower an organisation’s staff with the skills to help in an emergency

31 Fire safety

59 Frameworks

35 Drones

65 Frameworks

Three million new fire doors are bought and installed every year. The upcoming Fire Safety Bill will stipulate that fire doors in all blocks of flats will need to be checked every three months


Located at the NEC Birmingham, The Facilities Event is the UK exhibition dedicated to facilities management. Government Business previews the show

The G-Cloud Framework, developed by theCrown Commercial Service some seven years ago helps government organisations obtain best value from their IT spend. In July 2020 the new iteration of the framework will be launched, but how will suppliers meet the challenges that continue to face potential customers?

27 Health & safety


43 The Facilities Event

The Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems UK address the use of drones in public services and how they can help the save money and increase efficiency

39 The Security Event

Created for the commercial and residential security market, the Security Event will bring together a worldclass education programme, market leaders and industry experts back at the home of UK security. Government Business looks ahead to the show

Government Business magazine

Technology Products & Associated Services offers public sector buyers a flexible and compliant way to source all of their technology product needs. Government Business looks at the benefits and processes behind the agreement St Albans City & District Council has undergone a huge digital transformation project. Government Business talks to Caroline Croft, Digital and ICT Manager at St Albans City and District Council, about what they have achieved so far

71 Frameworks

The RM6017 agreement has been designed to meet every element of mail services and information management. Government Business looks at the framework in detail

www.governmentbusiness.co.uk Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Best of the best in workplace experiences

ISS has won the IAOP and Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Impact Sourcing Award (GISA) that evaluates and recognises organisations that intentionally hire and provide career development opportunities to people who otherwise have limited prospects for sustainable employment. Impact sourcing can provide the start to a meaningful career and upward social mobility. Across the globe, ISS invests in social innovation projects in cooperation with regional labour markets, local and national government and other entities. These projects have generated significant added value to ISS customers, employees and their families, and benefits for society as a whole.




Package of support announced for storm-hit areas and businesses significantly affected by recent flooding will be eligible for 100 per cent council tax and business rates relief for at least three months. Flood-hit homes and businesses can apply for up to £5,000 to help make them more resilient to future flooding. Jenrick also announced that the government would convene the cross-Whitehall Flood Recovery Taskforce, including environment, businesses and transport ministers, to provide individual areas with bespoke support and guidance. The measures apply only to those affected in district or unitary authorities that have 25 or more flooded households as a result of Storms Ciara and Dennis.

The government has announced thousands of pounds of support including grants, council tax relief and business rate relief for people and businesses in areas affected by flooding. As some flood affected areas, following Storms Dennis and Ciara, move into recovery, families and businesses will receive funding from their local councils after a set of

support packages were announced by the Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, as part of the Flood Recovery Framework. Under the measures, flood-hit households in affected areas can apply for up to £500 in financial hardship payments to give cash quickly to those in shortterm need. Additionally, households



Tenth of new homes built on land with high flood risk

Very little infrastructure spending directed to flooding

New analysis of government data has revealed that one in 10 of all new homes in England since 2013 have been built on land at the highest risk of flooding. The number of properties built in these highrisk areas annually has more than doubled in recent years, with more than 84,000 new atrisk homes in total since 2013. The Guardian, which undertook the analysis, says that this potentially leaving tens of thousands of people in greater danger from extreme winter storms. Experts and council leaders have warned that residents are being left at risk in part due to the pressure on local authorities to build thousands of new homes despite a dearth of suitable sites. This situation has been exacerbated by the recent storms Ciara and Dennis. The government has promised to build 300,000 new homes a year by middle of this decade to help solve the UK’s chronic housing shortage. Data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that the number of new houses built on land at the highest risk of flooding has risen from 9,500 in 2013 to 20,000 in 2017-18, following a peak of nearly 24,000 the previous year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has committed to spending £4 billion over the next five years on flood defence schemes. However, the Environment Agency and independent experts have said this is insufficient and that money needs to be committed beyond 2025 so planners can mitigate future disasters. READ MORE tinyurl.com/ss7dnzp

Analysis by BBC News has found that just over one per cent of government infrastructure spending in England will go towards flood defences. With calls for flood defence funding to be reallocated following recent flooding, particularly in northern England, current figures show nearly £5 billion is due to be spent on flood defences up until 2026, with a third of the money spent in London and the South East. The result of Storm Ciara has seen more than 500 homes flooded in Cumbria, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Many flood warnings remain in place as Storm Dennis continues to cause further disruption with dozens of flood warnings in place across England. The government has said that it was investing ‘record’ amounts in new flood defences that would protect 300,000 homes, which, when considered under terms of money spent per home at risk of flooding, the north will receive more than the south.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/qvsxuk7

The Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) maintains that investment in flood defences took place where the risk was highest, wherever it was across the country, and each scheme was carefully considered. Its own figures showed that between 2015 and 2021, investment per home at risk of flooding was equivalent to £700 in the North, compared with £335 in the South. The latest infrastructure spending figures published by the Treasury showed nearly £5 billion was earmarked to be spent on flood defences in England over the next six years, supporting more than 1,300 projects. However, flood defence spending makes up just 1.5 per cent of the total £317 billion set to be spent on all infrastructure across England, which includes upgrading roads and railway lines. READ MORE tinyurl.com/yx686qeh





Public land sales creating minuscule amounts of affordable housing The New Economics Foundation is warning that an opportunity of a lifetime is slipping through our fingers, unless public land is used to provide genuinely affordable homes. For 10 years, the government has been selling off public land, such as hospitals, prisons, Ministry of Defence firing ranges, with the aim of building more houses. The current five-year programme has the dual purpose of releasing enough land for 160,000 homes by 2020, and raising £5 billion in capital receipts. The NEF charity has previously estimated that just six per cent of homes built on

land sold under the government’s disposal scheme were for social rent. However, highlighting how little public land is being used to solve the housing crisis, the NEF has analysed new government figures to suggest that the proportion of homes for social rent is in fact less than half what was previously found. The analysis finds that while the government has sold enough public land for developers to build 131,000 homes, only 2.6 per cent of those homes will be for social rent. Furthermore, 15 per cent of homes built on public land will

be classified as ​‘affordable housing’. However, the government does not have data on what kind of affordable housing the majority of this is. There are more than one million households on the waiting list for social housing, and Shelter has identified a need for 3.1 million socially rented homes – the most affordable category of housing – to be built over the next 20 years. READ MORE tinyurl.com/rm8qlfn



New UK points-based immigration system

Scottish budget could devastate communities

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced the launch of a new points-based immigration system, in a bid to ‘move away’ from relying on ‘cheap labour’ from Europe. The new system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, will end free movement, as has been the case under membership of the European Union, which the government has said will help reassert control of our borders and restore public trust. It means that overall levels of migration will be reduced, with tighter security and a better experience for those coming to the UK. The change will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and visas will only be awarded to those who gain enough points. The points will be allocated based on a set of certain criteria, including

having a job offer, the skill level of that job, the salary of that job, whether the applicant speaks English and relevant qualifications. The Home Office maintains that the new single global system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally, giving top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including scientists, engineers and academics. In line with the government’s manifesto commitment there will be no specific route for low-skilled workers. It is estimated 70 per cent of the existing EU workforce would not meet the requirements of the skilled worker route. READ MORE tinyurl.com/rm8qlfn


New house building in Wales gets £24m boost Welsh Housing Minister Julie James has announced that a further £24 million is being injected immediately into building more new affordable homes in Wales. The additional funding will help accelerate the Welsh Government’s programme of providing 20,000 more affordable homes across the country by 2021, by giving an immediate funding boost to shovelready schemes across the country. 13,143 of the 20,000 new homes the Welsh Government promised by 2021 have already been delivered, including 2,592 affordable housing units delivered across Wales in 2018/19, 12 per cent higher than 2017/18 and the highest annual total to date. James said: “Ensuring everyone can have a good quality, affordable home is my number one priority as Wales’ Housing Minister. So I’m pleased to be able to report we are on track to delivering the 20,000 new affordable homes we promised as part of our Programme for Government – with 65 per cent of homes already delivered.

“But we want to build more homes, at pace, and at scale. The additional investment I am announcing today will help us meet that pledge, helping to boost the construction sector and ensuring people have the home they need, which supports a healthy, successful and prosperous life. By the end of this current term of government, we will have invested more than £2 billion in housing across Wales – a clear indication of the importance we attached to delivering more good-quality homes, which are the bedrock of good communities and form the basis for individuals and families to flourish in all aspects of their lives.”

READ MORE tinyurl.com/ww28ymd

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government’s Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest. Councils have said they believe the budget will have a major impact on the government’s ability to address the four priorities of inclusive growth, tackling child poverty, well-being and climate change, and puts Scottish Government commitments at risk if no further funding is found as part of the Budget Scrutiny process. COSLA has warned the government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk and that the announcement of an additional £495 million for councils is misleading to communities. Councils are required to deliver an additional £590 million worth of new Scottish Government policy commitments, resulting in a cut to council budgets of £95 million. It is vital to note that this doesn’t account for inflation and therefore the real terms cut to the local government revenue budget is nearer £300 million. Gail Macgregor, COSLA Resources Spokesperson, said: “COSLA has campaigned hard in recent months for the Scottish Government to address falling local government budgets. We called for Scottish Government commitments to be funded, inflation to be accounted for and restoration to the budget to reflect successive years of cuts to local government. It is unfortunate that a sphere of government in this country has not been listened to. “This draft budget will impact on jobs, frontline services and local government’s ability to address inclusive economic growth, child poverty, wellbeing and climate change and does not address the growing demand most councils are facing in relation to services.” READ MORE tinyurl.com/yx3g4erd



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Service cuts prompting worries for health visitors The Institute for Health Visiting has warned that public health budget cuts have left health visiting services unable to offer the minimum level of support in many areas. An annual survey of health visitors in England indicates that many health visitors across England have been robbed of their ability to protect vulnerable families by devastating cuts to public health budgets, leading to calls to ringfence new funding for the profession. Official figures indicate that around one in five health visitors were lost between 2015 and 2019 – the full-time equivalent of 18 per cent of the workforce – with 48 per cent of health visitors saying they feel so stretched that they fear a tragedy where they work. The iHV State of Health Visiting survey indicates that those professionals best placed to help children get the best possible start in life lack the resources to do so. This is due

to public health budget cuts and the failure to protect health visitors’ preventative role by many cash-strapped local authorities, after health visiting commissioning moved from the NHS to local authorities in 2015. The findings also show that only 21 per cent of health visitors rated the quality of care that they can now offer families as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, and that 29 per cent of health visitors are now responsible for between 500 and more than 1,000 children. While in 2015, 65 per cent of health visitors were able to offer continuity of carer to all, or most, families, by 2019 that number had fallen to just 35 per cent. Continuity of carer has been shown to be greatly valued by parents and health visitors, as it allows them to build a trusting relationship and gives parents confidence to ask for help. The Institute is calling for: new ringfenced cross-government funding for

early intervention and the health visiting profession; statutory protection for the health visitor role in leading the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme and for health visiting to be returned to statutory regulation; workforce modelling and a new workforce strategy for health visiting; and a new focus on improving the quality of services which health visitors can offer families, regardless of where they live.

READ MORE tinyurl.com/vfq7ctm



Asylum policy change could benefit economy by £7m

£65 million package for 5G trials revealed

New research has found that closing a loophole in the UK’s asylum policy could benefit the public purse by millions of pounds each year. Carried out by the British Red Cross and the London School of Economics and Political Science, the research claims that extending the support provided to new refugees in the UK would not only benefit the economy by £7 million pounds each year, it would also far outweigh the costs of doing so by up to three times. The estimated savings are equivalent to paying for the starting salaries of one of the following: 330 new police constables, 285 new nurses, 283 new teachers or 233 new midwives. LSE argues that extending the support available to newly recognised refugees from four to eight weeks could save the UK

economy millions of pounds each year by easing the pressure on local authorities, the NHS and charities. In fact, local authorities would benefit most under the proposed changes, saving more than £2 million each year as a direct result of giving new refugees longer to find permanent housing and therefore reducing the use of more costly local authority temporary accommodation. The NHS and mental health services could also be set to save up to £1 million each year by reducing the need for NHS interventions, particularly in response to complex mental health needs, which are five times more likely among refugees than the general population. READ MORE tinyurl.com/tzka8z7

New Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced that rural areas will benefit from a series of governmentfunded trials to help them seize the potential of modern technology. From this, nine projects across the country will receive a share of £35 million from the government’s rural and industrial 5G competitions, whilst a new £30 million open competition - 5G Create - will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism. Funding will go to 5G trials in air and sea search and rescue in Dorset to help save lives using terrestrial and satellite connectivity. This project will also trial 5G connectivity for remote farms to track crop growth, monitor livestock and reduce water pollution using 5G. Meanwhile, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire will see cutting-edge apps transform the visitor experience, with Robin Hood telling the history of the medieval forest via virtual and augmented reality on 5G networks. 5G has speeds up to ten times faster than 4G and will greatly increase mobile capacity across the UK, meaning more people will be able to get online and find and download the content they want, without slowdown. READ MORE tinyurl.com/wosd4y8



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Johnstone Landscapes works with designers, landscape architects and project managers to build large scale landscaping projects in both the private residential and commercial sectors across the South and South West. Our philosophy is to be restorative in our work. We actively seek out environmentally positive methods to complete and deliver projects in the agreed timescale.

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Ensuring green spaces remain places of growth The British Association of Landscape Industries looks at what public sector organisations should be doing to ensure that their green spaces and gardens are in the best condition for the upcoming months Given the mild winter experienced throughout drainage can be installed with minimal the British Isles during 2019/2020, and the disturbance to an established surface. fact that grass continues to grow – regardless Regular aeration is considered essential on of season – if temperatures are above 14 golf courses and competitive sports pitches, degrees Celsius, a schedule of mowing is likely but may also be applied to general sports to start from early this year, providing areas fields to great effect. Lack of aeration caused are suitably dry. The first few cuts of the year by compaction from human and machine for turfed areas should be higher than usual. traffic (particularly during wet weather) can Water-logged areas should not be mowed result in restricted movement of air, until they can sustain the weight water and nutrients – essential of pedestrians and machinery. for the healthy growth Spring Remedial works to improve of grass - through and Sum drainage may be performed the soil profile. The on areas that suffer from solution is to use floweri mern persistent water-logging tractor-mounted g s h rubs sh throughout the year. equipment which be prun ould The main cause of uses an implement e spring t d in the water-logging is usually to penetrate the o encou compaction, but French surface of the n r a e ge w grow drains or perforated plastic turfed area and t pipe may also be considered create additional floweri h and ng to ensure large areas of space within the soil turf are useable throughout to benefit the rooting the year. Many variations of system of grass. Of relevance

to managers of amenity areas, this process will result in turf more resistant to waterlogging, healthier growth and better rooting, meaning grass is more resilient to drought. Areas of turf that have become worn or damaged may be replaced during the early season to encourage new growth more resilient to traffic later in the year. Seed or turf may be used, depending on the desired speed of recovery, budget and maintenance available. Planted beds Tender shrubs, ornamental grasses, specimens grown for winter stems and spring and summer-flowering shrubs should be pruned in the spring to encourage new growth and flowering, together with the correct form. The removal of dead, diseased or dying growth may also be undertaken during this period. Pruning activities carried out after March must only be carried out after checks for nesting birds. Mulch may be applied to beds to supress weed growth, or cultivated by hand where time allows. E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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 Trees Deciduous tree maintenance is generally undertaken during autumn and winter, or in isolated cases during summer to avoid species-specific pathogens present during spring. However, dead, diseased and dying limbs may be removed from specimens during spring as a safety measure, and coppicing maybe undertaken during early spring to promote new, young, growth. As with smaller shrubs, due diligence should be shown in relation to nesting birds; beyond March only trees requiring essential works should be pruned, following a thorough inspection for nesting birds. Guards, tree supports and irrigation systems on younger specimens may also be inspected and corrected. Play areas (Inc. sports surfacing) Playground equipment and surfacing should be checked on a regular basis, but with these areas perhaps being a little less used at this time of year, it’s an ideal time to carry out a thorough check through visual checks for signs of damage and wear and tear, along with a tactile test. Timber play equipment should be checked for cracks and anything exceeding 8mm should be reported. Moving parts should be checked and lubricated as necessary. Make sure the safety surface areas are clear of debris and trip hazards and check for sign of wear and tear and replace as needed. A professional inspection should take place at least once a year. If serious defects are detected, then equipment should be immobilised and repaired as soon as possible. All play

equipment and surfaces should comply with European Standards of Play Equipment (EN1176) and or Surfacing (EN1177). It’s also a great time to check sport’s surfacing. Continue to keep surfaces free of debris, and in frosty conditions and when snow has settled, keep off artificial grass as walking on the surface can damage the artificial fibres.

