Government Business 30.5

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Business Information for Local and Central Government | ISSUE 30.5 INSIDE NEW LOOK DESIGN PLUS: LEVELLING UP | ASBESTOS | PEST CONTROL | SECURITY FRAMEWORKS DAMP & MOULD FIRE SAFETY MARKET RESEARCH How to use AI responsibly and reliably in your research MAKING THE MOST OF AI
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Sunak rolls back Net Zero policies

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has set out a new approach to net zero.

The plan includes delaying the ban on new diesel and petrol vehicles to 2035 (instead of 2030). He said: “It should be you the consumer that makes that choice, not government forcing you to do it.”

There will be no new energy efficient targets on homes, with policies that would force landlords to upgrade energy efficiency in their homes scrapped.

Sunak also mentioned other proposals that had been touted that he claimed would not be approved - this includes policies on carpooling, recycling and a tax on meat.

Despite the changes, the target to be net zero by 2050 still remains in place.

Sunak said: “This country is proud to be a world leader in reaching Net Zero by 2050.

“But we simply won’t achieve it unless we change.

“We’re now going to have a better, more honest debate about how we get there.

“We’ll now have a more pragmatic, proportionate, and realistic approach that eases the burdens on families.

“All while doubling down on the new green industries of the future.”

However, the announcement has been widely criticised.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the REA (Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology) said: “While badged as a ‘pragmatic response’ to the cost-of-living crisis and the UK’s (undoubted) good progress to date on cutting emissions, it is hard not to see today’s news as a retrograde step arguably designed to play to the PM’s base before partyconference season and pre-election...

Fire Safety legislation to come into effect in October

New fire safety legislation will come into force from 1 October, as part of the Building Safety Act 2022.

The new legislation will impose new duties on responsible persons of businesses and buildings, with the aim to further safeguard lives and property.

The legislation requires all responsible persons to maintain a comprehensive written fire risk assessment and fire safety arrangement. There are also enhanced requirements for cooperation and coordination in premises with multiple responsible persons, such as multi-occupied buildings or those with separate occupiers and building owners.

For residential buildings with two or more domestic premises, including blocks of flats, responsible owners must provide residents with detailed information about fire risks within the building and the safety measures in place to protect them.

To help building owners understand and prepare for the changes, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council have created a series of videos to offer practical guidance on readiness, which can be found on the council’s YouTube Channel.


Welsh Government publishes plans for Senedd reform

The Welsh Government has published plans to make the the Senedd more modern and effective as part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.

The Bill aims to create a modern Senedd, which is better able to represent people in Wales, with increased capacity to scrutinise, make laws, and hold the government to account.

It also builds on the recommendations made by the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform, which were endorsed by a majority of Senedd Members in June 2022.

If the bill is supported by Senedd Members, the changes would be in place for the 2026 Senedd.

The Senedd Reform Bill proposes that the Senedd will have 96 Members elected using closed proportional lists. The seats would be allocated to parties using the D’Hondt formula.

The 32 new UK Parliament constituencies will be paired to create 16 Senedd constituencies for the 2026 Senedd election. Each constituency would then elect six members. Senedd elections will be held every four years from 2026 onwards.

There would also be an increase in the maximum number of Welsh Ministers which can be appointed from 12 to 17 (plus the First Minister and the Counsel General) with an additional power to enable a further increase in the number to 18 or 19 with the approval of the Senedd.

All candidates for future Senedd elections must also live in Wales.

Counsel General Mick Antoniw said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a modern Senedd, which truly reflects Wales, and to strengthen our democracy...

Gove writes to social landlords about damp and mould

Secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities Michael Gove has written to social housing providers about recently published guidance on the health impacts of damp and mould in the home.

Consolidated guidance on the health outcomes of damp and mould in the home has been published as part of the government’s response to the Coroner’s report into the death of Awaab Ishak.

The guidance sets out the legal responsibilities of social and private sector landlords to their tenants and the serious health risks that damp and mould pose.

The guidance makes clear that it is the responsibility of landlords to identify the underlying causes of damp and mould - such as structural issues or inadequate ventilationand to find long term solutions.

The guidance also sets out how living in a home with damp and mould can significantly affect the physical and mental health of tenants and outlines how people with certain health conditions, children and older adults are at greater risk of more severe health impacts.

In the letter, Gove says: “I have always been clear that it is the duty of landlords to meet the standards reasonably expected by their tenants, and I know that the vast majority do their best to provide decent homes. I would urge you all to read this guidance and adopt the best practices that it sets out.

“Everyone deserves a safe and decent home to live in. It is all our responsibilities to work together to improve standards in the rented sector so that tragedies like the death of Awaab Ishak never happen again.”


Government plans to intervene at Birmingham City Council

Michael Gove has announced proposals intended to tackle “serious financial and governance problems” at Birmingham City Council.

On 5th September, Birmingham City Council issued a ‘section 114 notice’.

The proposals include the appointment of commissioners and a local inquiry to investigate the root of the issues faced by the local authority.

Gove said: “Birmingham Council’s record is of ineffective, inefficient and unaccountable government. It is failing in its basic duties.

“Where local leaders fail, it is residents who are let down. This cannot go on.

“I can announce that I am today writing to the council to set out my proposal to intervene and appoint commissioners, and that I intend to launch a local inquiry.

“I do not take these decisions lightly, but we must protect the interests of residents and taxpayers of Birmingham and provide assurance to the sector.”

If implemented, the proposals would see commissioners provide advice and challenge the council whilst making decisions directly, if necessary. They would be given powers relating to governance, scrutiny of strategic decision making, finance and senior appointments.

Directions would also be issued to Birmingham City Council requiring them to undertake specific actions including the preparation and implementation of an improvement plan within six months, to return it to a sustainable financial footing.

Max Caller CBE, has been named as the preferred candidate to lead the intervention if the package of proposals are implemented.

Voter ID rules present problems for general election: READ MORE

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New information hub for housing professionals: READ MORE

List of schools with RAAC published: READ MORE

Funding announced for zero emission buses: READ MORE

More affordable homes for Scotland: READ MORE

Scottish councils to be able to charge council tax premium for second homes: READ MORE

Funding awarded for more beds for rough sleepers: READ MORE

BCC Economic Forecast: Fragile economy stuck in first gear

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) marginally upgrades its 2023 GDP forecast to 0.4 per cent, but economic activity will remain very weak throughout 2024 and 2025, according to the organisation’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast.

The UK economy remains on course to avoid a technical recession, but growth is likely to remain so feeble that it will be hard to spot the difference. A growth rate of 0.4 per cent is expected for the whole of 2023, dropping to 0.3 per cent in 2024, and nudging up only slightly to 0.7 per cent in 2025. Consistently low economic growth of this nature is comparable to previous periods of economic shocks and recessions such as the oil crises of the 1970s and financial crash of 2008.

Core inflation is proving sticky. But while BCC research shows inflation is the top concern for UK firms, fewer businesses now expect their prices to rise over the coming months. The forecast for the CPI rate, therefore, remains unchanged at 5.0 per cent in Q4 2023...

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Private pest control supporting Local Authorities

Pests can be a problem across the public estate, from rats at recycling centres to cockroaches in kitchens. If you’re managing housing stock, it can be one of the most common complaints from residents. In this article, Natalie Bungay, technical manager at British Pest Control Association (BPCA), outlines how professional pest management offers LAs a one-stop solution

Pests in public buildings

Local Authorities can find themselves coming up against a diverse range of pest issues across the many different premises they own and operate.

The most common pest control enquiries will come from residents of housing owned or operated by councils/ALMOs. A pest is only a pest when it comes into conflict with people, and they love to be where we are, eating our food and living in our spaces.

Household Waste and Recycling Centres are obvious targets for a range of pests, such as rats, mice, flies and even gulls, offering plentiful harbourage and food sources.

Wooden park pavilions and sheds are ideal sites for wasp nests, although they have been known to build nests in some more unusual places too, like little-used toilet cisterns.

Many LA premises include on-site catering, whether it’s just tea and biscuits in the offices or

a full-scale canteen, a school kitchen or vending machines at a leisure centre; food, scraps and litter are all potential food sources for pests - a major factor in pest infestations.

Large centrally heated buildings such as hospitals, offices and libraries are ideal locations for tropical ants or cockroaches, while museums and libraries may find artefacts become damaged by the presence of moths and beetles, that live and feed on textiles and other materials.

Alongside managing sites with a broad range of functions, LAs often have a portfolio of properties that can span hundreds of years, from historic town halls, civic buildings and libraries to brand new offices and schools. Older buildings can present their own, unique challenges; proofing against pest ingress could be a more complicated job, whether it’s tackling gaps in ancient drainage or ensuring the correct installation of bird deterrents on listed buildings.

Pest Control
Rats have rapid breeding cycles of around six weeks – in favourable conditions a pair of brown rats could produce around 200 offspring and 2,000 descendants in one year

Recognising the risks

There are many instances where LAs have a statutory duty to deal with pest problems, as a pest infestation can bring with it a series of risks to public health. Certain pest species are vectors of disease, while some may cause damage to buildings and equipment.

Pest management is a matter of protecting public health, safety and wellbeing, so it’s important that it’s given the level of priority that it needs. Pest management is a proactive approach to animals that come into conflict with people. We shouldn’t only be thinking about active infestations; ideally we need to prevent issues before they occur.

Rats and mice are both known to carry diseases that can be passed to humans. They can squeeze through tiny gaps to enter buildings – usually as the weather turns colder and they seek a warm place to shelter, with access to water and food sources.

Both species have rapid breeding cycles, which means a breeding pair can rapidly expand to a major infestation in a matter of weeks. And both rats and mice need to gnaw to maintain their teeth.

Electrical fires and flooding have been attributed to rodents gnawing through materials such as wiring/cables, pipes, even the back of a refrigerator.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 (PDPA) is a piece of legislation that requires all LAs to keep their districts free from rats and mice so far as is reasonably practicable, even on property not owned by the LA, so it’s important that these issues are dealt with effectively.

But it’s not just rats and mice that can cause issues for LAs.

Feral pigeons and gulls are a common problem in towns and cities across the UK. As known vectors of disease, their nests can cause secondary infestations of mites, while their droppings are corrosive to brick, stone and metal and when dried can form tiny airborne particles that are known to cause respiratory conditions in humans.

Every wild bird, its eggs and nest are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Always consult a professional before considering any type of bird proofing or control.

Wasps, while best left alone in low-traffic areas, can pose a real risk to human health if a nest is discovered in a busy space. By late summer, the average wasp nest can contain between 3,000 and 8,000 wasps.

If one wasp feels the nest is threatened by human presence, it may emit a pheromone that acts as an emergency call to other wasps in the nest, which can trigger a defensive stinging frenzy.

Wasp stings can lead to anaphylaxis – an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening if action isn’t taken quickly. If anaphylaxis is suspected, always call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Kitchens and canteens are great habitats for cockroaches, which emerge from drains and sewers, or are brought in via infested materials, and are known to carry bacteria harmful to human health, like salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus. E

Pest Control
There are many instances where LAs have a statutory duty to deal with pest problems

F Bins, landfill, waste and recycling centres all have the potential to attract pests like flies, which will breed and then cause a nuisance to the surrounding area. Most fly species feed by vomiting saliva onto food surfaces and sucking up the resulting liquid, contaminating food products with bacteria from their gut and feet.

BPCA recommends regular collections of household waste and recycling to prevent pest infestations in dwellings.

Bins outside public buildings should be kept closed, with lids securely in place. Waste disposal containers, recycling banks and public bins should be emptied regularly.

Sourcing the solution

If the presence of pests is identified, BPCA recommends seeking professional help and advice to tackle the problem.

Pest professionals have a spectrum of techniques, tools, products and methods that can help prevent or tackle infestations.

It’s known as an ‘integrated pest management’ approach, which considers the differences in each situation and the best approach for the customer, the environment and for the effective control of the pest.

Some LAs still have in-house pest control teams that will be ideally placed to deal with any infestation issues that arise.

BPCA recommends a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach, advocating regular visits and pest-proofing, rather than waiting until an infestation has become established.

For LAs that have out-sourced pest control to external companies, BPCA recommends establishing a pest control maintenance cycle with a professional pest management company such as a BPCA member.

LAs can take steps to protect against multiple risks with one contract by establishing a schedule of regular visits to sites, which will be followed by a comprehensive report, including points of action to be taken between visits.

In the event that a pest infestation is discovered, a BPCA member company (visit: ) will have the technical knowledge and experience to apply products in an efficient manner while minimising risk to the environment and non-target species.

BPCA members carry the correct insurances; are trained and qualified technicians; are assessed to the British Standard in pest management

Pest Control
Pest professionals have a spectrum of techniques, tools, products and methods that can help prevent or tackle infestations
Bird prevention, proofing and control are highly specialised skills, requiring specialist equipment and tools
Mice can gain entry to a building through a gap as small as 6mm – roughly the diameter of a pencil eraser

EN 16636; and follow industry Codes of Best Practice.

BPCA offers membership options for LAs with pest control responsibilities, whether that includes overseeing in-house teams or not.

Becoming a BPCA member brings with it a series of benefits, including access to training opportunities and essential industry information as well as educational and technical documentation. To find out more about BPCA membership options, contact BPCA’s membership team on 01332 225112.

Collaboration with councils

As part of its long-term aims, BPCA is currently conducting a survey of councils with responsibility for pest control to ascertain how services are provided or signposted in each area.

The Association aims to work alongside LAs to ensure residents and businesses seeking help with pest issues can find a trusted pest professional and improve the provision of pest control services.

The survey can be found at: L

About the British Pest Control Association

The British Pest Control Association is the UK tradeassociationrepresentingorganisationswith aprofessionalinterestintheeradicationofpublic healthpests.

It is a not-for-profitorganisation which acts in theinterestsofmembersandonbehalfofthepest managementindustryintheUK.

TheAssociationplacesgreatimportanceon promotingthehigheststandardsofprofessionalism withintheindustryandallorganisationsmustprove theircompetencebeforemembershipisaccepted.

Ithighlightsrisksofinadequatecontrol,offers guidanceinsearchingforapestcontrolcontractor, providesgeneralpestadviceandguidance documentation.


07519 55 11 82

EMAIL enquiries@

Pest Control
LAs can take steps to protect against multiple risks with one contract by establishing a schedule of regular visits to sites
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Identifying invasive species

Invasive species pose a significant problem for local authority grounds care teams - and ignoring the problem only makes it worse

Identifying invasive plant species is important because of the significant ecological and economic threats they present. These species, which are non-native to the local ecosystem, can outcompete the native vegetation, disrupt natural food chains, and change the balance of an ecosystem. This can lead to reduced biodiversity, habitat degradation, and even the extinction of native species.

Invasive plants can rapidly spread and take over areas. They can dominate available resources like water, nutrients, and sunlight, and therefore deprive native plants. This not only affects plant life but also cascades through the entire ecosystem, impacting animals that rely on native plants for food and shelter.

Economically, invasive plants can result in substantial costs. They can clog waterways, damage infrastructure, and reduce agricultural E

Invasive Species

F productivity. Personnel efforts to control invasive species can also strain resources. Therefore, early identification of these species is crucial for the best management and prevention of their establishment in the first place.

Regular monitoring and prompt action are essential to curb the spread of invasive plants. By identifying these species at an early stage, experts can implement targeted strategies to eradicate or manage them before the problem gets worse. Overall, identifying and addressing invasive plant species is essential in safeguarding the balance of ecosystems and preserving the biodiversity on which the local environment depends.

Some of the most troublesome species for the UK include Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and New Zealand pigmyweed.

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is one of the most common and well-known species of invasive plants in the UK. It often grows along rivers, canals, motorways and railways and can be recognised by its red shoots and hollow, bamboo-ish stems. It has flat-based leaves and produces a small white flower in late summer.

Invasive Species
Giant Hogweed presents a danger to animals and humans due to its poisonous sap

Known to grow through walls and tarmac, it can easily damage infrastructure. A hardy plant, it is able to grow in any soil type and damages the growth of native plants. Japanese knotweed spreads easily and quickly and is fast to establish in new areas. It is also difficult to remove, due to an expansive root system and the fact that it can regenerate from tiny fragments.

Giant hogweed

Giant Hogweed presents a danger to animals and humans due to its poisonous sap. If the sap touches skin, it can cause severe irritation and blisters. The burns from giant hogweed can last several months and even after they have died down, the affected skin can be sensitive to light for many years.

Giant Hogweed has a green stem, which grows in early spring and turns into a dark red with purple spots in the summer. The plant has large, dark green leaves and clusters of small white flowers. It can grow up to 10 feet high.

Giant hogweed can be found in almost every area, but thrives in habitats where the soil has been disturbed, such as riverbanks, railway embankments or derelict land.

The plant presents a problem as each one can disperse up to 50,000 seeds that remain viable in the ground for 15 years. The seeds can be spread by birds or other animals or transported along waterways.

As with other invasive species, it also poses a threat to native plants as it spreads.

As giant hogweed dies back in the winter, there is also the threat of soil erosion as other vegetation has already been lost.

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan Balsam is often found on riverbanks and waste places. It can tolerate low light, while at the same time, shading out and killing off other plants.

The plant grows tall and has clusters of purplepink helmet-shaped flowers from June to October. The flowers are replaced by seed pods, which then explode, and can shoot seeds up to 7 metres away. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. L

Invasive Species
Himalayan Balsam is often found on riverbanks and waste places

Taking responsibility for damp and mould

Damp and mould in social housing is a pervasive and pressing issue that has far-reaching implications for the health, well-being, and quality of life of residents. The problem has been highlighted since the death of Awaab Ishak in 2020 and new legislation has been brought in to address the problem of damp and mould

The problem is particularly noticeable in older housing complexes, where inadequate maintenance, poor insulation, and insufficient ventilation create the perfect conditions for dampness and mould growth. The consequences of this issue are multifaceted and demand urgent attention, as they encompass health concerns, social challenges, economic burdens, and the need for systemic policy changes.

Health concerns

Clearly, damp and mould are not just aesthetic or superficial problems; they also have severe health repercussions. Mould releases spores and mycotoxins that can lead to a range of health issues. Respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies are commonly aggravated by mould exposure. Prolonged exposure to mould spores can lead to chronic respiratory conditions and may even compromise the


immune system. The coroner ruled that Awaab Ishak’s death was the result of a severe respiratory condition caused by prolonged exposure to black mould in his home.

Vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, are particularly at risk. Mould has also been linked to nonrespiratory health problems such as skin irritation, headaches, fatigue, and cognitive impairments.

Social and psychological impact

The presence of damp and mould in social housing goes beyond physical health concerns, and can affect the mental well-being of residents as well. Living in poor conditions can cause feelings of frustration, helplessness, and anxiety. The visible and persistent nature of these issues and the inability to do anything about it can harm self-esteem, and lead to a sense of neglect and abandonment.

Economic consequences

From an economic perspective, the cost of not addressing damp and mould in social housing is substantial. The cost to the NHS associated with treating health problems caused or exacerbated by these conditions is unnecessary and could be avoided. As well as this, the structural damage that results from prolonged dampness can lead to costly renovations that could have been prevented with timely intervention.

It also has a knock-on effect on the economy. Residents’ productivity can be affected and they can take time off work or school sick. This then leads to a vicious cycle of limited educational and economic opportunities and can further deepen social inequalities.

Systemic challenges

Like many areas of the public sector, social housing has funding issues, which make it challenging to conduct the necessary repairs and upgrades. A lack of resources hinders regular inspections and preventative maintenance that could detect and address dampness issues early on. A lack of awareness about proper ventilation, moisture control, and mould prevention further exacerbates the problem. To effectively combat damp and mould, a comprehensive approach is crucial, involving investment in infrastructure, education, and community engagement.

Interventions and solutions

Damp and mould need to be tackled at the root cause. Adequate funding is pivotal to E

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The structural damage that results from prolonged dampness can lead to costly renovations
& Mould

F addressing these route causes. Investments should be directed toward improving insulation and ventilation systems and not just treating the damp and mould when it arises. Upgrading housing infrastructure not only prevents dampness but at the same time, also contributes to energy efficiency and overall sustainability of the property.

Regular maintenance is essential to combatting the issues of damp and mould. Implementing a robust schedule of inspections and maintenance is vital. Swift identification and remedy of issues can prevent dampness and mould problems getting worse. Regular maintenance also demonstrates a commitment to residents’ well-being and contributes to community pride and can also help to address the aforementioned concerns that residents may have about being neglected.

Though they are not solely responsible, education and awareness at a residents’ level is also important. Residents need to be informed about the causes and consequences

of dampness and mould, as well as the steps they can take to prevent these issues themselves. Educational campaigns can empower residents to maintain proper ventilation, reduce moisture sources, and engage in proactive mould prevention measures.

Community engagement at a local level can help to solve the problems. Involving residents in decision-making processes regarding housing policies and maintenance fosters a sense of agency and autonomy. Empowered residents are more likely to adhere to maintenance practices, take action themselves to prevent mould, participate in community initiatives, and work with housing authorities to address the problem.

Legislation and housing policy is essential to hold housing authorities to account. Housing policies should be developed with residents at the centre and a focus on long-term sustainability rather than a short-term fix. This involves a holistic approach that considers energy efficiency, environmental impact, health outcomes, and social equity. Integrating these aspects can lead to healthier, more resilient communities and have an overall positive impact.


In July, the Social Housing Act received Royal Assent to become law. Awaab’s Law sets strict time limits for social landlords to address hazards like damp and mould.

Housing secretary Michael Gove MP said: “Today is an important step towards righting the wrongs of the past. Our landmark laws will

Damp & Mould
The Social Housing Act includes qualification requirements for social housing managers

drive up standards of social housing and give residents a proper voice.

“The Social Housing Act will help to ensure that tenants get the safe, warm and decent homes they deserve – and those who have seriously neglected their responsibilities for far too long will face the consequences.

“Awaab’s Law will force social landlords to take immediate action on dangerous damp and mould as we introduce new strict time limits to fix their homes.

“I am incredibly grateful to Awaab’s family who have displayed such courage, dignity and leadership in pushing for change and securing these vital reforms.”

The Social Housing Act includes qualification requirements for social housing managers and additional Housing Ombudsman powers to publish best practice guidance to landlords following investigations into tenant complaints. The Act also strengthens the Regulator of Social Housing to carry out regular inspections of the largest social housing providers and the power to issue unlimited fines to rogue social landlords.

