Government Business 28.6

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ISSUE 28.6

Business Information for Local and Central Government




What are the technology priorities for government leaders and departments for next year?


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Numbers that make for difficult reading The past few weeks have produced a number of news stories that present difficult reading for the government. All local authorities with children’s services across the UK have been informed of the government’s intention to temporarily mandate the National Transfer Scheme, after record numbers of migrants attempted the journey across the English Channel in recent months, culminating in the deaths of 27 people at the end of November. That is a situation that has solutions available, although time will tell whether existing pressures in local areas make such arrangements as straightforward as hoped. Meanwhile, the Nuffield Trust has warned that the social care sector in England may have lost up to 50,000 workers across all providers of care in the months leading up to winter. The shortfall is fuelling an invisible care crisis in people’s own homes with many unable to access the care they need, impacting hospital discharges.

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The warning followed a survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services which found that almost 400,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs or service, and that one in two councils has had to respond to a care home closure or bankruptcy over the past six months. As if the winter months were not hard enough already. Michael Lyons, editor

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226 High Rd, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 020 8532 0055 Web: EDITOR Michael Lyons PRODUCTION MANAGER & DESIGNER Dan Kanolik PRODUCTION CONTROL Lucy Maynard ADMINISTRATION Amy Hinds WEB PRODUCTION Victoria Casey ADVERTISEMENT SALES Clive Beer, Steve Day, Patrick Dunne, Bernie Miller ADVERTISEMENT SALES SUPERVISOR Neil Haydon PUBLISHER Karen Hopps

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Places that Work Functional, well maintained environments creating the trust to safely return to work.


Contents Government Business 28.6 07 News


Research finds that the pandemic has bolstered local unity; 5,000 homes approved to be built in flood zones; and number of children in care could reach 100,000 by 2025

15 Facilities management


Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Health & Social Care, and chief executive of Ealing LBC, looks back at the recent Solace report on collaborative working

44 Community power

There is no doubt that the pandemic experience has shone a light on the facilities profession and illuminated its strategic importance. The IWFM’s chief executive Linda Hausmanis shares how

Grace Pollard, Senior Policy Researcher at New Local, analyses the six core benefits of community power and how, when taken together, they collectively chart a different way for people, communities and public services to collaborate

19 Ventilation

47 Electric vehicles

Chris Yates, chief executive at the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, explores the issue of indoor air quality and the need for better ventilation in public buildings, as well as the effect that heating requirements can have on the environment

51 Transport

22 Q&A: West Yorkshire Combined Authority


42 Collaborative working

Government Business talks to Tracy Brabin, Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, about net zero ambitions, local collaboration and tackling food waste

24 Q&A: Bristol City Council Government Business talks to Councillor Nicola Beech, Bristol City Council’s new portfolio of Climate, Ecology, Energy and Waste, about sustainability, local collaboration and net zero by 2030

28 Social value

Zemo’s Neil Wallis, Head of Communications, and Jonathan Murray, Policy & Operations Director, discuss the agenda of the EV Energy Taskforce and the electrification of road transport Local authorities are being given the powers they need to deliver successful public transport systems, but, as Paul Tuohy, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, explains, the necessary funding and support must follow

55 Frameworks

The Management Consultancy Framework Three (MCF3) offers access to consultancy including business, strategy and policy, finance, HR, procurement, health/social care and community, infrastructure and environment


Sponsored by

Why do local companies that can demonstrate a strong commitment to social value have a growing competitive advantage? This article looks at the principles of social value

33 Technology

42 47

Alan Warr discusses how the benefits available from the explosion of new technologies will be greatest for those government leaders who don’t just focus on the technology

37 Cyber security


Sponsored by

Ahead of September’s 2021 International Security Expo, our sister publication Counter Terror Business caught up with cyber security consultant Lisa Ventura to discuss the cyber landscape, hybrid working challenges and combining physical and digital security. Here we share the Q&A

Click here to read our new Smart City Business supplement




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Research finds that the pandemic has bolstered local unity The researchers have called on the government to draw on the lessons of the pandemic to ‘build back unity from the bottom up’ by channelling moderate investment into local initiatives which build social infrastructure and people’s sense of togetherness, and to firmly embed this approach within the government’s levelling-up plans. Belong says that trust in the UK government’s response to the crisis started out high, but dropped sharply after June 2020. In contrast, trust in local government’s response to the pandemic was stronger and did not fall over the course of the pandemic. In fact, respondents in all places trusted their local authority’s response to the virus more than they did the UK government’s response.

Research has found that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a greater sense of national division, but our sense of local unity has remained strong. The Belong Network’s report, which details the findings of a comprehensive study into the impact of the pandemic on

social relations in Britain, found that local authority areas that had prioritised support for social infrastructure and cohesion – and been supported to do so by government investment – proved to be more resilient in the course of the pandemic than other places.



National Transfer Scheme confirmed as mandatory

Ban MPs from paid consultancy roles, says committee

Kevin Foster has written to all local authorities with children’s services across the UK to inform them of the government’s intention to temporarily mandate the National Transfer Scheme. Under this change all local authorities have been given legal notice to accept transfers of children into their care, providing crucial placements to unaccompanied asylumseeking children. The government has said that the decision to mandate the scheme is vital to ensure unaccompanied asylum-seeking children receive the critical care they need and end the use of hotels for them following the unprecedented recent pressure placed on the asylum system. The Home Office will consider a number of factors when transferring children to a local authority including the existing child population, the number of supported asylum seekers and pressures on children’s services, and the best interests of the child. Local authorities will not need to accept unaccompanied asylum-seeking children where this cohort already makes up 0.07 per cent or more of their general child population. READ MORE

A Commons Standards Committee report has said that MPs should be banned from providing paid parliamentary advice or consultancy services. Following the case of former MP Owen Paterson, a number of critics, including the Labour Party, had called for an overhaul of the system which regulates ministers’ conduct. The renewed scrutiny of standards at Westminster recently is the result of the government’s failed attempt to change the system while blocking the suspension of Paterson. The Commons Standards Committee’s long-awaited review into the current code of conduct for MPs makes a number of draft recommendations including introducing a


ban on MPs ‘providing paid parliamentary advice, consultancy, or strategy services’. It says that, where an MP does take on additional work, they should ensure their contract makes ‘explicit’ that they cannot lobby ministers or public officials on behalf of their employer. The committee has also suggested that a principle of ‘respect’ is added to the MPs’ code of conduct, which would mean an MP could be investigated for breaching the code if they subjected anyone ‘to unreasonable and excessive personal attack in any medium’. READ MORE





5,000 homes approved to be built in flood zones

More than 5,000 new homes in floodrisk areas of England have been granted planning permission so far this year, as local authorities try to tackle the housing shortage.

Analysing 16,000 planning applications lodged between January and September, researchers found that approximately 200 had been approved, for a total of 5,283 new homes, in areas where more than 10 per cent of homes were already at significant risk of flooding. Builders insist that the need for new homes meant even flood-risk areas would have to be used, despite warnings from insurers. The Local Government Association’s housing and environment spokesperson, David Renard, said almost 99 per cent of applications were decided in line with Environment Agency flood risk advice.

Martin Milliner, the claims director at LV= General Insurance, which commissioned the report, said: “Whilst we welcome the government’s commitment to increase housing we have concerns about the UK’s resilience to future flood events, and in particular the number of new housing developments in flood-risk areas that are still receiving approval. Flooding is an extremely traumatic event which has a devastating impact on a person’s life, both physically and mentally.” READ MORE


Funding for projects to plant hundreds of thousands of trees Hundreds of thousands of trees will be planted in communities across England thanks to funding through the Nature for Climate Fund. To celebrate National Tree Week, the government has announced that more than £12 million will be allocated to the successful applicants to four funds supporting tree planting efforts for future generations. The funding will see 260,000 trees be planted outside of woodlands as part of the Local Authority Treescapes Fund with 139 local authorities awarded a share of the now £4.4 million pot across 42 projects. Projects

will support a variety of ways to get trees in the ground, from natural regeneration and traditional planting to community engagement. Initiatives, which will include local residents, schools and environmental groups, will restore trees to non-wooded areas such as riverbanks, along hedgerows, beside roads and footpaths, and within vacant community spaces – areas where treescapes are often highly degraded due to neglect, disease or historical decline. Additionally, 46 projects in England, planting almost 25,000 trees, will be supported through the third round of the Urban Tree

Challenge Fund, building upon the 134,000 trees already planted through this fund in deprived urban areas. READ MORE


MPs back stronger policy on renewable heating in homes A survey has found that MPs support stronger government policy and increased Treasury finance to scale up the installation of renewable heating technologies for new and existing homes and help meet net zero climate targets.

Commissioned by the MCS Charitable Foundation, the survey found that more than half of MPs questioned (56 per cent) agree that it should be made a priority for the UK’s 29 million existing homes to have a green energy retrofit. More than three quarters

(77 per cent) believe that small-scale renewables, such as solar PV, solar thermal and heat pumps, should be incorporated into all new build properties from 2022. Less than half of MPs questioned believe the government is doing enough to meet netzero targets and there was support for new regulations requiring all new homes to meet this standard by 2023. David Cowdrey, director of External Affairs at MCS, said: “If the government is serious about meeting emissions reduction targets, the decarbonisation of our current and future homes must urgently move up the political agenda, backed by robust legislation. Less than half of the MPs polled believe the government is delivering on this, sending a clear message that they need to take decisive action, with the Treasury committing funding, to accelerate the home heating revolution.” READ MORE




2022, The Year of Hyperautomation As we approach the finale of 2021, now is the time to be planning a smarter, hyperautomated 2022. Use Your Investment in Analytics Solutions for Hyperautomation Hyperautomation combines technologies: Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Analytics with automation, to drive faster, automated, and augmented exception management to deliver change efficiently. Hyperautomation allows employees to work with technology while intelligent hyperautomation takes care of the more complicated tasks. Hyperautomation enables innovation for process improvement in a timely manner. “Human based

Due to Brexit Hyperautomation is no longer a luxury but an imperative. All UK organisations have now been hit by the logistical reality of Brexit. Since July 2021, the eye opener has been the impact on the labour-market. Resource shortages have appeared in critical areas; a lack of skilled workers based in the UK along with IR35 enforcement. Access to flexible and low-cost IT expertise is no longer possible.

Differentia Consulting Supports Your Analytics Journey from Smart to Smarter BI Within the last 12 months the capabilities of modern Analytics tools have seen the unprecedented evolution from smart to smarter, with data-driven decision-making requirements further enabled by improvements in IT to provide next generation automation capability. There have been more innovations in the last 12 months than the last 12 years.

A smart device is one that connects to the Internet of Things (IoT); an interconnected network of data with physical sensors and inputs from the real world. As part of a network, your analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) tools no longer run on a single data source but extend across all of the organisation’s input devices. Unlike a smart system a smarter system not only has an interconnected network of data input devices but utilises machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence, key components of hyperautomation.

The implication is that the technology and remaining skilled workers can rapidly adapt and service user needs.

deliverables are in jeopardy and in need of machine based hyperautomation to succeed.”

The pinnacle of smarter intelligence comes in the form of prediction and forecasting that generates automated instant action. Smarter BI solutions do more than pool data, they continually learn to anticipate future data, to empower your organisation with more insightful, automated, smarter decision making. When the majority of decisions and follow-ups are taken care of automagically by Smarter BI automated solutions, your colleagues have more time for exception management and the creative decisions that will truly make the difference.

Drivers for Change Hyperautomation solutions offer many benefits, with the intelligence to optimise your organisational processes without causing delays. Given the challenges presented by the current skills shortage this is an opportunity to innovate and drastically increase productivity. In Conclusion Brexit has ended the previous ‘free’ economy for skills. The result is a lack of available IT skills to deliver against current and ongoing requirements. Recent innovation in technology and tools grants the opportunity to adopt a smarter approach to the end of the free skills economy. By embracing hyperautomation tools your organisation can deliver against your strategic goals ahead of time. The first step is to revisit the tools that you are using to deliver your IT projects. Establish if they are able to meet the agreed outcomes or whether a smarter alternative would make more sense and re-invest accordingly. The unprecedented situation of an IT skills shortage and IT tools evolution from smart to smarter will change your organisation forever.

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Number of children in care could reach 100,000 by 2025

New analysis from the County Councils Network has revealed that the number of

vulnerable children being placed in council care could reach almost 100,000 by the middle of the decade. County leaders are warning that unless these trends are abated through major reforms and investment, this could see local authorities in England spend £3.6 billion a year more in 2025 on children in care compared to 2015. Too many vulnerable children are being placed in expensive residential care settings due to an insufficient number of alternatives, such as foster carers. Councils are also having to reduce preventative services, particularly for those most in risk of entering the care system. CCN chairman Tim Oliver is calling for an ‘unrelenting’ focus on preventing family



Business and government must unite to hit net zero

Survey find staffing levels in care ‘dangerously low’

A new survey by the British Chambers of Commerce has revealed how challenging net zero targets will be to hit unless governments work with businesses across the globe on making the transition. More than 1,000 businesses took part in the survey to understand what steps they are already taking to reach net zero and what support would encourage them to further reduce their carbon footprint. It found most businesses were either unaware of or were not taking steps to get involved in key net zero strategies. These included the impact of changes to food supply chains (93 per cent), a ‘Just Transition’ to net zero (93 per cent), or the use of ‘nature-based solutions’ (89 per cent). It also highlighted that businesses want to see capital grants and tax allowances to support them to make the transition. A previous BCC survey, from July, found although most firms were taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint, only one in 10 currently measure their carbon footprint, falling to just one in 20 for microbusinesses. The latest data also highlight the divide between larger and smaller businesses, with only five per cent of firms with less than 10 employees carrying out an assessment on potential net zero changes to food supply chains, compared with 10 per cent of firms with more than 50 staff. READ MORE

A new survey from UNISON has found that nearly a third of care staff believe that staffing levels are getting worse and negatively affecting the care provided. The findings are based on responses from more than 1,600 care employees and reveal some dying residents are being denied a dignified end to their lives. UNISON says that this is because there are not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours. Other shocking consequences of the staffing crisis highlighted by the survey include people being left in dirty sheets, denied regular baths or showers, and not helped to dress until the afternoon.

breakdown and supporting them to stay together, where it is safe to do so. He is also urging for a systemic reform of the way local public services work together to reduce the number children entering the care system, and crucially, the number of young people staying in care for longer. The reliance on expensive care placements is placing unprecedented pressure on local authority budgets, with the costs of supporting children in the care of local authorities set to consume 60 per cent of their children’s services budgets by 2025 – meaning there will be less money for services to support families. READ MORE

An overwhelming majority of workers, as many as 97 per cent, say their care employer is currently experiencing staffing shortages with burnout, overwork, and low pay (or better pay elsewhere) among the main reasons cited. Other findings from the survey include 67 per cent of staff saying they are thinking of leaving social care. The union says this is a disastrous but inevitable consequence of poverty wages, low morale and years of chronic underfunding. READ MORE



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Councils funded as part of Digital Pathfinders Programme

The Local Government Association has announced the nine successful councils in its new Digital Pathfinders Programme.