It is also best to try not to remove snow once its settled but allow it to thaw as removal can again damage the fibres. Avoid applying rock salt or grit as this, once dissolved can cause contamination and damage to the surface. Specialist PDV salts and antifreezes can be applied by contractors to help prevent ice and snow settling, but is not appropriate E

Areas of turf that have become worn or damaged may be replaced during the early season to encourage new growth more resilient to traffic later in the year



“Tivoli recognise that for the Public Sector these are challenging times, and it is paramount that our Local Authority clients continue to receive safe, quality services that represent real value for money. We understand these pressures, and for more than 30 years we have been finding innovative ways to meet such challenges, maintaining environments, providing fresh ideas and keeping within tight budgets. All the while working in honest partnerships with our clients helping to achieve their long-term goals and objectives, whilst reducing risk.” spencer rock, chief operations officer

Tivoli is the UK’s leading independent grounds maintenance provider with a passion for self-delivering beautifully managed spaces, improving the environment and managing all forms of growth on behalf of our clients.

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Winter Maintenance

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 for all surfaces, so specialist advice should be sort for your type of surface. One of the biggest problem’s artificial surfaces face at this time of the year is the potential to flood, with a build-up of contaminates water will be slow to drain, therefore regular brushing and replacement infill materials is essential to keep the areas draining adequately. If flooding and standing water persists, then contractors may need to be contacted to carry out a deep cleaning process and restore the correct drainage properties. If ignored this will only continue to worsen as times goes on. BALI Members BALI Registered Contractor members such as Mitie, Glendale, Ground Control, Idverde, Nurture, John O’Conner and Continental Landscapes are members of BALI’s National Contractor Forum (BALI-NCF). BALI-NCF members are responsible for managing the maintenance of a wide range of green spaces and gardens; from those in small town centres to iconic public spaces visited by millions of visitors each year. Maintenance contracts fulfilled by BALI-NCF members are likely to include every aspect of green space maintenance, including formal gardens, recreation areas, as well as those within housing associations.

The first few cuts of the year for turfed areas should be higher than usual. Waterlogged areas should not be mowed until they can sustain the weight of pedestrians and machinery In 2017 BALI member Idverde was awarded a BALI Principal Award in recognition of its excellent maintenance of Bexhill Park, East Sussex. The 2.6 acre site, which includes a walled garden, rose garden, rhododendron collection and pond features colourful borders with seasonal planting. The site is not without challenges, however, and during winter areas of the site are prone to flooding. This is managed carefully to ensure the safety of visitors and disturbance of the site. As an ISO 14001 accredited contractor, Idverde reduces waste generated as far as possible by composting green waste. Reduced peat and peat-free mediums are also used, and use of chemicals in the garden avoided as far as possible. BALI member John O’Conner is responsible for the management of Alexandra Palace

and curtilage, covering over seven acres of open parkland that hosts over two million visitors each year. This major tourist attraction plays host to high-profile events including concerts, weddings and major exhibitions. John O’Conner provide services at this site ranging from grass cutting and weed control through to woodland management, litter collection, graffiti removal and winter maintenance throughout the year. With high volumes of visitors and varied events, John O’Conner manage patrols of the park and work closely with external management teams to ensure additional litter collection needs are catered for. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.bali.org.uk



We’re a highly skilled & dedicated landscaping company who’s crew has over 30 years of landscaping experience, including working on a number of award winning instillations. Whatever the size of your project, and no matter the engineering challenges your project may present, we’re more than capable of taking your ideas & turning them into a reality. Having specialised in domestic work, we’re now focusing our attention on the public sector (parks, school playgrounds & sports surface). For more information on how we can help you, please call or email us to arrange a meeting.


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A perspective on parks: Levelling up places Rob Pearce, project manager at The Parks Alliance, explains why parks are one of the smartest investments for infrastructure spending The government has said it aims to level up the UK economy, boosting regional economic growth in the midlands and north, by investing £100 billion in infrastructure to improve the well-being of people living in poorer areas and narrow the productivity gap between England’s regions. £22 billion has been allocated to the biggest ever pothole-filling programme and flood defences with the rest to be determined by the forthcoming budget and spending review. But infrastructure is not just about the roads, rails and waterways that connect our towns and cities. It’s also about the public realm in towns and cities that enables them to function, that makes them good places to live, work and do business. And importantly it’s about the essential civic infrastructure in these places – the public spaces that make these places attractive to people and provide the social spaces that enable communities to function. There are already place based programmes running aimed at driving local economic and productivity growth through investment in local assets and infrastructure including skills and cultural infrastructure. The Towns Fund (£3.6 billion), the Future High Streets Fund

(£1 billion) and the Cultural Investment Fund (£250 million) have recently been launched, focusing on towns and cities outside London, with many already assembling partnerships and investment plans for their places. More than just filling potholes But building roads, repairing bridges and filling potholes are not the only problems that need to be fixed in the ‘left behind places’. Ten years of austerity has left these communities with familiar social problems related to deprivation including poor public health, degraded environments and civic infrastructure and disconnected communities. When investment decisions are being made, whether they be about regional or local infrastructure, they need to be focused on the programmes and projects that deliver the best return. That return must not only be economic. Well planned infrastructure spending can also deliver essential social and environmental returns helping tackle local priorities for health and wellbeing, the environment and local communities. Places should consider where they can achieve the most public value from the investment going in.

Why parks are smart One of the smartest investments has to be in restoring the civic infrastructure of these places and especially public parks. Everyone loves their local park. They are the most visited green space in the country and are used more than just about any other facility for recreation generating over £1.5 billion last year. They are the country’s most favoured community space. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that it is well proven that our parks are also good for our health and well-being, protecting the environment and tackling climate change – largely without even trying! They do this because they are made up of natural and semi-natural spaces, making up a stock of natural capital that provides natural solutions for some of the most pressing public policy problems of today. It’s been proven that if you regularly use your local park your physical and mental health is better and while you are there the trees and vegetation in the park are busy capturing carbon, cooling the temperature and reducing air pollution! Simultaneously tackling public health and climate change – two of the biggest policy issues facing government today. E



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But a decade of austerity has seen investment in our civic infrastructure neglected with spending being slashed by over 40 per cent. For many parks services the cuts were even deeper

London’s parks help people improve their physical and mental health resulting in avoided health costs £580 million per year by being in better mental health  Natural Capital – proving why parks are smart is important But a decade of austerity has seen investment in our civic infrastructure such as libraries, parks and public spaces neglected with spending being slashed by over 40 per cent. For many parks services the cuts were even deeper. The value of developer contributions towards open space also fell by £100 million between 2006 and 2017. The total proportion of urban green space in England has declined by eight percentage points since 2001, from 63 per cent to 55 per cent in 2018. This has to mean there has been a significant loss of benefits to the very communities the government’s infrastructure plans are designed to help. So how can future infrastructure investment planning turn around this situation and recognise the true value parks deliver? The answer lies in how they are valued and how they are paid for. Firstly, the natural benefits and the parks that provide are public goods and without a way of valuing them they are often seen as ‘free gifts’ meaning they get taken for granted. Without a way of understanding their true value investing in parks and their maintenance is not prioritised. Secondly, parks are largely paid for by local authorities and consequently have to compete for resources alongside other services that have direct and measurable beneficiaries (older people, children etc). Parks are often just seen as costs.

Natural capital accounting is beginning to change this outlook providing a consistent way of valuing the benefits of parks (and wider green infrastructure), exposing their true economic, social and environmental value for decision makers and exposing the associated estimated returns for local communities. For each £1 spent by local authorities and their partners on public parks, Londoners enjoy at least £27 in value. London’s parks help people improve their physical and mental health resulting in avoided health costs £580 million per year by being in better physical health and £370 million per year by being in better mental health. The health benefits of London’s parks amount 20 per cent of their total economic value. The total asset value of London’s parks is estimated to be £91 billion. Furthermore, each £1 that Birmingham City Council invests in its parks and greenspaces returns over £24 to society. The annual net-benefit of Birmingham’s parks and greenspaces to society is nearly £600 million. Parks and greenspaces managed by Birmingham City Council store more than 573,000 tonnes of carbon, equivalent to 2.1 million tonnes of CO2 with a value of £221 million. The total asset value of Birmingham’s parks is estimated to be £11.4 billion. Parks are essential civic infrastructure assets of considerable value that deliver exceptionally good returns in the form of natural benefits for local well-being and the environment.

But as critical assets they need on-going investment and good maintenance to continue to do so. That has been sadly lacking. Valuing nature means better decision making and greater public value The Prime Minister has already hinted at changing the Treasury rules on major infrastructure spending to ensure government has the ability to allocate funding on improving the well-being of people living in poorer areas as well as driving economic growth. Those now planning investment in towns and cities through the Towns Fund are already considering their plans for improving local prosperity. Those making these decisions should do so with the full knowledge of the true value of parks to their local communities and returns they deliver in terms of public value. Natural capital accounting can help make better decisions by illustrating how parks are a smart investment when compared to investments in other public assets. Not only are investments into parks relatively inexpensive compared to grey infrastructure they also deliver on key wellbeing priorities for local communities and help tackle climate change. The new focus on regional and local infrastructure spending provides a great opportunity to reverse the trend of recent years of under investment in these critical civic assets and reinforce the message that valuing and enhancing nature makes for good economic decision making and better public value. As everyone has a favourite park these are opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.theparksalliance.org



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While the prospect of developing a brand new sports facility or redeveloping an existing one is exciting, it can also be a daunting task. We revisit advice from the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) on the key things to consider According to Sport England figures, 39 per authorities are facing budgetary challenges in cent of all sports facilities are located on the provision of their public leisure facilities. school, college or university properties. For those considering making their future, For certain types of facilities, schools rule or existing, facilities to the public, Sport the roost – 77 per cent of all sports halls England has developed a handy ‘Use Our and 61 per cent of synthetic grass pitches School’ tool – an online resource to support can be found within educational sites. schools and their partners in the process of Many schools and educational institutions opening their facilities for community use. make their sports spaces available for the general public. Currently, 62 per cent of school The ten steps sports facilities in England are being used To give a head start on a sports facility project, for some form of community activity. we take a look back at Neil McHugh’s useful, While providing suitable ten-step guide. McHugh is chairman of facilities for students is the the Professional Services Group at priority for any project, the Sports and Play Construction Outside there are many benefits Association (SAPCA) – the of school in creating facilities UK trade association for the p which can be used sports facility construction there a rovision, r by the general industry. SAPCA represents e m b a ny enefits public. One of the specialist constructors facilitie in creating main benefits is – as well as suppliers s that allowing public of sports surfaces – and used by which can be the g access widens the plays an important role in options for applying promoting high standards public eneral for National Lottery for the developing of funding from Sport sports facilities of all sizes. England. The grassroots sports body provides a 1. Use appropriate advice number of facility grants. These Consultants can help navigate a project range from the ‘small grants’ programme, from the start – but it’s important to ensure which offers between £300 to £10,000 to they have the relevant experience. Do they projects which get communities more active, understand the facility requirements set out to the Strategic Facility Fund, designed by sporting national governing bodies? to finance large-scale facility projects. There are also Construction, Design & With good forward planning, a new sports Management Regulations (CDM) to consider, facility can become a valuable asset, at the which have been designed to improve site heart of the community the school serves. safety. Depending on the scale and the The impact of creating a popular hub – not length of time to build, you might have to mention a revenue generator – should not to notify the Health and Safety Executive be underestimated, particularly as many local and appoint a CDM co-ordinator.

Sports facilities

Ten steps to a successful sports facility 2. Investigate the site The old adage of ‘if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ rings true in facility projects. Knowing everything you need to about the location of your project is paramount in order to avoid nasty surprises. Depending on the complexity of the project, your site investigation might include any of the following: trial pits and boreholes, soil investigations, percolation tests, a topographical survey and the charting of existing records of services, underground workings and flood risks. Other issues to consider include whether the location was a tip site, or if there are drainage outlets, environmental restraints or access constraints – especially those relating to disability access. 3. Get the design right The wide range of playing surfaces, design solutions and facility infrastructure options – such as fencing, lighting, security and equipment – means that it is now possible to create bespoke facilities down to the smallest of details. It is important, however, to make sure the ‘bigger picture’ is clear. What size should the playing surface or facility be? Which sports are to be played at the facility and is there a primary sport? What level of user will the facility target – will it be purely for students or will you look to attract local clubs? If the facility will be used by the public, what will the usage pattern be and will the facility need to be supervised? What about the level of income expected? How will the maintenance be managed and what is the useful life expectancy? The more defined the facility’s requirements are, the easier it will be to navigate the plethora of choices. 4. Tendering There are two forms of tendering – traditional procurement and design and build – and a professional advisor can explain the different options available to you. Depending on funding, there may also be a framework procurement route you will have to take in order to get your funding. For all methods, it can be beneficial to study other, similar installations at other schools or colleges, when coming up with a specification for the design, build and performance requirements. Once there is a clear understanding of whom the facility will cater for and what the requirements are, it is important to communicate the requirements to those looking to deliver the project. 5. Use appropriate contract Paperwork is often overlooked in projects. Ensure contracts are simple, but include all the relevant information – this could include E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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6. Select the right contractor When selecting contractors, it is a good idea to look at other projects the candidates have completed. If possible, speak to their previous clients. There is no harm in doing your homework. Make sure to interview each candidate and ask questions – being comfortable with the people delivering your project will make things easier. It is also important to check the financial stability of candidates in order to avoid projects ending up half-finished. 7. Agree a realistic programme Deadlines will help with the management of a project – as long as they are not unrealistic. To avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the project, proper time needs to be dedicated for finding funding, carrying out feasibility studies and planning. Most schools will look to undertake major works during holidays, but as nearly all construction projects are weather dependent, the possibility of running into term time needs to be considered. If work is carried out during school times, coordinating the delivery times of materials and equipment can help minimise disruption at busy student pick up and drop off periods. Even when building work comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that a facility project is complete. The time needed for handover

and snagging – and in large projects, testing – should always be factored into a project plan. With the UK climate, it’s important to also remember that installation of certain surfaces is weather-dependent, so build in ‘slippage’ to take account weather delays. 8. Use appropriate supervision Keeping tabs on progress will make identifying issues easier and could potentially help prevent small delays becoming major ones. Appoint your own, single point of contact – rather than multiple ones – to help with effective and consistent communication with the contractor. Ensure there is competent project management in place Log everything in writing, so you have an accurate record of the project progress, such as possible variations in contract, and of any agreements or requests. It is also a good idea to keep a photographic record of progress and stages of work. Also, be mindful that, depending on funding sources, they may require you to submit all the tender documents and reports as part of your award of funding. Significant consideration should also be given to site security during the works, in order to protect students. Identifying potential hazards – and highlighting them to students and staff – will be paramount. 9. Comply with the conditions of contract Conditions of contract are there for the protection of all parties. Keeping up your end of the deal can range from putting

instructions into writing to ensuring funding is in place to make payments. 10. Maintain the required standard A successful development project – delivered on time and on budget – doesn’t guarantee a successful facility. To make sure a facility becomes a successful, long-term venue for students – and returns on its investment if in public use – it needs to be maintained properly. All contractors will offer guidance on the maintenance requirements, so make sure you buy the appropriate maintenance equipment and that those undertaking the work are familiar with the maintenance requirements. It is important to also understand the difference between maintenance that can be undertaken by school staff – such as regular cleaning – and when professional help is needed. Maintenance guidelines can be linked to warranties and national governing body performance requirements. By keeping up the maintenance and the performance, you reduce risk to students and players while extending the life of the facility. While regular maintenance is essential, you can avoid damage – and unnecessary, costly repairs – by advising the users on the ‘dos and don’ts’ at the facility. L

Sports facilities

 contractors’ conditions, performance specification and, where appropriate, testing of the playing surface.