Fiona MacGregor, chief executive of the Regulator of Social Housing, said: “We welcome the introduction of the Social Housing Regulation Act, which will empower tenants and give us stronger powers to hold social landlords to account.

“Our next step is to consult on the new consumer standards that landlords will need to meet, and we encourage tenants, landlords and others in the sector to have their say when we launch the consultation next week.

“We’re gearing up to start our new programme of regulatory inspections from next April, and

landlords will need to demonstrate how they’re providing good quality homes and services for tenants as well as meeting our governance and viability standards.”

Gove recently wrote to social housing providers about recently published guidance on the health impacts of damp and mould in the home.

The guidance sets out the legal responsibilities of social and private sector landlords to their tenants and the serious health risks that damp and mould pose.

The guidance makes clear that it is the responsibility of landlords to identify the underlying causes of damp and mould - such as structural issues or inadequate ventilation - and to find long term solutions.

The guidance also sets out how living in a home with damp and mould can significantly affect the physical and mental health of tenants and outlines how people with certain health conditions, children and older adults are at greater risk of more severe health impacts.

As we have seen, damp and mould not only cause health concerns, but can also have social and economic implications. It is important to tackle the issue from different angles. By investing in infrastructure, education, community engagement, and integrated policies, social housing can become healthier and more liveable and promote well-being, equity, and upward mobility for all residents. Awaab’s law is a step in the right direction, raising awareness of residents’ rights when it comes to the quality of housing and holding housing providers to account when it comes to the issue of damp and mould. L

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The guidance makes clear that it is the responsibility of landlords to identify the underlying causes of damp and mould
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Expert Q&A: Damp and mould

David Bly looks at some of the causes of and solutions for damp and mould

What is damp and mould suggesting?

Damp and mould are ‘symptoms’ of a problem and, any repairs or improvements must only be undertaken with the root cause predetermined to uphold-long term solutions. The main reason for unfortunate ‘re-spend’ is the absence of obtaining this sought-after outcome.

When moving furniture I noticed mould behind it. Is the wall wet?

It is unlikely to be wet and the initial recognition should establish if the mould outbreak is within the confines of the shape of the furniture. If so, it is likely due to inadequate air circulation between the item and the cooler wall. Warm internal air migrates behind furniture and, when it comes into contact with the wall, at certain times of the day condensation can occur. A simple solution is set furniture back from the walls by a few inches to uphold air circulation.

Why is there mould in one corner of the ceiling only?

Mould releases spores into the atmosphere not seen by the naked eye and, typically circulates the property when doors are opened. Warm air can introduce condensation when coming into contact with cooler structural surfaces that may be subject to gaps in loft insulation or cold bridging of structural elements acting like a ‘magnet’ for the warm air resulting in beads of condensation.

Mould was evident on clothing in the wardrobe - why is this?

Mould on clothing is indicative of elevated atmospheric moisture and, can be introduced when units are opened to select an item to wear. Warm air will enter the wardrobe and come into contact with still cooler surfaces including clothing whereby spores can feed on skin deposits, hair etc. The introduction of louvres to the top and bottom of the wardrobe upholds air circulation resulting in the spores remaining mobile alongside the unit finding atmospheric equilibrium with the room. L

David has been involved with the property damage management industry sector for the last 20 years with field-based experience aligned to the creation and production of unique reporting systems that serve to uphold professionalism and transparency of root-cause data interpretation for the industries Cornerstone serve. His experience aligns to the understanding of moisture behaviour in buildings including damp, condensation and mould related issues combining all industry approved surveying techniques to deliver a bespoke service clients demand.

Issue 30.5 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE 25 Advertisement Feature

Banksy or burden?

Local councils are usually responsible for removing graffiti from public buildings, monuments, benches and bins. But what is the best way to go about this?

Graffiti is highly visible and has an impact on an area and on people’s perception of an area and can make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It is often associated with anti-social behaviour and crime. It can also be offensive.

Graffiti can be expensive to remove and can also have a detrimental effect on the environment.

Removing graffiti is not the only solution. Prevention is better than cure as they say. It is important that stakeholders including local authorities, local businesses and the transport network work together to develop and implement solutions to remove and prevent graffiti and share best practice.

Local authorities should encourage property owners in hotspots to take action to prevent graffiti on their property.


There are a few measures that can be implemented to protect property from graffiti. This includes not painting outside walls white as this can be seen as a blank canvas. Muted colours like red, brown and grey are less attractive for those looking to leave their mark. Textured

surfaces, for example, pebble dash, can also be a good deterrent.

Access prevention is one of the most effective methods. Planting shrubs and other plants against walls can prevent access to the area and coating drainpipes, fences and gates with anticlimb paint can prevent people from gaining access to high walls and roofs. Plants also create an uneven and unattractive surface for graffiti, as it also means that the graffiti will be less visible. Fences and barriers are also a possibility, though this is not always practical and these can of course, then become a target themselves.

Anti-graffiti paint is also available which can be applied to surfaces and prevents the spray paint from bonding to the surface.

There are also sacrificial coatings, which can be applied over a surface, so that when graffiti does occur, it can be removed without damaging the original surface.

Security cameras are also a possibility, if the outcome is deemed worth the cost, maintenance and monitoring. You can also use motionactivated lights. If an area is well-lit, those thinking about graffiti are likely to be deterred. Motion-activated lights are cheaper to run than


lights that are on all the time and provide less of a nuisance to those in the local area trying to sleep at night.

It has also been found that removing graffiti quickly will reduce the likelihood of that same spot being targeted again.

Education is also important. Working with local schools and youth groups and educating young people on the effect of graffiti and highlighting its antisocial and destructive nature and the damage and costs involved is a good prevention. Graffiti is seen by some as an art form and sign of expression, so whatever you do, it is still going to happen. In that case, it is a good idea to actually provide a space that can be an outlet for people wanting to partake in graffiti.


It is important that anyone employed to work on the removal of graffiti is properly trained and skilled. Of course, they should also wear gloves and protective eyewear and masks where possible. Inexperienced staff can cause damage to property and other surfaces and leave stains and marks or even permanent damage. Care should be taken to prevent damage to property when removing graffiti. This includes

not using high pressure washers or steam cleaners if it will damage the property such as historic buildings or monuments or electrical equipment like ticket machines.

Offensive graffiti

Graffiti that is offensive, that is racially or sexually offensive or homophobic for example should be prioritised and removed swiftly, within 24 hours. Offensive graffiti should be reported to the police, as it may be a hate crime – it could also lead police to evidence of other crimes, such as membership of a proscribed organisation or posting offensive material online. Offensive graffiti should also be documented as it can be used as evidence if someone is arrested or charged.

There are plenty of specialist companies that can do the job for you. The staff are trained and experienced and will have the most effective equipment.

While preventing graffiti is great, it will still happen. Therefore it is important that measures are in please should this be the case. It is important that staff are properly trained and they have the proper equipment in order to do the job properly L

Graffiti Removal Made Easy with Dry Ice Cleaning | Polar Ice Cleaning

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The Art of Choosing the Right Method

Key Benefits

· Gentle, non-abrasive cleaning of wood or delicate architectural features.

· One pass cleaning saves time and labour.

· No harmful solvents.

· No clean-up afterward (the dry ice sublimates).

· No secondary waste clean up.

· No hazmat residue disposal costs.

· No odour or dust to contain.

· No expensive hazmat training or protection for operators.


Spend Recovery Reviews to ease financial pressures

Twice2much discuss how Spend Recovery Reviews, based on a ‘share of recoveries’ only, can help ease current financial pressures

Many organisations have either not heard of Spend Recovery Reviews or do not consider that the recoveries and associated cash generated are likely to be applicable to them.  However, with so many financial pressures on every organisation as a result of the recent inflation, energy costs surges and the COVID pandemic, there has never been a more appropriate time to consider EVERY avenue for income generation.

As the cost of a review is based on a ‘share of recoveries’ with no upfront costs and limited/no internal resource requirements, undertaking a review of this type should bear serious and urgent consideration.

Twice2much specialises in ‘Spend Recovery Services’ working with finance directors, accounts payable managers and heads of audit to provide a comprehensive review of accounts payable spend. Our recoveries made on behalf of clients to date demonstrate beyond doubt how we can help any client…

multiple-layer interrogation of transactions with suppliers; and specialist expertise in reviewing supplier transactions and identifying anomalies.

Stage 2 - Verification/validation

Expert detailed analysis of transactions at individual supplier level to validate and investigate anomalies and evidence to support initial findings.

Stage 3 – Recovery/Reporting

Twice2much provide the system, processes and resources to recover the errors found on our clients’ behalf. Flexible but targeted reporting provides significant additional benefits to clients.

Who should be considering these reviews within your organisation?

Heads of audit, heads of fraud departments, heads of finance, and heads of accounts payable or procurement are the key individuals involved in considering and procuring these types of ‘specialised’ reviews.

As ‘all’ Twice2much Spend Recovery Reviews are undertaken on a ‘share of savings’ basis, they are in effect self-financing, and therefore no budget or funding is required, limiting the need for a protracted procurement exercise.


Recoveries from our reviews effectively represent an ‘unbudgeted financial windfall’ which can be used to directly address budgetary pressures, enable the provision of additional services and/ or fund additional resource requirements.  Twice2much would be happy to provide more details or discuss how we can help you generate these benefits quickly and efficiently. L

There are 3 stages to a Twice2much Spend Recovery review:

Stage 1 - Identification/detection

Access to £100,000’s of technology, including ‘bespoke’ analytic software and resources; access to dedicated experienced professionals;

Advertisement Feature

Natural stone and retrofit –a natural fit

The Stone Federation on the restoration and retrofit of public buildings and natural stone as a building material

As specifiers become increasingly aware that a ‘business as usual’ approach to the carbon impacts of architecture and construction is no longer an option, there is a fresh drive to consider the alternatives.

In September of 2019, Architects’ Journal launched the RetroFirst campaign aimed at prioritising the retrofitting of existing buildings over demolition and rebuild.

The campaign sits alongside several other initiatives all seeking to encourage architects to try and work with the existing structure as a more sustainable approach to architecture and construction.

Retrofitting, or adding something new to something existing is not a new approach in construction. Through good maintenance and conservation schemes, hundreds, if not thousands of natural stone structures have stood for centuries. Many of Great Britain’s major cities have been architecturally defined

by natural stone buildings that have stood the test of time, while buildings made from other materials have aged poorly and required demolition.

Natural stone is one of the most durable of all construction materials giving maintenance teams the option to redress, clean and replace damaged elements without the need to flatten the building and start again.

The Repair & Restoration category at the Natural Stone Awards is full of fantastic examples of buildings that have been retrofitted, structures that, had they been constructed in concrete or other less durable materials, would have been demolished.

One of the key factors is the decision by the original architects to choose natural stone. Unfortunately, the last few decades have seen the construction sector steer further and further away from durable building solutions and erred more on the side of quick, cheap but relatively E


F temporary material choices. It is encouraging to see a shift away from this specification model as the architectural industry is challenging itself to change its habits and techniques to deliver a more sustainable solution.

The Architects’ Journal campaign references a study by the Department for the Environment,

Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that found that of the 200 million tonnes of waste generated in Britain annually, 63 per cent is construction debris.

It is for this reason, among others that, proper maintenance is essential and if this is carried out periodically with suitable skill and understanding, the greater will be the environmental and practical advantages in the preservation of the structure.

It is essential that cleaning should be carried out by fully trained operatives in order to avoid any damage being caused by an inappropriate cleaning method or an incompetent operative. It should be remembered that decay can often take place around an open joint or cracked stone which cannot be seen if they are obscured by dirt or heavy soiling.

The Stone Heritage Group is an arm of Stone Federation dedicated to resourcing the heritage sector of the natural stone industry and promoting the use of Federation members for projects of this nature. Almost 50 per cent of the overall membership work within the conservation and restoration sector, and it plays a large part in the overall natural stone arena.

Much of the work of Stone Federation’s heritage members involves the cleaning of natural stone buildings and is a topic where correct procedure is vital.

The cleaning of a building is no simple matter and there are special considerations which call for a high degree of expertise in all elements and stages of stone cleaning. Specialised

Many studies have shown that there are advantages to cleaning buildings on a regular basis

knowledge is necessary for the correct specification to be given for each building. In the past, it was smoke emissions from the burning of coal that caused the soiling of buildings but today it is vehicle exhaust emissions and acid rain that are mainly responsible. Many studies have shown that there are advantages to cleaning buildings on a regular basis.

The correct cleaning of natural stone is a priority for the sector as much of the architectural heritage of the country is made from this material. Stone is one of the most durable of all building materials and compares very favourably with others from an economic as well as an aesthetic point of view, especially when maintenance and whole life costs are taken into account.

Nevertheless, proper maintenance is essential and if this is carried out periodically with suitable skill and understanding, the greater will be the environmental and practical advantages in the preservation of the structure. What must be stressed however, is that in the wrong hands and by the use of the wrong process for the material in question, much harm can be caused with unsightly effects, some of which may not become apparent for some months after the cleaning has been completed and will be difficult, if not impossible, to remedy. This is why it is imperative to involve a member of Stone Federation at an early stage when the cleaning is being considered.

It is essential that cleaning should be carried out by fully trained operatives in order to avoid any damage being caused by an inappropriate cleaning method or an incompetent operative. It should be remembered that decay can often take place around an open joint or cracked stone which cannot be seen if they are obscured by dirt or heavy soiling.

Reference should also be made to BS 8221 (part 1): 2012 Code of Practice for Cleaning and Surface Repair of Buildings. Stone Federation also produces other relevant publications and these can be found on their website at .

The Stone Federation Great Britain Guide to Best Practice is based on the relevant parts of a number of British Standards relating to masonry cleaning and incorporates current good practice. It sets out the principal factors involved when deciding to clean and maintain buildings incorporating different types of masonry.

This document’s aim is to give subjective advice as a guide; however, it is by no means a definitive guide. Variables exist with every project and no two projects are the same.

To order your copy of this publication you can email Please note that our publications are not available to companies that could be members but are not. L

It is essential that cleaning should be carried out by fully trained operatives

connecting people & places


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Whether you are hiring, purchasing, upgrading or maintaining, trust 2CL to deliver and support a tailored solution that meets your needs.


London Build 2023: the leading construction and design show returns

London Build, the leading construction and design show in the UK, is back with a bang in 2023, taking over London Olympia this November 15th and 16th

Discover latest trends

With an award-winning lineup of speakers, exhibitors, workshops and the UK’s biggest Festival of Construction, join 30,000+ construction professionals to network and discover the latest trends, technologies, and opportunities shaping the future of the built environment.

Much more than just your average construction event, London Build is the ultimate platform for networking and connecting with seniorlevel decision-makers, buyers and influencers from the UK’s entire built environment. Discover how you can get involved with major construction projects across the country as you meet, network and do business with industry experts and senior representatives E

London Build 2023

F from leading tier 1 contractors, architects, major developers, house builders and more. Join us alongside 30,000+ registered attendees and 350+ exhibitors for  two exciting days filled with meetings, business, and entertainment.

What’s on at London Build?

30,000+ registered visitors from contractors, architects, civil engineers, developers, local councils, house builders/associations and construction professionals are expected. There will be 500+ inspiring speakers across eight conference stages including Future of Construction, BIM & Digital, Fire Safety, Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion and more, as well as 200+ hours of CPD training and education.

The event will feature 350+ exhibitors showcasing the latest services, products and innovations transforming the industry.

The UK’s biggest Festival of Construction is also on site with DJs, musicians, live performances, celebrity guests, entertainment and competitions. Meet the Buyers with Procurement Teams exhibiting from top contractors. Visit the Architect’s Hub with project displays and 3D models of upcoming projects from leading architects across the UK. E

London Build 2023
30,000+ registered visitors from contractors, architects, civil engineers, developers, local councils, house builders/associations and construction professionals are expected

F The event offers exclusive networking events, co-hosted with leading industry bodies. The event will also play host to the UK’s largest networking events for Women in Construction and Diversity in Construction. There is also an inclusive Ambassador Programme supporting Women in Construction, Diversity in Construction and Mental Health in Construction.

London Build 2023 boasts an impressive lineup of over 500 speakers, taking to the stage across eight conferences, covering an array of topics. From the Future of Construction and BIM & Digital Construction to Fire Safety, Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, attendees will have the chance to engage with discussions led by industry experts. With over 200 hours of CPD-accredited workshops and panels, participants will gain valuable knowledge, insights, and discover exciting future project opportunities that are essential for staying ahead in this fast-moving sector.

For those looking to connect with key decisionmakers and explore new business opportunities, the Meet the Buyers event is not to be missed. Meet with procurement teams from Tier 1 Contractors that include Balfour Beatty, Costain, Mace and more to learn of all the latest projects and upcoming tender opportunities. E

London Build 2023
The event will also play host to the UK’s largest networking events for Women in Construction and Diversity in Construction
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FGovernment hub

Brand new for 2023 is the London Build Government Hub – giving visitors the opportunity to discover the latest government policies, initiatives, and procurement opportunities, directly from local government, local councils, and public sector representatives. Networking is at the heart of London Build, and your ticket to this year’s event gives you access to two days of exclusive networking events, co-hosted by leading industry bodies. Connect with like-minded professionals, expand your professional network and unlock new opportunities at events held by the Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce, the London Constructing Excellence Club and much more! But it’s not all business at London Build. Don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest Festival of Construction, combining business with entertainment. Attendees can expect to enjoy music from top DJs, live performances, and enter exciting competitions and giveaways. Last year visitors had the chance to meet sporting legends Frank Bruno and Kevin Keegan – who knows who you might meet on the event floor this November?

London Build 2023 is proud to drive for diversity and inclusion in the UK’s construction industry. Don’t miss out on the UK’s largest annual networking events for Women in Construction and Diversity in Construction, providing a platform for you to connect with like-minded people, share experiences, and

drive change in the sector. Additionally, London Build works closely with a team of Ambassadors through our inclusive Ambassador Programme advocating for Women in Construction, Diversity in Construction, Sustainability in Construction and Mental Health in Construction, ensuring that everyone’s voices are heard and celebrated. Don’t miss out on your chance to gain access to 500+ speakers, 350+ exhibitors, live product demos, networking parties, entertainment, live music, the UK’s biggest Festival of Construction and endless networking opportunities with leading architects, developers, housebuilders, contractors, government and more. To register for your no-cost tickets, see below.

London Build 2023

Smart sustainable lighting solutions that support your decarbonisation initiatives

With energy prices relentlessly rising, there has never been a better time for local authorities to reduce overhead costs, prioritise safety and build confidence in outdoor areas

innovation, sustainability, and expertise. Considering the right design and technology, lighting can completely transform a space and how (or whether) people use and experience it.

Schréder technology takes the smart LED

Money is often wasted on poorly designed systems which don’t benefit the comfort of the people or your finances, and what people don’t know is that installing the optimal lighting solution for the required area, also offers significant financial savings and reduced carbon footprint.

‘Urbis Schre-viour’

With over 100+ years of experience and refinement of our approach to lighting, Urbis Schréder’s unparalleled experience in lighting city centres, roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and workspaces enables us to develop solutions for tomorrow’s needs, connecting global expertise with a local perspective to build legacies for future generations. We offer smart integrated lighting and control solutions, connecting spaces and places to enable improved environments, whilst enhancing standards and reimagining the way light is used through efficiency,

Schréder’s EXEDRA is our most advanced remote control management system (CMS) on the market that paves the way for further reaching applications in a smarter city. It is a connected control solution through which we can ensure additional savings are secure and different light levels can be provided. Schréder’s EXEDRA offers a unique combination of stateof-the-art technology and an easy-to-use web interface to control each luminaire, at all times, through a secure internet connection. With bi-directional communication, the operating status, energy consumption and possible failures can be monitored. As a result, this improves efficiency: accurate real-time data and energy savings of up to 85 per cent.

‘LOGIC’ on the other hand is our approach on how well-planned solutions workconsidering all situations and how it can be ‘connected-ready’. In other terms, it looks at how each luminaire can be made ‘ready’ to operate with control systems and sensors, like Schréder’s EXEDRA.

To find out more

Visit our logic page or get in touch below.

To find out how we can support your vision for connected, safe and sustainable places get in touch at

Advertisement Feature

Local place leadership: good practice for levelling up

In December 2022, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) published a good practice guide to support councils with levelling up locally. Darryl Eyers, former ADEPT president and director for economy, infrastructure and skills at Staffordshire County Council, talks about the guide and gives some top tips to local authorities about levelling up

The Levelling Up white paper, released in February 2022, presented an ambitious agenda aimed at addressing economic growth and geographic disparities within the UK. When it was published however, ADEPT felt that significant challenges needed to be addressed to achieve true levelling up.

In particular, the absence of an environmental focus within the white paper needs to be addressed, given the impact the environment has on people and places. For example, air quality fundamentally affects public health and life chances.

Additionally, for levelling up to truly impact on people, communities, businesses and places, we need to look at the whole system. To level up places we need to take a holistic view and consider broader issues such as adults and children’s social care, public health and education.

There is also an urgent need to increase longterm funding to address local disparities and improve local infrastructure. One-off, year-onyear funding, means that it is challenging to think long term and drive innovation. However, long-term funding can deliver real change, E

Levelling Up

F by providing the resource and certainty to develop more effective ways of working. Finally, we believe the levelling up and growth agenda must retain a focus on inclusion and improving wellbeing amongst the most vulnerable in society.

In response to the white paper, ADEPT co-commissioned a research project with its fellow professional associations (the Association of Directors of Childrens Services (ADCS), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH)), to explore the concept of levelling up, the government’s intentions, and its alignment with other policies. We also wanted to capture the good practice that’s already happening on the ground, so the research aimed to identify best practices and to shine a light on what places have learned so far about levelling up locally.

In December 2022, we published the research Levelling Up for People and Place: an overview and a series of 10 new case studies which highlight examples of local authorities leading action to level up locally. This work demonstrates that local authorities are uniquely positioned to deliver levelling up, to identify local priorities, to bring partners together and to improve outcomes for residents. This is a valuable resource for knowledge sharing and improvement within the sector: while not every solution may be directly applicable to each locality, they offer valuable insights into

Levelling Up
The importance of data and evidence to inform decisionmaking processes is critical

tackling specific challenges or achieving desired outcomes. It also provides a useful summary document with key takeaways and top tips for each theme.