The LGA, who represent councils in England and Wales, designed a programme to support councils seeking to innovate and



develop pioneering initiatives to advance digital inclusion, digital connectivity, and cyber security. It will also help councils whose work will offer a positive example to others in the sector, through sustainable change programmes. In total, 75 councils in England were shortlisted through a competitive bidding process. The successful projects are: Leeds City Council, London Borough of Havering and Norwich City Council (for Digital Inclusion); Dorset Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Rochdale Borough Council (for Digital Connectivity) and Copeland Borough Council, London Borough of Redbridge and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (for Cyber Security). READ MORE

Wales launches Ending Homelessness Action Plan New measures announced to reduce pupil absence The government has announced that new expert attendance advisers with decades of firsthand experience are to begin work to reduce pupil absence. As part of the Education Secretary’s commitment to make school attendance his top priority, the advisers will work with local authorities and multi-academy trusts who have been identified as having potential to benefit from the support and who want to use the expertise of the advisers to help re-engage persistently absent pupils. The attendance advisors will draw on their expertise as former head teachers and local authority leaders, as well as best practice from across the sector, to support local authorities and school trusts with approaches tailored to their specific needs. They might advise how data and partnership working can be improved across local areas to identify and support children at risk of persistent absence, or how local authorities can make sure all parts of their services from social workers to housing officers are focused on breaking down barriers to attendance. The Department for Education has also identified schools with some of the greatest decreases in absence rates over a five-year period prior to the pandemic, and that have maintained their excellent approach. They will be sharing their approach with other schools in a variety of ways over the coming weeks and months, to help reduce high absence rates. READ MORE

The Welsh Government is announcing a new £30 million funding pot over five years for local authorities to help end homelessness. Under the Private Rented Sector Leasing Scheme, private property owners will be encouraged to lease their properties to local authorities in return for a rent guarantee and additional funding to improve the condition of their property. Local authorities can then use these properties to provide affordable and good quality homes for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Tenants will benefit from the security of long-term tenures of between five to 20 years and help to maintain their stay in a long-term home, such as mental health support or debt and money management advice.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “I want to say thank you again for the extraordinary work of those working in homelessness and housing support services across local authorities, registered social landlords and the third sector. Each and every day they work to help and support those without a home. They transform lives, they offer hope and they have undoubtedly saved many lives throughout this pandemic. They should be proud of all they have done and continue to do. My priority now is to build on our successes to prevent homelessness and ensure that when it does, it is rare, brief and unrepeated.” READ MORE



Facilities management

Workplace and facilities managers: key players in the national Covid effort There is no doubt that the pandemic experience has shone a light on the facilities profession and illuminated its strategic importance. Linda Hausmanis, chief executive of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management shares how In March 2020, the usual ceded to the unusual as most of us were confined to our homes to protect the nation from the pandemic. For many, this meant work transitioning from corporate buildings to their homes. Some work could not be carried out from home, as people needed to be on the frontline to sustain the country and to protect and preserve life. These people, identified by the government as key workers who were vital to the national effort, made the difference between suffering and survival in extraordinary circumstances. There were also workers who attracted fewer headlines; those who kept buildings – including medical facilities - clean, safe and operational for users throughout the worst phases of the pandemic; crucial practitioners who enabled the health professionals, and others beyond that

hospitals across the country to help the NHS cope with the swelling demand for medical care. IWFM Fellow Chris Jeffers, Projects Director and Head of Facilities Management Advisory at Mott MacDonald, was one of those tasked with helping to bring three of the seven Nightingale hospitals online. This is his experience of working on that high profile project. There is In early 2020, the Mott MacDonald FM Advisory doubt t no team became aware of pandem hat the ic the potential need for e xpe has sho operational facilities ne a lig rience ht on th facilities management support at e the rapidly developing illumina profession and Nightingale hospital ted its s trategic programme. It is easy imp

designation, to meet the extraordinary task before them. They are workplace and facilities management professionals and traversing these uncertain times has been the profession’s greatest challenge and triumph. Providing essential support services to the NHS When the pandemic threat became clearer and concerns grew that the NHS could be overwhelmed, part of the government’s strategy was to create several additional Nightingale






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An exemplar of how facilities management directly supports core business They were long days and no two were alike, but it was important to approach each task with a clear sense of purpose and understanding of why it was needed; the entire focus was providing a safe, effective operational environment for the healthcare and clinical teams. As the country went into lockdown, our teams were accommodated at site, which meant an unknown amount of time away from families, but it facilitated early morning and late shifts, and being ‘on hand’ to act quickly and effectively. The teamwork ethic was second to none and was one of the standout aspects of the experience. All the way through the supporting services infrastructure, there was a pervading ‘can do’ attitude, without recourse to checking contracts, specifications, performance, etc. These elements were very important to have in place and monitor accordingly, but they did not get in the way of supporting the customer: the incredibly impressive and hard-working healthcare staff. This was an exemplar of how facilities management directly supports core business. Without the world class care and expertise of the clinical teams, more people would have died of COVID-19, but without the professionalism and dedication of the facilities and estates teams, the clinical teams could not have performed to such a high level. Everyone did the best they could Key challenges included operating and maintaining to the required standards of the existing infrastructure. The extant buildings were not designed for healthcare use and overlaying a field hospital facility meant rapid implementation of services and supporting systems, as well as fit out and establishment of key hospital functions. This caused challenges when considering the ongoing management of the systems, compliance, and hand back to the building operator or owner when the project ended. Tight timescales and lack of supporting data or information – whilst to be expected – were also pervading challenges. These issues were unavoidable, but everyone did the best they could to get the work done as safely and efficiently as possible. Communications were a constant focus: daily briefings and updates, plus more formal weekly reporting. With so many different stakeholders involved, it was challenging, but

it was helped by the discipline of regular team meetings, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and the open and approachable attitude demonstrated by key decision makers across the trust, and by support staff. Due to the unpredictable nature of the disease, NHS England required a ‘standby’ hospital to remain on site, albeit much smaller in scale. Part of our role was to ensure the appropriate systems and support were provided in a ‘packaged’ format to enable the trust to reactivate the site in the future if needed. My team provided facilities management operational support and expertise to the NHS trust management staff for just short of six months, which included management and oversight of the facilities management supply chain, updating and reporting to senior trust team members, and liaising with existing tenants, owners, and adjacent property occupiers. All of our team provided superb frontline support, whilst also maintaining their existing projects. Showcasing the best of the workplace and facilities management Reflecting on the Nightingale project over a year since we demobilised and left site, the key themes that resonate are:

Teamwork: different disciplines from different companies working together to do all they could to support the core business; The blend of facilities management and workplace: core facilities management skills and expertise were needed urgently by the project, but so was workplace expertise regarding building user need, how this impacts performance, and the need to prioritise given available resources and budgets; Positivity: in maintaining a professional and ‘can do’ attitude; Flexibility: all facilities management staff demonstrated a flexible and supportive approach to work that needed doing, often at pace and without detailed instructions, and often outside of their dedicated role/remit; Respect: this was felt through the whole site; respect for the clinical teams and the difficult work they were doing, respect for other team members in understanding that we were all under pressure in worrying times, and respect for the patients – the reason for us being there; Kindness: I noted several examples of this during my time on the Nightingale project. Understanding from senior staff that others may be struggling, time taken to help explain to others, high levels of tolerance of delays and incomplete information, and a general tone of understanding that many of the supporting staff were volunteers who had ‘put their hand in the air’ to be there. Perhaps above all, I will remember this the longest. The project could be stressful and difficult, but at all times there was an undercurrent

of knowing why you were there, and of showcasing the best of the workplace and facilities management professionalism – essential support services to the NHS. The profession helping the country build back better Although the worst impacts of Covid-19 are hopefully behind us, workplace and facilities management has an unprecedented opportunity to enhance its strategic contribution as the country regains its economic vigour and we all build back better. For example, the workplace expertise which enabled the seamless mass shift to home-working in March 2020 is now helping organisations to reframe their workplace strategies, which may include a permanent change to hybrid working after employees and employers alike have experienced the benefits. This is not merely a matter of providing laptops and internet-based communication channels; an effective workplace strategy can enhance efficiency and productivity – core business considerations for any time, let alone during an economic recovery. The resulting changes in how we use the built environment will also be a factor in the major challenge of combatting climate change. As custodians of the workplace and controllers of some of the key levers that drive organisational performance, workplace and facilities managers are uniquely placed to drive sustainability outcomes and deliver net zero targets. From workplace optimisation to energy efficiency to recycling and waste management, facilities professionals can play a major role in helping organisations take meaningful action. There is no doubt that the pandemic experience shone a light on the facilities profession and illuminated its strategic importance. Maybe because of this, there is some evidence from IWFM’s 2021 Pay and Prospects research that more are making workplace and facilities management a proactive career of choice, as opposed to finding themselves there. Thankfully, routes into FM at senior professional levels are growing. For example, this autumn saw the first dedicated facilities management Degree Apprenticeship, delivered by the University of Bolton, and offering a direct route to IWFM Certified status. This is important for two reasons. First, because the same research also evidenced that qualifications in FM increase the likelihood of advancement in organisations; and second because the facilities sector is suffering a major skills shortage. So, if the workplace is going to reach its true potential as a productivity enhancing tool with FMs as its primary agents, we must help more of them develop the right skills to realise this game changing potential. L

Facilities management

to forget that there was less certainty about the disease and its impact on society back then. My team knew a little more about the infrastructure being developed as colleagues across the business were providing leading roles in managing and advising on what was needed. Due to the emergency nature of the requirement, our brief was to attend site at Excel London, Cardiff, and Glasgow to find out what was needed, prioritise our resources and efforts, and deliver as much support as possible to the NHS trust staff, clinical teams, facilities management provider teams and support services.

In January we are offering 20 per cent off all IWFM Academy short courses and IWFM Direct qualifications booked by 31 January. Find out more at professional-development or email academy@ Terms and conditions apply. FURTHER INFORMATION



Shortages Continue to Create Issues ... Is it Time for Change in the Construction Sector?


any building materials remain in short supply due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent enforced changes to working practices across the supply chain. With issues expected to continue into the new year and beyond, many within the construction sector are now finding themselves facing inevitable pricing implications. Add to these ongoing trade difficulties and prevailing transportation challenges, and specifiers, procurement teams, and contractors alike are increasingly finding themselves needing to source viable alternatives.

Fabricated steel is reported to have shown one of the steepest price increases of all building materials over the last year. Increasing by almost 65%, the structural grades required to manufacture cable management systems and other such building services support solutions have simply not available in sufficient quantities to satisfy demand. It may seem obvious, but one course of action going forward is to reduce the volume of materials required for a project. Using wire rope in place of traditional threaded rod for the suspension and bracing of building services, for example, results in considerable materials savings. Cable management systems have historically been installed in the same way for decades – a system that continues to work but one which often results in an over-engineered solution with far too many brackets holding up very little cable and a lot of fresh air!

THE ISSUE OF TRANSPORTATION 1 × 40-foot container holds 1,446,000 m of 2 mm wire rope. 32 × 40-foot containers are required to transport equivalent length of 10 mm rod!

2 mm wire performs at the same level as 10 mm threaded rod.

Today it is common to see 75% of cable supporting tray or ladder being left empty. These could easily be scaled down, reducing the volume of steel required significantly. Tray has also been traditionally used for carrying small power cables, data cables, etc., where cable basket could be substituted to provide a further material saving of over 50% – Tray is around 65% material content while basket is around 15%. Whether using tray, ladder or basket, using wire rope as a primary means of suspension affords major materials savings and is just one reason why today Zip-Clip systems are being specified globally in the construction sector for the suspension and bracing of electrical containment components, HVAC and mechanical services, lighting, and more. Zip-Clip systems have been developed to provide complete solutions that not only ensure optimum application performance but also, when compared to traditional suspension methods utilising threaded rods, considerably reduce materials usage whilst simplifying installation and ultimately reducing time on site. As the construction sector actively looks for viable ways to remedy shortages and associated difficulties, there has never been a more important time to be innovative and open-minded to change. Through a free-of-charge ‘Club 35’ learning programme, Zip-Clip offer a range of courses/ presentations providing knowledge and know-how developed specifically to support individuals and organisations as they look to explore the options whilst adapting to the times and to current market pressures.

Weight and CO2 Reduction Use of wire rope has a dramatic impact in reducing not only materials usage and weight of a suspension solution but also the volume of CO2 produced during its manufacture. For example, a typical retail store uses approx. 1,200 suspension drops of 2 m. M8 threaded rod would weigh 748.80 kg and produce 1,344 kg of CO2 to manufacture the 2,400 metres required. A Zip-Clip wire rope system would weigh 37.86 kg and produce 96 kg of CO2 to manufacture the 2,400 m.

