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warwickshire news for warwickshire county council staff • OCTOBER 2010

Transformation 2013 Up to date news and information is a commitment from the new look Working for Warwickshire and this is being honoured from the outset with this issue’s cover story looking at the subject of Transformation.

There is no question that as an organisation we are facing challenging times, and it is clear change is needed if we are to address our financial pressures while continuing to deliver efficient and effective services. Using the umbrella term of ‘Transformation’, work is underway to look at how we can transform the way we work to deliver value for money, while continuing to deliver our priorities. At the same time there is commitment from Strategic Directors, Heads of Service and Managers alike to clear, honest and timely communication. It is vital that you are kept up to date on the planned changes, making it clear what they are, what they mean for the council and more importantly what they mean for you as an employee. The Transformation 2013 Programme is overseeing all the

council’s transformation activity and outlines the future shape and function of the organisation and how we are going to get there. You may be involved with, or have already seen changes taking place to the way your team, service area or directorate is working. An example of this is featured in this issue’s Team Focus which looks at the work of the Reablement Team within Adult Services and changes to the delivery of home care. Looking to the future we hope you start to see positive changes to the way in which we work at all levels of the organisation. Times are tough, but it does not mean that here in Warwickshire we cannot rise to the challenge and make it an even better place to live, work and visit. Look out for more news about the council’s Transformation agenda in the next issue of Working for Warwickshire.

It’s GEM awards time again - get your nominations in

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Not your typical council worker Sue Evans Learning & Organisational Development Manager, Customers, Workforce and Governance


andhurst graduate Sue Evans has always been passionate about the power of learning. From her time as a teacher in a tough Brixton school, to helping soldiers fulfil their potential in the Royal Engineers, to helping the Government identify future fire service leaders, she has pursued the same ideals. Now she has brought that commitment to Warwickshire County Council. She joined us in September 2009 as the new Learning and Organisational Development Manager, swapping that for her previous role as senior HR Business Partner with neighbouring Oxfordshire County Council. With successful careers in teaching, the army (where she rose to the rank of Captain) and in local and central government, she comes well equipped for her new role. But it’s her teaching experience that she values above all. “Teaching skills are the most transferable skills I’ve got and they are the skills that really count when you want to help people improve themselves and achieve what they want to achieve. It underpins everything,” she explained. Sue’s WCC post was created in response to the need to drive and support change in the way the County Council delivers its services. She will be focusing on developing the HR Business Partnership which provides strategic HR leadership in each of the directorates; on leading the delivery of effective corporate learning and development initiatives and the Learning Academy. “The other major issue for me is leadership. It’s at the root of everything good and bad in an organisation. Identifying future

leaders and supporting their development is vital if we are to thrive, and this is part of the challenge we face together,” she went on. “I am finding WCC a great place to work, with staff willing to help and support each other to deliver excellent services across our communities. I see people working hard and doing a great job and I am excited about being part of the future.” Outside of work Sue lives in North Gloucestershire with her husband, two children and assorted canine and feline friends. She rides, and has been known to enjoy the odd glass of wine (but not at the same time).

My Warwickshire Life - David Curle, AHCS 2

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Welcome to the new W4W I’m pleased to be kicking off a series of regular introductions to the new look ‘Working for Warwickshire’, with each Strategic Director taking their turn in future issues. As you will have seen from the cover story, Transformation is an item high on the agenda for the council. With this in mind I thought it might be timely to outline an area of work in which I’m heavily involved, and links well with how the council will look in the future, introducing One Front Door. As a concept One Front Door focuses on the modernisation of our services, and those of our partners, around the needs of our customers, enabling us to deliver the services needed at a lower cost – this could be delivered face-to-face, over the phone or through the internet. One Front Door covers a number of different areas, and is not solely focused on physical customer contact points, although that is part of it. One strand is a comprehensive review and rationalisation of the property

available to us and our partners. We need to look at what we have, where it is, and how that fits in with the service requirements of customers. Ultimately the aim is to use fewer buildings, an example of this is shown on page four with Nuneaton & Bedworth Customer Service Centre staff moving into Kings House to share accommodation with our own CSC team based there. One Front Door also seeks to slash the number of bureaucratic processes and delays that can affect service delivery. To do this we will have to change the way we work, adopt different skills which empower us to become more

David Carter, Strategic Director, CWG

responsive and flexible to customers. Adopting more modern and flexible approaches to working, ensuring our IT systems are easy to use and that we have the technology to deliver our modernised services to the people of Warwickshire, is all part and parcel of One Front Door. One Front Door is a concept which has universal support across the organisation, and I think it is one that will become easier to comprehend as different elements become more tangible and we start to see real outcomes. I would recommend you keep in regular touch with this publication, as it will be bringing much more on this, and the transformation agenda in future issues. I hope you find it an interesting read, both reflecting the requirement to deliver timely news and information to you, as well as learning a little more about your colleagues, both in and out of work. Next month you’ll hear from E&E Strategic Director, Paul Galland.

Rugby’s new road provides relief from traffic congestion

WCC Chairman, Cllr Jose Compton formally declares the road open.