We also published The ADEPT Good Practice Guide for Levelling Up . This research highlights fundamental areas that local authorities should consider to effectively level up their communities, including the role of leadership and having a clear vision. The importance of data and evidence to inform decision-making processes is critical. By leveraging accurate and comprehensive data, local authorities can make informed choices that result in the best outcomes for their communities. Finally, it highlights that effective partnership working is essential to translate levelling up strategies into tangible actions on the ground. Collaborating with partners allows local authorities to leverage expertise and resources from various sectors, ensuring a holistic and coordinated approach to levelling up.

The cost-of-living crisis has put the need for levelling up into sharper focus. Regardless of whether it continues to be termed as ‘levelling up’ in the future, the core concept of local authorities playing a central role in fostering holistic and inclusive growth remains relevant. We believe that local authorities are best placed to address disparities, empower communities and enable levelling up to happen.

Top tips:

The ADEPT Good Practice Guide for Levelling Up sets out a series of learning points for local authorities.

One: local leadership is essential to levelling up and delivering sustainable growth: local leaders should articulate a long-term vision and build partnerships for delivery.

Two: each place will have its own vision: this needs to be well communicated and supported by short and medium-term goals for delivery, with a clear focus on outcomes.

Three: think big and think differently: use data and insights from people and communities to rethink ways of doing things and be willing to take risks. Make sure that you are listening to everyone not just the loudest voices.

Four: set a framework for analysing and monitoring data that is close to the vision for levelling up: focus on the metrics that are important to each place, and make sure that data is collected for a purpose. Keep close to your customer base and listen to real stories as well as quantitative data.

Five: have a plan to respond to the data: establish feedback loops and ensure that delivery plans and goals are adaptable over time. Acknowledge that this has resource implications, and that these should be planned for.

Six: consider different ‘lenses’ for decision making: consider problems from different perspectives and seek to understand what drives and influences behaviour.

Seven: local leaders, including elected Mayors, have ‘soft’ power to form partnerships and prompt actions beyond their statutory powers.

Eight: resources need to be in place to support and enable effective partnership working. Aligning resources around a shared delivery plan will enable more to be achieved.

Nine: open minds and good communication are central to effective partnerships. L

More information about ADEPT can be found on its website.

The ADEPT Good Practice for Levelling Up can be found here.

Levelling Up
The cost-of-living crisis has put the need for levelling up into sharper focus
Professional demolition and strip-out contractor, providing safe demolition and refurbishment solutions across all sectors. Contact us Tel: 01489 788083 Email: Proud members of the NFDC Your Demolition and Strip-Out partner for: • High rise buildings • Commercial • Inner city • Residential • Health & Education • Defence • Emergency response Voice of the Global Demolition Industry

Levelling up needs demolition

The National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NDFC) explains how demolition is necessary to regenerate towns and cities

There are many different ideas as to what levelling up means. Some people focus on money and the redistribution of wealth away from London, while others focus on matters like infrastructure and industrial strategy.

At its core, levelling up (or any other name by which it has been known over the past 30 years) involves creating opportunity and raising standards of living for those from less advantaged areas.

According to the ONS, the difference in life expectancy between the most deprived and most well-off areas of England is 9.4 years for men and 7.6 years for women. Levelling up is not therefore a phrase to be used for political exploitation, it is a fundamental necessity for a modern and thriving country such as the UK and requires strategic thought and significant investment.

If the potential of the most deprived areas is to be realised, and opportunity created, then

the built environment has a major role to play. Governments of all colours, local and national, have to consider how the built environment feeds into the ambition of levelling up.

Towns and cities across the country are seeing regeneration and many of those, once heralded as ‘run down’ have been provided with a new lease of life and now present a far more modern and attractive image to residents and those from further afield.

Returning to the matter of life expectancy, one major consideration is that of housing. Many residential properties in the most deprived areas present serious health risks for their residents. Those built in densely populated areas, such as Victorian mining cottages, or 1960s council estates that may be flush with asbestos or black mould and aspergillus spores, have not been effectively maintained or modernised due to lack of available investment. Residents may not be able to afford renovations or may not be E


F allowed to modernise, if renting. Council houses are not always fully maintained to modern safety standards, as various stories in the media testify.

In fact, according to the charity Shelter, children growing up in bad housing have up to 25 per cent higher risk of severe ill-health and disability during childhood and early adulthood. Therefore, it is imperative that the built environment is given due attention when considering how levelling up is executed. This requires a range of activities including, refurbishment, demolition and fresh construction.

How demolition constructs a fairer future

When considering the built environment, councils and national governments will be thinking about the best way to manage old assets – council building, community centres, libraries, council housing estates and others. Ways of living, working and socialising have all shifted. The role of the high street has changed and the built environment must adapt accordingly to support this shift and create fresh opportunity. This requires decision makers to look at the usability and adaptability of existing assets.

Some may be able to be refurbished to serve the purpose of a modern, levelled up town. Others may not.

Many aged government assets will not safely support structural redesign and may be contaminated with asbestos and thus present a major risk and so demolition may be the only viable solution.

Taking down old, unfit or unsafe buildings creates space for bright, open and adaptable spaces. These spaces allow for experiential town centres. New businesses pop-up, events are scheduled for once deserted town centres and residents and visitors ‘come out to play’… and spend.

Jobs are created, modern housing reduces health risks and some of the key contributors to poverty are thwarted.

Jobs for all

Another major contribution of demolition to the levelling up agenda pertains to employmentand employment is a major arm of the levelling up agenda.

The built environment sector fundamentally requires labour and many opportunities are created by demolition organisations in a variety of disciplines.

Members of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) conform to the highest standards of quality and safety and are required to resource all sites to ensure the impact on staff and communities is as positive as possible.

Demand is created for people in roles ranging from machine operation and security through to quantity surveying, engineering, safety and community engagement. Our members are constantly creating a wide range of new roles to drive their businesses forward and support the communities in which they operate.

Another employment-related benefit of demolition is the provision of apprenticeships and training.

There is a strong demand for fresh talent in the demolition industry and our member organisations are investing heavily in apprenticeships for young people, as well as experienced professionals and those making the shift from other areas of work, especially exoffenders and ex-services personnel.

Our sister organisation, the National Demolition Training Group (NDTG), has recently re-launched its Trailblazer Apprenticeship program, supporting our members and the wider industry in bringing on board new recruits

Taking down old, unfit or unsafe buildings creates space for bright, open and adaptable spaces

and helping them establish a career in this vital industry.

Our members also invest heavily in on-thejob training of their staff, covering everything from machine operation to ongoing health and safety training and asbestos management. The development of people is another crucial element of wealth creation and societal contribution enabled through demolition.

Don’t be scared of demolition

Demolition sometimes gets a bad rap. Read the media and you will see calls for demolition to be stopped because it’s noisy, dusty, dirty and dangerous.

These perceptions are often unfounded and misplaced.

With demolition, a certain amount of disruption is to be expected. The act of bringing down a building made of brick, concrete, steel and timber cannot be completed in silence without dust or vibration.

That said, the industry is very aware of these factors and deploys a range of practices to mitigate them, from water-based dust suppression to extensive business and resident liaison.

In addition, our members are frequently involved with helping groups in the communities in which they work – perhaps renovating a Scout hut, establishing a community garden or giving careers talks to local schools.

Another major discussion point surrounds the environmental impact of demolition. Again, a certain degree of impact is to be expected but, once more, perceptions often do not match reality.

For instance, did you know that UK demolition companies typically re-use or recycle about 98 per cent of waste produced on site – a world-leading statistic.

Our members are also heavily investing in alternative fuels, such as HVO, and modern machinery to minimise emissions. Combine this with the extensive industry collaboration and we are confident that the industry will continually reduce its emissions over the coming years.

Demolition is necessary –councils can choose how

In summary – demolition is necessary for society to thrive and to adapt. It paves the way for modern living, for businesses to grow and for job creation.

The industry itself creates jobs and trains many cross-sectors of society to embark upon a new career.

Upskilled, employed members of society living in vibrant, modern communities are surely the bedrock of levelling up so demolition is clearly a vital part of that process.

Local authorities must look to deploy regeneration projects with developers and demolition companies that care, that invest in their people and the communities in which they work. Demolition won’t be the first choice every time but, when its necessary, it can be a major positive contributor to those towns and cities that so desperately need a helping hand. L


UK demolition companies typically re-use or recycle about 98 per cent of waste produced on site
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UKCW Birmingham returns this autumn to tackle key issues head on

Innovative, inspirational and progressive, UK Construction Week (UKCW) Birmingham returns for its ninth year this autumn, with a ‘call to action’ for the sector to set its own agenda rather than wait for the government to respond

The UK’s largest event for the built environment, registration is now live for UKCW Birmingham, which will run from October 3rd to 5th; it will run alongside two co-located shows, Grand Designs Live and Timber Expo, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW show director, said: “Construction is often criticised for being too disparate, lacking collaboration, not addressing its skills crisis, reverting to protecting the bottom line, being scared of innovation and too often ignoring safety and environment.

“UKCW, as the UK’s largest event bringing all parts of the industry together, is the place to learn from those shaping this rapidly changing industry. We’ll tackle key issues head onincluding mental health, fire safety and the skills gap - if you work in any part of the industry, you cannot afford to not be at UKCW Birmingham. E


F “We had a hugely successful UKCW London in May, but in such a fast-paced industry, the Birmingham show will give visitors invaluable insight into the latest trends, legislation, innovation and tech, with many new exhibitors and demonstrations.”

The three-day construction show, welcoming over 25,000 visitors, will hero culture change in construction and will feature over 6,000 products and services. Over 150 CPD hours during sessions led by 400 thought leaders and keynote speakers including West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street will also be attainable at UKCW Birmingham. Visitors will also be able to explore sections dedicated to Build, Infrastructure, Roadmap to Net Zero, Digital Construction and Offsite. The construction show, which has already allocated more than 80 per cent of its available slots to the likes of 300 exhibitors including Biffa, Topcon, Containex, SDS, Hanson Plywood, Expedeon, Celsa Steel UK and HP Construction Services, is on track to be the most successful one yet.

Speakers and seminars

Celebrating Culture Change in Construction, UKCW Birmingham will host three days of debate and discussion from top speakers on how the industry can move forward to tackle its biggest issues, including quality, mental health, and improving diversity and inclusion and climate change.

Confirmed Main Stage speakers include: Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands Combined Authority; Anita Malster, CEO, Blossom Mental Health; Becky Valentine, co-owner, leadsustainability, wellbeing & building health;

Chithra Marsh, national chair of Women in Property; Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, FREng, chair, Industry Safety Steering Group; Jennifer Winyard, senior strategic land manager, Barratt Developments plc; Joanne Williams MSc, MRICS, historic building surveyor – Historic Building Climate; Change Adaptation; Jon Loveday, director of infrastructure, enterprise and growth, Infrastructure Projects Authority; Paul Kitson, strategic director of place, prosperity and sustainability, Birmingham City Council; and Richard Bull, deputy dean, School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University.

Nathan Garnett commented: “This year’s fantastic line-up of speakers really sets the stage for what the show has in store for in 2023. This is just the beginning for our announcements and we are looking forward to revealing more sponsors, speakers and exhibitors very soon.”

Visitors to UKCW Birmingham will also be able to find a wealth of panel discussions and seminars led by industry experts across various areas including:

Sustainability Hub - the heart of Timber Expo. The hub programme will tackle the issues, layout strategies and case studies to help the sector reach its net zero targets.

Infrastructure Hub - sponsored by Conquip Engineering Group, highlights digitalisation and improving quality and sustainability, this hub will deliver a three-day programme for those working on infrastructure projects of case studies, debates, networking opportunities, and keynote speeches on crucial issues.

Digital Construction Hub – the centre piece of innovation at UKCW. This hub will deliver a series of presentations and panel discussions including topics such as Information Management using BIM.

CPD Hub – sponsored sessions by Pure Vista, Blossom Mental Health Training, Quadrant (QAI Services UK), BP Collins, Lesniak Swann featuring a world-class education programme delivered by industry experts, association partners, government departments and exhibitors.

Robotics Theatre - from little robots on wheels, to exoskeletons and big robotic arms, this area sponsored by HP Construction Services showcases the latest in robotics and automation from the global built environment.

Culture Change Hub - a focus on improving inclusivity within the built environment, wellbeing and mental health and professional development.


Future Lab

Robotics, sustainability and productivity will all be highlighted in the ever-popular Future Lab at UKCW Birmingham this October - a showcase of technology, disruptors and change-makers who are at the leading edge of innovation in the industry.

Each product featured in Future Lab is part of a step in building a home or building: from AI supported tools, CO2 reducing products and performance enhancing building materials:

Apogee - the strikingly designed, AI-supported Apogee is German Bionic’s next-generation smart robotic wearable tool. It is even lighter and more comfortable than its predecessors and broadens the areas of application.

Minimass - a family of new, patented, lowcarbon, low-cost, 3D printed concrete structural elements for use in the construction of buildings and bridges.

Nav520 & thermal camera - the RealWear Navigator 520 is the gold standard in rugged frontline solutions. An agile, lightweight headset, it engages, empowers and elevates remote working.

Cyanoskin - an innovative living paint that efficiently absorbs carbon dioxide. By harnessing the extraordinary power of photosynthesis, it is a unique paint primarily composed of algae, offering an eco-friendly way to transform spaces.

CUT - POZZ - a novel technology platform which unlocks new advances in strength and durability for cement replacements. By permanently storing CO2 in industrial byproducts and natural materials - from coal plants, glass manufacturing, mine sites, and more - they improve performance and lower emissions.

Breathaplasta - a range of breathable plaster, designed for healthy buildings and people. The Breathaplasta product line (Thermal, Universal

and Smooth) has proven to reduce mould and damp using natural additives, offering fabric first solutions that are a fast and easy way to insulate homes.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW show director, commented: “In a rapidly changing industry, UKCW strives to showcase the companies who are fundamental in shaping the construction world with innovation and technology. That’s why we’re excited for Future Lab to be returning to Birmingham”

Other key show features include: Robotics Theatre sponsored by HP, will showcase all types of construction robotic innovation

UKCW Role Model Awards - celebrating the unsung heroes of construction, the award ceremony will be taking place on the main stage on 5th October.

Timber Expo - celebrating 10 years at UKCW this year, the UK’s largest display event for wood and timber presents the future of the sectorfrom sawmills, timber cladding and mouldings to doors, windows and flooring products. Seminar programme - details of the comprehensive seminar programme and CPD opportunities will be revealed in July, covering latest building regulations, the Building Safety Act and its implications, and advice on retrofit.

To register for UKCW Birmingham for free, go to UKCW Birmingham Registrations L



Asbestos in social housing in the UK - understanding the risks and solutions

UKATA explain the risks that asbestos in social housing presents

Asbestos was once a widely used building material in the UK. However, the health risks associated with asbestos have been well documented, and the substance has been banned for use in the UK since 1999. Despite this, many social housing buildings still contain asbestos, posing a risk to residents and workers if damaged or disturbed.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material which was regularly used in buildings from the 1950s until the late 1990s. It is still found today in many buildings, including domestic and non-domestic premises, schools, and hospitals.

If disturbed, it can be a killer. Inhaling loose asbestos fibres is known to cause several serious and even fatal diseases including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Social housing is provided by either housing associations (not-for-profit organisations that own, let, and manage rented housing) or the local council.

Social tenants rent their homes from the housing association or council, who act as the landlord.

The presence of asbestos in social housing poses a significant risk to residents and workers if damaged or disturbed. Asbestos fibres E



Asbestos, a substance once praised for its fire-resistant and insulating properties has now been recognised as a severe health hazard Unfortunately, many museums and heritage spaces still harbour this hidden danger putting employees and visitors at risk At Kadec Asbestos Ltd we are committed to raising awareness and promoting safety within these invaluable settings

The presence of asbestos in older buildings is a common issue, given its widespread use in construction until its ban in the late 20th century However the unique challenges faced by museums and heritage spaces make it imperative to address this matter promptly and effectively

To ensure the safety of employees and visitors it is crucial to identify and manage potential asbestos risks At Kadec Asbestos Ltd we offer comprehensive asbestos surveys and assessments specifically tailored to the needs of museums and heritage spaces Our highly trained professionals can identify asbestos-containing materials, assess the risk level, and develop a customised management plan to mitigate any potential hazards

We understand that knowledge is power which is why we have designed a quiz to help individuals assess the risk of asbestos in their current workplace within the museums and heritage sector By answering a series of questions, you can gain valuable insights into the potential presence of asbestos and the steps you should take to stay safe

To take the quiz and find out if you are at risk in your current place of work, visit the link at the bottom of this page This interactive tool will guide you through a series of scenarios and provide you with personalised recommendations based on your responses By taking this small step, you can make informed decisions about your safety and contribute to a healthier work environment

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F can be released into the air during routine maintenance or renovation work, and residents may unknowingly be exposed to the substance. Additionally, many social housing buildings are old and in need of repair, which can further increase the risk of asbestos exposure through natural degradation of the material.

The government has announced a £3.5 billion fund to remove unsafe cladding from high-rise buildings, including those in the social housing sector, with an unprecedented £5 billion investment in building safety, including the £3.5 billion announced on 10 February 2021. The housing secretary confirmed to the House of Commons that the government will fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England. While this funding does not specifically address asbestos, it demonstrates a commitment to improving the safety of social housing buildings. Local authorities and housing associations have a responsibility to manage the risk of asbestos in their buildings. This includes conducting regular asbestos surveys and E

The presence of asbestos in social housing poses a significant risk to residents and workers if damaged or disturbed

F developing management plans to ensure that asbestos-containing materials are identified and managed appropriately. In some cases, asbestoscontaining materials may need to be disturbed or removed during maintenance activity, which should only be carried out by competent and appropriately asbestos trained professionals. For some types of work, a contractor with a licence from the HSE may be required.

UKATA’s ‘Duty to Manage for the Housing Sector’ course is for any persons in the housing sector who require an overview of the duty to manage and legislative requirements. This would normally include, but is not limited to duty holder’s assistants, appointed persons assistants, building owners, landlords, sublessors, managing agents etc. and any person assisting duty holders in the compliance with CAR 2012 Regulation 4, as well as other statutory legislation that is specific to housing providers such as The Housing Act 2004 & the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

Residents of social housing can also play a role in addressing the issue of asbestos. It is important for residents to report any damage or deterioration of building materials that may contain asbestos to their landlord or housing association. Additionally, residents should follow any safety instructions provided by their

56 Asbestos
Local authorities and housing associations have a responsibility to manage the risk of asbestos in their buildings

Their membership base includes a wide range of organisations involved in asbestos training, including training providers, asbestos removal contractors, consultants, and equipment suppliers.

UKATA is passionate about promoting safe and responsible working practices and is committed to working together with members and partners to achieve a shared goal of protecting workers and the public from the risks associated with asbestos exposure. L

To find a UKATA approved asbestos training provider near you, visit or for free advice call the team on 01246 824437 landlord, such as avoiding drilling into walls or ceilings without permission.

Asbestos in social housing is a serious issue that requires action from government and housing providers. While the UK government has taken steps to address the issue with the ban of asbestos, there is still a long way to go to ensure the safety of residents and workers in social housing buildings.

It is important for local authorities and housing associations to take a proactive approach to managing the risk of asbestos and for residents to be vigilant in reporting any concerns.

UKATA (the UK Asbestos Training Association) is a leading association dedicated to improving the quality and standards of asbestos training, with the goal of protecting workers and the public from the risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Committed to promoting excellence in asbestos training through the development and implementation of high-quality training standards, the provision of best practice guidance, and the promotion of safe and responsible working practices within the asbestos industry.

As an association, they work closely with their members to ensure that they have access to the latest information, training resources and industry updates, and provide a range of support services to help them achieve their training goals.

It is important for local authorities and housing associations to take a proactive approach to managing the risk of asbestos

New fire safety regulations are coming in

New fire safety regulations come into force on 1st October within section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022, but what does it mean for those responsible for public buildings?

Section 156 introduces changes to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) intended to improve fire safety in all buildings regulated by the FSO. The improvements form Phase 3 of the Home Office’s fire safety reform programme, building on Phase 1 (the Fire Safety Act 2021) and Phase 2 (the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022). Phase 3 aims to improve cooperation and coordination between Responsible Persons (RP); increase requirements in relation to the recording and sharing of fire safety information and create a continual record for a building’s lifespan; make it easier for enforcement authorities to take action against noncompliance; and ensure residents have access to comprehensive information about fire safety in their building.

For a building with two or more sets of domestic premises, The Fire Safety Act 2021 applies to the structure (including balconies),

external walls, and any common parts and all doors between the domestic premises and common parts.

From January 2023, The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 introduced Phase Two in England. This introduced new requirements for displaying and issuing fire safety and fire door instructions to new occupiers and all occupiers every 12 months.

The changes introduced by Section 156 will apply from 1 October 2023 and apply to England and Wales.

Previously, a Responsible Oerson had to conduct a fire risk assessment where common areas existed and this needed to be in writing if the responsible person employed five or more persons. However, this has now been changed to remove the requirement of having five or more persons. Therefore, all responsible persons must now have a written record of a fire risk assessment. E

Fire Safety
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F Article 9A is a new addition to the RRFSO and covers who the responsible person may appoint to help with the risk assessment. The responsible person is only able to appoint someone to assist with conducting the risk assessment if that person is “competent”. In this context, a person is considered competent if they have appropriate training, experience and knowledge. The new legislation also means that if more than one person assists with the risk assessment, there must be good cooperation between them.

The responsible person must also produce and implement appropriate arrangements for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring, and review of preventive and protective measures. These must be appropriate for the size and number of properties and their use. These must also be recorded.

Article 21A is also new and refers to providing information to residents on domestic premises

and is applicable for buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises. With the new regulation, the RP must provide residents with clear and relevant information about fire safety. This includes the risks identified by the risk assessment and the preventive and protective measures in place, as well as the name of the responsible person and a UK address where they, or their representative, can accept notices and documents. Other information to be provided includes the identity of any person appointed to assist with the risk assessment, the identity of any competent persons nominated by the responsible person, any risks informed to the responsible person, and any other matters specified in regulations made by the relevant authority.

Under the previous regulations, all responsible persons had to work together to ensure compliance with the rules and each responsible person was obliged to coordinate their compliance measures with those of the other responsible persons. It was also required that a responsible person should inform other responsible persons about any risks that might arise from any activities.