Saving on weight: 710 kg Saving on CO2: 1,245 kg Therefore a 92.6% reduction of CO2 emission can be realised by utilising Zip-Clip wire rope.

Club 35 Presentations: • Wire Support Solutions – The Alternative to Threaded Rod (CIBSE Accredited) • Environmental Benefits of Wire Rope Suspension Solutions (CIBSE Accredited) • Reducing Prime Costs of Services Suspension Installations • Cable Management Systems +44 (0)1686 623366 EMAIL: WEB: TEL:


Climate change and the air inside public buildings Chris Yates, chief executive at the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, explores the issue of indoor air quality and the need for better ventilation in public buildings, as well as the effect that heating requirements can have on the environment Arguably the UK did a good job at COP26. For the first time ever, reduction in fossil fuels was included in the text, which I think for many of us was a surprise as it had not been included before. However, that is often one of the challenges of bringing countries together, coming from different perspectives, and it sometimes takes a long time to get people on to the same page. Although I am sure we have all wanted to see more progress being made in terms of how we deal with climate change, I for one am very encouraged by the fact that these discussions are going to take place again next year and will look at how the targets can be reduced and improved further. It is essential to get these targets properly defined and measurable, so we hit them, but not miss the point on climate change. In parallel with a drive towards the net zero target we know that as the planet starts to heat up, this is going to increase the chances of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) which we will need to address through ventilation, cooling and air conditioning. Indoor air quality will need to be addressed through summits such as COP26 and through our own regulations covering buildings to ensure that we have safe environments for people to visit and work, particularly in public buildings. Different challenges are going to be present depending on the use of the building. The impact of the

For buildings that we see returning to, hopefully, normal occupancy as we come out of the pandemic, risk assessing existing buildings by a commissioning engineer is crucial to ensure that the existing ventilation operates correctly, but also that it is capable Employee welfare of managing the risks of Covid in buildings We also have to assess the impact of hybrid where there is likely to be a very high working which is likely to be a permanent footfall. This should already be feature of the workplace going part of the procedures that forward. That could mean that the building operates office spaces have a lower Reassur a to, but it is well worth utilisation rate, effectively n c e t h at the a reviewing given the moving the IAQ ir quality is being impact of Covid and problem to another m o nitored manage likely changes in building i.e., the a nd d working practices employee’s home. We manage by the facilitie s ment te that could impact the need to recognise this am give an oppo building as well. in our assumptions s There is also an about the workplace engage rtunity to with opportunity to educate going forward that in a pos users when considering it is equally important itive how to improve the to ensure good IAQ at m a n ner IAQ of buildings. Visitors both the office and the and employees are likely home if we are to properly to see public buildings as an consider the welfare of our exemplar when it comes to how the employees. CO2 emissions not only building is managed. Reassurance that the harm our planet, but us too as it impacts on air quality is being monitored and managed our productivity. The landscape has shifted by the facilities management team gives to one where we have a wider building an opportunity to engage with users in a footprint that is not the obvious bricks and positive manner to show what we are doing mortar that we had before the pandemic and to protect them. E due consideration needs to be given. pandemic has meant many of the buildings have not been utilised fully and will need to be assessed to ensure ventilation systems are working correctly.



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The impact of the pandemic has meant many public buildings have not been utilised fully and will need to be assessed to ensure ventilation systems are working correctly

Overheating As part of the impact of climate change, what many public buildings are going to have to deal with going forward is the issue of overheating. This is currently being considered as part of the building regulations review for England. The Zero Carbon Hub’s working definition of Overheating is: “The phenomenon of a person experiencing excessive or prolonged high temperatures within their home/building, resulting from internal and/or external heat gains, which leads to adverse effects on their comfort, health or productivity.”

Type of property: Top floor of buildings can absorb a lot of heat through the roof and can be more exposed to direct solar radiation.

There are a number of factors that can affect overheating:

Location: The climate tends to be hottest in South East England, dense urban neighbourhoods are at higher risk.

Fabric characteristics: Highly insulated buildings, darkly coloured external walls, sky lights or large areas of unshaded south, east, or west facing glazing. Occupancy/behaviour: In the building all day can be at high risk, temperatures higher in the early afternoon. Sun can also be a risk.

To mitigate this, ventilation is the main method of removing heat from dwellings in the UK. Providing the outside air is cooler than inside, ventilating a dwelling with fresh air will help to lower the internal temperature. Air movement over the skin also has a perceived cooling effect. Overheating issues may increase as existing buildings are better insulated to enable them to achieve net zero. Fabric First I would strongly advocate ‘Fabric First’ for any work being done on a building to reduce the input of energy required. With good planning of the design of the building and


 Given the high profile of the term ‘net zero’ this can be used to hang many messages off the back of as consumers are seeing the term on a regular basis through the media, particularly as a result of COP26. Looking at research over the last 18 months, produced by BEIS, awareness has been on the rise. Linking net zero, IAQ and climate change together gives an opportunity for the education of employees, visitors, and users in terms of how all three pillars fit together and also the plan to go forward. Many companies have a sustainability statement so why not have a plan for buildings that is publicly available, particularly when the costs can be shown against the savings both in monetary and well-being measures that can justify the investment.

services, the effects of overheating can be minimised, but ventilation alone will not eliminate overheating. Being able to measure the CO2 levels in a building is very important as we know this impacts on the cognitive performance of individuals. This is true for schools, offices and public access buildings and assessments need to be made to determine the optimal CO2 management strategy as well as how to deal with other pollutants that should be covered under the risk assessment. And finally, the government has put together a new campaign demonstrating the importance of simple ventilation techniques to reduce the risks of catching Covid-19 this winter. The campaign comes as new research reveals two-thirds (64 per cent) of the public did not know that ventilation was an effective way to reduce the spread of Covid-19 at home. Only around a third of people (29 per cent) are currently ventilating their home when they have visitors. Only three per cent of those surveyed continued to ventilate their homes for a period after their guests left. We can apply this thinking equally to buildings to mitigate the risks. L FURTHER INFORMATION




GB Q&A: Net zero action in West Yorkshire Government Business (GB) talks to Tracy Brabin, Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, about net zero ambitions, local collaboration and tackling food waste GB: The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working towards enabling the region to be a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest. How has the pandemic, and consequential lockdowns, helped or hindered that progress? Mayor Brabin: When the first lockdown was announced back in March 2020, we all saw the immediate effect it had on the number of cars, buses and lorries on our region’s roads. The rule to stay at home and work from home where possible caused traffic levels to fall to unprecedented levels. This undoubtedly had a short-term impact on carbon emissions in West Yorkshire, as it did throughout the UK. But the longer-term impact is more complex. If we look at Leeds, for example, the latest figures we have show that weekday traffic is down 13 per cent relative to 2019. So, we know

there are fewer people coming into the city. But their method of transport is key. Within West Yorkshire, the number of people using buses is at the highest levels since the start of pandemic but still only around 70 per cent of what it was previously. And there is a similar picture on our railways, with the number of weekday passengers below 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels but much lower at weekends. We need to work with our partners to establish what the longer-term impact of changing patterns of behaviour will have on emissions levels and how that feeds into our decarbonisation plans. Our research has shown that if we want to achieve our ambition of being a net zero carbon region by 2038 at the latest then we need to reduce car trips by 21 per cent and increase journeys made by cycling by 2,000 per cent, walking by 78 per cent, bus trips by 39 per cent and rail trips by 53 per cent. This will require each and every one of us to make fundamental changes to our day-to-day behaviour.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority



That’s why we must ensure that our recovery from Covid-19 is one which puts tackling the climate and environment emergency at its heart.

GB: To what extent is collaboration with councils and businesses crucial to ensure the transition to net zero is progressing as planned by 2038? Mayor Brabin: Within West Yorkshire, there are five councils – Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. Back in 2019, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority worked with its five partner councils, as well as a range of businesses, third sector organisations and our universities to officially declare a climate emergency. The Combined Authority then worked with the respected Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to establish how we could decarbonise each sector of our economy and when we could do that by. An in-depth

GB: What infrastructure is in place, or is set to be introduced, to help more people to leave their cars at home, improving air quality and health? Mayor Brabin: Within West Yorkshire, transport emits the most carbon, with more than 90 per cent of those transport emissions

coming from cars and vans. Enabling more people to leave their cars at home and travel by public transport, walking and cycling is integral to us achieving our ambition to be a net zero carbon region by 2038 at the latest. Unfortunately, our region has suffered from decades of underinvestment in our transport network and as a result we are more reliant on buses and cars than most areas of the UK. However, we hope that our recent funding bid to the government, The City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, will help redress this balance by enabling us to deliver an integrated and inclusive transport network developed by people in West Yorkshire for people in West Yorkshire. With this settlement, we can start delivering

Mayor Brabin: As a society, we have all become much more aware of where our food comes from, how it is produced and the impact our choices have on the environment. We all know that the global demand for certain foods has a knock-on impact on carbon emissions and that eating local produce is better for our health as well as the climate. Personally, many of my family members are vegan and I choose to eat a mainly plant based diet most of the time. But, as mayor, it’s not my job to tell people what to eat. However, the Combined Authority will do what it can to support organisations that are responsible for land restoration and production schemes, for example local


study found that, as a region, we could reach our net zero ambition by 2038 at the latest. It is vital to recognise that each of our partner councils cover distinct geographies, with their own challenges and opportunities when it comes to transitioning to a net zero economy. While some councils, such as Leeds with its more urban population, have declared they will be net zero carbon by 2030, we needed a target date for the entire region which was based on science as well as being achievable. Working closely with our partner councils on this joint ambition enables us to each learn from each other’s accomplishments and share best practice. When I became Mayor of West Yorkshire earlier this year, I pledged to do everything in my power to tackle the climate and environment emergency. In October we published the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan which sets out exactly how we will achieve our ambition of being a net zero carbon region by 2038. It has looked at a wide range of sciencebased studies into the challenges we face and established a series of steps we need to take. These are measures which complement existing local authority plans as well as offering practical help to enable businesses and people to play their part. West Yorkshire is a region with a small number of energy-intensive industries. This is reflected in the relatively small emissions from this sector of the economy when compared to our largest emitting sectors of transport and buildings. Emissions are small but we do have concentrations of energy intensive industries in the glass, chemicals and food and drink sectors. It will be important to provide support to these industries to enable them to decarbonise and continue to provide vital employment for the people of West Yorkshire. We have several Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within the region that contribute significantly to overall emissions of the building sector. Meeting our net zero target will require us to provide flexible support that allows SMEs to decarbonise and whilst also enhancing their competitiveness. Creating a clean, safe and inclusive economy, as we recover and move beyond Covid-19, creates significant opportunities for firms, investors and innovators to shape the new economy of West Yorkshire. We are focussed on the activity that we will undertake over the next three years to address emissions from our businesses and industry and builds on the support that we already provide to SMEs in the region for energy and resource efficiency as well continuing to support businesses to encourage their staff to travel to and from work sustainably either by bike, walking or public transport.

Enabling more people to leave their cars at home and travel by public transport, walking and cycling is integral to us achieving our ambition to be a net zero carbon region by 2038 at the latest a new, high quality mass transit system, such as a tram, which will connect people across our region by 2040 and play a significant role in reducing our carbon emissions from transport. In the shorter term, we need to ensure the Settlement also provides the funds to achieve our vision of a more reliable and affordable network of zero emission buses, as well as expanding walking and cycling routes to offer people a viable alternative to using the car. New funding will enable us, as a region, to build on the impressive start we have already made. Through the CityConnect programme, we have already invested £60 million and improved 67km of walking and cycling routes throughout West Yorkshire. This year, we opened the UK’s first solar powered park and ride facility at Stourton, this is the third in Leeds alongside Elland Road and Temple Green. It is served by a fleet of zero emission electric powered buses and offers people a quick, easy and affordable way to travel into the city centre. We recognise that not all journeys can be made on public transport or by walking or cycling. This is why we’ve invested in the right infrastructure to enable people to switch to electric and hybrid powered vehicles. I’m proud to say that West Yorkshire now has the highest number of rapid chargers outside of London, with plans for more to be installed over the next few years. But the biggest barrier to people making the switch is the cost of the vehicles and we’ll continue to lobby the government to go further.

GB: One area of climate action that is often overlooked is food waste. How is the Combined Authority encouraging people to make changes to the way they eat?

food systems that deliver and demonstrate sustainability including net zero, nature recovery and public health outcomes. The West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan sets out how we will establish a regional grants programme for land-use activities being progressed by communities. This includes community greening and food growing in urban areas, as well as supporting outlets for local healthy produce that does not meet supermarket standards such as wonky carrots for example. Our response to each element of the climate and environment emergency needs to be rooted in the community to ensure that the positive changes we make in our region are shaped by the people who live and work here.

GB: How is the authority improving the way it calculates carbon cost of transport and infrastructure projects in response to climate emergency? Mayor Brabin: As part of our response to the climate and environment emergency, the Combined Authority is creating a new Carbon Impact Assessment which will enable us to develop a robust new approach. This will look at the emissions produced when projects are constructed as well as their predicted lifetime emissions. It’s vital that we ensure the Combined Authority is investing in the right infrastructure for the future to enable us to meet our net zero target. L FURTHER INFORMATION




GB Q&A: Bristol and the road to net zero Government Business (GB) talks to Councillor Nicola Beech, Bristol City Council’s new portfolio of Climate, Ecology, Energy and Waste, about sustainability, local collaboration and net zero by 2030 GB: Upon his re-election, Marvin Rees said that it will be cities that will lead on recovery and the forging of a sustainable future post-Covid. How important is your role as cabinet lead for climate, ecology, waste and energy in helping Bristol down a path towards sustainable prosperity? Cllr Beech: As specific lead for this area, my role is pivotal in providing a cabinet-level focus on ensuring our commitments to responding to the global climate emergency are applied and visible across the organisation and its work. My role is about driving Bristol to be more sustainable and pushing forwards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Central to my role and that of the Cabinet is facilitating a fair, inclusive transition to a carbon neutral city. I am committed to engaging with and hearing the voices of those in all our communities across the city


and ensuring that everyone in the city can be part of the transition. A key part of that is being able to have the skills to take advantage of the new and changed jobs which will be created by the successful transition.