This article first appeared in our sister publication, Education Business. FURTHER INFORMATION www.sapca.org.uk

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Health & safety

Why learning first aid at work is a beneficial life-skill Emma Hammett discusses the importance of first aid training in the workplace and how first aid training has the ability to empower an organisation’s staff with the skills and confidence to help in an emergency As a leading first aid training business, we of this training and help everyone realise have many years of experience supporting what a huge perk and benefit it is to businesses to ascertain exactly what training be able to learn these skills at work. they need to comply with their Health and Learning first aid is a fabulous teamSafety requirements. We help managers building event. Not only do staff gain a evaluate risks and work closely with teams transferrable skill but enjoy learning this to establish the most appropriate training to knowledge particularly with the practical meet the day-to-day challenges nature of the course. It is seen faced by their employees by many as a staff benefit; and customers. particularly if they are given All All employers, whether the opportunity to learn employ a sole trader or adult and child first aid e whethe rs, huge public sector on this training, thereby trader o r a sole business, have a empowering them with legal duty to provide the ability to help their sector b r huge publi c appropriate first family at home, as well u s i n e ss, have legal du aid cover, to ensure as being able to assist a their ty to pr their employees work colleagues. o a v ppropri receive immediate Many people just ate firstide attention if they keep their fingers crossed aid cov er are injured or taken accidents won’t occur. Or ill at work. However, that if the worst happens, some attendees have there will be a doctor or other historically been reticent about medically trained person on hand joining these courses; scared of the to take charge and help. Sadly, accidents responsibility of being a first aider at work do happen and the HSE have released and suspicious of employer’s motives in the following 2018/19 statistics on injury enrolling them on the course. Hopefully this and illnesses at work (and these are just article will help to change the positioning the ones that were reported!): 581,000

working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey; 69,208 serious injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR; 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury; and 147 workers were killed at work during that year. Unfortunately, according to RoSPA, it is in the home where most accidents occur. They report that every year in the UK more than 6,000 people die in accidents in the home and 2.7 million turn up at accident and emergency departments seeking treatment. Therefore, it is a great opportunity to learn these skills in a work environment to help protect your family at home. Taking a first aid course run by a highly qualified medical, health or emergency services professional teaches life-saving skills you can use at home or work and gives you the confidence to know when and how to act in an emergency. Any of the skills you learn could equip you with the knowledge you need to save a life, as well as improve outcomes for someone who has had an accident. The reasons why Here are 10 reasons why learning first aid should be at the top of everyone’s to do list: E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Advertisement Feature

Building the connected council contact centre – Turning technology from a barrier to a benefit In delivering customer service, local councils have to manage escalating demand and growing expectations from an ever-expanding user base. As digitalisation accelerates, they are having to deal with a more connected public who increasingly want to be able to engage at any time, from anywhere, on any device From the council perspective, delivering on this means implementing digital self-service communications channels that enable residents to interact in a way that suits them. Doing this requires careful planning. Too many channels can result in confusion and poorly thought through processes, can exacerbate problems leading to an increase in call volumes, with more time and effort spent untangling issues and concerns. Fundamental to the problem is a lack of understanding of the customer journey. Councils need to ensure they understand what customers want from their interactions and map the customer journey correctly up front, before layering in additional channels. To do this, councils should look at their top five citizen journeys and prioritise them and get them working efficiently. It sounds easy but the biggest problem with this is a cultural friction from department to department. Once you start layering in technology, people start to become defensive - i.e. what does this mean for my job? Another key issue here is that councils shouldn’t rely too heavily on self-service. If the council’s communication channels are predominately self-service, they need to ensure that they have built in an escalation path to the contact centre if their citizens hit a road block. They also need to ensure that any information captured within the self-service channel is pulled through so that the customer isn’t asked to repeat answers. It’s a balance of how you shape the customer journey, and how you think about that in the design process. You have got to build the escape hatches back to the contact centre. Ultimately, residents need to be able to get the results they are looking for quickly and efficiently rather than spending valuable time working through a complex process only to find that they have to abandon the interaction and start again.


Building connections Delivering a fast, effective service to council residents also involves building a connected customer service operation that helps agents resolve queries more quickly. Agents should be able to access key information about local council services from a central knowledge base at the point of interaction with residents, for example, rather than being forced to scrawl through complex printed documents. Ideally, they should be presented with a pathway, enabling them to provide help quickly and efficiently. Councils can also build a more connected customer service approach such as using collaboration tools to triage calls out to domain experts in the middle and back office or out to the field. And new AI‑driven technologies such as active listening applications, which enables an automated bot to go off and pull information together based on what it hears, can effectively upscale the agent in real time. The connected enterprise approach is also about initiating an organisation-wide collaboration in order to provide a better service to the public. As the local authority starts to put more routine interactions through an automated or self-service mechanism, by definition what is left is awkward and ugly, as the customer will have tried to solve it themselves and couldn’t. Now they’re calling their local council, and often, the only way the council can fix the problem is to collaborate through fast growing environments like Microsoft Teams. Whether this is pulling experts in within the organisation or using third party suppliers, councils need to understand how they address that awkward problem when it arrives as it inevitably will. Whatever the ultimate choice, the role of the frontline agent is likely to change. They will need new skills to handle different interactions and queries, to draw relevant information from the back office and from automated systems in order to provide a more informed service and answer queries more efficiently.


Looking Ahead Technology can bring far-reaching benefits across local government. But there is great pressure on councils to get it right. If something goes wrong, it is typically very public and widely shared. As they implement new digital strategies, there will inevitably be challenges in the way of councils who often have to deal with tight budgets and navigate complex legacy infrastructures. But as they evolve their service provision, councils can plot a positive route forward by focusing on the experience residents have in engaging with them and ensuring the customer journey is front and centre of their approach. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.enghouseinteractive.co.uk

Health & safety

 Reason One - First aid saves lives Basic first aid can mean the difference between life and death. A Red Cross survey showed a staggering 59 per cent of deaths from injuries would have been preventable had first aid been given before the emergency services arrived. Reason Two – First aid reduces recovery time First aid can have a huge impact on someone’s chances of recovery and can mean the difference between them having a short term or more permanent disability. Reason Three – First aid reduces hospital time Early intervention with first aid can reduce the length of time the patient needs to stay in hospital. Reason Four – First aid prevents medical situations deteriorating Knowing the basics of first aid can prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Consider a patient who is seriously bleeding from a deep cut. Without intervention, the patient could suffer severe blood loss. By applying pressure using simple first aid techniques, you can prevent a medical emergency from rapidly deteriorating and stabilise the patient until further medical help arrives. The same with burns, where prompt and appropriate treatment not only reduces damage, but also promotes healing, reducing pain, scarring and long term damage from the injury. Reason Five – First aid knowledge can reduce unnecessary visits to hospital Not every accident ends up in hospital but still needs medical attention. Some injuries such as a bumped head, bruised knee or sprained ankle can be better managed with the correct procedure such as competent bandaging, rest or swelling reduction with a wrapped ice pack.

First aid training also teaches you to prioritise injuries, giving the most seriously injured or ill the very best chance. As well as equipping you with the knowledge to establish whether someone needs further care and whether that care should be given by the GP, at a hospital or needs immediate paramedic intervention. Reason Six – Competent first aid can reduce the amount of pain experienced by casualties Knowing how to respond helps you stay calm in an emergency situation. Staying calm allows you to provide emotional support to the patient and help prevent them from panicking – which can often be a very effective form of pain relief. In addition, knowing how to physically move someone in pain, support their injuries and administer appropriate bandaging and dressings can also greatly reduce the amount of pain they experience. Reason Seven - Crucial communication for the emergency services Staying with the patient until the emergency services arrive to take over means you can convey vital information about how the patient sustained the injury or information about their condition. This information is vital to the emergency services for the effective treatment of the patient and can also aid the patient’s treatment and recovery. Reason Eight – First aid increases awareness and reduces your susceptibility to accidents Learning first aid and becoming alert to potential hazards and medical issues increases our health awareness and allows us to take better care of ourselves, our friends and families. It creates resilient communities and relieves pressure on the NHS.

Reason Nine – First aid makes you feel empowered Learning first aid will give you the confidence to act appropriately when an accident occurs. It is vitally important to deal with any life-saving injuries before reaching for the phone to call for an ambulance. It is also very useful to know when, if and how to move someone following an accident. Reason Ten – Helps prepare you for anything None of us know what the future has in store for us or for our loved ones. Sudden illness such as heart attack, stroke, severe bleeding and breathing difficulties require immediate attention, which after a course, you will be well equipped to provide. First aid also equips you to deal with bleeding, burns, breathlessness, bites, shocks stings, splints and fainting so whatever medical situation life throws at you, you should have basic skills to respond effectively. L

First Aid for Life is a multi-award-winning first aid training provider. Our trainers are highly experienced medical, health and emergency services professionals who will tailor the training to your needs. First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. FURTHER INFORMATION firstaidforlife.org.uk



Advertisement Feature Written by Neil Ashdown CertFDI, FSIDip

Fire resisting doors in high-rise residential blocks: Essential to fire safety but difficult to manage? The greatest consideration regarding fire safety in housing is clearly the safety of relevant persons. In the event of a fire, either a robust stay-put policy or safe evacuation would be necessary in keeping people away from the effects of fire and smoke. Therefore, the building’s fire and smoke compartmentation is relied upon to restrict the spread of fire and smoke from one part of the building to another

It is the walls, floors, ceilings and fire doors that divide the building into a series of compartments to keep the fire in the room or compartment where it started thus maintaining safety for occupants and allowing the fire and rescue service to reach the fire and deal with it. The difficulty with fire doors is that although, just like the wall, they restrict fire and smoke spreading they also have to function in spite of heavy use and in communal areas, opening and closing possibly hundreds of times each day. Add to that the likelihood of damage and the sheer number of them, it is easy to see how managing maintenance to a standard where older doors can meet the required fire and smoke ratings can be so challenging. Fire door strategy At any large or complex building it will be necessary to have an efficient inspection and maintenance regime for fire doors. None more so than in high rise residential buildings. Maintaining fire doors could be seen as something akin to painting the Forth Bridge so first it is necessary examine the fire strategy to see which fire doors are most critical in providing protection to enable safe progressive evacuation. Maintaining fire doors can be a drain on resources so it is vital that the efficient working order of the fire doors lines up with the building’s fire safety requirements. The entrance doors to individual flats and those that protect escape routes and protect areas providing refuge are the most critical, the maintenance regime should take account of that. In other words there should be a fire door hierarchy starting with doors critical to the fire strategy all the way down


to doors that although marked with the blue signs may not when aligned to the fire strategy be as necessary to safety. Dealing with fire safety is ‘risk-based’ so the fire risk assessment should identify fire doors that are vital. Fire door maintenance Fire doors should be inspected at suitable intervals and maintained in efficient working order. The majority of fire doors are made from timber therefore repairs and maintenance can be carried out by competent carpenters. However, fire doors are different from ordinary doors especially regarding working tolerances, glazing, seals and ironmongery so maintenance teams should be aware that work must be carried out in accordance with the relevant standards. BS 8214: 2016 is the code of practice for timber based fire doors so installers and maintenance teams should adhere to such guidance along with other codes of practices and guidance for hardware, seals and glazing. Housing maintenance departments should therefore ensure that repairs, maintenance and new fire door installation work complies with necessary standards. Training for fire door installation and maintenance teams Those carrying out installation and maintenance works should have the necessary skills and competence. Dedicated fire door installation and maintenance training can help operatives and their managers to understand the requirements for timber based fire doors so that maintenance work and new installations can be carried out to meet the relevant standards.


Fire Doors Complete Limited provides training courses both at its fire door training centre in Queniborough, near Leicester, and via remote learning courses. We can also provide the training at the clients own premises, so long as suitable facilities are available. Delegates can benefit by understanding more about the legislative requirements and standards that cover installation and maintenance. They can also find out how to access many useful fire door resources that will help them to select suitable products that can help maintain the service life of fire doors and help to protect doors from damage. Where a fire door must be replaced due to severe damage or as part of refurbishment works the opportunity arises to ensure new doors will meet the necessary durability requirements as well as the correct fire rating. There are many types of fire doors, impact protection products and hardware that can extend the life of fire doors, so where doors are likely to be subject to heavy use, the specification should meet the demands of the door’s location. Maintenance teams that have the knowledge and resources to procure the most suitable products will be able to reduce costs in the long run. In summary Valuable resources can be better targeted by ensuring that maintenance addresses those fire doors most vital to fire safety at the buildings. Update fire risk assessments to take account of changes of use to rooms at the building and to help identify the critical fire door locations. Ensure the fire door maintenance teams or contractors are suitably qualified in terms of skills and training and that specifications for new doors take full account of durability requirements as well as the fire and cold smoke performance.

Neil Ashdown is managing director of Fire Doors Complete Limited, providers of fire door inspection, training and consultancy services. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.firedoorscomplete.com

Fire safety

The increasing importance of fire safety doors The upcoming Fire Safety Bill is set to stipulate that fire doors in all blocks of flats will need to be checked every three months Approximately three million new fire doors Government action are bought and installed every year in the UK. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and However, to save lives fire doors must work Local Government (MHCLG) is understood correctly, be regularly tested and fitted with to be asking building owners whether the correct and compatible components. Of quarterly fire door inspections are feasible, equal importance, those living or working in with the aim of making it part of their buildings where fire safety doors are present wide-ranging fire safety reforms. must know why they are important, how they In phase one of Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Sir work and who is responsible for the checks. Martin Moore-Bick recommended that building Fire doors are difference from fire exits, and owners or managers of every residential knowing the difference is also important. Fire building containing separate dwellings should exits are found on external walls, and take be required by law to carry out checks at people outside. Fire doors are internal not less than three-monthly intervals and are specially designed to ensure that all fire doors are and installed to resist fire. fitted with effective self-closing R esident However, some fire doors devices in working order. safety i s’ are also considered fire Fire doors form an s utmost our exits if they are on the important part of any priority evacuation route to passive fire protection and bu ilding o the final fire exit. strategy, helping to should wners External fire protect escape routes e n sure tha produc exits can remain on stairs and corridors, t ts open, and must slow or stop the spread their bu being used in ildings be easy to open, of fire and provide places m the app preferably in the of relative safety. This is ropriateeet direction of traffic, so particularly important in standar that people can easily larger, multi-storey buildings. ds vacate a building in an The government initially emergency. Fire exits should seemed keen to only recommend be clearly marked with a sign that fire doors should be ‘routinely above the door. Fire exit doors do not need checked’, but Housing Secretary Robert to be fire-resisting, unlike fire doors. Jenrick has since stated that a Fire Safety Fire doors need to be closed to prevent Bill that includes all of the Grenfell the spread of fire and smoke. Wedging or Tower inquiries recommendations will propping them open is dangerous. They be implemented ‘very swiftly’. can be held open with certain devices A spokesperson for MHCLG stated: but these must automatically release the “Residents’ safety is our utmost priority door to close if the fire alarm sounds. and building owners should ensure that

products being used in their buildings meet the appropriate standards. We have been clear that building owners must take responsibility, review their building fire risk assessments and ensure fire doors are routinely checked or inspected by a qualified professional.” As part of advice provided during Fire Door Safety Week, the Fire Door Alliance, part of the British Woodworking Federation, provided ten things for building owners and managers to make on fire doors. They are: look for a label, a plug or similar marking to show that it’s certificated; make sure the door leaf isn’t damaged, warped or twisted; ensure it closes correctly around all parts of the frame; check that the closer shuts the door onto the latch from any position, suggesting about 75mm from the closed position; check the gap around the door frame is constant and around 3mm to 4mm; check the hinges are firmly fixed into the door and frame with no missing screws; ensure that the seals at the top and sides of the door are not damaged or missing; make sure any glass and the beads holding the glass are fitted firmly; make sure the door is not wedged or propped open; and check that the door is marked correctly with appropriate signage. Other recommendations Sir Martin Moore-Bick has written that fire brigade inspections of high-rise buildings need to be improved and crews trained better to carry out more thorough risk evaluations. Regular inspections of lifts intended to be used by firefighters are also needed. Discussing communications, his report says that dialogue between fire brigade control rooms, where emergency calls are received, and incident E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Fire extinguishers Fire extinguishers are a vital part of fire protection, but all too often they get misused as door stops or worse – left in a corner and forgotten about. But ignored fire extinguishers have a hidden risk: a failure to operate if not properly maintained. Fire extinguishers play a very important role in first aid fire-fighting. They can mean the difference between a small localised incident that is quickly put out, or the fire and rescue service arriving to find a raging inferno which is putting life, property and environment at risk. Fire extinguishers are provided to give first aid fire-fighting capability, in the event of a fire incident, you’d certainly want the extinguisher to work as expected. As such, there is a need for proper maintenance. For example, if the safety pin in the extinguisher has corroded, it could mean that the pin cannot be removed, rendering the fire extinguisher inoperable. Annual checks by a competent Fire Extinguisher Technician, who has the relevant training, qualifications, experience, tools, equipment, and access to refills and

Fire safety

 commanders must improve and there must be a dedicated communication link. The new Conservative government should quickly develop national guidelines for carrying out partial or total evacuations of high-rise residential buildings, and fire doors in all multi-occupancy, residential properties should be urgently inspected. A law requiring owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings to provide their local fire and rescue service with information about external wall materials and building plans was also seen as an important move, while improvements were deemed necessary to the data links provided by helicopters of the National Police Air Service. Pictures transmitted on the night of Grenfell could not be viewed by the LFB because the encryption was incompatible with its receiving equipment. Of 15 fire services to be inspected by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, London, Essex and Gloucestershire were the three to be rated as requiring improvement.

Fire doors form an important part of any passive fire protection strategy, helping to protect escape routes on stairs and corridors, slow or stop the spread of fire and provide places of relative safety components, would identify and rectify this type of issue, cleaning and lubricating, or replacing the pin if necessary. When a Fire Extinguisher Technician visits, each extinguisher is subject to a stringent 20-point check before it can be signed off as safe to use. They will be able to identify any extinguisher which has reached end-of-life before you end up with an extinguisher that won’t work or, worse, becomes a danger to your or your employees. When selecting a service provider to inspect and maintain your extinguishers it is essential to ensure the competence of the company and/or individual being employed to carry out inspection and maintenance, as not all service providers will be the level of competency you’d expect and hope for. This means that you could have extinguishers that may have been ‘serviced’ but may still not operate correctly. In Article 17 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (Maintenance section), which

is the relevant fire safety legislation for England and Wales, it states: “Equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this Order or, subject to paragraph 6 (General Fire Precautions) under any other enactment, including any enactment repealed or revoked by this Order (RRO) are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.” In Scotland and Northern Ireland other fire safety legislation applies, but the message is broadly the same: maintenance of fire protection equipment is paramount. Due to the complex nature of the legislation, the Chief Fire Officers Association produced a guidance document for enforcing authorities. Within this document, section 17 maintenance states that where equipment is ‘provided and installed to a British Standard; it is it is reasonable to expect that the standard be met by the responsible person in terms of maintenance and recording systems’. Fire extinguishers are manufactured to BSEN3 and installed in accordance with BS 5306 part 8; therefore, Fire Extinguishers should be serviced to BS5306 part 3. If all of these codes sound confusing, just know that these are the relevant British Standards (a type of best practice regulation), which the industry uses to deliver fire protection services. Knowledge of these codes is absolutely necessary for fire extinguishing professionals – which is why these individuals should have proper training and you should check their credentials, not just the price. When selecting a service provider to inspect and maintain your extinguishers it is essential to ensure the competence of the company and/or individual being employed to carry out inspection and maintenance; as it is the responsibility of the ‘responsible person’ to ensure the service provider is competent to carry out the work. L Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE



The view from above: drones and public services The Association of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems UK address the use of drones in public services and how they can help the save money and increase efficiency There are numerous ways in which drones can be used in the public services sector: police and fire-fighting, disaster response, environmental protection and monitoring and infrastructure inspection to name a few. But why should the public services be using drones? There are three main reasons: they’re safer, faster and cheaper. At a time when the UK government has been reducing budgets available to public services right across the board, when demands on all services have increased, as well as the ability to scrutinise every payment and every health and safety risk, this technology’s savings are worth potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds to public services that could then be reinvested in other underfunded areas, like education.