This is extended in the new regulations so that a responsible person must now take reasonable steps to determine if any other persons share or have duties regarding the premises. The responsible person must also provide their

Fire Safety
With the new regulation, the responsible person must provide residents with clear and relevant information about fire safety

name and a UK address to the other responsible persons identified, for the receipt of notices and other documents. The responsible person must also make the other responsible person(s)

aware of the specific part of the premises for which they consider themselves accountable and keep a record of this.

There is also new legislation on what happens when a person is no longer responsible for a premises and the responsibility is then passed on the someone else. The previous responsible person must provide the new responsible person with all relevant fire safety information that they have in their possession. This includes records of assessments and reviews, the identity of any person appointed to assist with these assessments, the name and UK address of any other responsible person, and the identity of any accountable person if the premises are a higher-risk building.

For higher risk buildings – those at least 18 meters in height, those with at least seven storeys or those which contain at least two residential units – there are further regulations. For these buildings, the responsible person must take all reasonably practicable actions to establish if there are any other accountable persons for the premises, who may have specific duties and responsibilities for the safety of the building. In conclusion, these changes will have an impact on those responsible for residential buildings and that applies to local authorities and housing associations. It is important to get on top of the legislation before it comes into force in order to protect residents and ensure you are not the recipient of any punitive measures for not complying. Ultimately the new legislation is there to save lives and ensure accountability for fire safety measures. L


Fire Safety
The responsible person must also provide their name and a UK address to the other responsible persons identified
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Multilayer paint fire risk bulletin

Thermoguard explain how to improve fire safety with tested paint

Building Regulations doc. B (fire) section B1 accepts ventilation counter-measures, but sensibly promotes suppressing at source toxic gas and smoke from multiple layers of paint along escape routes. BSEN s1 is minimal, s2 is moderate, s3 is limitless smoke. Realistic BSEN tests for Class B s1 d0 enable Smoke & Flame Retardant Paint brands to certify protected escape routes, save people from toxic gas or flamespread caused by wall paints and at last safeguard building managers and diligent contractors.

Toxic gas

Thermoguard’s Class B s1 d0 Smoke & Flame Retardant system has been proven to suppress toxic gas from standard paint types, as well as from the most problematic oil-based and water-based paints specifically designed to emit heavy gas in a fire.

Attempts to justify use of Class 0 Flame Retardant Finish paints untested over mixed types of aged wall paints or in fire air flows are invalidated by flake analysts’ inability to carry out the on-site paint heat blister tests to identify whether escape routes’ wall paints will delaminate in fire. At best, analysts’ lab examination of multilayer paint flake reveal ranges of risk from low Class 1 to

mid Class 2 or high Class 3 to very high Class 4. Classes 1, 2, 3 or 4 assessment claims on multilayer paint flakes are unjustifiable.


Real-world BSEN testing– shown to be three times tougher than fatally flawed Class 0 by a Class 0 Flame Retardant Finish brand’s comparative testing - enables Class B s1 d0 Smoke & Flame Retardant Paint brands to end any need for the protocols which safeguard manufacturers of Class 0 flame retardants, but leave diligent specifiers and contractors unfairly responsible for any catastrophic failure of inadequate Class 0 flame retardant paint to protect people when fires have their inevitable air surges.


After lead was banned in paint, the Lead Industries Association subversion of Class 0 and influence to suppress information enabled it to replace lead with one, then another, similarly toxic heavy metal as whitening, anti-chalking and catalytic agents for escape route wall paints in even greater concentrations until 2017. Wall contamination and gas released in fire from post-2017 version’s catalyst

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are thought to be less extreme. Smoke & Flame Retardant encapsulation paint overcomes these risks as well.

Thermoguard’s Class B s1 d0 Smoke & Flame Retardant is also a Certified encapsulant, saving building managers the immense cost, disruption and hazards for contractors and residents along with local contamination which comes when stripping escape route paint contaminated with the Lead Industry Association’s various toxic heavy metal/metalloid paint additives.

Reduced risk

One or two coats of Thermoguard Class B s1 d0 smooth multilayer upgrade paint system end the future flame spread risk created by heavy textured inert or near-inert Class 0 basecoat. Bonding primers reduce but cannot guarantee to end the risk.

Escape route walls

The only reliable future-proof fire rating for multilayer painted escape route walls & ceilings is BSEN 13501 Class B s1 d0, whose Real-World fire air flows demand far higher protection than is needed for fatally flawed Class 0 .

Thermoguard Certify Class B s1 d0 over any mix or type of normal waterbased paints with one coat of Smoke & Flame Retardant and over any types and combinations (including worst-case

Class 4) of paints on multilayer painted walls with more than one coat of Wallcoat insulating basecoat and one coat of Smoke & Flame Retardant “SFR Dualcoat”–(same spec. as for big colour changes).

On ceilings, Thermoguard certify 1 coat Safeceilings Onecoat to Class B s1 d0.

Two coats of Class B s1d0 SFR finish upgrades Class D plywood to Class C s1d0. Class 0 finishes make no difference.

Class 0 flame retardant finish paints’ minimal protection caused some manufacturers to conclude 11 or more coats of paint create risk beyond the capabilities of Class 0 fire paints. Thermoguard’s UKAS-approved Fire Test lab tests prove that two good smooth coats of Thermoguard high-performance Class B s1 d0 fire paints protect 18, 22 and 24 coats of multiple types of paints just as effectively as 10 coats, avoiding paint stripping costs, disruption, health and contamination dangers.


To give Thermoguard’s Certification team confidence to issue Fire Certificates, Thermoguard included UKAS approved Fire Lab tests over multi-layer painted surfaces including paper-faced plasterboard, lining paper & boards replicating plastered walls.

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Reaping the benefits of solar

Solar panels offer many benefits, and can be installed on different types of buildings, including schools, libraries and other community spaces.


Solar panels generate electricity from the sun – so the energy is essentially free. Installing your own solar panels reduces reliance on expensive energy from the grid. Over time, solar panels end up paying for themselves and represent significant savings on energy bills. This money can then be spent elsewhere, for example on essential services, maintenance, and infrastructure improvements – which can then in turn lead to improved facilities and services for the community.

Solar panels represent a long-term investment. They have a long lifespan of 25 years or more. The initial cost investment results in stable and minimal energy costs for years. The initial set up and maintenance costs are paid for in the savings made against traditional energy tariffs

Solar panels can provide an organisation with energy independence – meaning you are not reliant on or tied to fluctuating or expensive energy tariffs. Solar panels also reduce vulnerability to fluctuations in energy supply

and power cuts. With battery storage systems, solar energy can be stored and used during emergencies, ensuring critical services remain operational.

There is also the opportunity to take advantage of net metering and sell energy back to the grid and therefore even make money. There are also government incentives available that can reduce the upfront costs of solar installations

Net Zero

The electricity produced by solar panels is clean and renewable and does not emit greenhouse gases or pollutants. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, public buildings with solar panels contribute to lower carbon emissions and help combat climate change. This is especially important with the UK’s net zero goals and local and central government should be setting an example and leading the way.

By reducing the demand for fossil fuels, solar panels can improve air quality and therefore improve health outcomes.

Solar panels can also be used as an educational opportunity, when installed on public buildings – especially schools and libraries. Young people and the local community can learn about renewable energy, sustainability, and environmental responsibility through on-site solar projects.

Solar panels on public buildings can promote community engagement and pride. They demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and set an example for residents and local businesses. Installing solar panels can also improve the public image of the local authority.

Local economy

The installation and maintenance of solar panels can create local jobs, and therefore benefit the local community economically. Installing solar panels can have many benefits for the local community, the environment, and the local authority budget. Solar panels represent significant cost savings, as well as emission savings and can create jobs for the local area. L

When it comes to energy, one of the best things you can do for the planet and the public purse is installing solar panels on your property

4 FREE conference theatres

Industry expert speakers SPONSORED BY

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Unrivalled networking opportunities

The Net Zero & Energy Management Expo 22-23 November 2023 • ExCeL London REGISTER TODAY

Facilitating net zero

EMEX, the Energy Management and Net Zero exhibition returns to London’s ExCeL on 22 & 23 November 2023 and is the ‘must-attend’ event for any organisation looking to deliver a low-carbon, energy efficient and sustainable future. Register your FREE place now and be just one amongst the largest gathering of energy managers and sustainability professionals in the UK

Now in its tenth year and attracting an audience from across both the public and private sectors, EMEX 2023 is even bigger and better than before and offers our audience even more in the way of learning, networking and discovering the latest technology than ever before. Visitors come to learn how to operate more sustainably, network with others on a similar journey and meet industry suppliers who can help facilitate their net zero plans.

EMEX at a glance

Over 4,000 visitors attend over two days from all sizes of public and private sector companies looking to learn and invest in a more energyefficient future.

There are multiple free-to-attend conference theatres with 150+ leading industry experts giving valuable advice and best practice on topics covering the entire sustainability and net zero spectrum.

There will be over 100 exhibiting companies offering state-of-the-art solutions for visitors who are either considering, just embarking on a net-zero journey or are already well on their way to a carbon-neutral commercial future.

Looking forward to EMEX 2023

The packed programme of learning will once again form a key component of the event. Four conference theatres covering different areas of sustainability will host over 150 industry E


F experts, some of the foremost thoughtleaders in the space plus leading academic and government representatives all facilitating thought-provoking discussion and debate on the most pressing issues of the moment. Led by Lord Rupert Redesdale, a key voice within government on the issue of sustainability, speakers will be presenting a range of case studies, panel discussions, technical and innovation showcase sessions, practical learnings and advice to visitors on how to move forward with their own sustainability agenda. Read on for further details of each theatre.

Energy and Carbon Management Strategy Theatre

Understand how to reduce your energy costs, manage budgets internally and deliver on net zero targets. 30+ speakers over two days including case studies from City of London Corporation, Topsoe, JLL, The Gym Group, Great Portland Estates, Chelmsford City Council and NHS Property Services.

Sustainability and Net Zero Theatre

Net zero planning and the energy transition, showcasing sustainability success stories and guidance, plus four keynote sessions from industry and policy leaders: Paul Monks, chief scientific advisor, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, UK Government; Elizabeth Donnelly, CEO, Women in Engineering Society; Chi Onwurah, shadow minister for

science, research and innovation, The Labour Party and Maria Zafar, deputy director of strategy and decarbonisation, OFGEM.

Built Environment and Transport Theatre

Upgrading, retrofitting, decarbonising and new technologies for HVAC, fleet, housing, large commercial and infrastructure. With a keynote from Muyiwa Oki, president elect, RIBA and practical knowledge-sharing from 20 sessions including Energy Systems Catapult, Innovate UK, Ministry of Defence, NHS, Birmingham Airport, VIVID Home and Cartrefi Conwy.

Energy Future and Flexible Networks Theatre

Planning for the ‘new normal’ of energy pricing, building resilience and transitioning to further electrification. Make sure you’re prepared for the next phase of energy efficiency planning, pricing and contracts, demand-side management and security of supply, including insights from Aurora, Vertex, Sonnedix, National Grid ESO, SSE, Energy Systems Catapult and Crown Commercial Services. We’re also welcoming Simon Ponsford, CEO, Tivarri who will be delivering a keynote on energy-efficient computing. The full conference programme is now live on the show website, so visit for further details.

This year sees the introduction of interactive roundtables to EMEX for the first time, where visitors can really get under the skin of net zero



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F issues, taking part in in-depth discussions on a key theme or topic. Why just sit and listen when you can be part of the debate? Also freeto-attend, these are unique opportunities to drill down into some of the most important issues in energy management today. Further information on topics to be discussed at these roundtable meetings will be published on the EMEX website very soon so keep checking in for more details:

Visitors attending from the public sector may also be interested in EMEX’s Public Sector Forum, an exclusive gathering to meet likeminded peers and colleagues and discuss the most pertinent issues currently being faced. Further details on this will be released shortly.

EMEX is also delighted to welcome Wates Group to the show. Wates are one of the UK’s leading providers of planned and responsive maintenance services in the social housing sector and EMEX is thrilled that they are taking centre stage with the Wates Pavilion. They will be showcasing the services and products of companies that can improve energy use for residential properties as well as save money on household energy bills. Innovation partners already confirmed to appear include: ABS Group, Verv, Signify and The Energy Savers Limited.

Whether this is a whole new journey for you and your business, or you’re already firmly on the path to a more sustainable future, making the right connections along the way is vital. EMEX is the largest gathering of professionals in the UK who are playing a part in moving their business to a net zero future, so it’s the place to be to meet other like-minded individuals, build relationships with industry luminaries or to simply source new suppliers. The show floor offers plenty of meeting and networking spaces

for both planned and ad hoc conversations to take place.

The companies choosing to exhibit at EMEX 2023 is continuing to grow by the day and really do offer something for everyone. Many are showcasing new and innovative energy efficient solutions exclusively at the show, so this is a real opportunity to get hands-on and be amongst the first to see how the rapidly developing technology is helping to reach sustainability goals. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for the right product for the next step of your journey, the busy show floor is the place to be. Visit the exhibitor page at to get a full list of our exhibitors so you can start to plan your visit.

In summary…

EMEX welcomes over 4,000 visitors from the smallest companies to the largest multinationals, from limited budgets to those who have millions to invest in sustainability solutions and from across the wide spectrum of both the private and public sectors – there really is something for everyone who walks through the doors. Typically attracting the majority of visitors from within energy management or environment and sustainability roles, whether you’re coming to source products and equipment, conduct meetings with industry peers or acquire knowledge and best practice learnings from the educational agenda, EMEX is the place for you. L


Don’t forget that registration is completely FREE and gives you access to all of these features and more. Simply visit to register your place now

The show floor offers plenty of meeting and networking spaces

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Milestone Infrastructure –

No.1 for highways maintenance

Milestone Infrastructure, part of M Group Services’ Transport Division, is the UK’s No.1 Highways Maintenance provider, focusing on social value, innovation, customer service and sustainability to deliver long-term contracts for its clients. Now the largest term maintenance provider, Milestone launched its Wiltshire and Central Bedfordshire contracts in April and is commencing its Suffolk contract in October. Milestone is committed to working with its clients to use innovation to reach its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets.

Current innovations include trialling Gipave, a highperformance, longer-lasting road surfacing material on its Oxfordshire contract and its ambitious A382 project with client, Devon County Council, to make the UK’s first carbon negative highway, receiving funding from ADEPT’s Live Labs 2 programme. The business continues championing work in local communities. Recent projects include volunteers renovating an area at a children’s hospice as well as attending STEM and careers events.

Milestone offers apprenticeships, trainee programmes, graduate positions, and opportunities for ex-armed forces personnel. These opportunities attract, develop, and retain the next generation of highly skilled, forward-thinking, and technically competent people. The business is focused on supporting clients to achieve their own net zero and community-based targets, while reducing costs and delivering safer, greener highways for all.

Safety People Delivery Integrity
Exceptional Delivery Strategic Growth
Inspired Teams

Planning ahead for winter

Winter road maintenance is essential to ensure safe and efficient transport during the colder months. Cold temperatures, snow, ice and rain all pose significant challenges to the road network, creating hazardous conditions that can lead to anything from disruption to collisions. GB investigates some of the key aspects of winter road maintenance

Effective winter road maintenance involves a combination of planning, strategies and equipment to keep roads moving and safe for drivers.


Repairing potholes ahead of winter is essential to avoid the problem getting worse. Winter weather exacerbates existing potholes, as water gets into the cracks, freezes, and expands, causing further damage. Untreated potholes pose safety hazards, and can lead to accidents and vehicle damage. Repairing potholes involves several steps to ensure road safety and longevity. Regular maintenance and timely repairs are essential to prevent further deterioration. These efforts contribute to smoother and safer roads, and minimise vehicle damage and accidents, while extending the lifespan of the whole road. By addressing potholes before winter, road agencies save costs in the long run, as preventive maintenance is more cost-effective than largescale reconstruction.


One of the most important aspects of winter road maintenance is to make sure you are prepared and plan ahead. Prevention is better than cure and effective winter road maintenance begins well before the weather actually turns. Local

authorities and transportation departments need to develop comprehensive winter maintenance plans that outline strategies, responsibilities, and resources required. These plans should take into account factors such as weather forecasts, including mild and extreme weather, road conditions, and available equipment, staff and resources available.


Technology plays a crucial role in monitoring weather patterns and road conditions nowadays. Weather prediction systems can provide valuable data that allows maintenance teams to anticipate when and where snow and ice may occur. Road condition sensors can provide realtime information about temperature, moisture levels, and surface conditions, and therefore help maintenance crews make informed decisions. Recent advancements in technology have transformed winter road maintenance. GPS systems can enable efficient tracking of plough routes and snow-clearing progress, so managers and planners can see where they have been and how long it is taking. It is also good to provide this information to local residents once the vehicles have finished their route, so residents can see that local authorities and highways agencies are taking action. Residents especially like it if E

Road Maintenance
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F gritters are given amusing names like Gritney Spears or For Your Ice Only.

Smart road infrastructure also exist, such as heated pavements and dynamic lane markings that change colour to indicate icy conditions. These technologies contribute to safer roads and more efficient maintenance, though can be pricey to install.


Anti-icing is a preventive measure that involves applying de-icing materials (grit) before snow or ice occurs. This can prevent the formation of ice. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of moisture on the road surface, and therefore stops ice from forming and causes existing ice or snow to melt. In the case of ice, a good defence is a good offence and tackling ice before it starts is the better option.

Snow removal

Snow removal and ploughing are the most visible aspects of winter road maintenance. Though not always necessary in the UK, it is important that you are prepared should the need arise. Specialised snowploughs equipped with plough blades and de-icing equipment should be used to clear snow and ice from road surfaces. Ploughing not only enhances road safety but also improves the overall driving experience by preventing traffic congestion due to snow build-up. It is important that the staff who will use this equipment are properly trained to do so and you should make sure of this well in advance to avoid being caught short.

routes and snow-clearing progress

Collaboration and communication

Effective winter road maintenance requires collaboration and communication among the stakeholders involved. Transportation departments, law enforcement, emergency services, and weather forecasting agencies must work together to respond to winter weather challenges promptly, share data and allocate tasks and responsibilities. Communication with the public is also important. Authorities can use social media, websites, mobile apps and local radio stations to provide real-time updates on road conditions, closures, and safety tips. Educating the public about safe driving practices during winter weather can significantly reduce accidents

Consider the environment

While winter road maintenance is essential for public safety, it’s also important to consider its environmental impact. Overuse of road salt can lead to soil and water contamination and can cause health problems for local pets and wildlife. Consider eco-friendly de-icing alternatives and adopt practices that minimise salt usage. In conclusion, winter road maintenance is a complex endeavour that involves advanced planning, advanced technology, and coordination among various agencies. By employing pre-emptive strategies, utilising innovative technologies, and prioritising environmental sustainability, authorities can ensure that roads remain safe and open, even in the most challenging winter conditions. L

Road Maintenance
GPS systems can enable efficient tracking of plough
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One event for waterways, flooding & drainage

Floodex has been running for the last seven years and is supported by organisations such as: Environment Agency, CIWEM, CIRIA, Future Water Assoc and many others

Engage with experts and consultants, harvesting advice on what you could and should be doing. Talk to the people and organisations on the exhibition stands, who can help you deliver your planned solutions with the latest equipment, technology, services and knowledge.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS)

If you have an interest in new buildings & developments, this will be of particular interest, with the implementation of Schedule 3 to The Flood and Water Management Act 2010, which becomes mandatory in 2024. Our two-day SuDS Theatre will be the place to access swathes of information on SuDS, how it works, the responsibilities and how to plan.

It seems from 2024, SuDS will be mandatory for most new construction in England and will

require a SuDS-specific authorisation by the SuDS Approval Body (“SAB”) prior to construction starting (even where planning permission is not required).

There was a review that asked to identify the benefits and impacts of making sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) mandatory for new development to ensure that its implementation will help address the pressures of climate change, increasing population and urbanisation whilst achieving multiple benefits, such as reducing surface and sewer flood risk, improving water quality, and harvesting rainwater to meet current and future needs.

Network with your peers, find out what their plans are and share ideas. There’s a lovely quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw: ‘If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples, we still each have one apple. But if you E


F have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange ideas, we each have two ideas.’

The Waterways Management Show will be a must attend event for anyone working within organisations around the planning, maintenance and management of rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and marinas. This includes local authorities as well as commercial enterprises and volunteers. There will be a wide range of CPDaccredited seminars, hosted by expert speakers, to attend free of charge to complement the exhibition stands and special features.

One of the presentations will be from Canal & River Trust, which is Canal & River Invasive Species Eradication Project, which we hope many will find interesting. There is a two-day SuDS Theatre, a Floodex Theatre, which will be mostly Environment Agency presentations on the first day and a two-day Waterways Management Theatre.

Canal & River Trust will have a stand at the show, with a working model and will be presenting in the Waterways Theatre. This important support will help tremendously in raising the profile of this important event and make a valuable contribution to its content.

Apart from making a valuable contribution to water level management and thereby having a positive impact on flood incidents, there is a whole other world around our inland waterways, which embraces farming & estates, infrastructure, leisure facilities, real estate, flora, fauna and the

general environment, that have an impact.

Other valuable contributors and supporters across the events include: Inland Waterways Association, Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, CIWEM, CIRIA with susdrain, Institute of Fisheries Management and CAMELLIA.

There has been fantastic interest in this new event, that we see as the ‘third leg of the stool’, having launched Floodex, then adding the National Drainage Show, to present an event that truly showcases a holistic approach to water level management and aims to gather most of the interested parties under one roof, on an annual basis.

Being colocated with Floodex, means many interested stakeholders will already be visiting, but this is an event for many that are focussed on management, upkeep and restoration of our inland waterways, such as rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs, as well as the fens, the land that surrounds them and other lowlands.

The National Drainage Show is delighted to be sponsoring the National Drainage Awards this year, as the Wine Sponsor for the event.

The National Drainage Show (NDS) is now gaining some real traction, with more interest than ever, which includes companies booking early and some interesting new exhibitors to add to the mix. We really appreciate the valuable support of the NADC and Drain Trader magazine and are constantly looking for ways to make the event better.