GB: For a city such as Bristol, how feasible is a net zero by 2030 target? Cllr Beech: Over a decade ago we set targets to reduce the council’s and Bristol’s emissions by 40 per cent between 2005 and 2020. As a city we have achieved that target – reducing emissions by 42 per cent by 2019. Whilst building on that success we are under no illusions about the scale of the challenge, and we know it will depend on action being taken elsewhere, for example by national government. The One City Climate Strategy sets out a framework of what we know needs to happen to achieve our goals and also describes the enabling conditions which will be necessary for us to have those goals.


Bristol’s emissions are the total of many organisations’ emissions. As a council we are leading by example and have reduced our direct emissions by about 80 per cent and have set a target to be carbon neutral for our direct emissions. We encourage more organisations to join us and set targets to be carbon neutral.

GB: Bristol still retains hopes to become the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030. What role will City leap have to play in that pursuit? Cllr Beech: City Leap is an ambitious new approach to partnership between the council and a private sector partner to create a much larger and more ambitious programme than the council can deliver on its own. The aim of the partnership is to deliver £1 billion of new investment into Bristol’s energy projects and support the creation of a zero-carbon, smart energy city by 2030, whilst delivering significant

City Leap is a world first – building on the £60 million of investment that the council has already made into renewable and low carbon technologies, it has the potential to completely transform Bristol’s energy system, creating a replicable model for others to follow

GB: Last November, a £4 million financial package was revealed to fund a new three-year combined Climate and Ecological Emergency Programme. What are the main aims of the programme? And what action has been taken since the announcement?

Bristol City Council is playing our part in the One City Climate Strategy and the One City Ecological Emergency Strategy. We are leading on winter heating decarbonisation, planning for summer overheating in extreme weather and supporting nature recovery.

Cllr Beech: The Climate and Ecological Emergency Programme will: Enable us to inspire others by being carbon neutral in our own operations. We have begun this through training our staff and leaders, reducing the carbon footprint of our estate and our major construction projects, and creating new sustainable procurement processes for the goods and services we buy. Help Bristol reach a place it couldn’t get to without council action. We are ensuring that

Support and coordinate action by city partners. We know that only by working together can we achieve our goals and so we are maintaining and enhancing the capacity of city networks working on climate, sustainable food, biodiversity and waste, sharing our experience with other organisations who have declared a climate emergency and coordinating city climate action via the City Office. Empower people and communities to act. We held a Citizens’ Assembly, developed a public engagement programme including a new Climate Hub and are supporting community projects.


social and economic co-benefits for the people of Bristol and its businesses. City Leap is a world first – building on the £60 million of investment that the council has already made into renewable and low carbon technologies, it has the potential to completely transform Bristol’s energy system, creating a replicable model for others to follow. Delivering the city leap investment will require a lot of people to plan, install and maintain new energy systems – this creates a huge opportunity for local jobs, but also a big challenge to ensure local people have the skills we will need.

GB: How important will collaboration and communication with city partners and Bristol’s citizens be in creating community led climate action? Cllr Beech: Collaboration is crucial, we can’t achieve this target alone. The ambitious One City Climate Strategy was developed with citywide partnership and Bristol was recognised by the UK National Committee on Climate Change’s Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget - Climate Change Committee for its One City approach which sees a range of city partners come together to act on challenges. Citizens views and action are equally important. Our Citizens Assembly in early 2021 included themes of transport and climate change and housing - Bristol Citizens’ Assembly - Bristol - Citizen Space. Under housing the assembly considered the question: How do we rapidly reduce the impact of our homes on climate change? As part of empowering people and communities we are facilitating action by others, for example, supporting the Climate Action Project with six communities in the city, sponsoring projects such as the Black and Green Ambassadors to engage more communities and developing a three-year engagement programme with city partners and we developed the One City website designed to inspire and share citizens’ stories - Bristol Climate Hub. L FURTHER INFORMATION

Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy, Bristol City Council



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Social value doesn’t have to be so complicated for the public sector The social value landscape has changed in recent years and will continue to do so as the sector begins to standardise. Platforms like Impact are here to help

January 2021’s procurement changes called for social value to be ‘explicitly evaluated’ rather than simply ‘considered’. And accompanying this was the government’s new social value model for building back better. But social value is subjective. There’s no clear way to prove that you’re ‘explicitly evaluating’ it, which has been a challenge for many in the public sector. With so much to consider, where do we go next? What’s our goal? The new model combines themes of COVID-19 recovery, economic inequalities, climate change, equal opportunity, and wellbeing. That’s fantastic. But how are these measured? We understand that robust social value frameworks empower us to deliver better services for end users. That by reporting on our environmental and social impact we hold ourselves to account and strengthen our relationships with key parties and communities. Awareness isn’t the problem. It’s managing expectations and creating results that are time-consuming for government departments, the NHS, and local councils alike. The current process is admin-heavy; where will your teams find the time to do all this? Even then, how do you demonstrate the Social Return on Investment (SROI)? How will you draw a line between actions and achievements? And how can you be confident this is having a positive impact within your places and communities?

is dragged down by the lack of tools and are left trying to squeeze too many tasks into not enough hours of the day. You know you want (and need) to further embed social value into your work. And you’re trying. But it’s an uphill battle. Despite the best of intentions, it’s eating into you and your team’s time. What’s the solution? Part of the problem is it feels there’s too much to do. Start small and take a targeted, agile approach to impact measurement. Honing in on fewer key areas is far more important than attempting to do it all. You can increase what you’re doing in due course. Consider what’s truly important to your communities. Then ask how you can align this with the government’s pillars. From here, you can establish clear goals and create a social value statement containing your outcomes, localised and tailored to the citizens you’re serving which can then be used to communicate your priorities to suppliers, helping to shape their own efforts. And by moving past proxy values and standard methods of measurement, you can maintain subjectivity in the tendering process, reducing the risk of challenge from suppliers that aren’t selected. Especially if they narrowly missed out on winning. Next, you need to ensure your team has the tools necessary to capture the data they need. By investing in the right solutions, you’ll spend less time chasing suppliers, taking a more proactive approach to delivering meaningful change. By monitoring the progress of initiatives in real-

time, alongside KPIs and predefined targets, you can work to improve your systems and services, delivering more SROI from each contract, and demonstrate your growing impact to others. Tools, such as Impact, serve as one central hub for all social, environmental, and governance disclosures. They allow you to capture data from multiple sources, analyse and evaluate in realtime, and convert into tangible outcomes. With fewer admin-heavy tasks eating into your team’s time, you can deliver on your goals and hold suppliers to account. With so many outdated frameworks, you want to move past proxy values, instead looking towards a deeper understanding of the real changes taking place. Look for a solution that empowers you to move beyond numbers, instead grounding your organisation’s value in real-world outcomes, not outputs. A solution that allows you to integrate the government’s five pillars, stand out in the market, and prove your claims with reliable, qualitative data and insight. The social value landscape has changed in recent years and will continue to do so as the sector begins to standardise. But adapting to the times doesn’t mean longer days trying to make sense of data. Platforms like Impact are here to help. To find out more about and how Impact can help you embed social value into all aspects of your operation, get in touch below. L FURTHER INFORMATION 0161 532 4752

What’s going wrong? These recent changes are robust and necessary, and now the challenge is in finding a way to measure and report on them. Then communicating that message to the right people. As we said earlier, social value is subjective. While plenty of frameworks exist, they are often rigid and prescriptive, especially where there is an overreliance on proxies - simple monetary values used in place of evidencebased absolutes. These can be a nightmare, leading to a potential massive over- or underclaiming of impact. Existing systems make it a significant challenge for both suppliers and commissioners to capture and report on the necessary data that goes into accurate social value reports. So your team



Social value

The Principles of Social Value Why do local companies that can demonstrate a strong commitment to social value have a growing competitive advantage? This article looks at the principles of social value In September 2020, businesses seeking to win government work are informed that they would need to set out how they will also deliver social value priorities, under new measures introduced by the government. The Cabinet Office said that, from the start of 2021, government departments would use the social value model to assess and score suppliers on the wider positive benefits they bring by delivering the contract, meaning that value for money for the taxpayer can be maximised while also building a more resilient and diverse supplier base. The social value model which departments will assess contracts on includes: supporting coronavirus recovery; tackling economic inequality, including creating new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience; fighting climate change and reducing waste; and driving equal opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality Improving health and well-being and community integration. Commercial teams in all government departments have also been informed that


accounting principles and are important for accountability and maximising social value. The Principles are not individually remarkable; they have been drawn from principles underlying social accounting and audit, sustainability reporting, What are the Principles cost-benefit analysis, financial of Social Value? Govern m accounting, and evaluation According to Social Value e n t departm practice. There are other UK, social value is the ents will use guides available on the value that people value m the social process of measuring place on the changes odel to and reporting social they experience in a a n ssess d score value and impact that their lives. Some, supplie on the also refer to principles, but not all of this r s w such as the Social value is captured benefit ider positive s Investment Taskforce in market prices. by deliv they bring Guidelines for Good The Principles of ering th Impact Practice. However, Social Value provide the e c ontract the Principles of Social Value basic building blocks for can be distinguished by their anyone who wants to make focus on what underpins an account decisions that take this wider of social value, and on the questions that definition of value into account, in need to be addressed so that the information order to increase equality, improve wellbeing can be used to better inform decisions. and increase environmental sustainability. An account of social value is a story They are generally accepted social they are expected to complete training courses in implementing the new model and how to ensure the maximum social value is derived from each contract.


The Principles of Social Value provide the basic building blocks for anyone who wants to make decisions that take this wider definition of value into account, in order to increase equality, improve wellbeing and increase environmental sustainability

about the changes experienced by people. It includes qualitative, quantitative and comparative information, and also includes environmental changes in relation to how they affect people’s lives. By applying the Principles, it is possible to create a consistent and credible account for the value that is being created or destroyed. The outcomes, and the measures and values of outcomes, can remain specific to the context, activity, and the stakeholders involved. When applied, the Principles also create an account that recognises that the level of rigour required depends on the needs of the audience and the decisions that will be taken. The application of the Principles will require judgements. Therefore the information produced using the Principles needs an appropriate level of independent verification or assurance. As a result, the requirement for verification is also a principle. More guidance on making judgements can be found in A Guide to Social Return on Investment. Adopting the Principles will sometimes be challenging as they are designed to make invisible value visible. Value is often invisible because it relates to outcomes

experienced by people who have little or no power in decision-making. Applying the Principles will help organisations become more accountable for what happens as a result of their work, and means being accountable for more than whether the organisation has achieved its objectives.

Verify the result – Ensure appropriate independent assurance.

The Principles of Social Value:

The Construction Playbook The Construction Playbook sets out how the public sector can build social value into the foundations of our procurement processes. The much publicised Build Back Better plan – published at a crucial period during the response to the pandemic – sets out the government’s aspirations for growing our economy in a way that levels up all areas of the country. The Crown Commercial Service says that, in doing so, it highlights the need for high quality infrastructure, skills investment and innovation. With the government planning £100 billion of capital investment during 2021/22, there has never been such a strong focus on how we can add community social value into our infrastructure projects – themselves major drivers of local growth. The Construction Playbook sets out how the public sector can get projects and programmes right from the start, building social value into the foundations of the procurement processes. The Construction Playbook states that central government tenders must include a minimum of 10 per cent of their evaluation criteria dedicated to social value. All central government departments and their arm’s length bodies are expected to follow the Construction Playbook’s recommewwndations on a ‘comply or explain’ basis – if necessary, explaining why their unique circumstances mean they go their own way. Whether a central government department, arm’s length body, or working in local government, health, education, housing, charities, or the blue light sector, organisations will need to consider how projects will make the most of the opportunities presented by the Playbook. That could mean engaging with local community groups like social enterprises to understand how to tailor your project to achieve particular social outcomes. The CCS says that it will also mean considering how every part of your supply chain is pulling in the same direction to deliver on social value – considering suballiancing, and sharing accountability out to encourage partnership working. L

Involve stakeholders – Inform what gets measured and how this is measured and valued in an account of social value by involving stakeholders. Understand what changes – Articulate how change is created and evaluate this through evidence gathered, recognising positive and negative changes as well as those that are intended and unintended. Value the things that matter – Making decisions about allocating resources between different options needs to recognise the values of stakeholders. Value refers to the relative importance of different outcomes. It is informed by stakeholders’ preferences. Only include what is material – Determine what information and evidence must be included in the accounts to give a true and fair picture, such that stakeholders can draw reasonable conclusions about impact. Do not over-claim – Only claim the value that activities are responsible for creating. Be transparent – Demonstrate the basis on which the analysis may be considered accurate and honest, and show that it will be reported to and discussed with stakeholders.