(EWI) systems with a render or brick-slip finish, wherein it states that the maintenance of a building with External Wall Insulation (EWI) systems with either a render or brickslip finish, particularly those over 18m tall or in an exposed location, should include an annual visual inspection. It goes on to list in particular what to look for. UAVs are ideal for this work, as they can gather the information easily, quickly and in a format that can pinpoint any issues. Over the years, this will provide useful data to councils as they monitor building maintenance. In November 2018, it was reported that a Scottish local authority had saved £4.5 million due to drones. A local drone company was contracted to provide aerial inspection to over 600 council owned properties. This formed part of a larger scale program to bring them Potential savings into line with HEEP (Home Energy Efficiency In 2017, Severn Trent Water’s drone usage Programs) and SHQS (Scottish Housing saved £30,000. In 2018, they saved over Quality Standard). By using UAVs rather than £750,000 and more is yet to come. They traditional methods meant the inspection has use drones now to check the optimisation taken weeks rather than years. It has also of treatment processes, thermal imaging minimised the risks to staff of working at of pipes to detect leakage and creating height and the risks of further damage being 3D models of assets. These uses cross into caused during the inspection process itself. public services: surveying public owned Working together with the council to get properties for building defects including roofs, permissions to close roads for short periods, windows, chimneys, guttering and high-rise having extra people to hand as observers and cladding, saving thousands of pounds in helping to make all necessary arrangements unnecessary scaffolding and eliminating meant that the work was straightforward. the risk of people working at height. Other mitigating factors involved flying early in the morning when areas were at their Councils already using quietest. This has meant that the council drones for inspection work inspection program has run smoothly and In the light of the Grenfell efficiently with minimal disruption to disaster, the Department the local population. The end result UAVs for Communities and of the collaborative work was are idea Local Government the targeted deployment of produced Advice maintenance teams to only inspect l for i o n Note 13: Advice those properties in need of w as they o for building work and with an accurate can gat rk, the info her owners: External brief as to the scope of rmation easily Wall Insulation the repairs needed.

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Environmental protection and monitoring In Ireland, 18 councils are using drones, predominantly quad-copters to visit known fly-tipping sites. Having the capability to cover 13 or 14 sites in a day, when this would otherwise take several days, and to revisit them at more frequent intervals shows what a difference drones can make to the environment. While this is not necessarily an immediately obvious use case for drones and one that has had its merits discussed, it does show that councils are not averse to trialling new technology. It has had the added advantage of providing greater security to staff as they are positioned at one remove to the flytipping incident and potential conflict. Since 2017, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has given €2.3 million to councils through the antidumping initiative. The funding has supported more than 400 projects and removed more than 5,000 tons of illegally dumped waste. Fly-tipping monitoring is not the only environmental use that drones can be put to: they can monitor coastal erosion too, enabling better decisions to be made in the long term for infrastructure and tourism reasons. Wattle Range Council in the south east of Southern Australia uses drones to monitor their coastline, overlapping images in time to monitor the erosion. While on-ground monitoring had been undertaken annually for a number of years, the imagery one particular area showed the risk of erosion undermining a key tourist route. From the ground, the dune swales were visibly lower than the dunes, leading people to expect that any breach by the ocean through the dunes would be at this low point. However, the aerial imagery shows that the dune is most likely to undermine the road first, leading to better decisions for local road maintenance being made. E



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Police and fire-fighting Most police forces in the UK now either have their own drone team or are sharing resources to take advantage of this technology and the feedback has been phenomenal. This technology has proved a game changer on many levels. Wiltshire Police state that: “Drones allow us to pre-position each unit before we deploy from the ground and it is also great for capturing evidence. Drones are a massive game-changer. We can see what’s going on and watch the movement of people. Having footage go straight to the control room in real time is so beneficial. You can’t write this stuff.” In June 2018, Lincolnshire Police used a drone to obtain a Court Warrant to investigate outbuildings. Thermal imagery from a one minute 20 second film as part of a five minute flight was enough to determine that a known offender was reoffending, growing cannabis at a farm. At £3,000 per hour, a helicopter could have been used but the drone is so well embedded with Lincolnshire Police that it has become simply another tool. Drones are used now in searching for missing people, not just offenders. The thermal imagery can detect heat in areas hard to reach while a hovering drone can help searchers navigate closer to the missing person. In Wiltshire an 83-year-old woman was believed to be at immediate risk. A large on-the-ground team was sent to search a wooded area near to where she was last seen, while the police drone, equipped with a thermal-imaging camera, was dispatched and arrived at the scene around 30 minutes later. Within an hour, the drone located a heat source on the edge of a wooded area and on closer inspection, the outline of a person laying on the ground could be seen. The drone hovered over the area directly above to guide officers on the ground in and the patient was located. She had been outside for more than five hours and was suffering with exhaustion and pain as a result of the cold weather. Back in Lincolnshire, after a crash in which a car overturned, a man was seen wandering away from the crash by a witness, who was concerned about the man in the sub-zero temperatures. The police were notified and a ground search was conducted around a 1.5 mile stretch of the accident location. However, the missing man was nowhere to be found. The challenge was to search a large rural area at night, in the dark, with a small team of officers and only an approximate direction of where the man had headed to. The freezing conditions also posed a serious threat to the missing, injured man. They didn’t find him. Within 70 minutes of the initial phone call notification, the drone plus operator arrived on the scene. 12 minutes later, the thermal imaging found a heat source. When the officers arrived, they confirmed that it was a male who was injured, unconscious and hypothermic. He was in a six-foot-deep ditch, which made verifying his identity extremely difficult for the officers who were relying on just the human eye. Thanks to the drone technology, the man survived. The police use drones for many other purposes too: from crowd control and situational awareness of sports matches and festivals, road traffic accidents, evidence gathering and crucially training too. The fire service use drones too. Just recently they provided imagery from Bacup wildfire. It was far safer using a drone to establish extent of fire before committing firefighters into a very dangerous environment. It is believed that the fire was started deliberately, but with drone footage to show the overall view of the fire, it was resolved faster and more effectively. They also use drones with thermal imagery to detect heat sources at fires. In one particularly memorable fire at a factory next to a commuter railway route, with a mains gas pipe in situ too, the drone was able to show that the gas pipe was beginning to overheat and

could potentially make the situation a far worse one. Resources were diverted to cool the pipe. If this pipe had overheated, the resulting situation would have meant the rail route closing and thousands of Manchester commuters - and their businesses – being affected. The drone’s imagery more than justified its expenditure in just one event.


 The future for councils? Leeds University Engineering Department have designed and created drones that can fix potholes in the road. Potentially taking a fraction of the time that traditional methods do, the drone scans the pothole and then uses a 3D asphalt printer to fill the hole. Leeds City Council is working closely with Leeds University to pioneer the use of drones in a concept described as ‘self-repairing cities’. As a side effect, it has been discovered that this 3D printed asphalt is actually stronger than traditional asphalt. With approximately 32 per cent of Welsh councils’ road maintenance budgets spent on reactive maintenance last year, there are surely huge savings that could be made. The drones can also fly at night, thereby minimising disruption to traffic too.

Drones and disaster response Drones are used extensively in disaster response. From mapping wildfires and their opposite, flooding, finding those stranded, visual imagery of the disaster and then afterwards assessing damage. Drones, especially those in cages, can go places that may not be safe for people to go. Recently in Mozambique drones were deployed after Cyclone Idai to locate stranded communities and improve the routing of the rescue boats for food supply and evacuation. While that may be an extreme event, the rivers of the UK flood on a regular basis affecting many towns and their populations. The need for data in the immediate hours and days after a disaster is huge: with data from drones, decision makers are provided with better information and better decisions on the use of resources can be made. Conclusion The impact drones have had already on the UK economy is large, but nothing compared to what it has the potential to be. PriceWaterhouseCooper predicted that 628,000 people in the UK alone will be involved in the UK drone economy by 2030, contributing up to £42 billion, including savings. If public services want to take advantage of those savings and use them for other crucially needed public services, they need to get involved. Preferably sooner, rather than later. Crucially, if a council does not want to invest in the drones, training and personnel themselves, keep up to date with the ever-changing regulation and more, they can contract the work out to the drone industry and still achieve savings on traditional methods of surveying. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.arpas.uk



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The Security Event

The UK’s commercial and residential security event Created for the commercial and residential security market, the Security Event will bring together a world-class education programme, market leaders and industry experts back at the home of UK security. Government Business looks ahead to the show Spearheaded by nine of the industry’s major Conference streams players, the Security Event conference and Covering seminar content, there are four exhibition will showcase the world’s theatres covering the latest views from the leading security brands, industry. They are: the Security in attracting thousands of Practice Theatre, where speakers attendees over three will uncover the emerging Increasi days with key features technologies, latest trends and focus is ng including a tailored best practice case studies content programme for security professionals; placed being on the and networking the Innovation Theatre, a b ility to f opportunities out which will give visitors security actor in of show hours. the opportunity to The Security discover the breakthrough as poss as early ible Event presents technologies shaping countless options the security sector; the project in a for connecting with Installer Theatre, dedicated new and existing to the needs of security contacts and industry installers and integrators; and the peers both onsite during Tavcom Training Theatre, which will the show or out of hours. offer practical training tips and guidance The event was developed with support for security installers and integrators. from a group of the industry’s major players The rapidly expanding connected world is to deliver a world class exhibition dedicated being driven by IoT technology and devices, to UK security professionals, installers and however with hyper-connectivity comes more integrators, providing opportunities for opportunity for security breaches by those direct engagement across the supply chain. with malicious intent. So how do we secure The highly focused education programme IoT devices, systems and networks, and where investigates the evolving challenges and do we start? What are the factors to consider opportunities involved in the delivery of when designing an IoT device, system or security projects throughout the supply chain. network? How is data managed to ensure it The Security Event will tap into the expertise is secure, and compliant? The Opportunities, of leading security professionals and explore Challenges And Security Implications Of the latest innovations from suppliers. IoT seminar, taking place in the Security in

Practice Theatre on 28 April, will address security at the design phase, to save time, money, effort and potential loss in the future. On the same day, an expert panel will discuss how increasing connectivity and advanced systems integration is likely to evolve over the next decade. How will these developments affect security systems, and the practitioners who are tasked with designing, installing, and securing them? What are the major implications of emerging technology on security systems integration? What are the major challenges to systems integration now, and how will these continue to evolve? What is the impact on the role of the consultant, integrator and security practitioner and how can they best prepare for future developments to ensure they can deliver value to clients? All the above questions will be discussed. Increasing focus is being placed on the ability to factor in security as early as possible in a project, be it when designing products, systems or indeed buildings, venues and spaces. The architect therefore can play a leading role in the early stages of designing in security to save time, effort, and considerable investment. In the The Role Of The Architect When Designing In Security session, taking place in the same theatre on 29 April, delegates can hear how architects are increasingly working in partnership with security design consultants and the growing importance of collaboration at the design stage. E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and police demand reduction initiatives. The organisation acts as a catalyst to bring organisations together to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and create safer communities. Partners include the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, local authorities, British and European standards authorities, trade associations, test houses, certification bodies, the construction industry, manufacturers and many other organisations. This provides PCPI with the ability to influence and support the wider police service.

The Security Event

 Designing Out Crime Police Crime Prevention Initiatives are proud to be partnering with The Security Event to present the ‘Designing Out Crime Zone’. Run in association with Secured by Design, Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC), Alarms and Police Crime Police Academy (PCPA), this exciting feature will showcase the latest police techniques to reduce crime and keep local communities safe. It is a unique opportunity to discover best practice and learn about this important national police crime prevention initiative. PCPI is a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service

The Secured By Design The PCPI’s Michael Brooke, head of Operational Services, will present a session on Secured By Design. SBD is the police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work, shop and visit. Brooke explains about SBD, its series of authoritative Design Guides and its developers’ awards for incorporating crime prevention measures into developments. SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security-related products in the UK and Michael Brooke will explain why products must be subject to rigorous testing and additionally be fully certificated by an independent, third-party certification body accredited by UKAS before being allowed to carry the SBD logo. Furthermore, Simon Newman, head of Cyber and Business Services for PCPI, will provide a focus on cyber security. The Police Digital Security Centre works across the UK to protect organisations from cyber crime. Newman will explain how the PDSC is uniquely placed to deliver a joined-up and consistent approach to tackling cyber crime with its police backed certification schemes which can reduce the vulnerability of organisations to cyber crime and fraud. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.thesecurityevent.co.uk

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The Facilities Event

Shaping the future of the FM industry Located at the NEC Birmingham, The Facilities Event is the UK exhibition dedicated to facilities management. Government Business previews the show The Facilities Event offers a range of activities especially where hygiene is critical in designed to provide engagement opportunities controlling the spread of disease and for facilities management professionals to infection. As office building increases connect with their peers, share information its take up of IoT, can a more digitally and drive excellence in their industry. Amongst connected environment positively impact the benefits of attending, show organiser the quality of cleaning services? Specialist Nineteen lists: the opportunity to network cleaning across various industry sectors, with thousands of FM and workplace such as industrial, will also be explored professionals looking to optimise facility In today’s business world, protecting and workplace performance; the chance to a business and ensuring the safety of its discover the latest and smartest solutions employees is top of a facilities professionals for facilities management; an array of CPD agenda. Whether it is understanding the accredited content sessions and workshops risk of cyber attacks, protecting company to attend; and the opportunity to collaborate physical assets (including employees with industry experts to overcome the or delivering business continuity plans, operational challenges in the workplace. FM’s work with countless departments The show is co-located with The Health and suppliers to ensure their business and Safety Event, The Fire Safety Event and is ready, should the worst happen. The Security Event; meaning that delegates It is not just the physical assets of a workplace can stay ahead of the curve and that need to be catered for. As food explore the entire supply chain standards increase and consumer for facilities management. nutritional values change, it The Facilities Hub is where is important for companies The leading experts will to provide a range of Facilitie s share best practice and catering services and H u b is wher discuss the changing options that are coste l e a ding experts landscape of facilities effective and healthy management. The best pr will share programme will focus discuss actice and on the ‘Five Pillars of the c FM’ - cleaning services, landscahanging p security, catering, of FM e property management and support services. It will feature inspiring case studies, presentations and interactive panel discussions. Maintaining a clean workplace if often one of the biggest daily challenges for an FM,

for their employees. Managing and sourcing the correct vending and catering services can be a challenge with so many aspects to consider. FM’s need to know with the very latest in food and drink legislation and keep up-to-date with trends in the food industry. Often, a property is an organisations biggest asset - and one of the most expensive. No matter how large your premises and organisation, it is essential for FM’s to reduce a downtime and offer a range of preventative interior and exterior maintenance solutions in order to maintain a cost-effective working environment. 2020 will see a focus on improving energy management, not just for sustainability and environmental reasons but with an eye on company expenditure. Choosing the right technology and processes is paramount and can impact on essential departments such as finance, HR and IT. In addition, an employee’s productivity is greatly affected by the environment they operate in and with the rise of the well-being culture, this has never been truer. The focus on wellbeing has brought many of the support services into the limelight shifting their primary focus to ensuring the productivity of the employees. Key addresses Among the keynote speakers is Sarah Albon, the new chief executive of the Health & Safety Executive. She will outline the regulator’s role in ensuring senior management leadership on health and safety within an organisation, presenting an opportunity for delegates to learn of the regulator’s future focus and strategy. This session takes place E