Rugby’s Western Relief Road opened to motorists fully for the first time on 10 September, bringing the mammoth construction project to its full conclusion. The A4071 (to give the road its official title) is 3.75 miles long and has been built to relieve traffic congestion in and around the town. The multi-million pound scheme was constructed by Carillion and funded by the Department for Transport, Warwickshire County Council and developers.



Local government stories making the national news.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles promised new legislation to introduce referendums on the election of mayors. Due in November, the Localism bill, will encourage polls in England’s largest cities. “I believe elected mayors in cities will be embraced by the public if they have real powers. It’s time for home rule for our cities, from Birmingham to Bristol, from Newcastle to Liverpool.” The Government is consulting on a new Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity. Existing rules are being reviewed to stop unfair competition by local authority newspapers against commercial local newspapers. The proposals contain specific guidance on the frequency, content and appearance of council newspapers and magazines. The Government has announced plans for a major shake up of the NHS system in England. Local government leaders have generally welcomed the white paper, ‘Equality and excellence: liberating the NHS’, which proposes more locally determined solutions that focus on achieving better health outcomes.

A dedicated website has charted the development of the road since work began; 3

News round-up

Northgate House open for business Striking refurbishment of former staff club premises

Transforming Resources A big welcome to all the new staff who have transferred into the Resources directorate over the summer as part of the Integration of Resources project. The project reviewed all Resources functions across the authority, excluding staff employed directly by schools. This covered functions like ICT, Finance, Property and Facilities Management. As a result of this review, over 250 staff from across WCC transferred into the Resources Directorate on 1 July 2010. It is hoped that the reorganisation will produce a more streamlined organisational model, where the core functions are carried out effectively, responsively and efficiently and are also better positioned to facilitate the delivery of the county council’s transformation agenda. A huge thank you must go to all Heads of Service and staff who have contributed to the discussions surrounding the project. Your input has helped the process run smoothly and successfully and hopefully helped staff settle into their new directorate.

Since opening in July there has been a steady stream of staff through the doors of WCC’s brand new Warwick-based conference centre. Northgate House dates back to the 17th century and the grade 2 listed building was transformed from its old incarnation as the council’s staff club into a thoroughly modern meeting and conference venue. The wi-fi enabled centre is home to a range of meeting rooms of

different sizes, as well as a large conference room. Many of the rooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, projectors and audio systems and a new lift makes the first floor meeting rooms fully accessible. County Caterers provide a refreshment service to all users of the facilities and a full catering service if required. A striking new glass-walled restaurant also forms part of the complex.

Warwickshire Direct round-up It’s been a busy summer for the Warwickshire Direct world with a host of new services coming on board. In July advisers from Job Centre Plus joined the Warwickshire Direct teams at Shire Hall and Kenilworth Library. They are there to offer advice and support to people who may be facing redundancy or are currently unemployed, with the aim of getting then back to work. The advisers are available from 2pm - 4pm at Shire Hall every Tuesday and the same 4

time at Kenilworth Library on Thursdays. In August the front desk service of Alcester Police Station moved to Globe House to be delivered by Stratford District Council staff under the Warwickshire Direct banner. This mirrors a similar arrangement with Warwick Police Station at Shire Hall which was launched as a pilot scheme late last year, and has since become a successful permanent arrangement.

Need to know • First meetings can start at 8.15am and last meetings must be finished by 5.45pm • Your receptionists are Carol Feighoney in the morning and Mark Christensen in the afternoon. You can find out more about the centre and how to book on the Intranet > Meeting Rooms > Northgate House or you can speak to reception on 01926 412558.

Warwickshire Care2Work On 8 September Customer Service colleagues from Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council settled into their new desks at Kings House moving from Nuneaton Town Hall. While the Nuneaton and Bedworth Contact Centre will still maintain its existing telephone numbers, the move to Kings House will further future positive partnership working between WCC and the borough council. This builds on the success of the co-location of the Warwick District and WCC customer service centres in November 2009.

WCC has launched the Warwickshire Care2Work scheme, which aims to improve support for children in and from care in developing the necessary skills to be successful in the employment market. The Virtual School Corporate Parenting Association (VSCPA) in CYPF is seeking to promote the scheme locally within WCC and are looking for work related experience opportunities and to match looked after young people and care leavers aged 16 – 21 to potential employers for placements. If your are interested in finding out more, or would like to get involved please email

News round-up

Fresh new look for WCC recruitment service New system makes the recruitment process easier WCC’s Recruitment Centre has launched a new recruitment website and world-class online applicant tracking system. This cutting edge technology is already widely used by a number of leading organisations including Royal Bank of Scotland, O2, Santander, Virgin and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Recruitment Service has worked with a range of partners to create a recruitment portal where all 21 local public sector partners advertise and manage their vacancies. Applicants can search by location, employing organisation, job type, salary and distance from their home address. Redeployees, internal and external candidates have the ability to securely manage and track applications online and book themselves onto assessment centres or interviews. The system creates one platform for viewing and applying for jobs across the West Midlands. By working in partnership the council is saving over £40k per year as it is paying less for the system, as well as a further £40k per year in efficiency savings. The launch of the new system is part of a wider project to transform the Recruitment Service. Other recent improvements include the introduction of new recruitment forms and guidance,

LGBT staff network The WCC LGBT Staff Network is for all staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT), as well as staff who are questioning their sexuality. The group meets every quarter, at locations across the county. You can attend meetings within the working day with manager agreement and every effort is made to maintain confidentiality. If you’d like to know more about the group, contact us by emailing the network secretary, Steven Haworth, at LGBTnetwork@warwickshire.

professional electronic location maps, information brochures and online customer feedback surveys. We are confident both applicants and managers will receive the best possible service. Several other exciting enhancements are planned including an online Criminal Record Bureau checking service, and enabling managers to access the system directly to request and approve vacancies and track the progress of live positions. These developments support the workforce plan by making WCC an employer of choice. On average there are 40,000 visitors to the jobs site each month, and in the first month since we joined the recruitment portal, it has received over 114,000 visits and had over 1,700 applications.