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Last year, the coronavirus pandemic impacted many families across the country. Throughout these unprecedented times, we supported local authorities and educational establishments across the UK in providing much needed support to vulnerable members of their communities. Since March 2020, we’ve worked in partnership with over 150 clients and distributed over 1.3 million free school meal vouchers and over £120 million in funds from public sector bodies in the shape of hardship funds and customer payments. As one of 13 suppliers on Crown Commercial Service’s Voucher Schemes framework, we’re able to continue to support public sector organisations via the provision of food vouchers, hardship payments, free school meal vouchers, local voucher schemes, consumer reward and survey completion incentives. We pride ourselves on our ability to bring people and organisations together in a way that makes a real difference to people’s lives and being on the framework ensures that support continues for our public sector partners. We provide public sector bodies with access to an end-to-end voucher delivery system which is not only secure, but simple to use! All our customers benefit from a fully managed service with dedicated scheme management and customer care support. But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our customers, North Aryshire and Highland Councils, had to say about working with Sodexo: North Ayrshire Council - provision of free school meal vouchers:

recipients to select from the main supermarket retailers depending on which was local to them. A voucher ordering form was created so the council could easily place orders every two weeks. Once the order was received, parents would receive the vouchers within a 48-hour window or less. To help parents and carers understand the scheme, we created a demonstration video alongside a step-by-step guide on how to redeem their voucher. Our Customer Care team was also on hand to help any parent that had questions. Here’s what Neil McAleese, Business Planning Team Manager for North Ayrshire Council, had to say about working with us: “Our requirement for the services of Sodexo came on the back of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We had to implement a solution quickly which was flexible in terms of frequency of the vouchers, continuing to provide a workable solution for parents, and meeting our own budgetary pressures. Sodexo have been excellent throughout, with fantastic client service managers who provide continuous support. “From the outset, Sodexo were transparent in how they charged for the service which allowed for a streamlined procurement process for both parties. From a parent’s perspective, the choice of retailers has been warmly received and this has undoubtedly contributed to the overall success of our pandemic food voucher programme. Sodexo have provided a flexible, practical and easy system which has been of huge benefit to North Ayrshire families.”

Alongside North Ayrshire, we developed a multi-store voucher solution allowing

Highland Council - free school meal voucher programme:

Due to the closure of schools last year, the Highland Council needed to ensure that they could continue to support local families across their county. We worked with them to provide a multi-store digital voucher scheme that would allow vouches to be issued to eligible families to purchase food at their selected supermarket. They placed bulk voucher requests with our team, which were then released to them to be distributed locally to their families by email. Once notified, parents could then log on to our platform to redeem their voucher code for an e-voucher to spend at their chosen major supermarket chain. To ensure that the parents and carers understood how to access the scheme we created a tailored communications campaign which included an e-book, factsheet, and an information sheet for parents. Our Customer Care Team was also available to assist with any queries from the Council’s Welfare Resilience Team and parents and carers. Shelia McKandie, head of Revenue and Business Support for The Highland Council, said: “We knew that we needed to implement a fast-paced solution to support thousands of families in Highland, with minimal disruption for parents and carers. Sodexo have been wonderful to work with throughout the whole process! “The availability of the helpline and how quickly any issues were resolved was a big plus for us. We’ve had really positive feedback from the families we support, across a diverse and vast geographical area, in what has been a really challenging health and economic crisis.” If you’re looking to provide vouchers to specific customer groups - we can help! We provide flexible voucher choices to suit your requirements, a choice of over 100 retailer brands, an easy-to-use platform backed by award-winning customer support. Get in touch today to see how we can support you. You can learn more below L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01908 303477



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The digital transformation of field inspections With GoAudits, out goes pen and paper, in comes a simple app to collect data on the go, in any building or outdoors - bringing considerable savings and efficiencies

Paper still rules in the field When it comes to inspections, checks and overall data collection in the field, the public sector still struggles to make the transition from paper to digital. Think highways and road inspections, playgrounds and leisure grounds maintenance, food hygiene standards, health and safety checks, and much more. In many cases, it still means that a frontline worker picks up paper forms at the office, travels with a clipboard, fills in checklists by hand, then brings the paperwork back to the office. Several pages then get scanned, uploaded into a back-end system, forwarded to the relevant departments and potentially printed. Not only are these manual tasks time-consuming, but the risk for error and loss is considerable! Not to mention that such siloed ways of working prevent wider-scale improvements and efficiencies. Micro-transformation for concrete savings This disconnect between office and the field can be solved with digital solutions readily available today. The GoAudits mobile app and platform is a simple and affordable solution, which can aid transformation across multiple departments at all levels of government, replacing paper forms and manual workflows within just days. As an example, Huntingdonshire District Council started using GoAudits digital checklists


for parking and market inspections. After one month of usage, the team observed great user adoption, considerable time savings and improved communication across departments. Automatically generated, professional-looking reports with photos were another key benefit. Noting the quick implementation and ease of use, the council looked into rolling out the solution to additional workflows and departments. This kind of micro-transformation with quick and tangible results, fits perfectly into the wider digital transformation and efficiency improvement efforts in the Public sector. An app for digital checklists at everyone’s fingertips So how does GoAudits work? It is a cloud solution available on any device - phone, tablet or computer. Digital checklists are easily created and customised as required. The user can then login on their favourite device, to conduct their checks in a user-friendly and intuitive interface. They can select answers, attach photos directly from the device, add annotations and comments, assign tasks to specific colleagues, tag GPS locations even offline. This means that inspections can be conducted outside of the office, even when there is no network connection! At the end of the inspection, the system automatically generates a comprehensive PDF report. The user can then share this report with any colleague or department. The data is securely stored online for future use, in compliance with GDPR and data protection rules. Improved collaboration and visibility Since all the information is centralised in one place, it can be analysed in realtime and retrieved as needed. Smart Dashboards allow users to view trends, generate summary reports and other custom analytics. This might help answer questions such as ‘What are the top three recurring issues that we need to fix in priority?’. In turn, such insights can assist in driving wider process improvements, and enhance the quality of services to the general public. Task management is another great feature to


improve collaboration: when a user assigns a task during an inspection, the appropriate colleagues receive notifications and reminders. Tasks can be tracked on the dashboard and escalated in case of delays. All this helps resolve issues faster and improve standards in different areas. A step towards more efficient, greener government Local authorities today are focused on being greener, reducing time-consuming tasks and ultimately driving cost savings without impacting frontline services. In particular, many forward-thinking authorities have identified the digital conversion of manual tasks, as well as integration with back-office centralised systems, as a means of unlocking on-going cash savings. Systems like GoAudits have the potential to help identify additional savings in costs and time, alleviating cuts elsewhere - which in itself is something to be encouraged across the public sector. But digitisation also helps deliver more continuity between the outputs of each department, to avoid overlap and work in separate silos. Which ultimately helps offer better public services! Try GoAudits at no cost GoAudits is a UK-based technology company with global reach, headquartered just outside Windsor in Slough. We are transforming the way government bodies manage the paper trail, enabling the mobile workforce to be more agile and productive. Our app and centralised platform is an affordable and userfriendly solution available on Android, iOS and computers. Try GoAudits at no cost on any device, today! Download the app or contact us for a free demonstration: or L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 020 3966 7776


Technology priorities for government leaders and departments for 2022 Alan Warr discusses how the benefits available from the explosion of new technologies will be greatest for those government leaders who don’t just focus on the technology A paradox of the Covid-19 pandemic, that we can now look back on with some amazement, was that as our citizens went into the first lockdown, the opposite happened for technology. Technologies that were under tight corporate controls were unlocked. Technologies for home working, for remote access to systems and for moving services on-line were suddenly needed to keep society running. And changes that would have taken months or years normally, took days or weeks. It is revealing that many of these technologies were proven and had been available for many years. They already had the power to transform organisations. Yet it took a pandemic to unlock that potential and drive adoption. It is truly amazing how these changes to work, organisation and services are now embedded and organisations cannot snapback to pre-pandemic practices. The benefits are just too great! Accelerating the digital transformation of public services This revelation by the pandemic of a transformation deficit across most organisations

are more than twice as influenced by the is profoundly valuable because only part of prospect of failure, than by success. Technology the deficit was revealed. Many more governance typically requires business cases transformation opportunities remain for digital transformation investments. They unrecognised. Most government leaders sense carefully lay out the pros and cons. But it’s this intuitively. Most vendors and consultancies the cons in the business cases and the natural and technology commentators advocate aversion to loss that will influence endlessly on this potential. stakeholders the most. Inevitably, But I believe there is an valuable transformations get existential problem around Techno delayed until this loss aversion how organisations make abates enough for progress decisions about technology govern logy ance to become possible. that explains that this typicall The priority must transformation deficit is y require therefore be for natural. Indeed, it takes s government leaders to outstanding leadership cases fo business overcome this natural, to overcome these r d i g ita transfo organizational bias away natural limitations as rmation l from rational decisionthey are hard-wired into investm ents making towards loss aversion our individual and collective and release this reservoir of psychology. Professor and technology-enabled improvements. decision-making guru, Daniel We saw some of these unlocked during Kahneman, won the 2002 Nobel the pandemic, and more remain available if Prize for economics for his research labelled government leaders can continue the courage ‘prospect theory’ within the field of behavioural they displayed then. E economics. He found that decision-makers Issue 28.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


Acknowledging the digital skills gap Traditionally we have viewed people as being the flexible component of our organisations. Technology is traditionally viewed as harder to change. But the pandemic showed that something profound is happening. The IT industry has been moving its technologies into the cloud, delivered via the Internet using common web interfaces through any device. This enables technology to be deployed, changed, and scaled up or down much more easily. When the first wave of the pandemic forced people to work from home and turn to streaming media for their evening entertainment, the telcos dramatically increased the capacity of the Internet. Tech companies rapidly scaled up their services too. Microsoft’s video meeting platform, Teams, scaled by over 4,000 per cent in a few weeks. Other applications like on-line learning platforms or tele-consultation platforms in health were also scaled similarly. Looking back this was an impressive engineering achievement. But the people side of digital transformation surfaced some critical gaps. New business phrases like ‘you’re still on mute’, ‘can you all see my screen now’ and ‘you were breaking up’ all livened up our new on-line meetings as we developed the basic skills for remote working. Those without the required digital skills struggled. And recent research from Microsoft on 60,000 of their workers found that whilst the productivity of knowledge workers increases when they can work remotely, creativity and innovation are important areas that suffer. And the skills to organise remote workers to achieve innovation using on-line collaboration platforms is far from understood yet. Government leaders should now move the digital skills problem higher up their agendas. My own research – perhaps unsurprisingly found that an organisation’s capabilities to use technology is a key determinant of its success in digital transformations. The digital skills of both the staff delivering services and the citizens using them, now need developing ahead of the revolutionary changes to work and services coming through. It starts with measuring the digital skills gaps and then fielding programmes

to close them. I believe that generally as a society and within our organisations we are dramatically underestimating the digital skills gap and the scale of effort needed to close it. A search of Google reveals an abundance of technical skills training but very little available that empowers people to apply technology themselves to use cases within their specialist work and services. Organising that localised training will fall to each organisation individually.


 Anticipating the timing and impact of future technologies Looking to future technologies there are good reasons to increase the attention given to them by government leaders at this time. Waves of new technology have been impacting organisations periodically for the last century. But innovation researchers have noticed something profound. The frequency of technology waves has been increasing exponentially and the rate of adoption has also been accelerating. The next decade will see many new technology waves sweep across our organisations. Many strategy consultancies and researchers are predicting that around 40 per cent of work will be automated along with a roughly equal creation of new work opportunities based on these technologies. It is beyond the scope of this article to describe the new technology waves in any detail, but you will have noticed that a host of new technology acronyms are entering the business lexicon at pace. Cloud services, software as a service (SaaS), low code software development, intelligent automation (IA), machine learning (ML), cyber-security, virtual reality (VR), wearable computing, internet of things (IOT) and mobile are some of the waves that have already arrived and are impacting now. Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, cryptocurrencies, 5G, computer vision and robotics are some of the waves that are arriving and all with profound impacts predicted. And some awesome technologies like quantum computing, direct brain to computer interfaces, smart glasses and the metaverse are still in the lab but progressing fast and so we can predict with confidence that the waves of technology will continue. Undoubtedly the pandemic slowed innovation generally as leaders rightly focused on the emergency. But the global strategy consultancies are reporting, with some admiration, that the leaders of global corporations are coming out of the pandemic with ambitious digital transformation plans for exploiting this abundance of new technologies coming through. Government leaders must match their scale of ambition too if citizens are to also enjoy the benefits of these technologies when using public sector products and services. These technology waves will have use cases and economic value unique for each organisation. Technology waves also combine for some complex use cases. But each wave is potentially transformational and in total they are revolutionary. Government leaders need to ensure their organisations understand the unique impacts these technology waves will have for their own organisations, along with the optimal timings for adoption and to ready their organisations for the digital transformations to come. For leaders, it is perhaps the hardest of challenges requiring the humility to accept they don’t have the answers and instead to facilitate a sophisticated process that engages not just the IT professionals but everyone from all parts of the organisation. My own research found that performances on this are quite varied. But around 20 per cent of organisations employ such sophisticated approaches and these organisations achieve the highest levels of success from digital transformation.

Hybrid leadership will be key In the 1980s, at the dawn of digital transformations, research sponsored by the British Computer Society at Oxford University by Professor Michael Earl found that people with hybrid skills in both business and IT were key to effective digital transformations. This discovery has held true throughout all the waves of technology and will be true for the revolutionary changes now underway. Technology is now too important to be left to technologist alone. Business and technology are converging. Almost all organisations are now digital, fully or in part. In realising the potential for digital transformation, government leaders will need hybrid leadership. Leaders choose to work in government services because they want to make a difference to people’s lives. This abundance of new technologies offers an amazing opportunity to deliver on that ambition. Leading digital transformation is not easy for sure, but my research found that those organisations that were most successful were far from perfect. The priority for government leaders must be to step up and be the best hybrid leaders they can be and encourage others by their example and values. L

Dr. Alan Warr PhD is a digital transformation specialist and outgoing Chair of the Consultancy Specialist Group at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The opinions in this article are his own. FURTHER INFORMATION



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Ahead of September’s 2021 International Security Expo, our sister publication Counter Terror Business caught up with cyber security consultant Lisa Ventura to discuss the cyber landscape, hybrid working challenges and combining physical and digital security. Here we share the Q&A One aspect of the International Cyber Expo (which forms part of ISE) is looking at pandemic cyber challenges. What would you describe as the biggest security challenge from the last 12-18 months? Ransomware is definitely one of the biggest challenges that has arisen over the last 12-18 months. From the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack to SolarWinds that affected their whole supply chain, and most recently the Keseya ransomware attack, no organisation is immune to an attack of this nature. The UK Cyber Security Association is part of a campaign called #RansomAware launched by Talion which aims to highlight the growing ransomware threat and is a movement to stop cyber shaming, share

a cyber security perspective they are as protected as possible. Introducing devices back onto corporate networks that have been Even with furlough on home networks carry ending and Even some risks and having business picking with fu rlough a hybrid workforce up, many ending presents many unique organisations and bu siness picking challenges. are now With employees adopting organis up, many a using their personal hybrid working t i o n n s ow ado are devices at home, work measures for p ting hy workin networks are more staff. From a b r i d g measu vulnerable to threats cyber point of staff res for than the traditional view, what are working model. Having the challenges multiple layers of security is a associated with this? great defence against breaches, and at a minimum you should As many organisations will be ensure that you have a VPN, Multi-Factor adopting a new hybrid way of working authentication, encryption, firewalls and E for their employees, it is vital that from intelligence and fight back against the onslaught of ransomware attacks.