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The Facilities Event

 in Theatre 10, and will be followed on the first day of the event by an examination of the actual and likely changes to building and fire regulations post-Grenfell and the implications for relevant stakeholders. The Grenfell Tower fire unsurprisingly holds the focus in the Fire Safety Theatre as well, with the highlight being a panel discussion on protecting historic premises from fire. Will Knatchbull, London Fire Brigade’s team leader for Heritage, Hospitals, Sprinklers & Petroleum, the National Trust’s Bob Bantock and Adam Welton, from Lan Control Systems, will discuss how best to protect heritage premises from fire and how to install nonintrusive fire safety technology. Case studies of protecting National Trust sites will also be shared. In the same theatre, BAFE and SSAIB will deliver a session that focuses on the reasons why third party accreditation is a key topic in the fire sector. Both organisations will explain why it offers independent verification and evidence that a company is competent and working to the appropriate standards and best practice for fire safety. Topical subjects Unfortunately, the last few years has seen a rise in the threat of terrorism in the UK, with attacks on London Bridge and Manchester Arena bringing the problem to mass attention. But the threat is not just public spaces, physical or restricted to major cities. Within the Facilities Hub on day one of the event there will be a session providing key advice on how you can protect your premises and staff from potential terror attacks. Likewise, no other subject has gathered as much press coverage and air time as the climate and the problems we face in reaching net zero by 2050, as the government has claimed it will strive to do. A session on best practice for facilities managers to identify, reduce and remove waste from their premises will take place on 28 April. On the

last day of the event, there will be a seminar ion protecting the built environment. The built environment is a major contributor to green house gas emissions this session will provide tips on how to make your facility more eco-friendly and sustainable. Another session, rather topical, will examine current advice on external cladding of existing residential buildings from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. The Fire Safety Event The Fire Safety Event, co-located with the Facilities Event, is dedicated to supporting industry practitioners, professionals and organisations in achieving and maintaining the very highest standards of fire safety management. Showcasing the latest products, technology and solutions in fire safety, this is the perfect opportunity for visitors to gain direct insight into improving business protection and continuity. Benefits of attending include: the opportunity to gain CPD points and hear from leading industry experts including government officials, lawyers and manufacturers; source the latest fire protection and prevention products and solutions; receive practical advice and experience live demonstrations; and network with the entire community from fire safety managers, officers and risk assessors to insurers– consultants, end-user and manufacturers. The conference stream for The Fire Safety Event will be split across three seminar theatres: the Fire Safety Theatre; the Tall Buildings Theatre; and the Fire & Security Installer Theatre. A stand-out session from the Fire Safety Theatre will be delivered by the Fire Protection Association’s David Poxon, who will discuss the key findings of the Building Regulations and how changes will effect fire safety regulations in UK. Meanwhile, in the Tall Buildings Theatre, Russ Timpson of the Tall Building Fire Safety

Network will ask: What do you need to know to manage fire safety in tall buildings? The Health & Safety Event Also located at the NEC Birmingham, The Health & Safety Event is the UK’s largest gathering of anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace. With a unique range of seminars, practical workshops and exhibition hall, it attracts more than 16,000 workplace professionals from the industrial, commercial and public sector. Free to attend, earn CPD points and access high quality educational content across four theatres with presentations including legal updates, interactive sessions and best practice case studies. In partnership with the British Safety Council, the British Safety Council Conference offers an opportunity for delegates to discover the latest updates and developments in health and safety management. With a line up of industry experts sharing their insights and expertise, develop your skills and competences you need to raise the standards. Meanwhile, the Knowledge Exchange Theatre, supported by Health & Safety Matters, will feature a series of panel discussions covering the challenges faced by health and safety professionals and practitioners. The Lone Worker Theatre will address the key issues of safety, security and wellbeing. Learn about the specific challenges faced by lone workers and come away with ideas and practical strategies on how to assess and manage the risks. Lastly, the Safer logistics & Machinery Safety Theatre will offer expert advice and guidance on safer logistics and machinery safety. Speakers will tackle the key safety hot spots in the world of warehousing and logistics as well as safety whilst using machinery in the workplace. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.facilitiesevent.co.uk



Risk management

The importance of reviewing risk culture Victoria Robinson, head of Marketing & Communications at the Institute of Risk Management, discusses the importance of reviewing risk culture in an organisation’s ongoing work According to the Office for National Statistics there were an estimated 5.43 million people employed in the public sector for September 2019, which was 27,000 more than for June 2019. 16.5 per cent of all people in paid work were employed in the public sector for September 2019 it is a huge employment source, but what exactly is the public sector? Simply put, the public sector is responsible for providing all public services in the UK, from the emergency services and healthcare, education and social care, to housing and refuse collection. We as the public rely on these services and often take for granted the valuable services they provide.

Lettie Pringle, IRMCert, Risk management is inherent in all Risk Manager, NHS Borders organisations and never before has “The variety of work within this role there been so much pressure on the is unbelievable and the diversity of the public services, from lack of funding, the healthcare system makes sure it never recent COVID-19 outbreak and continuity becomes boring. It covers everything from plans of how to cope, and change in financial, clinical, political and reputational policy all fuelling public opinion and risks to name a few. Healthcare has micro that’s not to mention the other macro businesses within it, so your role can and micro factors influencing how range from being involved with project effectively these services are delivered. management risks of estates to supporting We asked two Institute of Risk risk owners with risks relating to service Management members about their key delivery such as physiotherapy, laundry considerations for the challenges they and facilities management. I support face as risk professionals everyone from front line staff in the public sector, such as nurses and medics to and the importance Despite directors and executives, E of risk culture.

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Risk management

 helping them understand their role and the risk management processes of NHS Borders, assisting them through each stage of the process from identifying risks to reviewing them. “It is always vital to remember why you are doing the role; to improve and maintain the safety of those who use the services within healthcare and those who provide it. I have great pride in the risk management processes we implement as the decisions made from these help keep patients, staff and the public safe and reduce organisational liabilities. “Culture within healthcare can be varied due to risks being orientated towards patient care, encouraging staff to widen their scope into clinical and corporate risks is ongoing and as an organisation, we have to continually ensure there is an understanding of the importance of these types of risks to deliver services. This can be challenging.’ “For example, the importance of analysing risks around workforce and sustainability and the impact this can have on the delivery of care of a patient and patient safety. Overall, whilst it is imperative that a proportional response to risk is given, it can be difficult when you are dealing with people’s health impacts.” Guidance for public sector organisations The Institute has developed guidance for organisations wanting a greater understanding of their own risk culture and the practical tools which can drive change. As the business press shows daily, embedding reliable risk management into an organisation is a difficult task. Boards must both consistently prioritise risk management and continually review their culture, people and processes. So what do we mean by risk culture? Risk culture is a term describing the values, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes and understanding about risk shared by a group of people with a common purpose. This applies to all organisations - including private companies, public bodies, governments and not-for-profits. An effective risk culture is one that enables and rewards individuals and groups for taking the right risks in an informed manner. The IRM has developed its own risk culture framework which can be found on our website along with guidance documents.

An effective risk culture is one that enables and rewards individuals and groups for taking the right risks in an informed manner. The IRM has developed its own risk culture framework Simon King CMIRM, Chief Risk Officer, UK Ministry of Defence (including strategic headquarters for the Armed Forces) “I’m a fairly recent addition to the civil service compared to many. It is modernising which is good but I can sometimes see where the themes in Yes Minister came from. Working with military colleagues is a really positive challenge; they have such a focus on having the information they need to make decisions and take action. The senior officers have developed their leadership, critical thinking and analytical skills to such a level that you have to really be on your game to get the best out of them and the time with them. “There are some 200,000 people in MoD and many of them are making risk management decisions every day. I’m responsible for the internal policy, framework and approach and for encouraging professionalism in the practise of risk management. “Embedding the right risk management culture is paramount across the whole enterprise and the public sector is no different to any other organisation, we’re subject to as much, if not more, scrutiny

by the very notion of the work we do and the huge responsibility that carries.” Risk management guidance Both Lettie and Simon recently took part in a webinar, risk management in the public sector, this can be viewed here: https://www.theirm.org/events/ webinars/ (search public sector). Further guidance and information on tackling enterprise risk management issues is available on our website, including our range of qualifications to help you up-skill, further you career and help protect your organisation. We also offer a: Demystifying Risk Culture: Strategies and Techniques for Successful Risk Culture Management training course. Despite greater awareness of risk culture, few organisations are in a position to properly tackle it. Our one day practical course will enable you to understand what risk culture means in your organisation, how you can improve risk taking, and how to implement effective risk management techniques. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.theirm.org



Discover a new land of opportunity at Château Rhianfa Looking for a venue with a difference for your next event? Then look no further than Chateau Rhianfa, a Loire Valley inspired French Chateau on the Island of Anglesey in North Wales. The days of stuffy boardrooms, distasteful lunches and humiliating team bonding exercises are long gone. Instead, we invite you to look at a different way to accomplish your business objectives. If you’re looking for an inspiring business venue in Anglesey to host a meeting or hold a conference, look no further. With a sophisticated collection of beautifully styled function rooms that boast historic charm, immersed with state of the art facilities, our setting will keep you and your team inspired throughout the day. Each room offers free Wi-Fi and comes with fully installed AV equipment allowing you to carry out meetings, presentations, product launches and conferences completely at ease. Simply tell us what you want and our dedicated conference team will attend to your every need, adding a few touches here and there to ensure your business event is complete success. The perfect location for anyone looking to host their event away from the city

and in stunning surroundings. With 27 bedrooms and an award winning restaurant, we can ensure that your delegates have an excellent experience. Additionally we are well located for many of north Wales’s adventure experiences, with Zip World Adventure Park Snowdonia and Rib Ride all near to the Chateau. Or if you are after a more relaxing team experience, then our skilled team can host wine tastings, cookery demonstrations and much more to further enhance your experience. Chateau Rhianfa is located to the south of Anglesey on the banks of Menai Straights and overlooks the city of Bangor

BOOK CHATEAU RHIANFA HOTEL FOR YOUR EVENT Picturesque Welsh countryside provides a stunning backdrop for this fairy-tale style French-inspired chateau on the Isle of Anglesey. Built-in 1849, the hotel is a grade II-listed building and draws on its romantic environment and history to offer guests a beautiful and passion-inspiring stay in the Welsh countryside. Room options include cosy lodges overlooking the Menai Strait, spacious and elegant suites with French-inspired décor. Looking out across the peaks of Snowdonia, the hotel offers a range of experiences right on its doorstep. CALL 01248 880 090 FOR MORE INFORMATION

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and the Snowdonia mountain range. It has good road connections with the A55 expressway that links North Wales to the North West on our doorstep and Bangor Train Station only three miles from the property, where the direct train can get you to London Euston in three and half hours. The property is also ideally located for Anglesey Airport, which has daily flights to and from Cardiff International Airport. FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01248 880090 hello@chateaurhianfa.com https://chateaurhianfa.com/

Conferences & events

Wales for your next business event: the great outdoors For meetings, incentives, conferences and events, look no further than Wales - where the Year of the Outdoors will highlight the benefits of the natural outdoors in Wales In Wales, 2020 is the Year of Outdoors. This latest thematic year will reinforce the country’s renowned strengths in everything from outdoor pursuits, sports and adventure to mindfulness and well-being. The year will also celebrate the country’s outstanding natural landscape and wealth of outdoor experiences, including its three National Parks, 600 Castles and its 870mile Coastal Path which make Wales the only country in the world with a continuous walking path around its entire coastline. The Year of the Outdoors will include two recently secured major international showcases to be hosted in 2020 at the Celtic Manor Resort and the newly opened ICC Wales. Meet GB – VisitBritain’s flagship event for the international business events community – will take place in April next year, incorporating themes of well-being, nature and sustainability using inspiration from ICC Wales’ woodland surroundings. Wales will also host the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) next October - the first time the global B2B event for the golf travel industry has been hosted in the UK. The event will showcase Wales’ business strengths combined with beautiful natural terrain, suitable for the year-round golf offering that exists across Wales. The country is home to 200 golf courses, from historic seaside links to beautifully manicured parkland resorts. Wales’ wider outstanding natural landscape also makes the country ideal for out of conference experiences. Visitors to the capital, Cardiff, can easily refresh and recharge and explore the great outdoors in the middle of the bustling city. Delegates can head to Bute Park, next to Cardiff Castle and experience ‘forest bathing’, embark on

a seasonal walk and discover the beautiful array of trees or meet the beekeepers. Alternatively, The Vale Resort, home to Hensol Castle, is set in 650 acres of Welsh countryside just six miles outside Cardiff City Centre. The resort has partnered with Call of the Wild for outdoor team building events including Clay Shooting, Archery and Canyoning, and earlier this year, the resort earned itself a coveted place in the first edition of Lonely Planet’s Wellness Escapes book. North Wales, known as the adventure capital of Wales, offers a vast range of unique attractions with innovative reinventions of former industrial landscapes. Out-ofconference activities include Zip World, the fastest zip line in the world and Adventure Parc Snowdonia for outdoor team building and incentive activities such as off-road pump track and mountain bike skills. Mid Wales is home to the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an eco-centre that researches and supports greener ways of living and is home to Europe’s foremost ecocentre WISE. CAT offers practical workshop spaces and new experiences range from traditional crafts and sustainable building to ecology and organic gardening. Discussing the Year of Outdoors, Heledd Williams, head of Business Events for Visit Wales, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the ‘Year of the Outdoors’ at this year’s IBTM World. Next year will be an opportunity to showcase not only our beautiful landscape but also our connected business and economic strengths that put us at the forefront of developments in themes like alternative energy, the environment and life sciences. Around 58,000 people work in the energy and environment sectors in Wales and rapid innovation is taking place all

the time in areas of marine energy initiatives and low-carbon projects. Our landscape and natural environments are key to the success of these economic industries in Wales.” ICC Wales International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) opened in September and is already becoming known for its unique incorporation of the outdoors with stunning woodland views, natural daylight throughout the venue and outdoor meeting areas. ICC Wales is a gamechanging venue for Wales and establishes the whole country as a true destination for business events. The spectacular new venue hosted more than 8,000 delegates during its opening two weeks with the three-day UK Space Conference among the first events to make use of the 4,000 sq m pillar-free exhibition hall, the 1,500-seat auditorium and the 15 flexible meeting rooms. Earlier this year ICC Wales published ‘The Great Outdoors – how the natural world can enhance a business events experience’. The report focused on four main themes: the need for more nature in our lives given the levels of stress that many of us face in the events industry; the positive benefits nature can bring to an event experience, including greater learning and well-being experiences; how Wales is harnessing its environmental strengths through its natural landscapes and emerging technologies; and how event professionals can make the most of nature in event planning, including a ten-point guide to making an event ‘nature-friendly’. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.visitwales.com/info/meet-wales




A move away from ‘off-theshelf’ digital services Jos Creese, CEO of digital consultancy business CCL, looks at why digital public services mean a move away from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions The digital service requirements of public sector organisations are increasingly difficult to define. This is one of the reasons why agile development is such an important methodology, and also why a move away from wholly predefined software solutions (‘off-the-shelf’ – OTS) is inevitable. This is an interesting departure from past IT strategies: for as long as I can remember the mantra of IT departments and public service organisations developing their digital and IT strategies, has been ‘off-the-shelf only’ – no bespoke, no tailoring, and no customisation. The point was, that in the past, IT departments had tailored and customised every IT solution to the nth degree, often in response to the needs of individual departments. ‘The business leads, not IT’ we were told as IT leaders, and IT performance was measured on the ability to design application for every and any requirement, without question. This created a complex and expensive legacy nightmare, as well as locking public services into inflexible and long term IT contracts where pre-defined SLA metrics were quickly a poor indicator of true performance.

are also prone to the problems of lock-in and bundling. At the extreme are the traditional IT outsourcing models that have proved to be so problematic and ineffective, often holding back progress rather than powering it. It does not mean that there is no place for large, OTS solutions, but it means that they will in future play a smaller part in the mix of cloud and bespoke solutions, where low-code and small modular apps are in the ascendancy. This is pushing public service organisations to develop their own, or to work with suppliers who can provide bespoke solutions. This is as true in cyber protection as it is in application development. But it is also not a move back to the past where IT departments were developing unique solutions. More, it is about using modular IT components in a more flexible way. A good analogy would be buying a new car. You can buy a standard car from a manufacturer, or, you can ‘bespoke’ your purchase in terms of most of what is ‘under the bonnet’ (gearbox, engine size and type), other components, colour and interior fittings. But it’s still a standard car from a Today’s manufacturer that does public s Meeting digital not compromise any ervices need b ambitions warranty or safety applica etter Today’s public services standards and is tions an techno need better applications readily serviced and d logy to and technology tools if with o l s if they maintained, are to m they are to meet digital available spare parts. eet dig ambitions and potential. That is the sort of i t a a l mbi Most of the traditional bespoke that we need and potions OTS solutions from the to see in IT development tential traditional vendors are just in the public sector. not sufficiently innovative, This however does put adaptable, or functionally rich. They greater emphasis on the



importance of relationships with IT suppliers, especially in pre-tendering engagement. A partnership approach is necessary, rather than depending solely on a detailed and fixed specification through a tender cycle. This can help IT suppliers to understand better the changing nature of public services requirements, and for the public service organisation to be clear on the risks and technical opportunities proposed. More critically perhaps, it also depends on the digital maturity of public sector organisations, especially in being able to understand and establish new risk models in a digital world where there is less predictability, and a greater need and willingness to experiment and innovate. IT requires public bodies to have a clear digital vision, based on digital policies, standards and architecture. This is the basis for engaging with suppliers and developing bespoke solutions that complement OTS yet do not create a ‘free for all’ and a fragmented digital landscape. Without this foundation, public services risk compromising the potential value of data, restricting shared services, and limiting wider interoperability. Where public service organisations get this right, it opens up some new and exciting possibilities for tech SMEs in particular, since innovation and flexibility become key competitive advantages that are harder for the larger traditional incumbents to match. G-Cloud 11 Summit This was clear at the recent G-Cloud 11 event, where the numerous discussions between public service organisations and SME providers of all shapes and sizes discussed the value of bespoke development.