Join the SWAT team The Save Warwickshire A Tonne (SWAT) campaign launched on 1 September and aims to raise awareness of how taking simple measures within the home, at work or school, and on the move can save both carbon and cash. The campaign challenges Warwickshire residents, schools and businesses to each save a tonne of CO2 over a year. The campaign focuses on increasing energy efficiency at home, work or school, alternative transport choices which lead to a healthier lifestyle and financial savings, composting and growing your own food Why bother? The 2008 Climate Change Act made Britain the first country in the world to set legally binding carbon budgets aiming to cut UK emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and at least 80 per cent by 2050. This is not a time to be

negative, it is a time to be positive, to embrace what we have and through working together create a cleaner and nicer environment for all. How you can help There is plenty you can do at work and at home. Log onto the campaign web pages www. warwickshire. and complete a pledge form. All pledges will be added to a running total for Warwickshire to show how much we have saved. Join in by becoming one of the council’s Energy Advisors. Learn more about saving energy in the home and in the office. To find out more go to www. A number of initiatives will be run internally to support the SWAT campaign. Schools will be invited to take part in a Scrap Heap Challenge, Green Debate and Universally Challenged, details of which are available on www.

S.W.A.T. Office based staff will also be encouraged to take part in a number of initiatives - look out for more information coming soon. Investigate your own homes energy consumption by borrowing an energy monitor from your local Energy Advisor or contact emmaclarke@warwickshire. Would your area benefit from having an audit to identify where savings can be made by reducing waste and energy consumption, or other environmental concerns? If yes please contact Julie Burton, julieburton@ How do I find out more? For more information go to or email swat@warwickshire. or www.warwickshire. to find out what will be going on internally to support SWAT.


News from where you work

New buildings for Warwick schoolchildren New faces at Fire & Rescue

A warm Warwickshire welcome to two new faces at Fire and Rescue Headquarters – Gary Phillips and Jim Onions. Gary (above left) is the newly appointed Deputy Chief Fire Officer and joins us from Suffolk Fire and Rescue. Gary has made significant achievements in improving the Suffolk fire and rescue service to become one of the highest performing in the country in 2010. Jim (above right) has taken over the previous Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Frost who has retired from the post. Jim joins us from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue, where during the 2007 floods, he played a pivotal role in managing resources and operations in flooded areas.

Resources’ Development service has recently completed a £10million extension and rebuild of Woodloes Infant and Junior Schools to create a brand new primary school for children in the Warwick area. The project, which began on site in July 2009, involved building an extension to the existing junior school to merge the two into one primary facility. The existing junior school has also undergone

extensive refurbishment. The old Woodloes Infants School has been demolished and in its place now stands Ridgeway, a new SEN (Special Educational Needs) School and adjoining car park. The new Woodloes Primary School was handed over in time for the beginning of the school year and works to the new Ridgeway SEN will be handed over during the October 2010 half-term break.

Fancy a virtual learning experience? County council staff are finding their learning experiences are being widened, and are no longer confined to four walls and a whiteboard with the roll out of the virtual classroom. The ICT Training & Development Service has launched the new Virtual Classroom service which offers ICT training, and you don’t have to look further than your own desk to attend the course. The training can be delivered to any internet-enabled PC, at work or at home, you just need a headset or earphones to be able to listen to the trainer. ICT ran some taster sessions in August, and positive feedback followed: “Despite initially getting confused with the sharing bit I thought the virtual classroom was fantastic, and with time will become second nature to users and much more efficient.” Karen Hall, Sustainable Travel Officer. The Virtual Classroom service has its own area on the Intranet: Intranet > Jobs and Training > ICT Training and Development > Virtual Classroom, you can find out more about what is involved and the courses available. Alternatively, email


Project Manager Tony Phillips commented, “This challenging multi-phased project has been completed with the majority of works being carried whilst the existing Woodloes School was fully occupied.” For more information contact Tony Phillips: tonyphillips@

MYTH No.1 The Myth: Health and Safety bans this, that and the other The reality… There are many reports that the Health & Safety Executive and health and safety law are responsible for all sorts of bans – flip flops at work, knitting in hospitals, school sports days and even toothpicks! In reality, the HSE has banned very little, apart from a few highrisk exceptions like asbestos, (which kills 4,000 people a year). Too often health and safety is used as a convenient excuse, but it’s time to challenge this and remind people to focus on the real risks that cause people to be killed, injured or made ill at work. Looking for Health and Safety Guidance and Advice? Visit the Health and Safety Intranet pages for the latest policies, procedures and guidance. Intranet > helping you work > health and safety