There will be a wide range of CPD-accredited seminars, hosted by expert speakers

UKTT Central To Trenchless Zone

One important addition that had been requested, was a dedicated area for trenchless technology. So, we created a Trenchless Technology Zone and, at the centre of that is the UKSTT. We are delighted to welcome the Water Jetting Association (WJA) for the first time, who will be supporting the show and have a presence, with a stand on the floor.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) will be presenting either their new recommendations, or an update on what the government has done since their last report. In the 2022 report, the NIC recommended stricter controls on new property developments. They said that nearly £12bn of investment in drainage infrastructure over the next thirty years will be necessary to stop thousands more homes and businesses from flooding, due to inadequate drainage. Hopefully, the new report will be available, by the time the show comes around and will make for an interesting presentation.

Event sits perfectly between two other shows

There is a lot more to come for the National Drainage Show, which has the added bonus of

being sandwiched between the Homes UK Show and Futurescape, the commercial landscaping event, both of which will attract their fair show of developers, planners contractors and local authorities, who will then be welcomed to come into our event, if interested. L

As a trade show, entry is free and you can register for a free ticket via All seminars are open and free to attend. For further information, please email or call 01327 876251

Nearly £12bn of investment in drainage infrastructure over the next thirty years will be necessary to stop thousands more homes and businesses from flooding

Ensuring secure access with intelligent keys and locks

We all use keys. The problems of managing who has a key and what they may legitimately access can be a constant challenge. This short article may inspire you to think differently – since there is a better way

The challenge

Many organisations and departments suffer from the problems of a lock and key system that no longer suits modern-day requirements for security and accountability. With mechanical lock suites in place for many years, there will often be a gradual decline in the accountability and control of keys – and the potential for significant business disruption. Ensuring controlled access may be essential if critical infrastructure or sensitive information is involved. There may be Health & Safety or Legal implications if inadequate access control arrangements are in place.

The solution

There is a much better way to take control –and exercise true time-restricted and auditable access without the complications of wiring or batteries. CyberLock combines the benefits of mechanical locking with electronic access control. As the pioneer of mechatronic locking,  it has been used around the globe for over 20 years. Trusted by governments, defence companies, and major utilities, CyberLock has unique and innovative features and provides a welcome solution to any organisation seeking to improve access arrangements.

How is control maintained?

A single key replaces a bunch of keys. The CyberKey can be set to open any and all types

of CyberLock just when required. CyberLocks and CyberKeys each have a unique internal electronic ID that cannot be duplicated and are designed to stay safe. Each key can be set to stop working until validated by the owner with a PIN. Should a key be lost – it can also be rendered useless without implementing a new locking system. The CyberLock system is fully auditable and can create custom access schedules, which is ideal for a dynamic workforce of employees, contractors, and maintenance workers.  Better still, control access can be exercised – anywhere in the world.

The benefits

The ability to control and monitor who goes where – and when – is now possible without the complication of wiring and power. Such control is no longer restricted to doors – but is available in server rooms, communication facilities, padlocks, safes, briefcases, transportable containers, and any other important item where controlled access is essential. Improved security is also achieved with cost savings and operational efficiencies. For more information, please research CyberLock. L

Advertisement Feature

Temporary HVM of Christmas markets and outdoor events

A best practice report by Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) specialist Christian

On 19 December 2016, the worst attack ever recorded on a Christmas market took place at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, a very popular venue in the centre of the German capital. Since then, Christmas market and outdoor event operators have been applying advanced physical security measures in order to protect their events from hostile vehicles.

In this article, Christian Schneider, a Germanybased Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Advisor who became responsible for the HVM measures at the Breitscheidplatz in 2018 discusses applied Hostile Vehicle Mitigation, lessons learned and best practices.

As extremists increasingly use hostile vehicle tactics to perpetrate attacks on publicly accessible locations (PALs), we are confronted with new security challenges that underline our need to improve the protection of these public spaces. Christmas markets and other outdoor events are a particularly vulnerable type of soft target embodying those challenges. A key aspect in the evolution of hostile vehicle tactics

is the transition from the use of vehicles as weapon carriers to using the vehicle itself as the weapon.

This is hardly surprising, as various terrorist organisations have been calling on their followers to use vehicles as effective weapons since 2010 (“The ultimate mowing machine”, INSPIRE (2010)). For among the many means of attack, vehicles may be considered as a kind of a disruptive technology and thus offer extremists a multitude of extraordinary advantages (“Truck Attacks“, Rumiyah (2017)). The increased use of this tactic is confirmed by statistics, which demonstrate a significant increase in vehicle as weapon attacks since 2014. This phenomenon affects all communities equally, regardless of whether they are large cities, small towns or villages. Whilst vehicleas-a-weapon attacks, such as those in London, Nice, Barcelona and Berlin are well known in the public domain, lesser known European towns like Volkmarsen (Germany), Strépy-Braquegnies (Belgium) or Marbella (Spain) have also made E


F headlines as a result of ramming-attacks. Or were you aware of those towns’ existence prior to the attacks?


In addition to vehicle ramming attacks, we must also contend with accidents that occur in PALs, as was the case in August 2022, when a heavy lorry accidentally crashed into a street party near Rotterdam (The Netherlands), with fatal consequences. Hence, protecting PALs from accidents and vehicle-ramming attacks is increasingly important. Fortunately, the protection mechanisms required to meet these challenges are already well-known best practice.

If we take a closer look at physical protection against hostile vehicles, it quickly becomes obvious that the reliability of any measure is inextricably linked to the quality and care of its prior planning. True to the motto “He who fails to plan is planning to fail” (Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)), good planning is the key to sustainable success. Seriousness, competence, experience and impartiality are the essential requirements for the planners of any security and protection measure. Of course, serious planning includes the elaboration of a threat, vulnerability and risk assessment, comprehensive operational requirements (ORs),

as well as adherence to the relevant guidance standards (ISO 22343-2 (2023); ISO IWA 14-2 (2013); PAS 69 (2013)) but also requires an effective planning process. Here, the RIBA Plan of Work has long proven to be a particularly helpful guidance for effective planning. And this holds true for both permanent AND temporary measures. Following RIBAs Plan of Work not only enhances the planning process with a clear and effective structure, but also supports the project manager and all those involved in the project to do the right things in the most effective order, and timing. It also helps to resist the common “quick-fix” impulse to prematurely think of deploying certain types of Vehicle Security Barriers (VSBs) before the planning process begins by first and foremost keeping focus on producing prerequisite operational requirements.

The reason behind this simply is the fact that security is not a product, but the result of a process carried out prudently, that leads to comprehensive, well-thought through, and proportional measures.

In general, there are three main concepts to apply physical protection measures: Installing permanent VSBs that require permanent foundations, deploying portable barriers that are usually surface placed, or a side-by-side combination of both. Naturally, each of these three methods has its particular advantages


and disadvantages, and unfortunately there is no magic VSB that will always lead to the best result in every situation and certainly never will without a detailed analysis of the local conditions, needs and operational requirements. But again, the good news is that though there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for all protective areas, the assessment and planning process described above, conducted in close collaboration with dedicated specialist security consultants will almost always lead to the most optimised solution, i.e. safe, secure, economic, aesthetic and practical.

Temporary events

However, more often than not, sites for Christmas markets and other open-air events need to be protected on a short notice, thus asking for the deployment of temporary protective measures, e.g. surface placed VSBs. Such portable measures are neither worse nor better than permanent measures, but they are fundamentally different in vehicle impact performance, and, most notably, vehicle penetration distance and debris dispersion. Thus, surface placed measures require particular design and application, because these types of barriers usually do not possess their own foundations, thus require a comprehensive knowledge of their

engineering characteristics, surface needs and civils constraints, such as ground conditions, drainage, weight, deployability, recovery, etc. Hence, a deep understanding of their E

Unfortunately there is no magic VSB that will always lead to the best result in every situation

F interaction with the surface of the installation is vital in order to predict the VSBs likely performance in case of an impact. That said, it is essential that only impact rated barriers are applied, i.e. VSBs that have been awarded with a matching performance rating of an internationally recognised crash-test standard (ISO 22343-1 (2023); ISO IWA 14-1 (2013); PAS 68 (2013))! Also bear in mind that a VSB is designed for a specific application and should only be deployed if its performance rating meets the requirements of the particular Vehicle Dynamic Assessment (VDA) carried out for the very site of deployment. This means that a VSB that was rated to stop a standard car at low speed is most unlikely to work against a lorry or worse, a heavy-duty vehicle.

While in the United Kingdom, thanks to the work of the security authorities over many years

already, one sees impressively well-thoughtout security measures in place at many sites, elsewhere, however, there often still is a lot of room for improvement.

There are useless and highly dangerous blockout attempts around, that are not only doomed to fail but are even causing an increased level of latent and operational hazard to the crowd. This is why those who rush to think of HVM just being bollards, concrete blocks and alike quickly find themselves in a very dangerous dilemma, because premature measures compromise on people’s safety and security rather than improving them.

Therefore, by following good guidance, applying relevant standards correctly and using the services of suitably qualified and experienced HVM security consultants, the risks of deploying ineffective security solutions will be greatly reduced. Even the temporary protection of rarely used publicly accessible locations is nowadays quite easily achievable by qualified experts!

Misapplications can usually be traced back to the widespread misconception that Hostile Vehicle Mitigation measures are simply a matter of erecting barriers.

In a nutshell, expertise and experience are key to achieving a reliable level of protection. There is no need to take the risk of trial and error, but

86 Security
Even the temporary protection of rarely used publicly accessible locations is nowadays quite easily achievable by qualified experts

Well-considered Hostile Vehicle Mitigation provides a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved

seek advice from your local Police, CTSAs, and specialist HVM security consultants. Well-trained support is just a mouse-click away.

HVM is not a product, but a joint best practice process of security, engineering planning, and architectural engagement, comprising of organisational, technical, and personnel measures.

Well-considered Hostile Vehicle Mitigation provides a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved. It results in providing reliable protection for temporary and permanent venues and sites, contributes to the visitor’s individual perception of safety and security, and thus is significantly increases the attractiveness and success of the events taking place there.

For all readers and interested decision-makers who would like to learn more about how to plan, design and implement reliable protection measures, I recommend browsing through the

comprehensive and easy-to-understand guides offered by the NPSA and ProtectUK , which are available on the internet. Here you will not only find the important references to the standards and guidelines, but also a lot of best practice, good tips and most valuable and impartial advice. L

About the author:

ChristianSchneiderhasastrongbackgroundin engineeringandmitigationofdynamicloads.

HefoundedtheINIBSP“InitiativeBreitscheidplatz” in 2017 after the terrible Vehicle Ram Attacks of Nice and Berlin, as a non-profitexpert forumaiming to quicklyproviderelevantHVMknow-howtodecision makersinGermany.

Sincethen,hisenterprisehasdevelopedintothe leadingconsultancyonthetopicinGerman-speaking countries.Togetherwithinternationalexpertsand localauthorities,hedevelopedandimplemented numerousHVMschemesfortheprotectionof entirecitycentres,airports,criticalinfrastructures, stadiumsandpublicspaces.Schneiderismember of HVM standards and norms committees, and authorofmultiplearticlesonthetopicofHVM.His commitmentanddevotiontoprotectingpeopleform hostile vehicles earned him the nickname “PollerPabst”(BollardPope)inGermany.


Blending in vending in public spaces

David Llewellyn, chief executive of the Vending & Automated Retail Association (AVA), assesses prospects for vending machines in public spaces and the impact of recent government legislation on the industry

There is roughly one vending machine for every 55 people in the UK , which dispense some 7 billion items across the four home nations. However, this number dropped by 0.6 per cent between 2020 and 2021, with the decline expected to continue long-term, according to the AVA census of 2021.

Furthermore, recent legislation, such as the deposit return scheme and single use plastic ban, will have significant impact on the wider hospitality industry, that may mean businesses feel the need to find alternative solutions such as vending or other unattended retail options.

Opportunities for vending machines in workspaces

The gradual shift of businesses back to offices and other workplaces is likely to continue. Although the hybrid work model will still be popular, we are likely to see a continuing demand for flexibility around working

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arrangements. Therefore businesses are going to be assessing the catering facilities within the workspace. This will give real opportunities for incorporating vending machines and unattended retail, such as micro-markets, increasing their numbers in workplace settings.

We are seeing more businesses looking to add micro-markets to their workplace, in order to encourage employees to return and making offices more attractive place to be. They enable businesses to offer the flexibility that so many employees want, which could also aid staff retention in the long term. Despite the potential decline of ‘traditional vending’, the 2021 AVA census revealed how micro-markets are continuing to grow rapidly, with a 25 per cent increase from 2020 to 2021 and around 410 now installed in the UK.

I expect that as hybrid working continues, we will see less reliance on traditional workplace

canteens and increased demand for micromarkets and ‘smart’ fridges.

Finally, I think there will also be a continued migration towards cashless systems and new app technology within the vending sector. In the last two years, consumer behaviours have changed considerably, with a rapid acceleration in card/contact technology. This will carry on as more and more e-savvy Gen Zs enter the job market.

Product range changes

The greater diversity of vending machine products is set to continue as they become an increasingly attractive option for food on the go, as consumers look for convenience and choice. This means we are seeing an increased offering of ‘better for you’ foods, as consumers seek out healthier, nutritious snacking alternatives.

The UK has already seen a steady transition away from ‘traditional’ vending machine products with high sugar or salt content. There’s also a greater variety of vegan and plantbased products within vending. With the rising number of vegans in the UK – and non-vegans happy to go down this route from time to time - it is vital that operators can meet the demand by providing suitable options.

The increased penetration of micro-markets has also led to an upsurge in Fresh Food offers –which has traditionally languished at about four per cent of the total market. E

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In the last two years, consumer behaviours have changed considerably

F The impact of changing legislation

The AVA supports its members with government lobbying, best practice guidance and collaboration opportunities, whilst championing industry-wide quality, innovation and consumer satisfaction. With that in mind, we closely track all anticipated and upcoming changes to the law that will affect the vending industry, to ensure best outcomes for operators. Currently, there are several pieces of proposed and under-consultation legislation that will impact the vending industry.

Mandatory Cup Takeback and Extended Producer Responsibility

As part of its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) consultations, DEFRA has outlined a Mandatory Cup Takeback scheme, affecting all sellers of filled, fibre-based composite cups, that employ 10 or more fulltime employees (FTEs). All businesses – including those within the vending industry - will be required to have arrangements in place to collect and recycle used cups, report to the regulators the

tonnage they have placed on the market, plus the tonnage they have collected and sent for recycling. For impacted businesses, this may lead to a rise in general cost and admin time too to ensure that this is arranged properly and that they are operating in line with the new rules.

The National Cup Recycling Scheme ( NCRS ) is the UK’s largest paper cup recycling programme. It brings together major retailers, waste management companies and UK paper mills - all with the shared aim of growing the infrastructure needed to increase the number of paper cups being collected and recycled nationwide. After discussions with NCRS, AVA operators will be able to ‘plug in’ to this scheme.

Single use plastic ban

To put it in simple terms, following the result of the consultation update provided by DEFRA, plastic vending cups will not be banned under this legislation. Whilst other single use items, such as plastic plates, cutlery and trays will be included in the ban, rigid extruded polystyrene cups will be exempt.

Whilst we are pleased that this exclusion will mean that the vending industry is not negatively affected by this change, we acknowledge that it is a much-needed one that will hopefully have a positive impact, by reducing plastics pollution and littering.

The National Cup Recycling Scheme (NCRS) is the UK’s largest paper cup recycling programme

Of course, the ban will have a significant impact on the wider hospitality industry, and businesses will have to make the transition towards alternative solutions. However, as sustainability is the priority in our netzero attempts, the single use plastic ban announcement is a welcome one. If our members have any questions about how this may impact them going forward, then the AVA is on hand to offer additional support.

Deposit return scheme (DRS)

The UK government’s proposed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has been broadly supported by the AVA, which has actively promoted recycling, recovery, and reuse in the industry for years. However, concerns have been expressed about the scheme’s functionality across different nations and the labelling requirements for companies operating across borders. A consistent approach across the UK would be the most practical, cost-effective and simplest to communicate to consumers, rather than the current fragmented approach. Additionally, the AVA is seeking exemptions for smaller retailers such as vending and automated retail, similar to the Scottish legislation, which would include vending machines and micro-market sites with a footprint of 100 square metres or less. As

we move towards the expected legislation consultation in the autumn of this year, the AVA will continue to lobby for clarification on these matters.


About AVA

TheVending&AutomatedRetailAssociation(AVA) isthetradebodyandvoicefortheautomated 24-hourfoodandbeverageindustryintheUK. TheAVAsupportsitsmemberswithgovernment lobbying,bestpracticeguidanceandcollaboration opportunities,whilstchampioningindustry-wide quality,innovationandconsumersatisfaction. Itconsistsof160memberswhichmanagethe 460,000vendingmachinesacrosstheUKtoday.The roleoftheAVAistopromote,protectandenhance thevendingindustry,aswellasofferastandardof service for its members to follow.

DavidLlewellynisChiefExecutiveoftheAVAandhas heldthepositionsinceApril2018however,hasbeen inmostaspectsofthevendingindustrysince1994.

As sustainability is the priority in our net-zero attempts, the single use plastic ban announcement is a welcome one

Public Sector Catering Expo

31 October – 1 November


NEAC Stoneleigh, Warwickshirethe event for everyone working in public sector catering

The Public Sector Catering Expo is back –running for two days from 31 October to 1 November – and this year includes the launch of some cutting-edge sector research, topline keynote speakers, live cooking demos, informed industry debates, networking and a lively exhibition. And this is all running alongside the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the UK’s leading military catering event – Exercise Joint Caterer.

The Expo which is free to attend , is the only national event to bring together chefs and caterers from across all areas of the public sector – from schools to hospitals, universities, catering colleges, the social care sector, and prisons through to the military.

The Expo features have been specially developed to engage with contacts at all levels from chief executives, through to unit catering managers and chefs.

The event sets out to address areas of common concern shared among the public sector –working to tight budgets, nutritional regulation, sustainable menus, recruitment and retention, training, and mental health and allergens – as well as tapping into the latest key catering trends.

Programme highlights

Professor Tim Spector OBE, Monday 31 October

Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London and honorary consultant physician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. He is a multi-award-winning expert in personalised medicine and the gut microbiome, and the author of five books, including the bestsellers Spoon-Fed and The Diet Myth and his most recent, Food for Life.

We look forward to hearing Tim’s views on health and nutrition and how his work could help public sector caterers manage client diets in the future.

Gregg Wallace MBE, Tuesday 1 November

Gregg Wallace MBE, the TV presenter, writer, and former greengrocer best known for copresenting the MasterChef series of shows for the BBC, will deliver a keynote address to the Public Sector Catering Expo.

Gregg will give his views on the quality of catering within the public sector, how it can be improved and what the nation needs to do to move towards a more sustainable and better-quality diet.

Launching at the Public Sector Catering Expo 2023 – The Future of Public Sector Catering


Produced in collaboration with Simon Stenning, founder of Future Foodservice, Public Sector

Catering is launching a report that is the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive current state-of-the-market overview and a forecast of how public sector catering will develop over the next three to five years.

Featuring key economic forecasts and a detailed look at changing customer behaviour, trends and attitudes, the full report will provide subscribers with unique insights into what is shaping the future of the public sector catering industry.

Detailed market analysis will outline the volume forecasts and the challenges and legal and governmental developments affecting the sector and will include insights from key

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industry personnel, case studies and sectorleading examples. Taken together, this creates an invaluable resource tool for suppliers operating right across the sector.

State of the Nation

Representatives from the industry’s key associations will form a ‘State of the Nation’ panel on day two of the Expo to discuss the common topics and issues facing catering teams across the industry. They will look at how collaboration and joint action, including liaison with Government on topics such as procurement, food standards and sustainability, can benefit the industry and its customers.

Public Sector Catering Kitchen

Across the two days, we will also be hosting a series of cookery demonstrations in the Public Sector Catering Kitchen, where we will chat with leading public sector chefs about their work and daily challenges while they demonstrate some dishes they prepare for their customers. These sessions will showcase the incredible skills across the sector, focussing particularly on health and nutrition but also on delivering tasty food on a budget.

Returning in 2023 alongside the PSC Expo: Exercise Joint Caterer

The Expo will once again host Exercise Joint Caterer, the flagship event for Armed Forces chefs and catering teams. A tri-service competition with a wide range of culinary classes, it will take place over two days at the Expo. It is a showcase of skills and challenges chefs at the highest level, demonstrating the role military caterers play in the delivery of an effective armed force.

The competition attracts hundreds of chefs from across the forces, many of whom will be competing and supporting their colleagues. Exercise Joint Caterer is renowned in the industry for generating a vibrant and exciting energy that will inspire visitors and exhibitors alike. Exercise Joint Caterer is a military competition with competitors selected by team leaders from each area of the armed forces.


The Public Sector Catering Expo includes an exhibition which will feature more than 100 industry suppliers showcasing their food, drink, equipment, and software solutions for public sector caterers.

The Public Sector Catering Expo is free to attend, you can find out more and register for free entry here

The event is supported by the key industry associations representing the public sector catering industry all of whom will be available over the two days for visitors to talk with to and find out more about the work they do across the industry and the benefits of working with them. L


For more information and to register for your free trade ticket visit:

Public Sector Catering Expo
Representatives from the industry’s key associations will form a ‘State of the Nation’ panel on day two

The Jockey Club Venues –unique spaces, world-class venues

At The Jockey Club Venues, it’s not just on the track where all the action happens. Known for world-class horse racing, The Jockey Club Venues offer versatile and flexible locations to deliver exceptional quality events throughout the country

ethically sourced from local suppliers wherever possible. We tailor the food offerings to our clients’ requirements, so whether it is a BBQ menu for a team building day using the plentiful outdoor space at our one of venues or a delegate’s light lunch for 25, we cater for all needs, styles and occasions.

You are never far away from one of our 15 venues. Conferences and events at the multi-award-winning Jockey Club Venues offer a truly unique experience for delegates and guests alike. We cater for small, large, indoor and outdoor events, all with low rates for government business. Our dedicated teams are experts in their field, with experience in organising large-scale outdoor events, corporate meetings, conferences, exhibitions, election counts, training events, team building days, award ceremonies, product launches and lots more.

Our flexible and versatile venues all have several areas and spaces to choose from, making it almost a certainty that a Jockey Club Venue will be a fit for any event criteria. Our teams have a flexible approach and enjoy working with clients to curate the perfect event to meet the event objective. Our fresh, healthy and delicious food is thoughtfully and carefully prepared by our team of exceptional chefs. Ingredients are

All Jockey Club venues have ample free and on-site car parking, free Wi-Fi and all the latest audio-visual equipment. Our venues are members of BEAM, ABPCO and are AIM Accredited. Each of our venues offer different spaces, numbers and options, but they all offer breath-taking scenery and a space steeped in history and prestige.