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Research suggests that human error is involved in more than 90 per cent of security breaches, so cyber awareness training can help to minimise risk  antivirus installed. In addition, all employees should have cyber security awareness training as standard. How can organisations ensure that cyber awareness is equal amongst all employees? Cyber awareness training is a strategy used by IT and security professionals to prevent and mitigate user risk. These programs are designed to help users and employees understand the role they play in helping to combat cyber security breaches. Effective cyber awareness training helps employees understand proper cyber hygiene, the security risks associated with their actions and to identify cyber attacks they may encounter via email and the web. Research suggests that human error is involved in more than 90 per cent of security breaches, so cyber awareness training can help to minimise risk. An effective awareness training program addresses the cyber security mistakes that employees may make when using email, the web and in the

physical world such as tailgating or improper document disposal. Ensuring that training is given across the board to all employees is crucial to the success of any cyber awareness training strategy. As more adaptable technologies become integrated into our lives, more new jobs will also pop up. What are the new skill sets that will be sought after in the near future? Even before the coronavirus pandemic, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics and cloud computing had been growing rapidly over the years (even decades). But in the short space of just a few months they have become essential in today’s society amid the coronavirus pandemic. With such a driving force behind these technological adaptions, demand has grown exponentially for both jobs and individuals with the skills and knowledge which meet the

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needs of digitally transformed industries and sectors. Some jobs with new skill sets that we are likely to see in the future include Machine Learning Engineer, UX Designer, Robotics Engineer or Cloud Engineer. Many people view physical security and cyber security as two separate responsibilities. Is this right? Or is a combined approach and understanding more beneficial? In the past, relying on physical locks and security features was normal. There was no such thing as digital locking systems and CCTV was rather primitive. Today, things are completely different, and since the Covid19 global pandemic there are now a whole new set of security needs due to the mass move to working from home. This move has left many office buildings empty which has left them wide open to be prime targets for burglaries and break-ins. It is therefore important to combine both physical and digital security in order to ensure your business remains secure even if your office doors remain closed due to lockdown. Ensuring a good mix of physical and digital security is key for maximum protection. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Open Banking is empowering private sector businesses to provide customers a sleek payment solution. The customer doesn’t need to enter login or payment details to complete the transaction, a convenience unique to Open Banking. Upon providing consent, account holders can securely share their financial data with third parties via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs are ubiquitous and are used by millions of people every day. Whether that’s unlocking your phone using biometric authentication, searching for flights online or checking the chances of rain on your weather app, that’s all being handled via APIs.


Since Open Banking came into effect in 2018, it has gone from strength to strength with growth expected to continue. There are now over 300 fintechs and innovative providers in the Open Banking ecosystem, which has helped API call volumes to increase by 89 per cent since 20181. Open Banking’s streamlined process of collecting payments can also be of great benefit to the public sector. So, it is perhaps surprising that so few government entities have adopted a technology that can improve their customer experience. The first UK government Open Banking contract Governments across the globe are exploring the potential possibilities Open Banking can bring to delivering public services. Dan Edelman, Vice President & UK General Manager, Global Merchant Services at American Express, comments: “The rise of paperless, digital solutions helps businesses to be more efficient by reducing processing times. It’s an area for sizeable growth as policymakers in the European Union are set


to roll out electronic taxation systems, driven by the need for improved tax collection and a better ability to tackle fraud through more granular, frequent transaction data. In the UK, the Public Procurement Regulations 2019 are also helping to drive adoption.” The UK is considered the frontrunner when it comes to Open Banking implementation. In fact, over three million UK consumers and businesses are currently using Open Banking-enabled products to manage their finances, access credit and make payments. However, it wasn’t until February 2021 that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) awarded the first UK government Open Banking contract. In doing so, HMRC took a huge leap towards achieving its aim of improving and automating parts of its payment processes to reduce errors, fraud and costs. Take-up in other areas of government service provision has so far been slow. But with awareness of Open Banking’s potential to improve payment and account information services growing, the door is wide open for more to follow.

can cause significant delays that are a costly time drain for educational institutions. Lancaster University, one of the UK’s top-ranked higher education institutions, adopted Pay with Bank transfer to improve efficiency in its payments process. Previously, students were required to set up and enter payment information manually, or to pay fees via a debit/credit card. PwBt has automated the payment process with a unique solution including a bespoke integration of verified student IDs directly into the payment process. With the pre-populated information on the invoice, each payment is automatically attributed to the correct student account – vastly improving the experience for the university and its students. A Lancaster University spokesperson comments: “Lancaster University sees Pay with Bank transfer as an exciting opportunity to further improve our payment experience for students, parents and alumni, while at the same time delivering processing and financial benefits to the university.” Where PwBt fits into public services Such is its adaptability, there is wide-reaching potential for providers of fiscal or public services to benefit from PwBt. It could be used to collect secure payments for a variety of services, including, but not limited to: vehicle tax, council tax, business rates, parking charges, the congestion charge in London, DVLA, driving licence fees and by the Home Office for visa fees. Streamlined accounting Research has found that more than 50 per cent of UK SMEs are now leveraging Open Banking providers and services such as PwBt2. By improving speed of pay, SMEs are also improving working capital, reducing fraud and providing a better experience to their customers. Reducing costs while increasing accuracy is a combined benefit that should appeal to any organisation conducting large-scale payment collection. The opportunity to save money on resource and administrative costs, mitigate human error, and save time by not

processing invoices manually, is one that no organisation can afford to overlook. PwBt delivers all of these benefits in a single, futureproof solution. Resulting in government entities being able to provide better services to all customers. To recap, PwBt’s digital invoicing functionality enables Open Banking payments via chat, email, invoice, text message and even in-store via QR code. For example, customers can receive their invoice directly by email with the ‘Bank transfer’ button included with all the necessary transaction details embedded. Upon clicking the button, a unique payment link is launched by the sender of the invoice, ready to initiate the payment journey. The customer then completes the payment by reviewing the transaction details, giving consent, selecting their bank account and authenticating the payment before being shown the payment confirmation screen. The invoice sender then instantly receives the payment into their bank account. PwBt’s simple digital invoicing feature can also help improving working capital. Every pound tied up in working capital is money which could be better used elsewhere. PwBt can facilitate faster collection of funds leading to efficiencies such as ensuring suppliers are paid promptly and analysing how assets can be better managed. Such a boost in efficiencies can drive better value for taxpayers, which means Pay with Bank Transfer powered by American Express is capable of benefitting the entire UK population.

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Pay with Bank Transfer powered by American Express Pay with Bank Transfer (PwBt) is one of the first Open Banking initiatives live in the UK from a globally recognised and trusted brand, American Express. PwBt was also the first to launch an Open Banking powered payment link and QR code solution. Although Pay with Bank Transfer is powered by American Express, it is open to everyone with a UK current account – customers don’t need to be an American Express® Cardmember to use PwBt. Users of PwBt can complete their payment journey safely and securely, without ever having to enter payment or login details. They simply initiate the checkout process by clicking a checkout button or scanning a QR code, selecting their bank, confirming their identity using biometric authentication, then approve the transaction. The customer’s personal information isn’t stored by American Express or the entity they are paying. American Express has a vision to provide ‘the world’s best customer experience every day’ and sees PwBt as a big part of this. Having built trust over more than 170 years in business, American Express is ideally suited to provide reassurance and security to government entities. PwBt also has the certification of Crown Commercial Service – the UK’s biggest public procurement organisation which helps the UK public sector save money when buying common goods and services. From the customer’s perspective, PwBt is extremely accessible and currently available for consumer current accounts with all major UK banks, including: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Danske Bank, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Monzo, Natwest, Nationwide, Revolut, RBS, Ulster, TSB and Santander. With more banks joining all the time. The quick, mobile-first user experience presents an opportunity to offer a payment solution that meets the customers’ expectation for a seamless checkout process. PwBt offers multiple ways to initiate the payment journey, including mobile via a link, in person via QR code, website via a payment button or in-app via app integration. The need to pay payment processor fees is removed because payment occurs directly between bank accounts of the customer and the recipient. By embedding unique identifiers within a digital invoice, payment reconciliation is faster and more accurate too. Plus, there are no errors caused by incorrect or expired card details.

For more information about Pay with Bank transfer and how it can support the government sector, visit the website or email below. L FURTHER INFORMATION 1. 2.

References: adapting-to-survive-uks-small-businessesleverage-open-banking-as-part-of-their-covid19-crisis-recovery

Built-in bank-grade security PwBt offers a secure mobile payment solution backed by bank-grade security. The user benefits from greater security compared to card thanks to bank-initiated authentication, never needing to share payment or login details. Already at work in other sectors Typically, tracking and reconciling payments has been a challenge for education providers. Financial reconciliation can be a laborious process, prone to human error. With thousands of students paying for education costs, just one slip entering one incorrect digit



Collaborative working

Harnessing the power of local partnerships Paul Najsarek, Solace spokesperson for Health & Social Care, and chief executive of Ealing LBC, looks back at the recent Solace report on collaborative working The response to Covid-19 has presented local councils, health services and voluntary organisations with the biggest challenge since the creation of the NHS. It has also reminded us of the power of local and hammered home the importance of partnership working. While in recent years local government, the NHS and voluntary organisations have increasingly come together to find innovative ways to address shared challenges, the pace of integration between these partners has accelerated during the pandemic. But joint working should not be just limited to traditional health and social care services. Evidence consistently shows that the wider determinants of health – our homes and environment, access to public services, employment and educational opportunities – have the greatest impact on our overall


health and well-being. Given the size and scale of these challenges, it is clear that we cannot tackle these issues on our own. With Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) being established across England, the potential for us as local partners to go beyond what we have already achieved and make even greater improvements to the lives of the people we serve is immense. ICS partners have a shared vision to reduce health inequalities in their communities, support broader social and economic development and enable residents to live healthy, independent lives, as they want to. At Solace we are committed to strengthening integration because it is only through genuine partnership working that we will be able to collectively deliver better outcomes for our residents. With that, and the advent of ICSs, in mind we recently launched a joint report


with the NHS called ‘Delivering together for residents: How collaborative working in places and communities can make a difference’. In our report we highlight a collection of exceptional case studies where councils, working with colleagues in health, housing and the voluntary sectors, are having a positive impact on the health and well-being of their local communities. What follows is a taster of just a few of these excellent examples. How addressing environmental issues can improve health outcomes Nationally, asthma is the most common long-term condition among children and young people. And in Tower Hamlets, London, respiratory conditions are the leading cause of hospital admissions for children.

and 92 per cent of high-risk children have improved their asthma control. There has also been impact at a wider scale through greater partnership working and shared resources which have seen the number of specialist asthma nurses increase at a local level.

The death of a 14-year-old from a severe asthma attack in 2017 prompted action. Through a partnership of local health and social care organisations, including the council, CCG, NHS trusts, and voluntary services, a new programme called Take a Breather was launched. More than 300 people were actively involved in the programme, including 170 system leaders, researchers and professionals delivering services and 69 children and young people. The programme deployed a wide range of interventions. Health promotion included group consultations in schools, peer sessions for newly-diagnosed children after school, and an app for young people. Asthma champions were identified across the borough. The programme also addressed environmental issues, such as smoking, with an emphasis on smoking cessation or reduction in family homes, and air quality, providing real-time information about levels of pollution in the borough. The programme has already delivered strong population health outcomes. There has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of children with a formal diagnosis of asthma and an increase in the proportion of patients with asthma care plans from 40 per cent to 75 per cent. More than 500 children at risk of asthma attacks were identified. The original aim was to reduce unplanned hospital admissions for children up to the age of 16 by 15 per cent in 12 months. In fact they have fallen by 22 per cent,

How to tackle complex issues to deliver better life chances Doncaster, like many towns and cities in the UK, has seen rising challenges related to rough sleeping which places unplanned and complex demands on a range of services, including the NHS. An assessment of the impact on local public services, based on a cohort of 57 people with complex needs, indicated a conservative estimated annual cost to the public purse of £1 million. When scaled to the estimated total cohort of 4,200 people experiencing multiple disadvantages in Doncaster this totalled almost £50 million a year of mostly reactive costs. So in 2017 the Doncaster Complex Lives Alliance was launched. Made up of the council, local health partners, police, Department for Work and Pensions and community, voluntary and faith organisations, among others, the Alliance aims to improve outcomes for people affected by multiple disadvantages, including rough sleeping, drug and alcohol addiction, offending behaviour, mental ill-health, and poor physical health. Since its launch, the Alliance has supported more than 300 people and achieved transformational success with some of the most entrenched rough sleepers in Doncaster with highly complex health and support needs. As of June 2021, the team was supporting 115 clients with complex needs, all of whom were rough sleepers. 102 of these are now settled and stabilised in accommodation settings, being supported by key workers and wrap-around support plans. They are making progress on initial stabilisation and with improvements in drug and alcohol misuse, physical health and offending behaviours. Others are in a variety of settings including prison, detox programmes and a small number remain rough sleeping but are engaged with assertively to manage health and other concerns as far as possible. How warmer homes help keep habitants healthier Data analysis by NHS Gloucestershire CCG found hospital admission rates for park home residents are higher than the average for other residents across Gloucestershire, particularly for respiratory and circulatory conditions. There is a higher prevalence of congenital heart