News from where you work

Reading groups judge the Booker shortlist Reading groups based in Water Orton, Nuneaton and Leamington libraries, working together with library staff, have been successful in their application to take part in an exciting initiative which will see them shadowing the judging process of this year’s Man Booker Prize. Early in September some of the reading group members attended a party in London where the shortlist of six novels was announced. The groups are now reading the shortlist at the same time as the judges, giving them the opportunity to read, discuss and decide their

own favourite before the winner is revealed on 12 October. Warwickshire libraries have received several free copies of each of the final shortlisted novels for the shadowers to share. The Man Booker Prize is the world’s most important literary award promoting the finest in fiction. The 2009 winner was Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell. For more information about Warwickshire’s involvement, please contact Kate Mackie 01926 412398

Special courts help victims of domestic abuse

This year Warwickshire Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (WSDAC) heard 261 cases of domestic abuse, an increase of 60 per cent on the number of cases presented in 2008-09. This shows that more people have trust in the system which has been in place since October 2007 to improve protection and support for victims and witnesses of domestic abuse and to impose appropriate sanctions on perpetrators. WSDAC has court processes at its heart but is not confined

to judicial procedures, a number of agencies including the county council are involved in supporting the system. It includes all aspects, from the early identification of domestic abuse incidents, policing, health and social care interventions, through to specialist support for victims and the management of offenders. An annual review of the system has revealed that pre-court visits delivered by the Witness Service went up by 50 per cent. Going to court can be a daunting prospect for victims of abuse, but

Working on a mystery shopping experience

Attending court can be a daunting prospect for victims of abuse.

where it was required for victims to be involved, non attendance dropped to zero per cent. This may be due to the introduction of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) who are commissioned by the council’s domestic abuse team to provide dedicated support to victims through the whole court process. Sue Ingram, Warwickshire’s Domestic Abuse Manager said: “SDACs join criminal justice, statutory and voluntary sector services and interventions together. By looking at the whole picture, we can look to reduce the number of victims and perpetrators, offer victims support in all aspects where they need it to ensure their safety at the heart of the criminal justice system and hold perpetrators to account.” For futher information about domestic abuse services in Warwickshire please contact Sue Ingram, sueingram@warwickshire.

WCC colleagues have taken an innovative approach to work experience working with Stratford High School to turn a group of students into mystery shoppers. The students joined the WCC led Respect Yourself Campaign team, who provide information, support and advice to all organisations working with young people, for a two week placement. They received four days of extensive training in relationships, sexual health and sexual health services and visited a number of organisations including GP practices, pharmacists providing emergency contraception and specialist sexual health services. They then scored each service on a range of factors based on the Department of Health’s ‘You’re Welcome Quality Critera: Making health services ‘young people friendly’ including waiting times, availability of services and types of facilities. Results from the mystery shopping will be released later in the year, and services that pass will be awarded a ‘young person friendly’ window sticker, those that just miss out will be offered support to make improvements and re-visited at a later date. If you are interested in running similar programmes with young people, contact Helen Fielden, Respect Yourself Campaign Coordinator on 01926 742484. For more information about how to get young people involved in aspects of service delivery contact Shinderpaul Bhangal on 01926 498088.

Young mystery shoppers with Respect Yourself Campaign staff (lr) Helen Fielden, Amy Danahay and Jo Rathkey.


Team Focus • Reablement - AHCS

independence days Warwickshire County Council’s ‘reablement’ service, launched in March this year, supports people to regain and maintain every day skills in their own homes, whether it’s making a cup of tea or getting dressed. With over 60 per cent of people who use this service needing no further care or support once it has ended, reablement is also preventing the need for residential, long term home care and hospital admissions. The assessment service forms a major part of the transformation of Adult Social Care and Health, which places a strong emphasis on independence, dignity and steering the person away from statutory services. Zoe Bogg, Home Care Development Manager, explains more about this invaluable service, which will be in place across the county by the end of this year. “The idea behind reablement is quite simple. In principle, it is designed to assist people to be as independent as possible in their own homes for as long as possible. “People who may have been ill, had a stay in hospital or are referred to Adult Health and Community Services with a social 8

care need will be helped to regain skills, build their confidence and retain an independent life in their own home. “Relatives and those who provide informal care to the customer also play a vital role in the reablement process. With their support, we can ensure that the reablement plan becomes a part of everyday life which includes time outside our scheduled visits, and when our service comes to an end. “Reablement is more holistic, and perhaps less clinical than more traditional home care services. We look at the surrounding factors in a customer’s home, and what might impact on their mobility or impair their independence. We look at the position of furniture for example, and we can provide a stock of

small equipment, things like kettle tippers, long handed sponges, simple tools which can help them to carry out everyday tasks independently.” The success of reablement is also attributed to the determination of staff. “We worked together with staff, communicating the development of the new reablement service, which I think is hugely important during any change process.” “Above all it is important to remain focused on the longterm goal. Home Care staff were given the choice to work in reablement. The ones who have chosen this path truly see the benefit of what we are doing, which is ultimately about helping to maintain the dignity and independence of the customer and improve their quality of life.” Reablement is currently provided free of charge for up to six weeks, and Zoe is often asked why there is no charge for the service, “The theory behind reablement

is that an intense support plan is undertaken with the customer which is outcome focused. The customer and the Home Carer work together to a set of aims and goals. An aim may be that after two weeks, the customer will be able to wash and dress themselves independently with the assistance of small pieces of equipment. Once their reablement journey is finished, they will be assessed to see if an ongoing support service is needed in the long term. We expect that any ongoing support required will be significantly less as a result of reablement. “Over 60 per cent of customers that have been through reablement since we launched have not required ongoing support, avoiding the potentially high cost of a longer term care package” With reablement set to be in place across the county by the end of the year, what lies ahead for the team? Zoe concludes, “We’re not sitting still, we’re just starting out on discussions with health colleagues on aligning the reablement services with health and intermediate care so that more people can benefit from it.”