Why choose us?

The Jockey Club  Venues offer low government rates ; purpose-built conference and meeting facilities for events of all sizes ; a dedicated event manager; state-of-the-art AV equipment; free Wi-Fi; award-winning catering with versatile menu options; catering facilities; stunning views with a unique heritage; ample free parking and easily accessible by road and rail.

Get in touch

Get in touch with the team today and find out how The Jockey Club Venues can provide the perfect space for your event. FURTHER INFORMATION

Call – 01242 539 538

Email –

Linkedin: the-jockey-club-venues


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Organising an accessible event

It is important to recognise that disabilities vary and can include mobility, sensory, cognitive and communication impairments. For an event to be accessible, you need to address these needs.


The best place to begin is with planning and it is important to do this early. For the best possible results, work with experts and organisations that specialise in accessibility for guidance. Identify any potential barriers that may hinder access for attendees with disabilities, including the venue, transport options, and communication methods.

Registration options should be accessible –this could be online registration forms that are screen reader-friendly or alternative methods

for attendees who may have difficulty with traditional forms. Provide pre-event and inperson assistance for attendees who need help with registration, wayfinding, or other aspects of the event.

You can also invest in accessible event technology, such as event apps and websites that are designed to be user-friendly for individuals with disabilities. Ensure that the apps and websites are properly updated, so attendees can easily access event information, schedules and any other updates.

Make sure your event programme features diverse and inclusive content. Include speakers, performers, and presenters with disabilities and encourage speakers to use accessible presentation formats and provide materials in advance. E

Conferences & Events
Before you begin, it is important to understand accessibility and why it might be needed. It is important that all attendees, including those with disabilities have equal access to the event, including physical spaces, information and communication
University of Oxford venue for any occasion DREAM Find your Conference Oxford Call 01865 276190 or email MEET SLEEP EAT CELEBRATE A place to... Photos: Chris Andrews Publications, Oxford University Images / Bodleian Libraries

F Staff awareness

Staff training on accessibility is also incredibly important. Event staff and volunteers should be trained on disability awareness and how to assist attendees with disabilities respectfully. Encourage a culture of inclusivity at your organisation and educate staff about available accessibility resources and services.


The venue is the most important thing to consider. Ensure that the location you book has wheelchair ramps, lifts, accessible toilets

Encourage a culture of inclusivity at your organisation

and parking for people with disabilities. Also make sure that the venue is easily accessible for wheelchair users – for example that the doors and walkways are wide enough and there is space for wheelchairs in conference halls and meeting rooms.

Allocate spaces for attendees with disabilities near accessible entrances and exits, when planning seating arrangements. Ensure that the seating provided is flexible to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility aids. When picking a venue, make sure that accessible transport options are available. This could be by arranging accessible transportation services or ensuring proximity to accessible public transport. Make sure that attendees are aware of this information.


Information before and during the event should be accessible. Event materials, including brochures, flyers and websites should be provided in multiple formats, including digital, printed, large print and braille. Use plain language and make sure that digital content is compatible with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Also make sure you have the ability to provide assistive technology, like hearing loops or sign language interpreters, to facilitate communication for attendees with hearing impairments. Make sure that presentations and speeches are transcribed or captioned in realtime and available after the event is over. E

Conferences & Events

Thames Barrier The View Conference Centre

Thames Barrier The View Conference Centre

Thames Barrier The View Conference Centre

Thames Barrier The View Conference Centre

Unique meeting rooms with views of the River Thames and London. Our rooms are light and spacious and offer various room layouts to suit all occasions. With a range of audio visual equipment.

Unique meeting rooms with views of the River Thames and London. Our rooms are light and spacious and offer various room layouts to suit all occasions. With a range of audio visual equipment.

Unique meeting rooms with views of the River Thames and London. Our rooms are light and spacious and offer various room layouts to suit all occasions. With a range of audio visual equipment.

Unique meeting rooms with views of the River Thames and London. Our rooms are light and spacious and offer various room layouts to suit all occasions. With a range of audio visual equipment.

Meeting, event hire for up to 60 people with catering.

Meeting, event hire for up to 60 people with catering.

Meeting, event hire for up to 60 people with catering.

Meeting, event hire for up to 60 people with catering.

Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. for more details.

Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview for more details.

Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. for more details.

Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview for more details.

Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. for more details.

Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview for more details.

Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please tephone 0208 305 4188 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview@environment-agency. for more details.

Please telephone 0208 305 4161 or email us at Thamesbarriertheview for more details.

Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access on the Thames Barrier Structure.

Please note there is no access onto the Thames Barrier Structure.

Whitefoot Photography Whitefoot Photography
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Whitefoot Photography

After the event, ask for feedback from attendees

F Wayfinding

In order for attendees to navigate the event, clear signage is a must. Use large, easy-to-read fonts and high-contrast colours. You can also use tactile signage for individuals with visual impairments. There should be clear directions to accessible facilities and services.

Emergency planning

When planning for emergencies and evacuations, always keep accessibility in mind. Make sure that accessible evacuation routes are available and that staff are trained in how to assist attendees with disabilities should an emergency occur.

Feedback and evaluation

After the event, ask for feedback from attendees to assess the accessibility of your event.

Again make sure that your feedback form is accessible. You can then use this feedback to make improvements for your next events and demonstrate your commitment to accessibility. In conclusion, organising an accessible event requires planning and a commitment to inclusivity. It is important to consider the diverse needs of all attendees, and then create an event that not only complies with legal requirements but also creates a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. There are several things to consider when planning an event to be accessible, including the venue, communication and information, wayfinding and emergency planning. Accessible events benefit everyone, by promoting diversity, equity, and an inclusive atmosphere. Remember that accessibility is an ongoing process, and you will learn more each time you host an event. L

Conferences & Events

As specialist customer experience professionals, we provide consultancy and delivery of insight programmes to help you prioritise the improvements that your customers, residents or stakeholders want to see

Our extensive experience in product and service development means we can uncover the features your customers, residents or stakeholders value, to help you improve the things that matter

Obtaining representative feedback for consultation and policy decisions can be challenging. We help councils, not-for-profits and government businesses obtain representative voice of the customer, resident or stakeholder feedback

“Working with Beehive has enabled us to spark conversations about how to better engage with our citizens. The rigour that they have brought to building a truly representative sample and drawing insights from questions we put to those residents builds confidence that we aren’t just hearing from the loudest voices. Their support has been high quality, attentive, flexible to our needs and delivering to tight timescales”


Ensuring reliability and promoting confidence in AI-based research

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on everyone’s lips recently – its potential, its limitations and its future – and the UK has taken to the technology with particular enthusiasm. We are one of the top five chatbot using countries worldwide (AI Multiple) , almost half of our healthcare organisations work with it (Microsoft) and it has the potential by itself to create a 10.3 per cent expansion in the economy by 2030 (PWC) .

The research sector has contributed to its rapid growth and has largely embraced the potential of AI. It has major benefits when used correctly, making us more efficient and promoting even greater accuracy within our work. It opens up new forms of cutting-edge research, helping us to explore individuals’ habits in their natural environments, such as in the workplace or at home, like never before.

Most of all, it gives us more time to develop actionable insights for decision-makers, our sector’s primary responsibility.

This is the principle behind customer insights agency, Streetbees. With a major global database powering it, Streetbees uses a WhatsApp-style app to collect data daily and in real-time from its 3.5 million participants worldwide. The AI technology – the recipient of an MRS Award in 2022 – will then compile, pattern and group the vast range of responses to produce insight about everything from emotions in the workplace to the motivations behind grocery purchases during the cost-of-living crisis. As such, instead of spending time sifting through the data, the researchers can focus on producing recommendations to support commercial goals, social enterprise or policy making. E

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Jane Frost CBE, chief executive of MRS explains how AI can be used appropriately in research

Keeping people at the heart of research

For any stakeholders you want to reach get people focussed insights you can act on STAFF / TENANTS / SERVICE USERS / RESIDENTS / CUSTOMERS Our experienced team of researchers provide the personal touch during your project, at every point, from designing the questionnaire through to presenting the findings and helping you get the insight that you can take action on Contact us to find out more +44 (0)20 8943 1445

F However, despite its vast potential, AI is not without its faults. At the moment, public trust in the overall concept is low. KPMG reports that only a quarter of people believe AI provides accurate information – a view that is, to an extent, understandable considering how often it comes to wrong or misleading conclusions. Nor should we expect perfection soon. Visual recognition systems, a technology that has been around for far longer, are still not without error.

Confusion surrounding how it operates is stirring fears further, with Google boss Sundar Pichai saying in a recent interview that he did not fully understand his own chatbot, Bard. In fact, many believe it will soon become a tool for disinformation, and their number includes Geoffrey Hinton, the ‘Godfather of AI’, who quit Google earlier this year because of fears about its future power.

As such, leaders and policy makers should be wary when relying on AI-produced insight and check its provenance, just as researchers should be rigorous in ensuring that it’s delivered to as high a standard as possible. Dialogue is key – the research sector is producing high-quality AI-led work – and we need to make sure methodology is transparent and robust, breeding faith in this rapidly advancing technology.

The Census – underpinning AI’s future

For our sector AI is an analytical tool, converting data into insights, from which we can guide discussions and develop actions. The data is pivotal, and this should be collected according to the rigorous high standards set out by MRS.

For example, using the internet as the sole basis for research simply won’t do. Results will be biased, tilting towards more digitally literate demographics such as Gen Z, and excluding groups that are generally underresearched because they are too costly to reach, from non-English speakers to those without access to the internet.

A good example of how this bias can be avoided comes from market research agency Kantar’s LinkAI tool. It predicts a typical sample of consumers’ views of an advert and is based on a demographically representative database of 230,000 video tests and 35 million human interactions. Within fifteen minutes, using AI it will produce a rating of the advertisement or public announcement’s impact, after which the researchers can analyse the data, suggest ways it can be improved and provide recommendations. A rise from ‘average’ to ‘best’ creative quality in score typically leads to a 30 per cent increase in return on investment –numbers that helped the tool win a 2022 MRS Award.

But it’s not just the quantity of the supporting research that is required. It needs to be rooted in nationally representative data – that’s where the Census comes in. E

Market Research
Leaders and policy makers should be wary when relying on AI-produced insight and check its provenance

F The decennial survey produces the most robust findings in the country, as well as being one of the most informative and trusted surveys in the world, with 97 per cent of households responding to the latest English and Welsh version in 2021. It is the bedrock of good research, informing representative sampling –for instance we know that an accurate national snapshot will require 51 per cent of participants to be women and 19 per cent to be aged 65 years or over. AI-based research certainly relies on it.

The Census’ reliability comes from its national scale and its rigour. The most recent version was the first to be digital-first, which was a success as the high response rates shows, but the use of face-to-face interviewers for those not digitally connected and other hard-to-reach demographics was key. It ensured whole groups weren’t missed by cutting corners and that it remains a robust benchmark.

It underpins a vast amount of UK research, including AI-based work – without it, our findings wouldn’t be representative, and our actionable insights would be ineffective.

The parameters for sustainable growth – transparency and responsibility

As the UK’s professional body for research, insight and analytics, MRS sets high standards through our Code of Conduct that we require all our members to meet with every research project. It’s part of how we are championing innovation, fostering trust in AI research tools and ensuring decision-makers can treat results with confidence. It is a major motivation behind our recent work with the Government, which has included consulting closely with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics.

Responsibility is key. As we advised in our submission to the Government’s artificial intelligence white paper (‘a pro-innovation approach to AI regulation’), where AI

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technologies are used across a project journey, as they often are in research, liability must be clear. If the results are misleading or inaccurate, the part of the supply and use chain – be that developers, users or service providers – that is responsible should be identifiable via legislation.

Doing this will breed ownership over the quality of the AI tool and encourage the liable party to promote transparency in its operation – opening it up to the public or private sector client and showing why it should be trusted. However, this doesn’t mean quality control should be purely the responsibility of one group. The entire supply chain needs to be involved, as do the clients receiving the insights. The latter must challenge suppliers if the methodology isn’t initially obvious, and the former should be open and honest about how its AI system works.

A practical step would be for clients to include the need to clarify or explain the provenance of an AI tool when research suppliers are responding to a given brief – ensuring that its credentials are known from the beginning of any relationship. But while this would be a legitimate demand of research agencies, we must keep in mind that a large number of them are small- or medium-sized. For these businesses, being able to easily and cost effectively determine and report AI usage will be essential.

Research needs to set itself apart from the wider AI movement. Fundamentally, our sector is evidenced-based, and that is being mirrored in our work with AI. We want decision-makers to embrace the impressive findings AI can deliver and treat the recommendations that come from it with confidence.

While UK legislation is being developed, we all have an immediate role to play to ensure high standards are maintained – and confirming that the most recent Census data is being used to achieve national representation is a core part of that. Additionally, we must counter scepticism about wider AI by being ethical and transparent with our work and clearly showing how the research system operates. That way, all society can feel the undoubted benefits it has to offer.

Market Research
Research needs to set itself apart from the wider AI movement +44 (0) 20 7183 8326 Want to find out more? OUR SERVICES: RESEARCH STRATEGY DESIGN EVIDENTIAL THINKING TO PIONEER CHANGE Issue 30.5 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE 105
We only partner with people who want to challenge their sector.

Unit4 Studies: Organisations adopting shared services to drive transformation

Leading public sector and professional services organisations look to shared services model to improve core business functions, data compatibility and real-time analytics

London, UK, September 13, 2023 – Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for peoplecentric organisations, today highlighted key trends in shared services adoption among public sector and professional services organisations (PSO), drawing on data from the 2023 State of the Digital Nation and Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) Study: Professional Services - A Benchmark for 2023, both commissioned by Unit4. The studies reveal there is already widespread acceptance of shared services among both PSOs and public sector bodies. However, it suggests that there is a clear focus on using shared services not only to drive cost savings but to improve operational performance, decision-making and agility, in order to achieve organisational resilience.

Moving beyond cost saving to shared resilience

Internationally, around half of the PSOs in the PAC Study say they have centralised project management, customer services, and sales and marketing, which indicates that shared services can be effective in streamlining key customer facing business processes. One fifth of PSO firms say that in the next three years they will focus on aligning core project, contract and resource management processes, which is similar in the UK. This could be in response to the impact of remote working, as well as PSOs recognising the potential to develop global delivery models,

which require critical functions to be simplified and co-ordinated across borders. Across all the markets, almost a quarter (24 per cent) say they will centralise Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) in the next three years, but this is a lower priority in the UK (15 per cent), which is possibly because 60 per cent say they have already centralised finance and accounting. This demonstrates that PSOs plan to capitalise on the benefits they have achieved to date with shared services, in order to create a single view of company-wide data using FP&A tools. It also reflects the understanding that the benefits of a shared services approach are not limited to removing costs, but also include the development of greater agility in responding to opportunities using real-time insights.

“PSOs are adapting quickly and they understand that shared services can help to build resilience against market uncertainty, which is critical if they are to remain competitive,” said Mike Ettling, CEO, Unit4.

“During the pandemic, PSOs experimented with global delivery models and, for ambitious mid-market firms, this can act as a way to differentiate. To be successful, though, requires streamlined and aligned internal and external business processes. It is clear that the shared services model offers a more effective way to establish the right foundations for global delivery strategies.”

Belgian PSOs (37 per cent) are ahead of the global average, intending to move finance and accounting functions to a shared services model in the next three years, compared to 25 per cent in the Nordics and globally 38 per cent of IT Services firms. The DACH region clearly illustrates the benefits of moving to a shared


services model, as 77 per cent of PSOs have already moved their project management teams to this way of working and they outperform their peers in terms of delivering projects on time. This can, in part, be attributed to having a holistic view of all the data within their organisations on project management.

Public Sector

There has been significant growth in the adoption of central and shared services, which has gone from 0 per cent in 2021 to 33 per cent in 2023, according to the State of the Digital Nation study. For those already using central and shared services, growing its footprint has been one of the top three changes that public sector organisations have seen in the last 24 months. Canadian respondents place the greatest emphasis on it, but it drops out of the top three for UK respondents. In contrast, it is a top three priority for central government and healthcare bodies, but falls just outside for state/local/municipal authorities.

“There is an urgency to look at the shared services model in the public sector, not just because of budget constraints but because it is understood that service providers must collaborate to deliver services effectively to citizens,” Mike Ettling, CEO, Unit4.

“Shared services are going through a perception change in that they are no longer just seen as a

means of cutting costs, but as a strategic means to resolve fundamental challenges around legacy systems, data compatibility and delivering real-time analytics. The model has the potential to deliver on ambitious transformation goals to make the public sector fit-for-purpose in the 21st Century.”

In 2023, 29 per cent of respondents say there is a need for wholesale improvement in data compatibility, while 34 per cent say large improvements are needed. Canada has the highest percentage (41 per cent) demanding wholesale change compared to UK (35 per cent) and Sweden (17 per cent). Central government respondents (43 per cent) are most likely to say this issue requires wholesale improvement, compared to state/local/municipal bodies (29 per cent) and healthcare providers (16 per cent). Finance decision makers also say that accessing real-time data has become harder (54 per cent), compared to the previous study in 2021 (40 per cent). All these indications underline the importance of having centralised services where public sector bodies can streamline and integrate all sources of data within their organisations to form an accurate picture of priorities and respond with greater agility to optimise performance. L

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Using technology to help local government

In Capita, I work with the Local Public Service Team which has a footprint across over 270 council customers around the UK. My role as Growth Director means I regularly engage with senior decision makers in district, county and borough councils, all of which has helped me understand the very real challenges councils are facing today.   Speaking to customers it is clear that over the last few years, the complex and challenging nature of delivering public services at a local level has never been under more pressure. Rising inflation and increasing costs of energy, foods and other products are fuelling significant increases in the cost of delivering public services, and constantly evolving demographic pressures are creating further budgetary and social challenges that will not be solved by local government alone.   True partnerships across the sectors and collaboration between different services within local government, and with external partners across other sectors, can make a very real and significant difference. And with these increases in the cost of delivery and demand for services,

councils are looking to the tech sector for more partnership support than ever before.   That is why I was delighted to be appointed as Vice Chair of the Local Public Services Committee (LPSC) through our partnership with teckUK. Throughout my career, I have seen how advances in technology will offer hope, and create new issues of their own, which is why these partnership forums are vital in supporting local authorities. For over seventeen years, I have worked with and for local authorities supporting them on their technology, digital and business transformation journeys. I am passionate about collaboration to help deliver innovative change, particularly linked to technology, to drive service improvement, and ensure easy access to services and information for both residents and businesses.

Through my time in this sector, harnessing new technology has been important, but as important has been the people, processes and sharing of best practice. With the LPSC committee, we will look to lead the way in engaging with stakeholders across the local government family to not only represent the tech sector at a high level to local government, but also to facilitate and share best practice, new ideas and approaches that resonate with our council partner’s priorities.

For my role on the committee, I will endeavour to make sure that we also explore how we can blend technology and customer experience as seamlessly as possible, to help deliver real change in providing meaningful support for communities, and deliver long-term provision of services where the emphasis is clearly on the needs and outcomes of residents and communities.

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Breaking down the barriers to collaboration to drive local government transformation and innovation

techUK has recently launched a Local Public Services Committee

The fast pace of technological change often makes it difficult for local government to be on top of what the latest innovations are that can help them reimagine the delivery of local public services. It can also be confusing and difficult to understand the true value against a blizzard of competing solutions. Technology suppliers have a key role to play in driving and delivering innovation into local government, especially when it comes to the ‘unknown’.

techUK’s Local Public Services Committee

One such forum to help break down the barriers of collaboration between industry and local government is techUK’s Local Public Services Committee (LPSC). The LPSC exists to provide a neutral forum for local government stakeholders to engage with industry, have constructive dialogue as well as horizon scan how the technology of today and tomorrow can solve some of the most pressing issues for people and places.

This summer, techUK was delighted to announce the new members of the Local Public Services Committee (LPSC). Composed of 25 techUK

members, including 11 SME representatives and 14 from larger companies, it brings together a diverse range of tech industry leaders who will champion the sector and drive an ambitious programme of activity between techUK and local public services.

The committee is committed to engaging and hearing from as many local authorities as possible and will be meeting at least once a quarter across the UK to hear directly from a local public service leader.

In the past, the LPSC has been hosted by councils across the country from Suffolk to Newcastle, providing an opportunity for councils to share their digital ambitions with a diverse group of suppliers who can help inform thinking as well as discuss how the market can create the environment that enables transformation to thrive. Everything from fixing the plumbing to helping to create a ‘digital first’ culture.

Engaging the market early

Beyond the LPSC, there are other ways councils can engage the market early to maximise the benefit and value they can derive from tech E


Hitachi Solutions takes a leading role as Chair of the Local Public Services Committee

Hitachi Solutions explain why they decided to be part of the Local Public Services Committee and what services they deliver for the public sector

Harmony, sincerity and pioneering spirit are traditional Japanese values that guide everything we do at Hitachi Solutions. Despite being a global organisation, our role and impact in the UK, especially in the public sector is growing rapidly. Therefore, it was the right decision to be part of TechUK, whose mission is to champion technology’s role in empowering the UK and delivering a better future for people, the economy and the planet.

Hitachi Solutions is delivering over £100M of value to the UK public sector. Our projects encompass enhancing operational efficiency with new ERP or CRM solutions, improving decision-making with data and insights, and facilitating organisations in preparing for future innovations, such as AI, with cloud technology. Hitachi Solutions is also the leading consultancy in establishing ‘smart places’ using sensor technology to support decisionmaking, policy development, and achieving sustainability and carbon net-zero targets.

We stand at the forefront of software technology development and exert influence on this process through our global partnerships. Our people have a deep understanding of the industries we work in because they have worked there too! This allows us to move past the conventional approach enabling our clients in the public sector to revolutionise how they meet societal and customer expectations.