“However clever the technology, however open and flexible the interfaces, interoperability is essential, and that means open standards and open APIs from IT suppliers.” “Sometimes IT departments are part of the problem, thinking they know best and have sole control over digital priorities and risks. Successful public service organisations have IT departments that work hand-in-glove with their digital colleagues and executive leaders.” “We need IT suppliers to understand public sector challenges and requirements and not to oversell what they can in practice achieve.” “As an IT supplier, it helps enormously when a public service organisation can offer some consistency in the internal team that we are working with, rather than an interim contractor in IT or procurement.” “Pre-tender discussions with IT suppliers are not only effective, they are often essential. Without this we often have little idea of what is available out there, or even how to tender for a service or technology. It helps us to understand risk, market conditions, and technology possibilities.” “Internal governance in some public service organisations is too complicated. We don’t

know whether we should be dealing with procurement, legal, IT, digital leaders, line of business service managers, finance, HR, or even political leaders. The amount of variation, the lack of predictability, and the sheer complexity are real problems for SMEs.” “We need to define what bespoke actually means – there is a spectrum. It is clear that ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions will not meet every requirement, but the challenge is how to tender for more bespoke solutions and be clear on the costs and the risks. Whatever bespoke solution is contracted for, it has to be well- documented, well-designed, open and easily transferable to another supplier. Otherwise it creates future IT legacy issues and IT supplier lock-in.” “As a procurement manager in a large public service organisation, I am too often being asked by my IT colleagues and service departments to extend out of date software contracts, either because of the risk and cost of change, or because no one has had the time to recognise the need to plan for a replacement. This is even when the service is poor, expensive and the product out of date!” “In developing a partnership with an IT service provider offering a more bespoke and changeable service, perhaps for low code or no code, a ‘proof of concept’ can be valuable. It’s a good way of establishing likely costs and debugging risks. Short G-Cloud contracts

offer an invaluable way of testing out a partnership with definable risk and cost.”


I chaired a number of these discussions and noted down some of the key quotations:

“’Customisation’ is not the same as ‘bespoke’ in my opinion. The former tends to play into service preferences, the latter tends to reflect true needs.” “As a CIO in a large public sector organisation, the ability for us to innovate whilst meeting regulations can be hard. Pre-procurement engagement can help with this but much of it is to do with internal cultures and attitude to risk.” “As a public sector buyer, ‘off-the-shelf’ is often seen as less risky, but I think we are coming to the point on our digital journey where limits are being reached. Large OTS suppliers are often difficult to deal with and have expensive solutions that fall short of expectations.” “As an IT supplier to the public sector, sometimes we find the vision is not clear. For example, what does ‘cost saving’ really mean? ‘Agile’ is great, but you still need to know where you’re trying to get to.” L

Jos Creese has over 30 years of IT leadership across the public sector. He chairs the Open University School of Computing Industrial Board. FURTHER INFORMATION www.creeseconsulting.co.uk

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Making the next iteration of G-Cloud a success The G-Cloud Framework, developed by Crown Commercial Service some seven years ago helps government organisations obtain best value from their IT spend. In July 2020 the new iteration of the framework will be launched, but how will suppliers meet the challenges that continue to face potential customers? G-Cloud 12 is imminent, providing an opportunity for new suppliers to access a huge market of public sector buyers. Currently, the G-Cloud 11 framework is made up of 4,000 suppliers and to some extent it delivers a straightforward and simple buying process. Suppliers demonstrate a commitment to working with public sector to showcase the benefits and cost effectiveness of their software and systems to enable digital transformation and also ease the procurement process, and the framework continues to evolve and develop. However, historical problems remain and it is evident that the parameters can always be more effective, budget-friendly and progressive. Prior to 2012, when the G-Cloud framework was first introduced, procurement used to be a big barrier for new companies challenging incumbents. Today, the flexibility of G-Cloud can massively reduce this potential blocker to sales. At the London-based G-Cloud 11 Summit, organised by Public Sector Information

in January, suppliers demonstrated their vast range of innovative services to public sector buyers, offering modern, flexible, low maintenance systems to help councils deliver improvements to the way they deliver services. But, delegates agreed that, as is always the case with implementation projects, the need to save time and money remains a challenge for procurement managers. What matters For the new iteration to be a success, it’s the kind of products and services that will be found on G-Cloud 12 that will matter. Agility, flexibility and ultimately speed will be real winners as councils’ race to improve their services and find efficiencies. Chris Farthing, CEO of Advice Cloud, explains: “It all comes down to planning and delivering to the buyer exactly what they need in the least amount of time. Buyers can help this process run smoother by talking to their [potential] suppliers

upfront, as well as talking to others who’ve used the technology they are choosing.” Jos Creese, independent digital analyst and consultant and CEO of CCL agrees. “A partnership approach is necessary … this can help IT suppliers to better understand the changing nature of public services requirements, and for the public service organisation to be clear on the risks and technical opportunities proposed.” The culture of the companies providing the technology matters too. Suppliers now recognise that it is simply not enough to stop working hard to offer great service just by winning a slot on the G-Cloud marketplace list. Once listed the real work starts. Farthing adds: “Make sure you begin the planning process right from the start. Digital transformation in councils requires a large number of new human capabilities as well as technology ones. This is expensive, and they can’t afford to get it wrong. Support your customers from the very beginning so that together you can affect genuine change.”E



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Blackthorn GRC – Legacy IT is the patient In the glare of healthcare’s digital agenda, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that the public sector has been reliant on technology for many years, and some of this technology is now approaching end-of-life

The discussion about reimagining healthcare through the adoption of digital technologies continues unabated. Here the narrative is to use technology to greatly improve the sharing of information between health and care professionals, whilst also giving people better access to the care they need. In the glare of healthcare’s digital agenda, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that the public sector is, and has been, reliant on technology for many years, and some of this technology has now reached – or is fast approaching - the end of its serviceable life. For a lucky few, the digital agenda will supplant the need for direct replacements but for the rest, the legacy system will require palliative care or replacement by newer, serviceable technology. This is exactly where the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) found itself in 2016. The Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 gives the DHSC the legislative power to recover NHS treatment costs from patients involved in road traffic accidents if the patient has personal injury insurance, something often incorporated into motor vehicle insurance policies. The costs recovered are based on set rates for inpatient and out-patient treatment, and whilst these do not cover the actual cost, they still generate significant revenues for trust hospitals. The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 extended the scheme to all personal injury claims, not just those resulting from road traffic accidents. The scheme is administered by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on behalf of the DHSC. Information supplied by motor vehicle insurers to the DWP following a road traffic accident is verified by the healthcare provider for accuracy, in particular treatment/consultation dates. New Injury Cost Recovery (ICR) claims are forwarded by the DWP to the


appropriate healthcare provider using a Lotus Notes platform (client/server technology) provided by the DHSC. IBM acquired Lotus Notes in 1995 but murmurs from IBM about ongoing support for Lotus Notes around the mid-2010s created uncertainty amongst the client base and many existing customers, including the DHSC, started looking at migrating away from the Domino (Lotus Notes) platform. The ICR treatment verification service was one of many that needed to find a new home and the DHSC’s approach was to engage with industry in the form of a soft market test – an exploration into the possible, with vendors putting forward solutions against draft requirements. One key requirement was security – any new service would need to afford patient data adequate protection from unauthorised access. This was especially important where migrating into ‘the cloud’. Enter Blackthorn GRC Limited, an established, albeit boutique, software and software services provider with the agility and deftness to provide clients with a very flexible and personalised service. High up the DHSC’s list of requirements was a solution that looked and functioned exactly the same as its predecessor. A system with all the foibles of early 90s forms styling and absent of the context sensitive pop-ups and decluttered screens that define best practice now! This curious requirement was not without merit; the transition from old to new technology together with the aggregation and cleansing of approximately 1.5 million data records, all within the pending shadow of new GDPR legislations, was likely to take its toll, without having to also worry about the retraining/familiarisation of 800+ users from around the country. Delivering familiar forms would mostly alleviate the need for retraining.


A cloud based solution A cloud-based solution was required that could facilitate the automatic and secure transfer of sensitive information between the DWP and NHS, support extant NHS processes and return the validated information whilst maintaining appropriate separation of concerns between hospital trust groups. The solution needed to work using standard web browsers with no additional plugins, add-ins or controls. It also needed to work with a range of versions of MS-Office and Internet browser technologies. Blackthorn’s solution was to use its generic GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) software as the backbone of the new ICR system, leveraging pre-existing functionality to meet virtually all of the DHSC’s requirements, whilst relying on configuration data to deliver the required visualisation and business functionality. By avoiding excessive coding, Blackthorn, was able to expedite the department’s requirements very quickly, and to check accuracy through fortnightly ‘show and tell’ sessions with the DHSC’s project team. Hosted with a third-party specialist public cloud service provider, Blackthorn architected the virtualised hosting environment, taking on full responsibility for data security which need to be inherent in the design both to meet the government’s cloud security principles but also to achieve connection to the HCSN healthcare network. Importantly, the work programme was delivered ahead of the planned cut-off date for the old Dominos technology, and without any significant disruption to healthcare providers using the ICR treatment verification service. Blackthorn’s GRC software has many applications but is most commonly used for criminal investigations, fraud investigation, cyber incident response, employment vetting, health and safety and other business processes where a prescribed approach is required to manage activities concerning sensitive data. Blackthorn’s services are available through the G-Cloud 11 Framework administer by Crown Commercial Services. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.blackthorn.com


Top tips from Georgina Maratheftis, techUK Adopt a more strategic approach to market engagement and engage with industry outside the procurement cycle Develop an understanding of SMEs and how to work with them Foster the partnership ecosystem Evangelise through your networks

 The role of SMEs That is not to say that the current G-Cloud 11 framework does not provide a great platform for selling into a market desperate for this kind of support and it is hoped that under the 12th iteration of G-Cloud, entrant SMEs - which are often in a strong position to spend more time and effort on hard-won contracts - will be given more support to win digital marketplace business. Currently, over 90 per cent of all suppliers listed in the G-Cloud framework are SMEs, a healthy amount indeed. Yet just 44 per cent of contracts awarded go to SMEs as they continue to struggle to win the business of G-Cloud spend as hundreds of new suppliers join with every new iteration. A classic case of supply outstripping demand. Moving forward, the outlook is somewhat different. Crown Commercial Service recognises the importance of the SME marketplace in the G-Cloud framework structure. As a result, it is working hard

to develop an understanding of SMEs and how buyers can work with them. Georgina Maratheftis, head of local public services at techUK, argues: “The public sector needs to harness the expertise and innovation that SMEs can bring in order to ensure that public service delivery keeps pace with demand and expectations. By adopting a more strategic approach to market engagement and engaging with industry outside the procurement cycle, the number of SMEs winning contracts can be significantly increased and they can be in a position to enjoy the contract success rates currently seen by tech giants. Foster the partnership ecosystem and evangelise through your networks.”

G-Cloud myth busting, from Chris Farthing, CEO Advice Cloud It’s only for Central Government You can’t buy hardware Cloud support can only be bought when buying a Lot 1 or 2 service It’s only for the big suppliers Cost - You can’t negotiate contracts/ pricing – actually, you can

Additional developments Each iteration is an exercise in improvement. Under G-Cloud 12, service definition documents will be mandatory, making it easier for buyers to compare and contrast what is on offer. At the same time, it is hoped that this measure will incentivise suppliers to up the quality of their listings, says the CCS, as documents are essentially a guidance for buyers. Contracting issues are also being ironed out. Suppliers and buyers alike have long been confused by complicated and prolonged legalities, which only serve to delay the delivery period of infrastructure. Simplifying the process will – it is hoped – bring transparency and clarity to an historically convoluted sector. L

You can’t extend contracts past two years

This article was written by Sarah Cowell, following the recent G-Cloud 11 Summit on 29 January.

Involve lawyers early!


I need to observe the standstill period on a G-Cloud call off I don’t need to provide feedback My contract would be ‘too big’ for the framework

----------------- ANSWERS ----------------Have a play about - use the thing! Talk to your (potential) suppliers upfront Talk to procurement early

Talk to others who’ve used it Talk to your facilities people (utilities/ consumption based invoicing)









2 0 – 20

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Transition Plan Implementation Cloud Maintenance and Support

Proactive Device/Software Monitoring Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategic IT Infrastructure and Software Planning Proactive on Site Health Checks

Server/Desktop and Storage Virtualisation Hyperconverged and Converged Storage solutions

SECURITY Security Management Firewalls and Endpoint Security Cloud Guard Threat Intelligence and Prevention Student Safety


Sourcing technology product needs for the public sector Technology Products & Associated Services offers public sector buyers a flexible and compliant way to source all of their technology product needs. Government Business looks at the benefits and processes behind the agreement In October 2019, Park Place Technologies surveyed workers from across 219 public sector organisations and found that 83 per cent of IT departments polled deemed restricted budgets as the main obstacle to the adoption of new technology. The research found that, following restricted budgets, the main challenges are cultural resistance (53 per cent), technology skills gap across the sector (52 per cent) and compliance and security concerns (41 per cent). More than half of respondents struggle with the issue of legacy technology and a lack of inhouse skills or experience in new technologies, while a further 52 per cent believe there is a skills gap that will impact the sector’s ability to adopt new technologies. In fact, the research found that, of the businesses that have a designated plan in place to address these challenges, upskilling new employees

(77 per cent) is a top priority. This is supported The Society of IT Managers maintains that by a further 44 per cent of organisations organisations should not be paying that are actively recruiting new skills more than a three per cent to address the challenges. margin to suppliers. The same month, However, the average The technology services margin paid by local Techno provider Proband councils was found l o g y undertook analysis on to be 11.39 per Pr more than £12 million cent - almost Associa oducts & t e worth of technology four times the d Se the firs spending across recommended t iterati rvices is on of th Techno 20 sectors over a mark-up. The IT logy Pro e two-year period. Product Margins f r ducts amew Revealing the scale Report 2019 also associa ork to have of the margins some found that local ted buyers are paying out to councils spent in its sc services IT resellers, the research an average total ope highlights local councils of £3,080,609.09 wasting ‘jaw-dropping’ sums per year on technology of money when purchasing IT. products. However, had E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Kaztech Solu-ons is an established and trusted IT solu-ons provider, oering infrastructure services and support, hardware maintenance and procurement services. Our mission is to deliver best of breed, leading edge, cost eecFve technology soluFons backed by the highest levels of service and support, allowing our customers to conFnually challenge us to improve their IT performance whilst reducing overall costs in the public sector.

Contact: 020 3889 1566 ccs@kaztech.co.uk www.kaztech.co.uk RM6068 Technology Products & Associated Services

Technology Products Otherwise known as RM6068, the Technology Products & Associated Services is the first iteration of the Technology Products

framework to have associated services in its scope. Under this agreement buyers can procure associated services and goods. The UK public sector and their associated bodies and agencies, including the voluntary sector and charities, can use this framework. Listed as the benefits of the framework, CCS detail: the great choice of products and expanded service provision; 41 high-quality suppliers including manufacturers, channel partners and resellers; 60.98 per cent of suppliers are a SME; call-off contracts are available for up to five years; option for simplified award procedure (100 per cent price based competition); flexibility for single supplier ‘one-stop shop’ awards; supply chain assurance; and allows leasing of goods. Technology Products and Associated Services replaces the Technology Products 2 framework, which comes to an end in October of this year. There are 39 suppliers on this framework, spread across four Lots. Lot 1 covers Hardware & Software & Associated Services; Lot 2 Hardware and Associated Services; Lot 3 for Software and Associated Services; and Lot 4 covers Information Assured Products & Associated Services. Digital Outcomes and Specialists 4 3,475 technology companies have been handed places on the latest iteration of Crown Commercial Service’s agreement for digital specialists.

With 94 per cent of awarded suppliers on Digital Outcomes and Specialists 4 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the new agreement helps public sector organisations find suppliers that can buy, design, build, test and deliver software, supporting the delivery of world-class public services that meet the needs of citizens. Public bodies have so far spent £1.5 billion through the three previous Digital Outcomes and Specialists agreements, with 32 per cent going directly to SMEs. More than £200 million has been spent with micro-SMEs. Niall Quinn, CCS Technology director, said: “DOS 4 will continue to help facilitate digital transformation for our customers while creating opportunities for collaboration with a wide range of suppliers. For this new version we have been able to enhance the framework and make some improvements to the Digital Marketplace in line with customer and supplier feedback, to improve their experience.”


 they followed best practice and purchased products with a margin of no more than three per cent, local councils could have saved a whopping £314,950.92. The findings of both pieces of analysis is reflected by an April study which uncovered that 75 per cent of IT decision-makers in the public sector say that digital transformation is one of their organisation’s top three strategic priorities, but that budget restrictions are keeping them from achieving it. The research, commissioned by technology company Yotta, also identified ‘in-house skills shortages’ (highlighted by 36 per cent of respondents) and ‘outdated systems architecture (referenced by 35 per cent) as key barriers to digital transformation. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, technology and systems are apparently top of mind across the public sector, with 40 per cent of IT decision-makers polled saying that ‘implementing new digital technology’ is among their organisation’s two main digital transformation priorities over the next year, while 39 per cent cite ‘upgrading existing infrastructure’. Furthermore, 45 per cent of IT decisionmakers polled number ‘improved operational efficiency’ among the main benefits they expect their organisation to achieve from digital transformation in the future. Respondents also anticipate that the approach will result in improved engagement with the people using public services. In fact, 35 per cent expect ‘enhanced service delivery to public and other stakeholders’ to be among the main benefits their organisation will achieve.