Team Focus • Reablement - AHCS How does it work?

There are two referral routes for reablement care: if on discharge from hospital a person is identified as having a social care need; or a social worker in the community teams makes a referral. If the customer meets the eligibility criteria they will be visited by an Occupational Therapist or Home Care Supervisor who will work with them and their family to build a reablement support plan which can last up to six weeks. The plan sets out goals and aims that the Home Carer will work to with the customer. These could be as simple as making a cup of tea independently, or using a shower. The goals are very much tailored to the individual circumstances of the person. Every two weeks the support plan is reviewed, and it may need to change or finish completely.

Case Study A customer’s perspective Ninety four year old Charles* was identified as having complex needs due a number of falls which had limited his mobility. He was unable to dress and shower independently, and was unable to stand unaided. He was referred to the reablement team who assessed how well he was coping at home and drew up a care plan. He was provided with a perching stool at first, but over time was able to stand independently, so he no longer needed the supporting equipment. A specific aspect of his care identified that he was unable to put his socks on, but by providing him with an aid, he was able to dress independently. Charles started his reablement support plan with four calls a day, but is now down to one, with his reablement service due to end very shortly. Charles remains in good spirits and continues to live at home with his 90 year old wife Connie* who says the service has had a positive impact on both their lives. Connie says: “The service has been great. Charles is doing really well and can pretty much do everything himself now including showering which he couldn’t do before.”

*Names have been changed.

Case Study • Reablement Home Carer Sandra London has worked as a carer for 20 years in and around the Nuneaton area. In March this year she was part of the team involved in the first roll out of reablement home care. “I’ve always loved my job, and while the changes were a little worrying at first, now we’re actually delivering reablement care it’s clear to see the difference it’s making. The change from having clients who you see regularly over a long period of time, to seeing new faces every few weeks takes a little getting used to, but it is actually nice to see a steady stream of new faces and ultimately seeing them improve. It’s always hard not to get emotionally attached to people, but because reablement is

offered over a shorter timescale it doesn’t pull you in quite as much emotionally as other types of homecare. Another difference I’ve noticed is that there is more opportunity for interacting with supervisors and to drop into the office. Although I’ve always felt valued in what I do, the changes mean I generally feel more a part of things. I can see the difference in my own personal development too, learning new processes, writing detailed care plans, and even getting a sat nav has boosted my confidence visiting clients in different areas. To do this job ultimately you have to like, and be interested in people. I truly love my job and I feel it’s more rewarding now as you can see how you’re

empowering people to build their independence. Clients are quick to tell you what they’ve done for themselves since your last visit - so it’s clear that when we’re not there the work we do with them continues to build their self confidence and sense of pride.”

Team Stats 1 x Home Care Dev. Manager 2 x Team Managers 20 x Home Care Supervisors 150 Reablement Home Carers 2 x Occupational Therapy Team Leaders 10 x OT, 6 x OT Assistants

Reablement roll out March 2010 – Nun & Bed June – Stratford August – North Warwickshire October - Warwick District End November - Rugby Tough Choices in Adult Health and Community Services As you will have read in this issue’s cover story, the council is facing a challenging time and like all other directorates AHCS, has to make some tough choices to deal with this challenge. But this challenge also brings opportunities. Expectations of social care have changed. More and more people want support to remain independent which is also the more cost effective option, rather than receive intensive care. Reablement is a prime example of a service that meets our customers’ needs by providing a personalised service which helps to make them more independent, but also helps us to make savings by reducing the need for longterm care. 9

News from where you work

Hannah is a Happiness Hero Congratulations to Family Support Worker Hannah Frost who has been nominated as a National Autistic Society (NAS) Happiness Hero. Hannah was nominated by Julie Thomas for the support she offers to her five year old son Jack who is on the autism spectrum, as well as the rest of the family. Hannah started working with Jack 18 months ago after Julie had a new baby, as Julie was unable to take both children out due to Jack’s unpredictable behaviour. Hannah visits the family on a weekly basis and accompanies them on trips in an effort to build Jack’s social skills and his road safety awareness. Julie, says, “Hannah has been a godsend for Jack and for myself. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her and she has helped us

Hannah Frost pictured with Jack.

through some very difficult times. She always provides a listening ear and useful advice at times when we have felt most isolated.” Hannah, says, “I have noticed a massive difference with Jack since I have been working with the family. He has now settled into school and has had a successful first year. He has also joined a local rugby team and really enjoyed his first season.” Happiness Heroes is part of the NAS’s You Need to Know campaign, which highlights how over 70 per cent of children with autism in England also have a mental health problem, often due to the lack of appropriate support. NAS has used Hannah and Jack’s story to promote the campaign nationally and celebrate the work of other heroes like Hannah.