Hitachi Solutions is taking a leading role as the Chair of the Local Public Services Committee because we understand that public services are faced with a range of challenges, and technology presents the opportunity to meet those challenges. We aim to collaborate with other TechUK members to explore barriers to entry and procurement challenges. Additionally, we seek to address how the industry can assist in addressing

the skills deficit in local government. We anticipate dynamic conversations about the ‘art of the possible’ and the future of datadriven decision-making in local government. More than 60 percent of our local services are administered by local authorities, and economic challenges are substantial, while customer expectations and needs remain high. Never have we needed the Hitachi values of coming together in harmony, addressing issues with sincerity, and embodying the courage of a pioneering spirit more than now. TechUK’s Local Public Services Committee serves as an exceptional platform to achieve these goals. L

Sharna Quirke: strategic director for local government and health at Hitachi Solutions Sharna has beendesigningdigital solutions to addresscomplexpublicneedsfornearly20years. Duringthistime,shehasdeliveredmultipledigital transformationprojects,publishedacademic articlesone-Democracy,advisedtheWorldBankon digitalinclusioninservicedelivery,anddesigneda benchmarkingframeworkassessinghowdigitally evolved local services are across Europe.

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F and to procure solutions that actually meet a need.

Procurement is part of a bigger transformation and innovation puzzle. If done well and outcome-focused, it can help stimulate the local government tech market and create places where citizens can thrive and feel safe. From lengthy process to the lack of early market engagement, and the use of central or regional frameworks – procurement processes can vary significantly between local public services. This makes it difficult for new entrants and SMEs to access the market and deliver much needed innovation.

To ensure value to the taxpayer and avoid unnecessarily procuring a solution that does not meet a user need, techUK encourages local government to routinely adopt early meaningful market engagements to effectively articulate the problem they are trying to solve and to ensure that a solution exists and is fit for purpose and future proof. By engaging with the technology market early, local public services will be able to interrogate the problem first to ensure they are procuring for the right outcome. Local government will be able to access the latest innovations and workshop through with partners what the art of the possible is.

Read about our various forms of market engagement and examples of how we have worked with councils in techUK’s Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change paper

How to get involved Present at an industry briefing.

techUK provides the platform for councils to connect with suppliers of all sizes as part of our series of industry briefings. This can be in the form of providing the market with information about either a digital strategy or ambition so councils can validate thinking/inform a future strategy. Or briefing on an upcoming procurement to ensure a diverse and varied response to a tender and help councils grow their engagement with SMEs. It is an opportunity for councils to better understand the latest technological developments and innovations that exist and have constructive conversations with suppliers early to get the most value for their residents

Be part of techUK’s Innovators Network

Attend or propose a challenge for a future Innovators Network. The Innovators Network is a forum for councils to enable and empower them to connect with innovators to access the latest technologies in a neutral forum to help solve some of the most pressing and common challenges they face. Some of the benefits of joining this network include peer support and best practice from across local government and the tech supplier base, identifying the problem to inform technology, and having a safe space to test and de-risk innovation at a collective level. For the Care Cap Innovators Network, techUK worked with Redbridge council to define the problem and they also presented at the session

Shape the vision of the smarter state

On 27 September, techUK is convening over 200 stakeholders from across public sector and industry for its annual Building the Smarter State conference in London. This year the conference focuses on innovation and impact within the smarter state, with keynote addresses from minister for cabinet office, Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP, Tom Read, chief executive officer, Government Digital Services and from Megan Lee Devlin, chief executive, Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO). The event will explore how technologies of today and tomorrow are transforming some of the most pressing challenges our society and public sector organisations face. L

Procurement is part of a bigger transformation and innovation puzzle

The future of citizen-centric services in the UK public sector

Forging a new reality with a design-led approach by Manish Bhushan, digital and cloud transformation senior partner, Wipro and Manish Gajbe, digital consulting partner, Wipro

is easier. Public sector entities must adapt to ever-evolving customer expectations and transform their operations into a model that is centred around citizen experience.

The challenge of meeting citizen expectations

Nowadays, citizens expect their public services to be easily accessible, just a few clicks away, similar to the convenience found in banking and retail. They expect to be put front and centre of an organisation’s focus, whether they’re accessing benefits or booking a doctor’s appointment. PwC research shows that 73 per cent of consumers consider customer experience pivotal to their purchasing decisions. Whilst the private sector has smartly recognised and heavily invested in enriching these consumer engagements, the public sector seems entangled by bureaucratic complexities, fiscal constraints, outdated infrastructures, and a limited understanding of today’s citizen’s needs. Furthermore, government departments often operate in silos, focused on their own domains and objectives, without acknowledging, or being willing or able to invest in the interconnectedness of citizen interactions across a number of services. This lack of collaboration and coordination results in disjointed and subpar citizen experiences. According to Salesforce’s Connected Government Report, only 54 per cent of customers believe that getting online assistance from Government

Government departments in the UK struggle with many challenges when it comes to meeting citizen expectations. A lack of comprehensive approach, bureaucratic inertia, and legacy systems are just few of the hurdles that impede the creation of a seamless citizen experience. These challenges are further aggravated by the prevailing mindset that views government services as a one-size-fitsall solution, failing to recognise the diversity of needs and preferences among citizens. One of the critical issues facing government departments is their limited scope of vision. By operating within the confines of their own silos, many departments often fail to consider, research and comprehend the broader ecosystem of services that citizens engage with. As a result, they overlook opportunities for synergy and integration that could significantly enhance the overall citizen experience and deliver more of a holistic service. For example, integrating the benefits system with the tax system could streamline processes, reduce inefficiencies, and create a superior citizen experience. Similarly, the services provided by healthcare and social services departments are intertwined, and yet they often operate as separate entities.

A design-led approach: Harmonising disparities

Addressing this gap mandates a designled strategy anchored in the 4M principles: mindset, model, machinery, and method. This approach involves researching and

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understanding the unique needs and pain points of citizens, mapping out their journeys, and identifying opportunities for improvement.

The 4M principles:

Mindset: focus on driving the right behaviour in oversight of usage, the acceptance controls and the understanding of the implicit risks.

Model: operating model – consultative process re-imagination and remediation.

Machinery: key tools and accelerators. Strong partnership with market capabilities. Method: impact-focused, citizen/user led, collaborative, agile & iterative method to deliver remediations.

Embracing a design-led approach nurtures interdepartmental symbiosis, dismantling operational silos. By breaking down silos and fostering cross-functional teams, departments can work in unison to deliver a holistic citizen experience. Moreover, design thinking principles empower government officials to envision the end-to-end journey of citizens, identifying touch points where integration can enhance efficiency and satisfaction. The adoption of the 4M principles ensures that innovative tools, agile technologies, and platforms form the cornerstone of this voyage – a voyage that converges with the ethos of effective models, methods, machinery, all hinged on a progressive mindset that trumps all limitations.

What does a holistic transformative journey look like?

Wipro exemplifies this transformative journey, demonstrating the potential of innovative and seamless collaboration between the public and private sectors in its partnership

with North Lanarkshire Council. This success story showcases the power of embracing this transformative approach that streamlines processes and nurtures an innovative mindset. The seamless integration of modern technology solutions, ranging from efficient models to machinery, demonstrates a seamless alignment between the 4M principles and a design-led mindset. This holistic transformation empowered the council to not only provide ICT services, but also to embark on a journey of empowerment – a journey that simplifies citizen interactions, enhances service delivery, and elevates the overall experience. Through such strategic alliances, technology serves as a conduit for a significantly improved citizen experience – a testament to the synergy between design-led thinking and progressive technology strategies.

Reimagining the future

In this era of empowered, informed, and expectant citizens, the aspiration for a superior citizen customer experience must become a reality. The public sector must rise above the shackles of legacy processes and technology, embracing innovation to achieve an environment where citizens are not just beneficiaries, but active participants in the functioning of the government departments. The path forward is challenging, but it comes with the promise of a reimagined future – a future where a superior citizen experience is not a distant dream, but a reality that forms the core of government departments. For more information, download Wipro’s FullStride Cloud report here. L


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More and more local authorities are looking to use smart technology to tackle some of the problems they are facing and more technology is becoming available to make the goal of becoming a smart city more attainable. GB spoke to Manish Bhushan, digital and cloud transformation senior partner, Wipro and Manish Gajbe, digital consulting partner, Wipro about how to approach this journey

With over two decades of experience in several roles at Wipro, Manish brings together extensive engineering and technology change leadership to deliver transformation within complex organisations. Manish is based in the UK and has a Masters degree in Computer Applications.

Manish has over 23 years’ experience in strategy, digital engineering, and organisational and operational improvement to support the digital transformation of large organisations. Based in London, Manish is a consulting partner in Wipro’s Domain & Consulting practice.

Manish Bhushan, digital and cloud transformation senior partner, Wipro Manish Gajbe, digital consulting partner, Wipro
Expert Panel

Smart cities use a range of technologies and data to address economic, social and environmental challenges and therefore make the city a better place for people to live, improve public services, and at the same time, reap benefits for the local authority.

Some of the numerous smart city technologies that can be utilised by local authorities to provide the services of the future were listed by Gajbe. These include IoT sensors, data analytics, and real-time monitoring for smart city infrastructure management; smart energy grids, renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies for sustainability; and intelligent transportation systems for mobility. He also pointed out how technology can be used to implement emergency notifications for disaster readiness and response.

Services of the future

Smart technologies can be used to improve services for local people, one of the main tasks for local authorities. We asked our panellists how local authorities can leverage new technologies to provide the services of the future.

Bhushan said: “Local governments have a unique challenge and opportunity to shape the next era of public services – one that matches the dynamism of private sector giants like Amazon or Netflix. As today’s digital advances become tomorrow’s standard, local authorities need to keep pace and set trends.”

He pointed out strategies to consider including community platforms for dynamic engagement: “Beyond websites, imagine platforms where citizens actively engage, deliberate, and co-create policies. Blend traditional outreach with online forums and virtual town halls to amplify citizen voices.”

Gajbe adds to this and recommends empowering citizens with digital tools such as mobile apps and online portals, to give better access to services and engaging with citizens on social media.

One thing both panellists highlighted was utilising digital services. Gajbe pointed out that routine administrative tasks can be automated through e-governance systems.

Bhushan added: “Online applications for permits, licenses, and other administrative processes will streamline bureaucracy and reduce paperwork. Apps will allow citizens to report issues such as potholes, utility services, or broken infrastructure. Send push

notifications for important announcements and alerts.”

Bhushan also recommends data-driven governance: “Invest in data and AI to bring a holistic shift to how services are delivered; Implement GenAI to make information easy to access and give a faster response to citizen enquiries, reducing wait times, improving accessibility and enabling future need prediction. Use data to identify trends, patterns, and service delivery improvement areas, allowing more efficient resource allocation.”

Gajbe adds: “By collecting and analysing data on everything, local governments can make better decisions about how to allocate resources and improve services.”

Changing people’s minds

Desite the benefits listed above and many more besides, there are still some, both in the public and in positions of power who are reluctant to make the switch to more digital services.

Bhushan said: “There’s a growing debate about the extent to which public services should be digitised. It’s essential to determine which services need a human touch and how to present choices to citizens. Research data shows that consumers of the services across demographics are keen to have channels of interaction that best suit them, more E

“As today’s digital advances become tomorrow’s standard, local authorities need to keep pace and set trends”
Expert Panel

F digital than analogue. We believe there is a pressing need for genuine user research into government services to capture citizen expectations, to define change priorities.

“While system enhancements are essential, they should not overshadow the crucial element: the user experience. The private sector and tech giants have shown that prioritising customer experience yields not only enhanced satisfaction but also superior ROI.”

Gajbe recommends educating people about the benefits of digital services: “Highlight the potential for increased efficiency, productivity, and cost savings via case studies of organisations that have saved money by switching to digital.”

He also advises addressing concerns about security and privacy: “Address the concerns of those hesitant to switch due to security and privacy head-on by providing information about how digital services are secure and how they protect user privacy.

It was pointed out that digital services should be the default to encourage the switch. Gajbe said: “If digital services are the default or the most viable option, people will be more likely to use them. This could involve making digital services the only option for certain tasks, such as renewing a driver’s license online.”

In the end, it comes down to changing the culture, which starts at organisation level. Bhushan recommends visionary planning and establishing a forward-looking vision with a clear roadmap to the target state. Metrics should be outcome oriented - define measurable outcomes on user experience, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, the focus should be customer centricity. Bhushan says: “Embed a digitalfirst and citizen-centric approach across all departments.”

Decision making should also be inclusive, Bhushan claims: “Engage employees and customers in decision-making processes, tapping into the collective intelligence for ground-breaking innovations.”

Feedback should be taken on board continuously, as Bhushan recommends: “Establish continuous feedback mechanisms with both internal and external users.”

Gajbe adds: “By following these suggestions, you can help decision makers and the citizens to make the switch to digital services. This is important because digital services can offer many benefits, such as convenience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, ultimately improving citizen’s lives.”

Overcoming barriers

As well as resistance to change, there are other barriers to overcome when it comes to building the smarter state. These range from a lack of good internet connection in remote areas to reaching digitally excluded communities. A digital default is difficult for those without high-speed internet. Those who don’t have

Expert Panel
“Highlight the potential for increased efficiency, productivity, and cost savings”

a computer or smart phone will not be able to renew their driving licence online, so this presents a problem if this is the only option.

We asked the panellists how we can overcome these barriers to the introduction of new technology.

Gajbe cited innovative technology such as satellite internet to connect the most remote areas; affordable and accessible mobile devices to open up internet access to education or healthcare services; and offline technology such as solar-powered laptops and radio networks, which can be used without an internet connection to engage people in remote areas.

Bhushan also recommended public computing hubs: “Channel investments into public computing centres (libraries, retail and other service outlets), where residents can access the internet and receive assistance with online tasks.”

Another of his suggestions was on-the-go digital access, such as outreach programmes which bring digital services, training, and support directly to remote communities.

Training and support for digitally excluded groups was a key area of discussion. Gajbe said: “Providing training and support, either through academia or focused groups, to those who don’t know how to use new technology or are afraid of it can help to overcome barriers.”

Bhushan added: “Collaborate with providers to maximise participation in digital literacy initiatives.”

It is clear that working with different stakeholders, including providers and local organisations and communities is key to

making a difference. Gajbe said: “Partner with local organisations already working in remote areas or with digitally excluded communities to deliver new technologies in a culturally appropriate way that meets community needs.”

Citing affordability, he also added: “The cost of new technologies can be a barrier for many people. There are several organisations, such as the Raspberry Pi Foundation, that offer lowcost technologies to people in all parts of the world.”

Bhushan said: “Collaborate with local entities - schools, libraries, and community centresto amplify the reach of digital resources and training.

“Engage with providers to continuously minimise gaps, including high-speed internet connectivity and mobile network coverage, in remote and underserved areas.”

As a final thinking point, Bhushan talked about inclusive communication. He said: “Remember that not all messages need a digital medium. Craft communication strategies that resonate with underprivileged communities, sometimes using traditional means.”

Gajbe concluded: “By taking these steps, we can give everyone the opportunity to benefit from new technology. Local authorities should also connect remote communities to the internet to deliver the full potential of all digital services to their citizens”

Bhushan added: “By implementing these actions into its strategies, the Government can not only bridge the digital divide but also foster an environment where every UK citizen, irrespective of their location or background, can harness the power of digital advancements.” L


The benefits of cloud services for local government

Cloud services offer a multitude of benefits for local governments, and can revolutionise the way they operate and deliver services to their communities. Cloud services streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and promote better resource allocation. Here are some key advantages of cloud services for local governments


Cloud services remove the need for on-site hardware and infrastructure investments. Instead, users can pay for the computing resources that they actually use, and reduce capital expenditures. A model such as this allows for better budget management and can prevent wastage of resources.


Cloud services contribute to environmental sustainability, with the government’s net zero goals, it is important that every aspect of government, whether central or parish council is doing their bit to contribute to reaching net zero. By sharing resources among multiple users, and reducing the need for onsite hardware, cloud computing reduces the overall energy consumption and carbon footprint that comes with traditional IT infrastructure.

G-Cloud 13 118


It may be the case that you experience fluctuating demands for IT resources due to seasonal demand for example or changing workloads. Cloud services offer scalability, and allow organisations to easily boost or reduce their computing power and storage as and when needed. This can ensure optimal performance without over-ordering resources

Collaboration and remote access

Cloud services facilitate remote work capabilities, allowing government employees to access critical applications and data from anywhere, either when working from home, on the road or in different office locations. Remote access can also boost collaboration among teams as many people are able to access and work on the same file immediately.

Data Security and Compliance

Cloud providers often invest heavily in robust security measures, and this can often surpass what local authorities already implement or can even afford. Data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security updates are all there to safeguard sensitive often citizenrelated information. Furthermore, reputable cloud providers will also ensure compliance with industry regulations and data protection laws.

Disaster recovery

Cloud services provide built-in disaster recovery solutions, enabling local governments to swiftly recover data in the case of unforeseen events. This can be used to ensure minimal downtime and still maintain essential services.

Innovation and citizen-centric services

Cloud services enable local governments to utlisise advanced technologies like data analytics, machine learning, and AI and allow them to make data-driven decisions, and optimise resource allocation, as well as develop innovative solutions that address community needs and provide appropriate resources. Cloudbased platforms enable local governments to deliver citizen services more efficiently with residents at the centre. Online portals for services such as permit applications, or offer citizens easy and convenient access, improving overall satisfaction with their local authority.


Traditional IT infrastructure deployment can take time. However, cloud services provide rapid provisioning of resources, which means organisations can implement new services and applications quickly, and therefore respond quicker to citizen needs. E

G-Cloud 13
Cloud services provide rapid provisioning of resources

F G-Cloud 13

Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) G-Cloud 13 Framework allows customers to buy cloudbased computing services such as hosting software and cloud support and lists 5,006 suppliers.

Lot 3 covers Cloud Support to help set up and maintain cloud software or hosting services

The agreement is available for central government, charities, education, health, local authority, blue light (police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue), devolved administrations, and British overseas territories and offers cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support.

Lot 1 includes Cloud Hosting and covers cloud platform or infrastructure, which enables buyers to deploy, manage and run software, and provision and use processing, storage or networking resources. Services covered by this lot include archiving, backup and disaster recovery; compute and application hosting; container service; and content delivery network. Other services include database; NoSQL database; relational database; data warehousing; load balancing; logging and analysis; message queuing and processing; networking (including Network as a Service); Platform as a Service (PaaS); infrastructure and platform security; distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) protection; firewall; intrusion detection; protective monitoring; search; storage; block storage; and object storage.

Lot 2 is Cloud Software (SaaS) and includes applications which are accessed over the internet and hosted in the cloud. Services covered by this lot include accounting and finance; analytics and business intelligence; application security; collaborative working; creative, design and publishing; customer relationship management

G-Cloud 13

(CRM); electronic document and records management (EDRM); and healthcare. Other services include human resources and employee management; information and communication technology (ICT); legal and enforcement; marketing; operations management; project management and planning; sales; schools, education and libraries; software development tools; transport and logistics.

Lot 3 covers Cloud Support to help set up and maintain cloud software or hosting services. Services covered under this lot include ongoing support; planning; quality assurance and performance testing; setup and migration; security services and training.

There is also a fourth lot for further competition for Cloud Support. The scope is the same as that of Lot 3, but is designed for larger and more complex requirements which are procured through further competition. The framework has several benefits including access to over 40,000 services and over 5,000 suppliers, providing access to the latest technology and innovation.

It offers a quick and easy route to market with scalable services, so you only pay for what you use.

Using the framework delivers reduced costs and reduced total cost of ownership compared to running your own service in house. CCS provides advice and guidance on the website. As well as this, there are monthly customer webinars. L RM1557.13

Trust us to integrate technology and cloud services into your business: with your data, applications, systems, standards, practices, processes, people, and your business objectives.

Our experience, our ethics, our structured approach and our focus on your goals and drivers ensure that we will help you deliver the business functionality and benefits you hoped for.

There is also a fourth lot for further competition for Cloud Support
Imetis help you find better ways to make technology work for your business
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Network opportunities for the public sector

Neos Networks discusses how the NS3 Framework award creates new network options and capabilities for the public sector

The Crown Commercial Services recently announced that Neos Networks has been awarded a place on the Network Services 3 framework, achieving maximum marks on the quality of our response.

What does this mean to those in the public sector?

Simply put, it allows Public Sector organisations to take advantage of Neos Networks UKwide fibre network providing the ability to disaggregate the underlying infrastructure from the provision of data services. This is critical as it enables them to benefit from the infrastructure economics of owning or hiring the underlying network they require. As a result, they do not have to make massive long-term investments in the technology and service layers, allowing short term management contracts to be migrated in a more agile way, as technology changes or the service experiences do not meet users’ requirements.

The difference Neos Networks brings

At Neos Networks, we will provide a new set of options and capabilities in two key areas. Firstly, we are committed to providing our customers with the best possible service. We believe that our expertise in and more importantly our willingness to open up Dark Fibre networks will be invaluable to our customers.

This is before we even mention the scalability offered from such networks. Unlike traditional leased lines, which have fixed bandwidth limits, Dark Fibre networks are becoming increasingly important for organisations that require high-speed connectivity and low latency. They can be easily upgraded as government departments’ needs grow, making their network infrastructure future-proof.

Secondly, we provide secure and segregated, cloud-first-enabled networks in partnership with HPE and their Aruba Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution.

By working with us, critical network services can be delivered over a single physical infrastructure, even operating different security level requirements by using dedicated fibre pairs, then managing the entire network using SD-WAN technology. Because they are dedicated connections, there is no risk of interference from other users or external factors. Read about how we work in partnership with the public sector to help make our cities, regions and local communities better connected places. Contact us to find out how we have been working on multiple projects with the public sector and see how we can help you. L

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COMMUNIC ATIONS LTD CL connecting people & places Call Us: 0800 389 2278 • 2CL Communications (2CL) is an industry leading, award winning provider of communication and security solutions. We specialise in the system design, supply, installation, and after sales support for organisations throughout the UK. Whether you are hiring, purchasing, upgrading or maintaining, trust 2CL to deliver and support a tailored solution that meets your needs. OUR SOLUTIONS TWO-WAY RADIOS PA/VA SYSTEMS NETWORK CONNECTIVITY BODY WORN CAMERAS CROWD INTELLIGENCE VENUE INTELLIGENCE DIGITAL VIDEO SURVEILLANCE INCIDENT MANAGEMENT WEAPONS DETECTION ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ACCESS CONTROL COMMAND AND CONTROL HUB

Framework RM6116Network Services 3

Crown Commercial Services RM6116 framework provides access to network services for public sector organisations

Through Network Services 3, all public sector organisations are able to access network solutions, communication services, connectivity to cloud-based data and applications, audio and video conferencing, radio and satellite networking, and emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities. The framework runs from 23 May 2023 to 17 July 2025. There are 12 lots and 142 suppliers. The agreement will run for two years, with the option of extending for 12 months and then another 12 months.