Collaborative working

By working in close collaboration we can ‘level up’ the health and wellbeing of our communities, support social and economic development, and address the many health inequalities which have been further exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among park home residents, who are also more likely to be smokers. Aside from the very newest properties, park homes are built without insulation, leaving only board and render between the occupier and the elements. Because home sites are privately owned, they are not typically eligible for government funding schemes for insulation measures. But seven local councils and the CCG formed a partnership with district council partners, each agreeing to allocate approximately £550,000 of grant funding to cover the cost of external wall insulation to reduce heating costs and create a healthier home for 90 households. Benefits of the scheme include: alleviating fuel poverty by making it less expensive to stay warm; improving health outcomes by creating a better living environment, and so reducing the number of hospital visits and need for ongoing social care support; and lower carbon emissions. While the average cost of installing insulation was £6,000 per property, the pilot project is expected to deliver savings to the NHS of around £400,000 and wider society of around £7 million over the next five years. The savings over the lifetime of the insulation will be more than £2 million. Working together to make a difference A strong theme that runs through our collection of case studies is the importance of place. Understanding our areas and developing local solutions that work for the communities we serve is crucial. So, as attention turns to the recovery from the pandemic, and as ICSs find their feet, as partners we must hold on to that understanding and harness the desire to break down barriers at all levels, play to our respective strengths, and work together towards a common purpose for our people and places. Through the creation of ICSs we now have a golden opportunity to build on the foundations of those partnerships and really improve life chances for the populations we serve. By working in close collaboration we can ‘level up’ the health and well-being of our communities, support social and economic development, and address the many health inequalities which have been further exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. L FURTHER INFORMATION



Community power

Mapping the benefits of community power Grace Pollard, Senior Policy Researcher at New Local, analyses the six core benefits of community power and how, when taken together, they collectively chart a different way for people, communities and public services to collaborate Community power is an idea whose time has come. From the recent paper from backbench Conservative MPs calling on the government to ‘trust the people’, to this year’s Cooperative Party conference which took community power as its main theme, to a new national campaign, led by local leaders demanding power to make change happen. So what is it? At its heart community power is based on the principle that communities have a wealth of knowledge and assets within themselves. If these are understood and nurtured by practitioners and policymakers, they have the potential to create more resilient places and stronger, preventative, public services. What does community power look like? Community power is not just a theory. It already exists in neighbourhoods, in local networks, and in voluntary and community organisations where people come together to overcome challenges and support each other. It is also rapidly influencing practice in the public sector and local government. In our research, New Local has identified three clusters of approaches which hand more power and resources to communities:

Community decision-making: Using deliberative and participatory tools to involve citizens more meaningfully in local decision-making.


Collaboration with communities: Public services shifting from hierarchical and siloed ways of working, to more collaborative approaches which deeply involve communities as equal partners with essential insights. Building community capacity and assets: Equipping communities with the resources and skills they need to mobilise and genuinely participate in local action. The six core benefits of community power Numerous small-scale, innovative local practices shine brightly alone. But taken together, they collectively chart a different way for people, communities and public services to collaborate. Our recent research took a comprehensive view of what community power initiatives look like in practice and what impact they have had – drawing on examples from across the UK. From this, we pulled out six ways in which community power has real, tangible impact for people, communities and public services: 1. Community power can improve individual health and well-being. From well-established peer-support groups, to innovative communityled approaches, practitioners are recognising that people need to be active participants in all efforts to improve their health and wellbeing. They are also seeing the benefits this participation can bring for people.


2. Community power can strengthen community well-being and resilience. Involving people in decision-making, alongside supporting them with resources and wider social infrastructure, can enable community action to improve wellbeing and resilience locally. 3. Community power can enhance democratic participation and boost trust. Deliberative and participatory methods can be used to navigate complex socio-economic challenges and to strengthen legitimacy of decisionmaking. It is at the local level that this dialogue and engagement can be most meaningfully realised. 4. Community power can build community cohesion. The common understanding and social ties that are necessary for cohesion cannot be imposed in the abstract from the national level. Community-anchored approaches demonstrate that cohesion is most sustainably built from the ground up. 5. Community power can embed prevention and early intervention in public services. Where some parts of the public sector are pioneering new approaches that draw on the capabilities and capacities of communities, they demonstrate a route to more sustainable and prevention-focused public services.

Escaping the evidence paradox There are plenty of examples of community power making a difference. But when it comes to proving value in evidence-based policy-making, community power is stuck in an ‘evidence paradox’. Community power practice, approaches and initiatives are required to demonstrate their own worth according to measures that are not set up to recognise their value. The value of community power is best captured qualitatively, yet the metrics are quantitative. Community power approaches, by their very nature, are pluralistic, often smallscale and rooted in local context, but policymakers seek uniform and scalable approaches. Community power focuses on long-term impact, but short-term financial and political priorities drive the system. This evidence paradox holds back community power from influencing wider system change. As things currently stand, although the evidence of their impact is palpable, it is not in the form required to prove a case for change according to the logic of the current system. Community power approaches often remain on the margins of a wider system dominated by large-scale service operations either run by the state or outsourced to the private sector, both ultimately accountable

to Whitehall rather than people locally. We argue that the ‘state-market hybrid paradigm’ holds back the potential of community power by setting the terms for what constitutes ‘success’. This notion of ‘success’ is characterised by approaches that can demonstrate short-term impact in a specific service area and are shown to be uniform and in turn scalable. Until there is a wider shift towards a community paradigm, the impact of community power will always be limited and ad hoc, rather than mainstreamed, where its full potential can be realised. How to become community powered So can we move towards community powered public services? We’ve identified four shifts and four recommendations for policymakers to make it happen.

Shift one: Uniform to Pluralist Practice Community power approaches are by their nature rooted in people, place and circumstance, meaning a model cannot just be taken from one area and rolled out in another. Recommendation One: Practitioners should collaborate to share learning and build a stronger evidence-led case for the impact of community power approaches. The purpose of this collaboration should be to strengthen evaluation approaches; share learning and identify common principles; and develop shared measures

of value. This should help build closer dialogue between policy and practice and strengthen the wider case for change.

Shift Two: Merics to Ethos The potential of community power will not be realised by creating a new set of public management style targets, but rather through a system in which communities, professionals and practices coalesce around shared purpose or ethos.

Community power

6. Community power can generate financial savings. There is growing evidence that investing in community power approaches can generate greater impact for existing spend and save money in the longer-term.

Recommendation Two: There needs to be an ambitious approach to devolved, place-based budgets across local public services, as a core prerequisite for transferring more power to communities. Taking such a place-based approach to financing public services would introduce a new logic into the system, supporting the emergence of a new community focused ethos across public institutions. Shift Three: Outputs to Outcomes For national government, a greater focus on outcomes, particularly those that are meaningful to people’s lived experience, would create a permissive environment for community power practice. Recommendation Three: The Treasury should adopt a well-being approach to budgeting. This would catalyse action and redistribute power throughout the system. In turn, supporting the breakdown of unhelpful silos, a significant shift in focus towards prevention, and genuine collaboration with communities. Shift Four: State-market to Community To act on the wealth of evidence revealing the benefits of community power, a major shift in policy is required at national level. At the heart of this shift would be a landmark piece of legislation, a Community Power Act. Recommendation Four: Parliament should pass a Community Power Act. The Act would have four goals: to enshrine community rights; to enable community-focused devolution; to establish a Community Wealth Fund; to provide a permissive legislative and regulatory framework for community power. Shifting to a community paradigm We sit now at a critical crossroads. Community power is already supporting people, communities and public services to collaborate and improve outcomes. There is a real opportunity to build on this, and move towards a more enabling and prevention-focused model of public services. The case has been building for a long time, but our collective yearning to recover from a brutal pandemic better and stronger than we were before creates a new imperative to be bold. The evidence supports it. Let’s make it happen. L FURTHER INFORMATION







VISIT ISUZU.CO.UK FOR MORE INFORMATION All fuel consumption and emission values are based on the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) test cycle which uses real-world driving data. Official fuel economy for the standard Isuzu D-Max range in MPG (l/100km): Low 25.1–27.6 (10.2–11.2). Mid 31.4–36.4 (7.8–9.0). High 36.0–39.4 (7.2–7.8). Extra-High 29.0–30.8 (9.2–9.7). Combined 30.7–33.6 (8.4–9.2). CO2 emissions 220–241 g/km. The All-New Isuzu D-Max is Smarter Stronger Safer compared to previous model. Visit for full details.

Electric vehicles

The UK’s EV transition offers great opportunity as well as challenge Zemo’s Neil Wallis, Head of Communications, and Jonathan Murray, Policy & Operations Director, discuss the agenda of the EV Energy Taskforce and the electrification of road transport So, the landmark COP26 climate conference in confidence on the part of users in the vehicles Glasgow has come and gone. While the science and infrastructure available to support them. is demanding even more rapid response, While the UK market for electric cars and climate-focused action is firmly on the agenda vans has taken off and – judging by the in the UK and worldwide. many commitments of support from both The electrification of our road vehicle fleet is manufacturers and public authorities – it now a key focal point for climate action; one of the appears to have unstoppable momentum, brightest stars in the firmament in terms of UK the same is not yet true of heavy commercial government policy. Indeed, ‘Transport Day’ at and longer-range vehicles. Range, weight the COP was headlined by the UK’s groundand payload challenges have not yet been breaking announcement that all vehicles sold resolved in terms of the electrification of some for operation on UK roads after 2040 will commercial vehicles and coaches and the jury produce zero emissions at the tailpipe. The is still out in terms of which technology will news followed the UK’s commitment – made dominate the future earlier this year - to phase out all cars and in some niches. vans with tailpipe emissions from 2035 We’r (and those without ‘significant zero The future the mid e in emissions range’ from 2030). of PHEVs st of an acceler The electrification of the UK’s However, there ating re car and van fleets is well under has been v o lution in road way already. In the year to significant that pro transport September 2021, over 16 per progress cent of new car sales had a towards the opportu vides great nities a plug attached (9.6 per cent BEV electrification – battery electric vehicles – and of urban as man s well y 6.6 per cent PHEV – Plug-in hybrid and shorter c halleng vehicles). There are signs that sales range vans and es of fully electric vehicles are pulling commercial away from PHEVs, suggesting a growing vehicles and

a growing range of product now available. Progress in battery weight, size and costs may yet see the technology become virtually ubiquitous across road transport. For cars and vans, there remains an active debate about the purpose of PHEVs and to what extent hybrid technology will be required after 2030. The government has yet to finalise the details of the 2030-35 requirement in terms of zero emissions range that will help to determine the future for PHEVs over that time period but it’s conceivable that vehicle and battery technology (and, critically, the supporting recharging infrastructure) may have advanced sufficiently to render the question mostly theoretical. (Zemo Partnership is active in this space, currently running a project focused on increasing utilisation of batteries in PHEVs to help ensure they are used in a more optimal way than some reports have suggested to date.) So, with some caveats, the electrification of road transport is now well under way in the UK and attention has already turned to the implications for the electricity network and the necessity of bringing energy industry stakeholders together with their motor industry counterparts in ways that have not hitherto been the case. E




@GreenFleetNews @greefleet_events @GREENFLEET UK

The Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce These are part of the raison d’être of the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce which is convened by Zemo Partnership to bring stakeholders from the energy and automotive sectors together to make proposals to government and industry to ensure that the GB’s energy system is ready for and able to facilitate and exploit the mass take up of electric vehicles. Over 350 organisations have so far contributed to the work of Taskforce, which is now in its third phase of work. The Taskforce’s Phase One concluded in November 2019 with the delivery of a ground-breaking report ‘Energising our Electric Vehicle Transition’, which presented 21 hardhitting proposals describing what’s needed to successfully electrify our road transport system by no later than 2050. The proposals set out in this report are the result of the engagement, cooperation and goodwill of hundreds of organisations, spanning electricity distribution and supply, transport, energy retailers and charge point operators, the

automotive industry, investors, local authorities, data and tech companies, consumer advocacy organisations, equipment manufacturers, regulators and central and local government. Attention has been paid to international developments, prior research and the work of other related task forces. Three key priorities which emerged from the Phase One report were: • The urgency of developing standards and codes of practice to enable interoperability and the sharing of data within the electric vehicle sector and with the electricity system. • The need for effective local and national planning and coordination to enable efficient investment, mediating the balance between future-proofing and asset stranding. • The criticality of smart charging; underpinned by a resilient network and clear market signals, to reduce the cost of supplying millions of EVs. These three priorities run through the Taskforce’s 21 proposals. Underpinning the proposals is a key defining principle; that the EV transition is best served if there is alignment with the needs of EV drivers, fleets and other road users. The initial report focused on the actions needed to remove potential barriers and to reinforce enabling mechanisms. It was intended to catalyse action: by agreeing standards, establishing new governance mechanisms, testing new propositions and developing implementation pathways. The Taskforce’s Phase Two has focused on moving from proposals to practical, implementable actions with a further report published in October 2020, supporting the initial findings and recommendations. Phase Three is now defining and quantifying the optimal routes for delivering the EV

charging infrastructure we’ll need before the middle of the century, and the enabling conditions which will be required. As a precursor to this, the Taskforce is in the process of publishing four guidance documents which represent the start of these plans. The reports focus on:

Electric vehicles

 It’s clear that there are high stakes here and significant opportunities if we manage the transition well. Power generation is rapidly decarbonising and, already, there are occasions when the UK even enjoys a surplus of capacity over demand. The intermittent nature of renewable energy generation can be a great complement to the arrival of large scale energy storage in the form of vehicle batteries, drawing power when there’s a surplus and releasing it for other uses when there’s higher demand. It’s clear that there are great opportunities if we’re smart in the way we manage the introduction of recharging infrastructure. The electrification of our domestic and (some) commercial heating systems alongside the electrification of transport provides further opportunities (and challenges).