“Hannah has been a godsend for Jack and for myself.”

In Memory Libraries are sorry to report that Felicity Shaw passed away peacefully on 9 August 2010 at Myton Hospice after a long and extremely brave battle against cancer. Felicity had been the Transport and Administration Officer for the Library and Information Service since 2006 and was instrumental in supporting the introduction of the new fleet of mobile libraries now in service across Warwickshire. She will be sadly missed by all her colleagues. Dave Woodhead, Senior Finance Officer in CYPF sadly passed away on Friday 27 August. Dave would have worked for WCC for 42 years in September, having started work for the council straight from school. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this sad time. Environment and Economy are sad to report the loss of Duncan Goodman, who worked in the Transport Planning Group. He was 62. Duncan started work at WCC in 1965. Duncan will be missed for his wit, knowledge, intellect and attention to detail. 10

Olympic star shines at Cycle Races

World and Olympic Champion Ed Clancy MBE was first across the finish line as he won the 2010 Warwick Cycle Races. This year’s event included races for all ages, as well as more seasoned professionals, and a 10k unicycle race! Laura Vesty, WCC’s Sustainable Travel Officer said: “This year’s cycle races was a huge success with thousands of people turning out to watch top British cyclists. The best thing about the event is that it really inspires people to enjoy cycling.” To find out more about the cycle races visit www.

Kreativ Kollectiv

An international exhibition featuring artwork and photography by talented artists with learning disabilities from Warwickshire and Germany has just come to a close. The ‘Kreative Kollectiv’ exhibition has been supported by WCC’s Social Care Arts Fund and Diakonie Stetten in Baden Württemberg. The Warwickshire artwork and photography has been produced by Active8 Arts and Funtography, both of which are part of WCC’s Community Support Service. By providing creative activities, the service aims to improve social inclusion and promote self expression for people with learning disabilities. Pictured: Julie Sutch, WCC’s Community Support Services; Cllr Izzi Seccombe and Thomas Grabert, of Kreative Werkstatt.

News from where you work Integrated Disability Service is looking for volunteers Our Integrated Disability Service (IDS) has recently set up a volunteer service to enhance the support on offer for families who have children with disabilities. This is a brilliant opportunity for people who are able to offer some time to give an extra pair of hands to local families, helping them with every day things which we take for granted but would make such a difference to them. The project started in May 2010 and a small number of volunteers have already been CRB checked and are ready to start. Family requests for volunteers are now starting to be referred and volunteers will be matched to these opportunities. The IDS is excited about the progress they have made so far and are very keen to make this service work. If you would like to volunteer your time to help a family please contact your local IDS base below and leave your contact details making reference to the IDS volunteer service. Rugby: 01926 476928 Warwick: 01926 413737 Nuneaton: 02476 368800

One prescription you can read

The Warwickshire Books on Prescription service - designed to help people with mild to moderate mental health problems - is making a big impact. Special collections of self-help books are available across our library network for GPs and mental health professionals to ‘prescribe’. Figures show that the book collections are being well used with over 1,500 issues. Project officer Alison McKellar (above) said “The books are self-help books selected by health professionals, so they

are high quality and they have been found to be useful by service users. The book collections are available on display in libraries for anyone to read, as well as being available for prescribers to recommend, it’s really encouraging that so many people have self-selected them from libraries across the county.” For further information Alison can be contacted on 01926 742739 or email: alisonemckellar@ booksonprescription

Free School Meals Application wins E-Gov Award

Successful Induction

Congratulations to Resources’ ICT service. They have been recognised in this year’s Guardian Government Computing Awards for their work with the Department for Education’s Connect Digitally Programme and their Free School Meals (FSM) process. Our ICT service has adopted the Connect Digitally Eligibility Checking Service (ECS), which means that Warwickshire residents can now check their eligibility for Free School Meals in seconds, a process that used to take weeks to complete. WCC was the first council in the country to make this facility available on our website. For more information please contact Ian Litton

A group of staff from schools and children’s centres together with Police and voluntary sector colleagues have all completed induction training which anyone who works with children and young people may find useful. The training has been developed by WCC in partnership with Coventry City Council and is offered to anyone working with children and young people in the public, private or voluntary sector. This level of induction is recommended for those who work in a supporting role - support staff in all children’s services settings, lunchtime supervisors, part time or sessional youth workers. A further level of induction is available for those whose role requires a more in-depth understanding. For more information about the training please contact Fiona Trewick, Workforce Development Coordinator, CYPF, internal 58 2135 or external 01926 742135.

ASBIT launches county-wide Firefighters across Warwickshire are aiming to make communities safer with the launch of their Anti-Social Behaviour Intervention Teams (ASBIT). The scheme, which we’ve featured before in W4W, was initially run as a pilot in Nuneaton and Bedworth, but due to its successs it has now been rolled out county-wide. It is run by Fire & Rescue in partnership with Warwickshire Police and aims to tackle anti-social behaviour in relation to small fire setting by working with communities to stop them happening. The ASBIT teams will be patrolling local hot spot areas positively engaging with young people in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of nuisance small fires and general criminal activity.