There are several services available through the agreement, which include, but are not limited to: fibre optic cabling; 5G network; internet access; Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony which enables voice calls over the internet; cloud services; audio and video conferencing (collaboration solutions); satellite networking; maintenance and support services; contact centre services; security and surveillance; and professional services required to design, build (install) and deliver (manage) network solutions. E

Framework RM6116
Your go to connectivity partner Leading global innovator of satellite communication solutions and critical connectivity IOT and smart connectivity solutions Remote tracking and asset management Intelligent data management software Commercial and tactical radio Keeping people, systems and assets connected.

F The framework also offers unified communications (application or platform that provides multiple communication methods including voice, video and data services); local area network (including products and services facilitating connectivity within the customers location); and core network infrastructure, including services and equipment needed for network access (both for traditional core network infrastructure needs, as well as public internet connectivity solutions).

As well as the services listed above, the framework also enables customers to buy from a range of “emerging technologies” including IoT (Internet of Things) and Smart Technologies (smart, shared and connected spaces); tactical radio products and services; critical domain services (the services needed to register, maintain and manage domain names); and communication platform as a service.

Customers are able to engage suppliers in developing fully integrated communication solutions, thanks to the range of products and services. This enables buyers to purchase managed solutions from a supplier as well as individual component parts.

The framework offers several benefits including that it provides a complete range of network services from network infrastructure to fully integrated communication suites, as mentioned above.

It also introduces emerging technologies that reflect changes in the marketplace and future consumption of network solutions. The framework supports the government’s cloud-first initiatives which are aimed at enabling public internet connectivity solutions and migration off the Public Sector Network. The agreement attracts solution providers, service integrators and managed service providers who can remove the complexity of design from the end-user, and design, build and deliver solutions that provide cost and network optimisation. E

Framework RM6116

F By providing a WAN/LAN RFQ template, the framework enables more “further competition” on public internet connectivity solutions and therefore provides customers with better value for money.

For commoditised procurements, the framework enables direct awards on all Lots. It also enables cross-lot competitions where managed services span across more than one capability.

As with other CCS frameworks, some suppliers have provided a Carbon Reduction Plan which can be found on their supplier page.

Carbon reduction in procurement is crucial due to its environmental and economic impacts. By favouring low-carbon suppliers and sustainable practices, organisations can significantly decrease their carbon footprint. This not only aligns with global efforts to combat climate change but also with the UK’s own net zero goals - especially in the public sector. Embracing carbon-conscious procurement fosters innovation, and drives the development of cleaner technologies and supply chain practices.


As previously mentioned, there are 145 suppliers on the agreement, spread over 12 lots.

Lot 1a: Inter Site Connectivity (Wider Area Network) / Data Access Services provides access to connectivity services, enabling Site-to-Site or Site-to-cloud interconnectivity including: terrestrial, fibre, wireless and satellite solutions, 5G, 6G; data networking equipment; software defined WAN, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE); internet service providers and internet services and gateways; broadband routing and performance monitoring solutions; e-mail and website services as part of ISP service; and professional services (design, build and deliver network connectivity solutions).

Lot 1b: Commercial Radio Capabilities enables access to voice communication solution utilising ultra/very high frequency, mobile radio and two-way transceiver, point to point and/or point to multipoint, secure radio and support equipment including: design, survey, build, E

Framework RM6116

Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Network Services 3 Framework


Database for Business Ltd (dbfb) are one of the UK's leading business communications providers, specialising in connectivity, telephony, and IT solutions.

With a 25-year legacy, we play a crucial role in ensuring seamless and secure communication across diverse organisations and sectors. Our experience and understanding of the demand in delivering more within lean budgets aligns with the unique standards of the government, ensuring reliability, data privacy, and efficient connectivity.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) supports the public sector to gain the greatest commercial value when buying common goods and services. Database for Business Ltd (dbfb) have been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Network Services 3 framework, including:

RM6116 Lot 1a – Inter Site Connectivity (Wider Area Network) / Data Access Services

RM6116 Lot 4a – Analogue Telephony

RM6116 4b – Digital Communication Services (Unified Communications)

We’re an agile service provider, with the ability to adapt fast

We prioritise security, that’s why were Cyber Essentials Plus & ISO certified

Our community and impact on the environment matter to us

We give you the freedom of choice with technology

We operate without bureaucracy - we make things happen

01604 673320 E: W: Get in touch
Why Public Sector and dbfb are a match made in heaven

It provides access to domain registry services to operate and manage Nationally Critical Public Sector Domains. The lot covers critical registry ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers); critical registry functions with enhanced resilience and availability; functions to support the full management and governance of a nationally critical public sector domain.

Lot 2a: Intra Site Connectivity (Local Area Network) / Local Connectivity Services provides access to single site connectivity services, including (but not limited to) local area networks (LAN) enabling interconnectivity. This lot covers design, survey, build, management, support and maintenance services; wired and/or wireless solutions; local area network (LAN) equipment and/or cabling and/or storage area network (SAN) equipment; LAN power solution and managed equipment room; and local infrastructure audit and/or testing services (such as asset management

Lot 3a: IoT and Smart Cities (Smart shared and connected spaces) enables access to solutions related to smart technologies and Internet of Things. This includes applications such as E

Framework RM6116
Delivering for citizens. Enabling connected cities. Why ITS for the Public Sector? • NS3 JISC, RM6095, Bexley, YPO frameworks. • Dedicated Public Sector team. • Working in partnership with local authorities across the UK. • Innovative commercial models, such as Joint Ventures, Concessions agreements and direct award in line with Government funded projects. • The UK’s leading business fibre network.

F smart buildings, water and waste management, crime prevention, education, smart street lighting, air and noise pollution monitoring; design, survey, build, management, support and maintenance services; vendoragnostic solution design; “Edge” sensor technologies, connectivity, data analytics platforms and visualisation applications; and all forms of WAN connectivity between sensors in the field and cloud-based or “on-premise” data management platforms. It also includes infrastructure monitoring, preventative maintenance, and break-fix activities; data security and 3rd party integration into overall solution designs; and image recognition applications, alarms and security monitoring, CCTV as a service.

For more information on Smart Cities, check out our Smart City Business magazine. Lot 3b: Communication Platform as a service allows access to software and hardware integration services to allow your applications to be interfaced to the communications suite with APIs (Application Programming Interface). This covers the design, build, test

and deployment delivery and management, as well as support and maintenance services. It also includes API development from communications suite to external omni-channel applications.

Lot 4a: Analogue Telephony, as the name suggests, provides access to analogue voice (previously known as traditional telephony). It connects analogue telephony equipment with the public switched telephone network, including voice connectivity, voice call packages, SIP (Session initiation protocol) trunks, DDI (Direct dialling in) number ranges. This lot includes: adaptor/convertor for internet protocol connection; voice call packages (including voice minutes, volume packages); direct dial in (DDI) ranges; and end user devices. It also covers the design, survey, build, management, support and maintenance services including transformation to IP telephony and equipment adaptation.

Lot 4b: Digital Communication Services (Unified Communications) provides access to digital communications services including: IP telephony, unified communications, E

Framework RM6116
Experts in IT Networking, Security, Servers & Storage Security. Agility. Productivity. With Kubus, IT enables far bigger things. Supplier for Crown Commercial Service’s Network Services 3 (NS3) framework for Lot 2a, Intra Site Connectivity (Local Area Network) and Local Connectivity Services. 01285 771 600

F collaborative software application including audio and video conferencing and business enablement application software; and IP telephony, unified communications, collaborative software application (including audio and video conferencing and business enablement application software). It also includes: Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services with the ability to make and receive multimedia messaging over an IP based network service; consistent user interface for voice, video and data services allowing the full integration of these services within a single user device; and audio and video conferencing capability within the UC suite based on collaborative applications.

Lot 4c: Contact Centre Solutions gives the buyer access to inbound and/or outbound contact centre management including automation and queuing to multiple answering points. This includes design, survey, build, test and deployment delivery and management, as well as support and maintenance services; supply/support of equipment, commodity and managed services; and omnichannel customer experience platforms.

Lot 4d: Inbound Telephony Services provides access to telephone numbers for inbound call delivery. It includes inbound call management services for contact centre functionality, and the ability to provide you with a non-geographic number; and deliver all calls to that number to your nominated location.

Lot 4d provides access to telephone numbers for inbound call delivery

Finally, Lot 4e: Paging and Alerting, as the name suggests, gives access to paging and alerting services with the ability to provide and users receive, a tone, numeric or word based alert. It includes: design, survey, build, management, support and maintenance services; bureau services; and local and/or national and/or international coverage. E

Framework RM6116

F Buying

There is more than one way to buy from the agreement. Direct award is available on all lots and is suitable for straightforward, commoditised requirements. Supplier offers are shown in the government marketplace. Further competition can be used when you require services or products from multiple

lots. Further competition should be used when you need suppliers to develop proposals or solutions to meet your statement of requirements. Further competition can help to amend or refine a wider range of the template call-off terms and conditions and can give you more flexibility when defining your statement of requirements.

The framework also offers the opportunity to buy through Aggregation. This service brings together customers with similar requirements and leverages the volume to create greater commercial benefits for customers. The procurement process is managed by CCS from start to finish.

The framework is a one-stop shop for all network and communication requirements for the public sector. The agreement should help public sector buyers to simplify their procurement and therefore save time and money. L



For more information, visit the framework webpage.

Framework RM6116
Supplier offers are shown in the government marketplace

eDisclosure and Digital Investigations for UK Government

FTI Consulting is a Crown Commercial Service supplier providing digital investigations solutions for dispute resolution, public inquiries and internal investigations.

As one of only three suppliers awarded a position on all four Lots of the Crown Commercial Service’s RM6336 eDisclosure and Review Services 2 framework, our experts provide a broad range of eDisclosure and managed document review services to support all parts of the UK Government. This ranges from responding to data subject access requests and supporting civil disputes and criminal investigations to assisting on health and safety investigations, coroner’s inquests and public inquiries.

We combine legal and regulatory experts, eDisclosure technical specialists, software developers and project managers to make a positive different to pressing issues in the public sector.



+44 (0) 7549 926961


+44 (0) 7814 080227


+44 (0) 7890 960054 ©2023 FTI Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved.

RM6336 - eDisclosure and Review Services 2

The eDisclosure and Review Services (RM6336) Framework from Crown Commercial Service (CCS) allows central government and the wider public sector to access disclosure services for a complete service following the Electronic Discovery Reference Model or by using select elements of this

The agreement replaces the previous CCS eDisclosure and Review Services agreement RM6203 and will expire on 6 March 2027.

The framework has been designed in collaboration with government stakeholders, customers and suppliers and provides eDisclosure and eDiscovery services for electronically stored information. This includes identification, preservation, collection, processing, review, analysis, production, and presentation at trial.

Buyers can use a complete service or buy component parts of the disclosure procedure.


The framework offers several benefits to buyers. Firstly, the framework provides the opportunity to access a range of market-leading suppliers with fixed rates for standard services and the lot structure is better aligned to customer needs to enable fast and responsive action.

There is a more efficient and streamlined call-off process with simplified documents and

commoditised pricing for electronically stored information, which provides clarity and easy comparison.

The framework also helps to reduce the cost of procurement.

There is a good proportion of SMEs on the framework, who are available for public sector organisations to work with.

The agreement provides increased access and availability to new technologies to enhance the efficiency of the service and offers reduced time for the customer to contract with suppliers and a reduced time period for disclosure.

All suppliers must comply with high standards of security, and this has already been confirmed by CCS.

As well as the above, there is increased access and availability to new technologies to enhance the efficiency of the service.

Some suppliers will also have signed up to provide a Carbon Reduction Plan, this can be found on their individual supplier profile. E

Framework RM6336

We are Anexsys

Anexsys delivers a boutique eDisclosure service to UK public sector clients. Our consultancy and technology allow us to navigate large volumes of documents cost-effectively and efficiently. We thrive on getting to the bottom of our clients’ complex requirements. All our eDisclosure staff are cleared to HM Government SC and NPPV3 level and we are trusted to handle Secret and Top Secret material. Our processes are ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus certified. We manage entire eDisclosure environments for government departments and agencies, leading law firms and corporations. 1

We are a RelativityOne certified partner


We provide support to over 20 UK government departments either directly or via leading UK law firms


We have more than 60 SC-cleared experts providing support across the EDRM, from forensic collections to document review

F Lots

The framework has four lots and 13 suppliers. Lot 1 is for Simple Low Volume Work Service and provides pre-processing, processing, review, production and disclosure services for low volume work. This can include the collection, identification, processing and analysis for electronically stored information (ESI) of no more than 5GB with a security classification of up to and including ‘official’ and ‘official sensitive’ and hardcopy documents of no more than 1,750 pages with a security classification of up to and including ‘official’ and ‘official sensitive’.

Lot 2 covers End to End Service up to ‘Official’ and enables access to end-to-end eDisclosure services for documents and data with a security classification of ‘official’ and ‘official sensitive’ or lower. Services in this lot include strategic oversight, advice and support, document identification, data preservation and collection, document processing, document review, document reviewers, document production, disclosure from other opponent parties, presentation at trial, and security requirements.

The third lot is for Document and Reviewers and is for documents and data with a security classification of up to and including ‘official’ and ‘official sensitive’. This lot allows buyers to access document reviewers to review documents and data, tag or add extra information to documents and data to easily label and categorise them, and redact (adapt) documents and data, for example by obscuring or removing personal or sensitive information.

The final lot is End to End Service ‘Secret’ and ‘Top Secret’ and offers access to end to end eDisclosure services for documents and data with a security classification of ‘secret’ and ‘top secret’. Services covered by this lot include strategic oversight, advice and support,

document identification, data preservation and collection, document processing, document review, document reviewers, document production, disclosure from other opponent parties, presentation at trial and security requirements.


For Lot 1, services can only be bought through direct award. For the remaining lots, either direct award or further competition can be used.

To use direct award, the buyer will need to develop a clear specification of their needs and then award the call-off contract by sending the successful supplier a completed and signed framework schedule 6 (this can be done electronically). Then the buyer will need to then notify CCS of the award.

Further competition has a few more steps, and begins with identifying the suppliers who meet your needs, by considering the expression of interest responses you received from suppliers and reviewing the service document which suppliers created to help with the selection process. The buyer will then need to develop a specification of needs and use framework schedule 6 to refine contract deliverables. Buyers can then develop further competition award criteria and invite identified suppliers to submit a tender. Further information is available from CCS’s website. L


For more information, visit the framewok, webpage

Framework RM6336
For Lot 1, services can only be bought through direct award

solutions to the NHS.

We increase capacity of your temporary and substantive staff (RPO)

We reduce the demand on your healthcare workforce

We reduce your reliance and spend on agency staff

In the world of managed staff bank provision, Bank Partners is unique. Working in true partnership, our total workforce solutions model elevates the processes, people and technological capabilities of our clients’ flexible staffing models. Part of Acacium Group, our expertise in contingent staffing is now part of a much wider offering to healthcare providers that aligns workforce and patient flow solutions in order to increase both capability and capacity at hospital, Trust, or ICS level across acute services as well as social care and community support systems.

An example of our successes with one NHS Trust partnership

90% Bank Partners’ fill rates exceeds 90% across the Trust

77% We have an average 77% fill rate in ‘hard to fill’ areas


We have ensured that 874,000 agency shifts were avoided, saving £300 million


Since 2014 we have filled 24 million bank hours across the Trust

The UK’s leading independent expert in managed staff bank

RM6278 – Managed Staff Banks

The Managed Staff Banks framework from Crown Commercial Service provides managed outsourced staff bank services. While services are aimed at the NHS, they are open to all public sector bodies including central government

The framework allows buyers to outsource the management of staff banks.

For reference, a staff bank refers to workers who provide flexible cover and support to permanent staff for planned and unplanned gaps in staffing. A staff bank can be used to help you manage your workforce and maximise shift fill rates.

Two service models are available. This first is outsourcing of any or all elements of the staff bank management except for the employment or engagement of the workers and the second is outsourcing of any or all elements of the staff bank management including the employment or engagement of the workers.

The services that suppliers can provide as part of a managed staff bank include: internal and external recruitment of bank workers; ensuring workers are compliant with NHS employers employment check standards; pay rolling E

Framework RM6278

F workers; performance management services; and management of the agency cascade where the bank cannot fill a particular requirement. While many of the benefits are NHS-specific, there are many benefits for the public sector as a whole. The framework offers end-to-end services from planning to providing a solution that meets your needs.

The framework provides a mix of experienced suppliers and capable new market entrants, along with flexible solutions to meet your needs. The pricing is flexible to suit your organisational needs and management information is available so you can detail report spend and market analysis.

The framework is free to use – no membership is required and framework fees are collected from suppliers.

Some suppliers have signed up to comply with Procurement Policy Note 06/21: ‘Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts’. If this is the case, you will be able to find their carbon reduction plan on their individual supplier details page. A carbon reduction plan

Framework RM6278
A CRP sets out an organisation’s emissions across the year, measured against a range of emissions sources and greenhouse gases

(CRP) is intended to help customers understand the impact to the environment of a supplier’s operations. A CRP sets out an organisation’s emissions across the year, measured against a range of emissions sources and greenhouse gases.

There are 10 suppliers on one lot for this framework. Lot 1 is Managed staff banks, and allows you to outsource the management of your staff bank through the two service models mentioned above: outsourcing of any or all elements of the staff bank management except for the employment or engagement of the workers and outsourcing of any or all elements of the staff bank management including the employment or engagement of the workers.


Through this framework, you can buy using direct award or further competition.

In order to direct award, you need to develop a set of requirements and determine whether they can be met by the supplier(s). You should determine that all of the terms of the framework and the call-off terms do not need amending

or any supplementary terms and conditions. You can then award the call-off contract to the successful supplier(s).

CCS recommends using further competition to achieve best value for money. First you should invite all the suppliers that can meet your requirements to bid. Further competition documents should be sent to all capable suppliers, whilst giving them reasonable time to return their tenders.

You can then evaluate the tender, using the fair and transparent criteria in your bid pack and award the supplier offering the best value for money on the basis of the criteria. L


Further information can be found on the framework’s webpage.

Framework RM6278
CCS recommends using further competition to achieve best value for money

Bright screen privacy filters – safeguarding information

Public sector and government workers handle a wealth of confidential information on a daily basis. From classified documents to sensitive databases, the consequences of unauthorised access to such information can be severe, compromising national security and individual privacy

pain point, as darkened screens can impact viewing experiences and worker productivity.

Enhanced viewing experience and user adoption

The Bright Screen Privacy Filters provide workers with an improved viewing experience, making them more likely to use the filters consistently. A recent study conducted by 3M revealed the following key findings:

One of the most significant threats to data security is shoulder surfing, a method used by individuals to obtain valuable information by directly viewing computer screens or mobile devices of unsuspecting users. Visual hackers may gather this data innocently or exploit it for malicious purposes. Privacy and data protection are critical concerns for organisations in today’s digital landscape. IT managers play a vital role in ensuring compliance with privacy policies. To address the challenges faced by employees working with sensitive data on laptops, 3M has introduced the innovative Bright Screen Privacy Filters. These filters not only enhance screen brightness but also provide advanced privacy features, improving the viewing experience while safeguarding confidential information. This article explores the benefits of the 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters and how they can assist IT managers in improving privacy-policy compliance.

The advanced technology of 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters

3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters utilise nanolouver film technology, backed by 11 patents, to protect sensitive and confidential data displayed on laptop screens. The filters enhance screen brightness by an average of 25 per cent compared to standard “black” privacy filters. This improvement addresses a common

Brighter display: Nearly 9 in 10 working professionals reported that the 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filter provided a brighter display compared to standard filters.

Virtually invisible: 7 in 10 participants stated that they would not have noticed the presence of the 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filter if they hadn’t been informed about it. Long-term usage: 8 in 10 participants expressed that they would never feel the need to remove the 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filter, indicating a high level of satisfaction and acceptance. By offering a bright and clear screen view without compromising privacy, these filters dispel the notion that visual privacy requires sacrificing the quality of the viewing experience. “It’s long been assumed that you need to sacrifice a good viewing experience for visual privacy when you use a privacy filter,” said David Williams, 3M global marketing manager. “The 3M Bright Screen Privacy Filters dispel that notion, and as a result set a new standard for privacy filters. They deliver the world-class privacy that IT managers need, and the bright and clear screen views that workers want. Now, when a worker attaches a privacy filter to a laptop, the odds are much better that they’ll keep it on, because they’ll hardly know it’s there.” L

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148 BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT | The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service ADVERTISERS INDEX 2cl Communications 32, 124 3M United Kingdom 146 A.r. Pest Control 15 Adexon 58 Anexsys 140 Applied Satellite Technology 126 Bank Partners 142 Beehive Research 100 Black Box Network Services (UK) 128 C&M Environmental 52 Capita 108 Conference Oxford 96 Cornerstone Management Services 24 Cubic Apple 147 Database for Business 130 EcoGrit 74 Ecorex 57 EMEX 66 Framexpress 38 Fresh Air Fitness 147 FTI Consulting 138 Hawley Energy 64 Hitachi Solutions 110 Hysopt IBC Imetis 121 Indigo Media and Events 78 Integral 4 Invasive Vegetation Management and Treatment 16 Isuzu (UK) BC, 76 ITS Technology Group 132 Kadec 54 Knotweed Specialists UK 16 Kubus Group 134 Mace Industries 34 Milestone Infrastructure 72 Neos Networks 122 Ogel IT 147 Philips Monitors MMD Monitors & Displays (Netherlands) B.V 10 Polar Dry Ice Cleaning 27 Protecta 38 Sellox 82 SMAS Worksafe 48 Stopcor 36 Survey Solutions 102 Thames Barrier 98 The Eastside Rooms 98 The Jockey Club IFC, 94 Thermoguard UK 6, 62 The Yard Creative 105 Twice2much 28 UK Fire Door Training 48 UK Power Network 68 Unit 4 106 Urban Chain 70 Urbis Schreder 40 Wessex Demolition & Salvage 44 Wipro 112 X.Communications 136 Business Information for Local and Central Government

The High Cost of HVAC under-performance

Bridging the Performance Gap in Heating and Cooling Installations

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