Network Services 2 The new Network Services 2 agreement provides access to mobile, voice, video and data services including security and surveillance, with suppliers chosen to help public sector bodies to get the best deal on their telecommunications. Crown Commercial Service has awarded places to 95 suppliers – 58 per cent of them SMEs – to provide public bodies with E

Organisations should not be paying more than a three per cent margin to suppliers. However, the average margin paid by local councils was found to be 11.39 per cent





We are passionate about taking the pain out of your ICT procurement process, leaving you more time to focus on what matters to you

Computer England has a wealth of experience as an international seller of ICT for 16 years and we are proud to be a part of the Crown Commercial Service's





Services Framework. Having worked together with a range of organisations from bakeries to hospitals, our portfolio of products include plug and play hardware, software and support, from well-known reputable brands. We also offer bespoke solutions through our suppliers, in a style that suits your business needs.

To find out how we can make your experience painless, visit us at:



75 per cent of IT decision-makers in the public sector say that digital transformation is one of their organisation’s top three strategic priorities, but that budget restrictions are keeping them from achieving it

 access to mobile, voice, video and data telecommunications services including Wi-Fi, security and email. The new agreement was designed following engagement with telecommunications suppliers and public sector customers from across the UK, including workshops hosted in partnership with trade body Innopsis and Tech UK. The agreement, which will run for three Technology, said: “Network Services 2 has the years, with the option to extend by a capacity to help change the way government further 12 months, features an expanded bodies and the wider public sector roster of suppliers in key areas such as communicate with – and for – the public they Internet Access & Unified Communications, serve. By working with customers, suppliers and three new telecommunications lots; and industry bodies throughout its design for radio, CCTV and contact centres. Half Page Advert Outlined Preview.pdf 1 04/02/2020 15:14 and construction we have arrived at an Ieuan Trigger, CCS’s Deputy Director for

innovative solution which will drive successful transformation across government.” L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov. uk/agreements/RM6068











Public Sector at Storm Technologies “Delivering First Class Services” IT in the public sector has always been a priority investment area for Storm, as we have seen substantial growth over the past 20 years. Storm are committed to the public sector and this has been demonstrated through its ambition and investment of time and resource to secure its place on several of these high-profile national procurement frameworks. Storm has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s RM6068 Technology Products and Associated of Hardware, Software and Technology Services under the new Crown Commercial Services Agreement RM6068. With a number of specialised solutions teams, comes a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and challenges, along with demands they face for the various Public Sector areas. We have key partnerships with all the world’s largest technology manufacturers, this means we are able to offer the latest technology solutions to fit the ever-evolving needs of modern public administration.

We minimise risk and maximise quality of service, whilst delivering significant savings.

FREE OF CHARGE Value Added Services You can utilise as few or as many of these services as you require at no extra cost to your quote:

• Pre-Delivery Imaging • • • • • •

Pre-Delivery Testing Pre-Delivery Configuration Product Labelling Asset Barcode Labelling Support Call Logging Warehouse Facilities – Stock Holding


To find out more about how we can help you by delivering real innovation using best-in-class IT technologies and services, please email publicsector@storm-technologies.com or call 01923 801080.

WORKING WITH STORM TECHNOLOGIES Storm Technologies help organisations such as; • Government (Central and Local) • Healthcare • Education

• Blue-Light • Defence (List X) • Housing Associations

Our products and services include: • Server & Storage • Networking & Security • Software • Cloud • Professional services – Engineers, Managed services, Maintenance contracts, Disposal, Cabling • Logistics Centre – Our Logistics, Operations and Returns team have bigger facilities and better resource in order to help manage our growing customer needs. Our Warehouse capacity has expanded from holding 120 pallets to over 1000. Our build room facilities have doubled in size from 220 data points to 550 data points with room to expand furthermore. We have a dedicated Lifecycle Management facility 10GB of direct fibre - This provides us with stronger security levels and a complete business continuity plan

Crown Commercial Services (CCS) support the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2018/19, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth £945m - supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.


Incorporating a front-to-back end digital platform St Albans City & District Council has undergone a huge digital transformation project. Government Business talks to Caroline Croft, Digital and ICT Manager at St Albans City and District Council, about what they have achieved so far What is St Albans City & District Council’s current mission? Last year, we focused on developing our new organisational values and behaviours. This put our residents firmly at the centre of our work, and reflects how we want our services to develop. Caring for our community, working together, and developing confident people are at the heart of this, and we have chosen these themes to help us become the truly trusted and service-driven council we aspire to be. To keep us focused on our customers and what they tell us they want to see locally, we are structuring our work to support the delivery of the following key outcomes: a vibrant economy, a thriving community, a great place to live and work and a cost-effective council.

Councils face many challenges with their technology. What are some that you have encountered?

that was under our control, with the ability to self-manage a substantial amount of the transformation journey. We needed new approaches to help us meet Our IT infrastructure was our goals and deliver Our limiting our ability to the full benefits to us infrastr IT u make the progress as a council or the c t u r e was lim required to realise the customer. The first i ability t ting our efficiencies associated step was to invest with transformation. in a council-wide progres o make the s requir Our decision-making digital platform. r e alise th was based on our This helped e efficieed to perception of who us achieve our ncies associa the customer was, ambitions for a transfo ted with rather than the reality, completely integrated rmation and this was hampering front-end and back-end the transformation journey. system service using one We wanted to have a platform source of data. E Issue 27.1 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Trustco Plc Proud suppliers of IT systems to the Public Sector since 1998. Providing independent advice on storage, servers, networking, and associated services to give you the right solution, first time, every time. Find us on the Crown Commercial Service RM6068 Technology Products & Associated Services framework. Lot 2– Hardware and Associated Services. 0344 880 1999 trustco.co.uk

It was very important to find a platform that would provide us with a front-of-house solution and allow us to move backoffice legacy systems onto the platform, consolidating the 45 systems over time when needed. It was also imperative to maintain a level of autonomy and control through a platform which would enable the upskilling of staff to make changes and improve it after the initial implementation. Technology aside, what else do you think is essential to digital transformation? When looking for the ideal solution, it was important that we found the right partner with the technical experience that would allow us to feed into the design and collaborate through an agile process. We didn’t want an on-premise legacy provider or to simply move existing technology onto someone else’s servers. We wanted a Software-as-a-Service platform in the cloud. Arcus Global, with its proven track record with other authorities, and a unique, true

The new digital offering gives us realtime information, which helps us better understand their needs and shape our services accordingly front-to-back office solution built on the world-leading Salesforce platform gave us this flexibility. Together we have started to implement one digital platform that includes a library of council processes and a single point of access for the customer across a range of council services. At the same time, we have a single view of the customer journey, which has provided a whole host of new information and business intelligence to aid strategic decision making. We are now using the same technology and accessing the same real-time data as our customers. Could you take us through the initial stages of the transformation? The first phase of the project was to implement a Digital Services Hub underpinned by Salesforce CRM. It has two distinct functions.


 What were the biggest benefits you hoped to see with this project?

For residents, the Citizen’s Portal provides real-time interactions for a host of services such as Revenues and Waste & Recycling, and provides self-service requirements in a single online account. For staff, the Employee Portal was developed for a range of internal processes such as HR management and a new IT service desk which gives staff the same self-serve online functionality, treating them as an internal customer. Now that the initial phase is over, what does the transformation look like today? What benefits have you seen so far? The project has given us the structure to start delivering productivity and efficiency savings. We are working on a roadmap to further consolidate systems and data. This will remove vast amounts of manual work and more E



Expert providers of future-focused IT infrastructure and support.

At Quadris, we recognise that every organisation comes with its own set of unique requirements; as a result, every single solution we deliver is tailored to meet those specific needs. Furthermore, we keep a very close eye on the latest developments in order to deliver a solution that meets your needs, both today and for the foreseeable future.   With these 2 key elements at the forefront of everything we do, our expert technical team is able to design, deploy and support high performance technology infrastructures covering networking, storage and compute, and desktop. Our future-focused solutions span different configurations depending on the challenges we are presented with, such as on-premise data centres, private hosted, and public cloud.    The services we deliver include round the clock network monitoring and remediation, managed services, and professional services; all focused on solving enterprise-scale technology challenges. We enhance and extend the skills and experience of your internal teams, leaving them free to focus on leveraging the software assets to their advantage.   

Now delivering our future-focused solutions to local and central government.   

For over a decade we have served both private corporations and public sector organisations that employ from hundreds to many thousands of IT service users, often operating across multiple locations and countries.     We are now delighted to announce that Quadris has been named as a supplier on the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) new RM6068 Technology Products and Associated Services (TePAS) framework. (This enables Quadris to be considered for call-off contracts to supply deliverables across 3 Lots: Lot 1 Hardware & Software, & Associated Services, Lot 2 Hardware & Associated Services, and Lot 3 Software & Associated Services.)    This highly prestigious framework, from the UK’s largest public procurement body, now allows Quadris to supply Hardware, Software and Associated Services across the entire public sector. It opens up new opportunities for Quadris to deliver our future-focused solutions to an even wider audience and we are looking forward to working with new clients in local and central government; confident in the knowledge that we can deliver the efficiency and cost-savings that today’s organisations demand.     Whatever your IT requirements, you can rest assured that our expert technical engineers will deliver a solution that will meet the individual requirements of your organisation, both today and for years to come.    For a no-obligation chat about how your organisation can benefit from a future-focused IT solution please contact Peter Grayson today.    Tel: 0161 537 4980 | Email: peter.grayson@quadris.co.uk | Website: https://quadris.co.uk/ 


 importantly will reduce the associated risks surrounding data quality. The second phase is underway with more digital services added for citizens and businesses and the further consolidation of back-end systems and data. In December 2018, we extended the Citizen’s Portal to include ‘MyTenancy’ which provides residents access to live housing account information, including viewing balances, making payments and sending/ receiving messages. Additionally, in February 2019, we went live with Arcus Global’s endto-end Green Waste service which has been proven to increase revenues and reduce costs for councils around the UK, adding further functionality for residents and another online self-service process for the council. Can you summarise how the transformation has helped both the council and its citizens? By undertaking this project, we have simplified the customer transactional journey, freeing up resources to concentrate on delivering other services for people who truly need our support. It also improves our decision making as we can now base it on data, plus it also supports the overall St Albans digital transformation journey.

The project has given us the structure to start delivering productivity and efficiency savings. We are working on a roadmap to further consolidate systems and data Essentially, self-serve functioning enables the citizen to transact with us when they want to, rather than when one of our offices are open. It also changes the way our citizens perceive us in terms of us being a modern and open-for-business service. Overall, the new digital offering puts the customers’ needs at the heart of the journey by enabling them to self-serve online. It also gives us real-time information, which helps us better understand their needs and shape our services accordingly. Do you have a plan for where you would like the project to be in 12 months? Following a very successful first two years of the transformation programme we have seen positive change and can quickly react to changing needs of both citizens and businesses without the traditional

issues associated with legacy IT systems. As such, we are primed for the next step of our digital journey. The roadmap over the next year will focus on the areas that can deliver the biggest benefit to our citizens. Do you have any advice for other councils that are using legacy technology and are considering a digital solution? The legacy applications that we use were not agile enough to change in the way and at the rate we need them to. Based on our experience, my advice to other local authorities thinking about digital transformation is: don’t be afraid to change the technology platforms that you use: be bold! L FURTHER INFORMATION www.stalbans.gov.uk



DELIVERING THE BEST SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS Virtual Mail Room is an approved CCS supplier for Lot 7, Hybrid Mail, Digital and Transformational Communications. With many years of experience working with Public Sector clients, we are your one-stop shop for all your customer communications needs.

• CCS Supplier for Framework RM6017 Postal Goods, Services and Solutions • Multi-channel customer communications by post, email, sms or web • Hybrid Mail

• Document Composition • Matching and Merging • Returns Management • Digital Archive • Full end to end audit trail • Secure client portal

• In-built Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery • Full range of production options • Security, Quality, and Environment certified management systems

Transform the way you connect with your customers and save time and money whilst improving your business processes. Contact us now to find out how.

020 8898 6565 | post@vmailroom.co.uk | vmailroom.co.uk Virtual Mail Room Limited, Maple House, 11 Briar Road, Twickenham TW2 6RB


Postal Goods, Services & Solutions - receiving all the information The RM6017 agreement has been designed to meet every element of mail services and information management. Government Business looks at the framework in detail The Postal Goods, Services and Solutions provides a range of mailroom equipment, inbound and outbound mail services or more complex solutions for digital transformation of mail and communications. Whether you use traditional mail services or would like to transform your mailroom to digital, Crown Commercial Service can help. You will have access to traditional postal goods and services such as security screening, franking machines, mailroom equipment, collection and delivery services for UK and international mail. The agreement also offers audits, efficiency reviews and consultancy services to help you develop your postal services strategy. A range of inbound and outbound services are available to transition from a paper-based mailroom to a digital environment. This includes hybrid mail solutions that incorporate new technologies and innovation, such as e-communications and fully outsourced, innovative managed service options, for a ‘digital by default’ paper-lite strategy. Through the agreement, CCS pledges to: improve document security; move to digital solutions; reduce costs; minimise waste; benefit from economies of scale; increase efficiency; reduce floor space; and maximise resources.

and services to support digital transformation. Buyers have flexibility to choose the right lot or combination of lots to best fit their needs. Buyers can also select the CCS schedules needed to meet their requirements using the Public Sector Contract. This contains simplified, concise terms and conditions which are easier to use and understand and includes a fully guided Order Form. Customer guidance and Framework benefits a toolkit will be available to help you gather The agreement is flexible, fast and simple your mail profile and develop your bid pack to to use. It is compliant with the Public communicate your requirement. Call-Off terms Contracts Regulations 2015 and provides a have been established in line with commercial streamlined route for all buyers to access a best practice to provide legal protection for comprehensive range of external suppliers buyers and suppliers. Comprehensive lease through a further competition process terms and franking meter terms have been or direct award for maximum speed and developed specifically for this agreement. convenience. Further competitions typically All framework suppliers have signed and take a minimum of eight weeks to conduct, accepted that only CCS terms will however this depends on the size apply to Call-Off Contracts. and scale of the requirement. The framework enables SMEs Buyers can access goods T he to bid for public sector and services for all of framew contracts, supporting the their postal services o r k enables government’s aspiration requirements, thanks to SMEs to bid for for £1 in every £3 to enhanced Lot structure. p contrac ublic sector be spent with SMEs From a single supplier ts, supp by 2022. 50 per cent option for basic ‘plug orting the gov of suppliers on the & play’ franking aspirati ernment’s agreement are SMEs. machines to complex on for £ Buyers can request E outsourced solutions eve 1 All UK public sector and government organisations can use this agreement which include, central government departments and their agencies, the wider public sector and the third sector. For more information about who can access this framework, please refer to the contract notice.

ry £3 to in b e s p with SM en Es by t 2022



Framework structure The Postal Goods, Services and Solutions Framework commenced on 1 December 2019 and will expire on 30 November 2023. There are 10 goods and service options, known as ‘lots’. Lot 1: Low to Medium Volume Franking Machines & Associated Consumables is for small range of low to medium volume franking machines and consumables, for both lease and outright purchase. Machines will frank up to 200 items per day, are simple to operate and require no installation as they are ‘plug and play’ out of the box. Basic maintenance is included and additional service wrap options are also available.

Franking Machines, Mailroom Equipment & Associated Consumables are covered in Lot 2, for the full range of low, medium and high volume capacity franking machines, mailroom equipment (including X-Ray machines) and associated consumables and software for both lease and outright purchase. Includes basic maintenance and additional service wrap options. Lot 3: Collection and Delivery of Letters, Large Letters, and Parcels (UK) is for the collection and delivery service for all mail items for delivery within the UK. Services include: high volume services; Low to Medium Volume Services; sorted and unsorted services; secure services; collection services; and services to manage undelivered items; track and trace services; and the provision of consumables and equipment. Lot 4: Collection and Delivery of Letters, Large Letters & Parcels to International Destinations is a multi supplier lot for the collection and delivery service for all mail items for international delivery which includes EU, Non EU and Rest of World destinations. Services include: premium services; standard services; economy services; sorted and unsorted services; secure and

tracked services; collection services; services to manage undelivered items; and the provision of consumables and equipment. Audits, Efficiency Reviews & Niche Consultancy are included in Lot 5, for the provision of independent audit and consultancy services for mailroom operations and associated document and data management. Offers help and support to develop and implement your postal services strategy. There are three levels of service: Mailroom & Production Audits; Efficiency Reviews; and Niche Consultancy Services. Lot 6: Business Process Outsourcing, Mailroom, Document and Data Managed Service is for the provision of a wholly outsourced service for on/off site mailroom management, digital mailroom management and document and data management services. It seeks to deliver efficiencies, benefits and transform the management of document workflow, delivering a paper-lite strategy and increasing the use of digital technologies. Lot 7: Hybrid Mail, Digital and Transformational Communications is for the provision of hybrid mail, digital and transformational communications in the E


 suppliers tailor their offer to match the buyer’s social value priorities and deliver measurable local benefits such as, operating an efficient and sustainable mailroom, communication with end users that supports diversity and inclusion, improved competency and capacity in the postal market. The framework provides opportunity for collaboration and aggregation of buyers’ requirements to drive volume discounts and access to zonal and regional pricing. Prediscounted franking machines, mailroom equipment and other services make use of the latest technologies to increase production and reduce floor space, freeing up valuable resource. Through regular and pro-active supplier and market engagement, emerging trends and technologies will be incorporated into the framework as quickly as possible. The agreement has been designed to enable suppliers to add new innovations in goods and services over the lifetime of the framework.