Bringing ‘Moore’ to the arson reduction team

Firefighter, Leslie Moore (above) tells us all about what it’s like to be the newest member of the council’s Arson Reduction Team. “I have been a firefighter with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service since 1981, when I joined as a junior at just 16. After two years of training I then progressed to become a shift firefighter in 1983. During my time with the service I have worked in Nuneaton, Atherstone and Rugby and feel that I have a real advantage when it comes to understanding the issues communities affected by arson face. “The arson reduction team is based at the Nuneaton Justice Centre. Working from this base enhances partnership working with agencies such as Warwickshire Police, Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Police Community Support Officers to tackle nuisance fire setting, arson and anti-social behaviour.” 11

News from where you work Online auctions save thousands Innovative online auctions have saved the council thousands of pounds, as taxi and bus firms compete for transport contracts. Resources’ Strategic Procurement Unit organise the eAuctions which were first held in 2008. Local taxi and bus firms bid for home to school routes, with a maximum of 15 routes auctioned at each event. The most recent round of auctions were held on 14 September, with nine more planned over the next 18 months. Impressive savings have been achieved through the eAuction initaitve with average annual budget costs cut by 27 per cent. More information: Paul White, , (01926) 736146

Landmark agreement WCC has signed a landmark partnership contract which will save taxpayers across four local authorities more than £400 million over 25 years by converting waste to energy. Warwickshire, together with Staffordshire, Sandwell and Walsall has signed a historic document which aims to achieve the target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2020. The agreement will see a multi-million pound investment by Veolia Environmental Services (UK) in a plant to convert waste into electricity. The Four Ashes plant is scheduled to be in operation by Autumn 2013.

Million pound milestone Sales of second hand goods donated at Burton Farm Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Stratford have raised a million pounds for charity. The Shakespeare Hospice is an independent local charity, which operates the re-use shop on behalf of WCC. The charity use the income to provide care and support for adults diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and their families. For more info call: 01926 412593 or email: 12

Are your colleagues something special? Now’s the time to nominate those who have gone the extra mile Award winners, Vicki Shaw and Rachel Crockett flanked by Cllr Peter Barnes and Vicki Butler-Henderson.

What the GEM Awards 2010 winners said: “It was a great feeling to know that the effort that we had put into the project had been recognised by our work colleagues.”

Vicki Shaw, Principal Health & Staff Support Officer, Resources Division, joint winner of 2010 GEM Award for Innovation.

If you think your colleagues are something special, take the opportunity ensure they get the recognition and thanks they deserve by nominating them for a GEM Award 2011. All county council staff members are gems but there are some staff who go above and beyond what is expected of them; Going the Extra Mile to deliver great service. Any member of staff can nominate any individual or team from any Directorate, whether they work at the front line or behind the scenes. For the third year, all Warwickshire County Council

directorates are joining together to recognise and reward staff for their achievements. The process will culminate in the GEM Awards Presentation Event to be held in February 2011. Nominations close on Friday 5th November. For more information and to find a nomination form go to the News section of the Intranet. Forms can be completed online or downloaded, can be emailed to you by contacting GEMAwards@ or can be sent to you in the post; contact Anni Clarke on 01926 476820.

Message from Chief Executive, Jim Graham “Anyone who has exceeded normal expectations can win an award. Individuals and teams who have shown exceptional commitment to their work and who have contributed in some significant way to improvements in our services are the unsung heroes of the organisation. It doesn’t matter what service they may be providing, just as long as they are

doing it exceptionally well! “I’m aware in these cash strapped times you may question the wisdom of the awards, but I remain convinced that they are worth their weight in gold in terms in recognising our talent. We can celebrate the innovation, enthusiasm, dedication, passion and compassion of our colleagues – the people that make this place tick. And without wanting to sound clichéd it does bring home the real impact our work has on the lives of others.”

“I have to say that I was surprised by our nomination and short-listing, I wasn’t therefore expecting success, not because the team didn’t ‘go the extra mile’ but because I had always expected these kinds of awards to go to front line staff who have a perceived direct impact on the public.” Tony Phillips, Senior Project Manager for the North Leamington School Delivery Project Team, winners of the 2010 GEM Award for pursuing a sustainable environment and economy.

“Winning the GEM Award was a personal highlight for me last year. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening. I was happy that my colleagues and friends had gone out of their way to nominate me and was shocked and somewhat humbled to actually receive the award. Andy Bates, Watch Manager, North Warwickshire Area Risk Team, winner of the 2010 GEM Award for Protecting the community and making Warwickshire a safer place to live.

Chartermark Success

Well done to Resources’ Facilities Management service which has successfully retained Chartermark status and also scored ‘outstanding’ on six areas of work. The assessor picked up on a real focus on customer service and highlighted strengths in consultation with customers, partners and staff. Praise was also heaped on the planning systems used in recent projects such as the Northgate House refurbishment, the Post Review and on WCC’s Carbon Management Plan.