• Encouraging Investment in public EV charging in the UK • Commercial EV fleet charging requirements • Cyber security and smart charging • Data Accessibility and privacy Three further reports are to be published in the coming months. These will culminate in the first authoritative quantification of the electric vehicle parc, the type and mix of charge points required, and the impact on the electricity network and generation, through to 2035 and beyond. This is intended to provide greater certainty in terms of how the UK delivers the energy system to support the electrification of cars and vans. We’re in the midst of an accelerating revolution in road transport that provides great opportunities as well as many challenges. Getting this right will mean the creation of a resilient, efficient mobility system that provides better outcomes for drivers, business fleets and freight operators than the transport system it will replace. L

For more information and to get involved in the Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce visit: FURTHER INFORMATION



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Nota Is Transforming Traffic Management Systems With AI

Nota’s real-time traffic signal control solution becomes an NVIDIA Solution Showcase success story Nota’s ITS solutions, incorporating real-time traffic signal control, were implemented as part of the Pyeongtaek Smart City project in South Korea. The project was a success and has since become an NVIDIA Success Story. NVIDIA, a market leader in the system on chips (SOCs) industry for the mobile computing and automotive market, selected Nota’s case as one of the only five success stories up to date. Nota’s ITS solutions are based on the image recognition technology to: •

analyze traffic volumes and queues

share data to analyze saturation rate

optimize signal timing at intersections

What differentiates Nota’s ITS solutions are the operability on edge devices enabled through deep learning model compression, Nota’s core technology. Through the case study, Nota was able to prove it could solve the most critical challenges in traffic congestion: 1.

Heavy traffic congestion during rush hour


Real-time traffic signal control for emergency vehicles


Need for optimized on-device AI without the chronic latency, high cost, and privacy issues of traditional cloud-based solutions


High accuracy, uptime and the robustness to environmental variables

Nota cut its development effort by 50% using NVIDIA’s software stack. The startup reduced the model’s size to a one tenth of its original size while maintaining a highperformance rate of 94.34%. Furthermore, it reduced the hardware cost by 85% from the server-based solution average in the ITS industry. About Nota Founded in 2015, Nota is an AI and ML technology-based startup. Its founders established the startup with the aim of decentralizing AI technology and enabling its distribution to the general population. Nota’s proprietary compression technology which empowers such decentralization is NetsPresso. NetsPresso is an automatic model compression platform which downsizes computer vision models to a size small enough to be deployed independently on smaller edge and low specification devices. Optimization of target models being key, the platform combines a variety of compression methods which enables it to downsize AI models without causing performance degradation. Nota’s AI technology empowers intelligent transportation systems, facial recognition, and security and surveillance. The company’s solutions include driver monitoring system, driver authentication, and smart access control system. Nota‘s current projects cover a wide range of industries including construction, mobility, security, smart home, and healthcare. Nota’s partnership with top-tier global market leaders including Nvidia, Intel, and ARM has helped accelerate its entry into the global market.


Decarbonising local transport Local authorities are being given the powers they need to deliver successful public transport systems, but, as Paul Tuohy, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, explains, the necessary funding and support must follow Transport is a climate problem. It is the sector responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions – almost a third of all UK emissions - and the sector making the least progress reducing them. The government’s plan to decarbonise transport and tackle climate change relies heavily on technology to replace fossil fuels in the medium to long term, which will of course play a big role. But while the plan does recognise the role public transport and active travel need to play overall, a much greater emphasis must be placed on policies to support the shift to public transport and active travel especially given the urgency of the climate crisis. But public transport and active travel are not only key to reducing emissions and decarbonising transport; they are also key to tackling air pollution and congestion in our towns and cities as well as levelling up economic prosperity across the country and winning hearts and minds, as the government recently discovered to its peril with the cancelled Northern Powerhouse rail plans. With much of the everyday transport we use taking place at a local level, local authorities are key to delivering a low-carbon transport system as well as helping people to make

greener transport choices. Local authorities Local buses are already required to produce regular Local The National Bus Strategy should help Transport Plans, but new guidance, due to herald a new dawn for local buses. Back be published next Spring, will require local in 2011, we first published what would transport plans to set out ‘how quantifiable become an annual report on the state of local carbon reductions will be achieved’ with authority supported bus networks. It made funding set to be ‘dependent on those for depressing reading, with year-onplans being robust, ambitious year cuts to bus budgets and and achievable’. thousands of bus routes and By The Transport services lost. By 2019, the far the Decarbonisation Plan last time we were able to biggest also promised a Local compile figures, national in the N change Authority Toolkit government support soon, which will for buses had reduced Strateg ational Bus y is the provide guidance by £234 million a e greater mphasis and information to year in a decade and role of placed on th ‘help build business local authority funding loca e cases, develop for buses had been in providl authorities innovative policies, reduced by over 40 per ing bus secure funding, and cent. More than half of services deliver measures on the local authorities had cut ground’. The toolkit and their financial support for new guidance recognise the buses by half or more since 2009 significant role local authorities have with the result that well over 3,000 been given in the transport decarbonisation local authority supported bus services have and net zero strategies, as well as the new been lost or reduced in a decade. powers handed to local authorities in the By far the biggest change in the National National Bus Strategy. Bus Strategy is the greater emphasis placed E Issue 28.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE


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Transport is the sector responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions – almost a third of all UK emissions - and the sector making the least progress reducing them knowledge. That’s why we organised a Zero Emission Buses Summit with the Mayor of London which aimed to help share skills and practical expertise among local authorities seeking to transition to a zero-emission fleet. Community engagement Reducing local emissions and creating modal shift away from cars and towards public and shared transport and active travel will require partnerships between local authorities and their communities. Many local authorities are already supporting community initiatives and we joined our partners in the Sustainable Transport Alliance at COP26 last month to showcase local initiatives helping to engage and empower people to achieve climate-safe, healthy and inclusive transport systems and behaviours. Ambitious levels of investment in active and public transport infrastructure and services will be needed to achieve net zero and local authorities must ensure they involve their communities in meaningful conversations about why that’s needed and the role we all need to play to decarbonise transport at a local level and to tackle climate change on a global scale. Moving towards a sustainable future There are lots of things the government can do if it truly wants to make public transport and active travel the first choice for most journeys. In the immediate term it must make public transport more financially attractive.


 on the role of local authorities in providing bus services. In many places one of the problems with bus provision is it is disjointed, split between different operators and not planned as a coherent local network. Local authorities are without doubt best placed to review local needs and work with operators to plan the services that best meet those needs, so the fact that the Strategy requires authorities to form enhanced partnerships with operators or move towards franchising is very welcome. Of course, some authorities are better placed than others to do this. The aforementioned neglect of local buses means many authorities no longer have the capacity, expertise or resources to set up these partnerships. This was recognised by government and ‘significant assistance’ in the form of a £25 million fund and a Bus Centre of Excellence delivering a long-term support programme to build up local authority capability was included in the Strategy. This is an area where we have been able to work directly with the Department for Transport on a project to examine the current and future staffing and skills requirements within those local authority teams that have a role managing or co-ordinating local bus services and help establish the type of support they need from the Bus Centre of Excellence. The Strategy also aims to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles, but it relies on local authorities and operators working together to deliver this greener bus network. There is a long way to go: out of around 38,000 buses nationally, only about two per cent are zero emission and most of them are in London. That’s not a lot, given then government’s target to deliver 4,000 zero-emission buses by February 2025. Our recent research with local authorities showed that delivering the government’s target for zero emission buses was one area where many felt they lacked the necessary skills and

It is currently cheaper to own and run a car than to use public transport. This can’t be right in the middle of a climate crisis and is no incentive to modal shift. We need a rail fare freeze for 2022 to match the fuel duty freeze and we need the fares and ticketing measures from the National Bus Strategy and Integrated Rail Plan which aim to make travel more affordable and simpler to be introduced as soon as possible. We need a national distance-based road pricing scheme to replace fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, as well as localised distance- or cordon-based road pricing schemes within our cities, with the money being collected by local authorities and used to promote public transport and active travel. Such local schemes are a good way to combat congestion and pollution. We also need more local authorities to emulate the success of Nottingham’s workplace parking levy, not just in reducing traffic in the city, but in using the funds to invest in better public transport, and we need more towns and cities to prioritise bus routes to help improve journey times and reliability. There’s lots to be done, but we have the blueprint for what makes a successful public transport system. Local authorities are being given the powers they need to deliver this on the ground, but the government must ensure it provides the funding and support to enable them to do so. L FURTHER INFORMATION



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Cost effective consultancy advice from the CCS The Management Consultancy Framework Three (MCF3) offers access to consultancy including business, strategy and policy, finance, HR, procurement, health/social care and community, infrastructure and environment

Launched in August, for a four-year cycle, Lot 1: Business; Lot 2: Strategy & Policy; Lot the Management Consultancy Framework 3: Complex & Transformation; Lot 4: Finance; Three (MCF3) agreement enables access Lot 5: HR; Lot 6: Procurement & Supply Chain; for central government and wider public Lot 7: Health, Social Care & Community; Lot sector customers to a range of cost effective 8: Infrastructure including Transport; and consultancy advice from a range of suppliers Lot 9: Environmental Sustainability & Socioacross nine specific lots. Economic Development. Replacing Management Consultancy Framework RM3745 and Management Consultancy spend Consultancy Framework 2 RM6008, the In the first six months of pandemic response, Crown Commercial Service lists the benefits Whitehall was revealed to have spent over of the agreement as: showcasing a wide £56 million on consultancy firms to help range of suppliers from SMEs to large deal with the coronavirus outbreak, with multinationals; all suppliers on the agreement many contracts awarded without being are Cyber Essentials accredited; there is now put out for competition. maximum rates fixed for the life of the The bulk of the spend agreement and your project providing was on 16 private Even budgetary control; there is no consultancy firms, with fu minimum or maximum value including major rlough ending thresholds this means you can companies and bu use the agreement regardless such as s picking iness of project size; a choice of Deloitte, u p , many organis pricing models including: time PwC, Boston now ad ations are and materials, fixed, or risk Consulting opting and reward; and a tool to help Group and h workin you shortlist suitable suppliers. McKinsey, who g meas ybrid There are 181 suppliers on this were rapidly for staf ures f agreement, spread across the hired to work on nine lots. The lots are as follows: the track-and-trace

system, the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the search to produce working ventilators. Among the contracts given to McKinsey was one where its consultants were paid £563,000 for six weeks’ work to create a permanent replacement for Public Health England, helping define its ‘vision, purpose and narrative’. Meanwhile, Deloitte has been given contracts worth at least £8 million from four Whitehall departments, including to help set up a network of drive-through rapid testing centres which were designed to be the backbone of the government’s plan to control the spread of coronavirus. Such revelations led to many organisations, including the Labour Party, demanding transparency for the taxpayer over the £130 million government spend on ‘communications consultants’, as the figure had reportedly reached by the start of November 2020. The analysis revealed the amount of taxpayer money being spent on agencies – including many with established links to senior Tories – but didn’t include existing spend on special advisors and civil servants working on communications and press. The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee also criticised the government’s E



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 use of consultants on its Covid-19 Test and Trace programme, saying some were paid up to £6,600 a day. Deloitte appeared as on the big four professional services firms, alongside EY, KPMG and PwC, who were then found to have been awarded contracts worth £1.2 billion on a combined basis in the year to March 2021. Tussell, who undertook the research, said that the value of contracts awarded by the UK government and public bodies to consultants more than doubled to £2.5 billion in 2020-21. The figures include work for central government and arm’s length public bodies, but exclude local authorities. The Government Consulting Hub A new strategy and consulting hub, staffed by civil servants, was launched in May to boost internal expertise across government, saving the taxpayer money. The Government Consulting Hub, based in Glasgow, Birmingham and London, will upskill civil servants, seeking to reduce the reliance on external consultancy firms. It is part of the Cabinet Office and will work across all departments to reduce consultancy spend by using internal civil service resources, rather than hiring external staff. The hub had been running as part of a pilot programme within the Cabinet Office for the previous three months. During that time, it successfully delivered a number of projects, including a strategic advisory service to support work on the most complex challenges facing government. These include work on the new government curriculum, providing consulting to a number of departments and creating a new triage process for sorting consultancy requests, ensuring that internal government expertise is fully used first. As of May, the Cabinet Office has also been tightening up rules on consultancy

The Management Consultancy Framework Three agreement enables access for central government and wider public sector customers to a range of cost effective consultancy advice from a range of suppliers across nine specific lots spend, with departments required to submit for approval consultancy and professional services spend over £500,000. Previously, the spend threshold which requires central approval is £10 million. Management Consultancies Association Commenting on the aforementioned research by Tussell on government spend on consultants, Tamzen Isacsson, chief executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), said: “The government could not have responded to this major humanitarian crisis without calling upon extra help and expertise from the private sector. Periods of major crisis like this are exactly the right times for governments across the world to bring in extra short-term resources to assist in the response efforts. It’s unrealistic and would be very expensive to the taxpayer to expect the government to employ vast numbers of people with specialist expertise – so bringing them in for the short term on specific projects is far more cost effective. “MCA members all commit to upholding consulting excellence principles which include high ethical standards. Firms have strict internal governance procedures to ensure that government is receiving value for money

and ensure staff working on public sector projects meet the highest standards in ethics and are held to account to ensure the public interest is being served. “A large number of consultancy firms have been brought into support critical government projects during the pandemic which has required people with expertise in digital technology, supply chain, logistics, procurement and in delivering major government projects. The consulting sector has provided multi-disciplinary capabilities and senior experience very quickly to support government in dealing with an unprecedented volume of workload and using external resources has enabled them to work quickly and with intensity in many areas on Brexit and during the pandemic. “All MCA Member Firms used by government in this period have been procured through competitively tendered Crown Commercial Service frameworks which evaluate bidding firms against quality and cost criteria. As part of these contracts, consultancy firms are required to upskill civil servants and transfer knowledge to increase capability for the future.” L FURTHER INFORMATION


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