The Postal Goods, Services and Solutions provides a range of mailroom equipment, inbound and outbound mail services or more complex solutions for digital transformation of mail and communications



EFFICIENCY AND COST SAVINGS FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR Overcome public sector challenges with Twofold Document Solutions’ range of mailroom equipment, inbound and outbound mail services, and enable digital transformation for your mail and communications.

Contact us to • Reduce costs • Increase productivity • Enhance efficiency • Move to digital solutions • Improve document security

0118 951 9800 | sales@twofold.co.uk | www.twofold.co.uk


Permanent recruitment framework success for Home Office A combination of low unemployment rates and skills shortages in some areas can make it difficult for the public sector to attract the right talent in a competitive marketplace.

Through the agreement, CCS pledges to: improve document security; move to digital solutions; reduce costs; minimise waste; benefit from economies of scale; increase efficiency; reduce floor space; and maximise resources  following levels: Hybrid Mail (Click, Print, Post Solution); Level 2 - Hybrid Mail, including SMS, email communications and secure web-based communications; and Level 3 - Omni-Channel E2E Hybrid Mail, including inbound communication. Lot 8: Inbound Delivery Services (delivery of physical mail items) is a single supplier Lot for the provision of an inbound delivery service for mail items, packets and parcels being returned to your site(s) from your end users/customers. Services include: timed delivery services; presorted deliveries; reply services; numbered box services; and tracked and signed for services. In Lot 9, for Mail Opening and Digital Scanning Services (On-site and Off-site), the CCS covers the provision of mail opening and digital scanning services, which can be carried out either at your premises (on-site) or at the supplier’s premises (off-site), or a blend of both. Services include: mail opening services; scanning services; electronic distribution of

items within the buyer organisation; archiving services and solutions (physical and digital) o Indexing services; secure destruction of physical items; and banking services for cashable items received by the buyer. Lot 10: Security Screening Services covers security screening services for a variety of inbound mail items, including documents and parcels for a range of hazardous items and materials.The supplier is required to provide up to level 3 British Standards Institution Mail Screening and Security Specification (PAS 97:2015) as a minimum. Call-Off Contracts can be let for a maximum period of six years on lots 1 and 2 and seven years on lots 3 to 10 (inclusive of any implementation and/or optional extension periods). L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov.uk/ agreements/RM6017

The Home Office was struggling to fill an important senior civil servant role in their digital, data and technology team, which combined technical expertise with stakeholder engagement. The successful candidate needed to be able to bridge the communication gap between 43 regional police forces, the Home Office and wider Homeland security organisations. They also needed demonstrable experience of working in a high volume data environment. After two failed attempts to fill the role, the Home Office turned to the CCS Permanent Recruitment framework. Lot 6 of the framework covers executive search for digital, data and technology giving the Home Office access to the specialists they needed. Following a further competition they appointed Sanderson Government & Defence to help them fill the role. Sanderson Government & Defence created a bespoke advertising solution, including a website and branded advertising on five external job boards and LinkedIn. They also used their extensive network across the public and security sectors to conduct market mapping and targeted headhunting. Online equality and diversity monitoring was also used to improve the response rate and diversity of the applicant pool. The recruitment campaign resulted in 51 applications, of which 12 were long-listed and presented to the Home Office. From there, five shortlisted candidates progressed through occupational psychology and independent leadership assessments. This enabled the interview panel to develop bespoke areas of questioning, alongside the standard interview questions. Following this the successful applicant took up their new role at the Home Office – a complex role successfully filled in just eight weeks.




What is the Disability Confident Scheme?

Car park surfacing and maintenance specialists

PCLR recruits staff across many areas, with an ethos on finding work for those with disabilities. Company director Chris has Cerebral Palsy. Being a disabled person, Disability Confident is very close to his heart, meaning that the company sees strengths not weaknesses within disabled people. The company works closely with companies that believe in its ethos and would like new companies who share the same passion as PCLR. PCLR Ltd, along with the Disability Confident scheme, wants to get people with disabilities into work. Everyone has a skill and the company wants to find it, pledging to work with companies every step of the way. Working and growing as a person is the best medicine, and Chris is living proof of that. PCLR finds appropriate jobs for appropriate people, helping at

NMC is a leading independent surfacing, drainage and civil engineering contractor, providing a 24/7 nationwide car park turnkey solution across the UK for the government, councils and some of the biggest brands in the UK, particularly within the retail and petrochemical sector. NMC’s commitment to safety, quality, and service culture from its senior management right through to operative level, makes the company the ideal choice for partnering to protect brand equity with its key clients. As specialists with vast experience in dealing with high priority prestigious projects, NMC plays a key role in its clients stakeholder management while delivering project with minimal financial or operational disruption. The NMC surveying team is on hand to assist you with often

all stages of the process, giving you the best chance to enhance your skill and not be defined by your perceived ‘limitations’. PCLR is always ‘working hard for hard working people’.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01706 418223 hello@pclrecruitment.co.uk www.pclrecruitment.co.uk




complementary site condition surveys, with surveyors able to visit your site and analyse its current condition before detailing, with a colour coded report that incorporates its findings, evidence of it’s condition, which can assist clients when controlling a budget, prioritising maintenance works and creating a planned maintenance works for the next five years.

FURTHER INFORMATION nmcsurfacing.co.uk


Specialising in passive fire protection

Full building passive fire inspection survey

LFS manufactures, installs and maintains fire doors and screens. The company provides its passive fire protection products and services to the construction industry in both the public and private sectors. As well as manufacturing and installing fire doorsets and screens, LFS also provides a one-stop, long term solution of ongoing service maintenance and support. This aspect of the company’s service is particularly relevant to the government sector as LFS is backed up by all of the leading fire industry accreditation bodies which ensures continual compliance beyond door installation. Regular contract customer’s benefit from LFS’s bespoke PASSIFIRE app with barcode and handheld technology to carry out efficient and thorough fire

Varsity Fire Consultants Ltd draws on over 50 years of experience within the passive fire protection industry. The company has experience on various building types including cchools, hospitals, theatres, hotels, residential apartments, and offices. Fire doors are life safety systems and form a vital part of a buildings passive fire protection system. They prevent the flow of smoke and fire and help compartmentalise a building to provide a safe means of escape for its occupants. The certified inspectors from Varsity Fire Consultants Ltd will carry out the necessary surveys and produce the reports to enable the responsible person (usually facilities management) to take the necessary measures in order to meet building regs 2010 Part B. The organisation’s highly experienced inspectors hold

door and fire stopping surveys. The company’s webstore provides online access to a range of fire stopping products from leading manufacturers such as Lorient and Dorma. Products that range from door seals to rubble sacks and threshold plates to door closers. LFS promises excellent levels of service and competitive pricing. LFS has made it a priority to stay at the forefront of passive fire protection through continual testing and certification with all of the major fire industry bodies such as Exova BM TRADA and FIRAS.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 035 6827 www.lfsfire.co.uk


current diplomas and certificates in passive fire protection, cavity barriers, fire seals, linear gap seals and fire doors. This allows Varsity Fire Consultants Ltd to carry out surveys and identify whether the current systems have been installed correctly and are providing your building the correct protection. The fire protection of any building is a vital part of the safety of both the structure and its occupants.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01787 376515 info@varsityfire.co.uk www.varsityfire.co.uk



The best-connected venue in mid-Wales

Self-catering holiday accommodation in Wales

The Royal Welsh Showground, set in the heart of Mid-Wales, is the most unique venue Wales has to offer. Centrally located and host of one of Europe’s largest agricultural shows, this accommodating site offers the conference and event organiser flexibility not seen within most standard conference venues. With current trends pushing organisers and delegates to interact and engage on new levels, this site really does present a blank canvas with limitless opportunities. The 150 acres of open space has a large selection of adaptable indoor and outdoor spaces. Established as a permanent site in 1963 the developments to the site continue today. Boasting a permanent 4G mobile phone mast, superfast broadband and plans to be a 1Gig site by 2021, the site is one of

Tynrhyd is an inspiring destination for a productive business retreat or company getaway. Strengthen team spirit with a workation or group meet-up in this secluded, private destination. Motivate and revitalise your team with an executive offsite or a welldeserved team retreat in a venue which sparks creativity. A convenient, accessible location in the heart of Mid Wales. Ideally placed to draw team members together from across the Principality or escape the concrete jungles. In a stimulating environment enveloped in mountain swells and rugged moorland see moral improve and team spirit strengthen. For an inspiring range of fun team building activities designed to strengthen relationships, promote co-working and development Tynrhyd can put together bespoke activities to meet your budget and requirements.

the best connected venues in UK. Host to over 400 events from small meetings, conferences, weddings and large scale events the site is adapting to be more diverse, built in projector screen with ceiling mounted projectors, integrated sound systems, touch screen display facilities and hearing loops are some of the upgrades in our meeting rooms. The venue can easily adapt to the changing needs of the conferencing sector. The Showground is able to accommodate small groups, from as few as two, to large events welcoming over 70,000 people a day.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01982 553683 https://rwas.wales/


Facilities include: Great Hall seating up to 50 delegates; a projector screen – 6’x 5’ projector; four break out rooms; 13 acres of grounds and woodland; outside seating areas, toilets and benches with disability access; private dining and onsite catering; Adventure and Team Building; free parking, with off road parking 25 vehicles/coaches; free Wi-Fi; a Garden Swim Spa Hot tub; and 4/5* accommodation for up to 50 guests in 15 bedrooms onsite.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0) 1970607913 holidays@tynrhyd.com www.tynrhyd.com


Brangwyn Hall: from the intimate to the grand

Experiencing Cardiff’s historic heart

The Grade II listed Brangwyn Hall is striking in its architecture and décor. With its high panelled ceiling and walls adorned with the historic Brangwyn Hall panels by renowned artist Sir Frank Brangwyn, it certainly is a landmark venue in Swansea, South West Wales. Delivering outstanding customer service is the venue’s forte and combined with Brangwyn Hall’s catering options, the venue guarantees that you and your guests will have an unforgettable experience. From large conferences, training days, team-building activities, exhibitions or corporate entertainment, Brangwyn Hall can offer a range of room sizes to accommodate your needs. The promenade of Swansea Bay is just minutes from the Brangwyn Hall offering delegates a welcome break from a busy conference schedule, the ideal setting for an out-of-office working environment.

Encapsulating 2,000 years of history, Cardiff Castle is a premier visitor attraction set in the very heart of Wales’ capital city. Within the walls, and surrounded by magnificent grounds, sits one of the UK’s most important historic houses; complete with fairy-tale towers, unique architecture, opulent interiors and breathtaking elegance. Over the course of centuries, this extravagant building has played host to politicians, statesmen, lords, ladies and even kings and queens. As a corporate events venue, there can be few who rival Cardiff Castle for both pedigree and grandeur. With a selection of remarkable rooms available for hire, from the spectacular banqueting hall to the vaulted, medieval undercroft; our flexible spaces can be comfortably configured to suit your requirements. Large scale dinners, corporate presentations or smaller scale meetings, press

The site has a range of rooms to suit a variety of occasions. There are 14 rooms available in total, from small committee rooms which hold up to 16 delegates boardroom style, to the Brangwyn Hall itself which can seat up to 1,070 people theatre style. For further information contact the team via the details below or find the venue at Guildhall Road

South, Swansea, SA1 4PE.

FURTHER INFORMATION Brangwyn.hall@swansea.gov.uk www.brangwyn.co.uk

briefings and private lunches can all be catered for. Speak to the experienced functions team, or visit the Cardiff Castle website for more information on room hire rates and capacities. The team can also offer advice on corporate gift packages, audio-visual options and finding preferential rates in local hotels.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 029 2087 8105 cardiffcastle.com





Hillbrush knows what clean really means

voco ® St David’s, Cardiff: A hotel built on sustainability

Cleaning and hygiene is essential in the workplace environment. Maintaining cleanliness in the workplace not only creates a healthier environment for employees but also tends to help companies become more efficient and productive. It pays to make cleaning and hygiene a priority. With a range of over threethousand products and distribution partners in over 90 countries, Hillbrush is the largest UK manufacturer of brushware and hygienic cleaning tools, selling to a global customer base. Setting the benchmark for quality and innovation, the mission for continuous development and outstanding service is as prominent now as it was when the company was founded in 1922. Hillbrush is at the forefront of technology-led cleaning equipment and offer a comprehensive

Look after your guests at your next meeting or conference at the breath-taking voco ® St David’s Cardiff, the only 5-star hotel in Wales’ capital city, positioned on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront. Located close to all major transport links and only two hours from London; it’s easily accessible for your delegates. With its bold and striking architecture, the hotel offers visitors an experience unlike any other in Cardiff. As a hotel voco St David’s Cardiff have implemented several sustainable initiatives, doing their very best to tread lightly in the community. These include initiatives to help reduce plastic waste, such as premium bedding made from recycled plastics that do not compromise on comfort; replacing small bathroom amenities with larger and longer lasting containers

collection of brushware and ancillary items, perfect for a multitude of uses in schools, council areas, agricultural, construction, janitorial, council and commercial cleaning applications. Items include brooms, buckets and bins, mops, dustpans, scoops, telescopic handles, litter pickers, shovels, paddles, floor care equipment, as well as a professional water flow and window cleaning range.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0)1747 860494 www.hillbrush.com/ commercial

in bathrooms and filtered water in rooms to reduce single use plastic and glass waste features such as aerated showers are designed to reduce water wastage and energy consumption. You can relax knowing that everything from your super comfy bed to the locally sourced ingredients on your dinner menu are designed to reduce our impact on the environment. With rehydration stations, ponder pods and the new voco vitality initiative, the hotel ensures that your delegates are in a mindful and inspirational state of mind throughout your whole event experience.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0)29 2045 4045 stdavids.vocohotels.com


The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service Aiphone 38 AJ Products 44 Big Dug 53 Blackthorn GRC 56 Caloo 22 Capito 58 Chateau Rhianfa 50 ComputeringEngland.com 62 Dalrod Drainage Solutions 44 DB Fire Safety 41 Eagle Drones 37 Eagle Eye Networks 41 Enghouse Interactive UK IFC,28 Ergochair IBC Evac Chair 26 Exela Technologies 72 Fire Doors Complete 30 Ground Control 20 Hillbrush 78 Illumino Signs 10 Independent Fire Safety 32 ISS 6 Jacksons Fencing 48 Johnstone Landscapes 12 Kaztech Solutions 60 Keytracker 44 LFS Fire 76 NS & I 8


NMC Surfacing 76 Norton Landscaping 18 Office Depot 42 Ogel IT 4 Opex Corporation OBC P4 44 Pacific Computers 63 Parameters Global 34 PCL Recruitment 76 Pictorial Meadows 20 Quadris 68 Royal Welsh 77 SA Group 54 St David Voco Hotel 78 Storm Technologies 64 Stuart Canvas 25 Symbiant 46 Text DSI Survey & Inspection 36 The Brangwyn Hall 77 Tivilo Group 16 Trustco Plc 66 TVS Group 24 Twofold 74 Tynrhyd Retreat 77 Varsity Fire Consultants 76 Vestre 14 Vicon Security 40 Virtual Mail Room 70


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Medical Records. Digital Transformation in 2020 and beyond. OPEX unveil new hardware for For over 40 years OPEX have been a global leader in Document Imaging Technology. Over 30 NHS Trusts now rely on the expertise of OPEX for handling the digitization of their Medical Records. The latest product from OPEX, the Falcon+, is ideally suited to answer the needs of any scanning process. This, coupled with our expertise in the marketplace and strategic account management allows OPEX to become a valuable partner and provide the right solution to any organizations scanning requirements.

Time Saving Technology OPEX Falcon+’s unique combined prep-scan workstation greatly reduces the overall time taken to digitise documents.

Global Technology Partner OPEX Corporation operate around the globe and host regular feedback sessions from customers around the world. This allows us to keep innovating the products to the needs of the market and share these improvements with our customers.

Key account management We have industry and product specialists that work with your organisation to build meaningful and long term partnerships, delivering the best practice and latest improvements.

OPEX Business Machines GmbH Spa Road, Bolton, BL9 9XB

Tel: +44 7764 205 484

Mail: pfinch@opex.com Web: www.opex.com

Profile for PSI  Media

Government Business 27.1  

Business Information for Local and Central Government

Government Business 27.1  

Business Information for Local and Central Government

Profile for psi-media