Sue’s ultra distance challenge 50k world triumph for EED runner Sue Harrison is a Landscape Architect in Environment & Economy. You might have read about some of Sue’s athletic achievements before, but her latest triumph takes some beating. “Following my performance in this year’s London Marathon I was selected to run for England in the 50k World Trophy Final in Galway, Ireland on August 29th. Having never run this distance before (at around 31 miles it’s 5 miles further than a marathon) I was a little unsure as to what I’d let myself in for, but at the same time I was really excited. As it was my first venture into the world of ‘ultra-distance’ running I also decided to run in memory of a past President of my athletics club, Cavin Woodward, who was a former world-class ultra runner and who sadly died earlier this year from a heart complaint. I’ve raised around £1,500 so far, and I’m really grateful to everyone who so generously sponsored me. My training for the race was basically the same as for my

previous 12 marathons, although I did do one or two longer runs – the furthest being 30 miles along the Grand Union Canal from Hatton to Solihull and back! On the morning of the race the international 50k runners lined up at the start alongside runners doing the half-marathon and marathon which were being held in conjunction. There were athletes from Australia, South Africa, USA, Japan and several European countries. The race went better than I could have hoped for and I found myself in the lead in the women’s field right from the start. It was a fantastic experience having a lead-car and police motorbike escort during the whole race – just for me! I maintained my position throughout and won the women’s race in 3hrs 15mins 43 secs which is a new British Record by 3 minutes. It is also the fastest time in the world this year, and is a World Record for my age (over 35 years). I was 13 minutes ahead of the second woman – Mary Coordt from USA - and just for good

“The only downside was the 5 hours it took me to provide a drug-test sample afterwards!”

measure I also won the marathon en route! I was (and still am) over the moon – I never imagined my first attempt at the distance would be so successful!

The only downside was the 5 hours it took me to provide a drugtest sample afterwards! Oh, and the blisters – but they’re the best blisters I’ve ever had!”

The sky was the limit Darren’s 21/2 mile high charity jump

Congratulations to Darren Spencer a Finance Analyst from Supporting People who faced his fears to complete a charity skydive last month. Darren’s 13,500 (2.5 mile) drop from the sky raised over nine hundred pounds for the Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. Darren said: “I chose to skydive to do something out of the ordinary which would hopefully trigger plenty of financial support from colleagues and friends. It was a way to combine helping a worthwhile cause close to my heart and challenging myself at the same time. Rainbows

does excellent work with very little Government funding so is grateful for any contributions it receives. “I would like to thank everyone who was kind enough to sponsor me and would recommend skydiving as a sport - far less tiring than a marathon but a bit more expensive than a pair of trainers!” Rainbows is a registered charity and the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people. It is a place where lifelimited children and their families can take a break from life’s worries and heartaches. 13

People The secret life of staff…Guiding lights Meet a group of colleagues who can whip up a campfire and set up a tent with their eyes closed! 2009 – 2010 saw Guides across the world celebrate their centenary, and a number of WCC staff share their guiding stories below . Amy Richards, Strategic Finance Information Officer, Schools Finance I’ve been involved in Guiding in the area for 22 years, I am now Senior Section Guider for Southam District. Recent highlights include taking Long Itchington Guides to 10 Downing Street where we got to see the cabinet room and our photo taken on the famous stairs. I have made new friends through Guiding and I get a real buzz from giving new opportunities to the girls, and trying out some of the activities myself!

camps all over the UK. Last year I was presented with my 30 year long service award.

Di Gough, Youth Development Administrator, Fire & Rescue My Guiding career as a Leader started in Leicestershire where I was a founder member of my Ranger Unit. On moving to Warwickshire, I joined Cubbington Ranger Guide Unit, where I have been ever since. My Guiding career has had many highs; being one of the organisers of the Commonwealth Games Camp that ran alongside the Manchester Games in 2002; working as the token female member of the Fire Team at the World Scout Jamboree in Essex; camps in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland; and many international

Nicola Lomas, Children’s Joint Commissioning Manager I support other Guiders in the Leamington and Southam area to provide challenging activities to 1,000 members, and I run a Brownie Pack myself. This gives me the chance every week to enjoy the company of 35 enthusiastic girls aged 7-10 who are learning to ‘Do Their Best’ and can be guaranteed to make me smile whatever we happen to be doing that week - first aid, fund raising for charities or nature trails... you give your time, but get so much back.

Karen Handy, Team Leader & Project Support Officer My Guiding journey as an adult started in 1978 at the Methodist Brownies in Whitnash. I have many friends in Guiding and I consider them all to be my ‘sisters’. Why do I do it? I love the ethos and friendship of Guiding and the satisfaction that I may have helped to provide opportunities for young people to develop and grow and had a positive impact on their lives.

Dawn Clutton, Pensions Team Leader I have been in Guiding since I was 18. 31 years later I am still involved as an Assistant Guide Leader at 5th Leamington. I have been selected by Warwickshire to take nine Guides from the county to the next World Scout Jamboree in 2011 in Sweden. Guiding is a large part of my life and I enjoy the friendship and challenges that the organisation provides. Wherever you are in the world if you meet a Guide you have met a friend. Laura Pye, Head of Heritage Education I have been involved in Guiding since I joined Brownies at the age of 7 and I have never really left. Currently I am a Guide Leader in Leamington. Over the past 10 years I have gained my climbing qualifications, help organise an activity base for 2,000 people a day at Scout Jamboree, designed and developed a touring exhibition for our centenary year, been involved in a Heritage Lottery project to celebrate Guidings 100 years, been to one of the Queens Garden parties, fell off a grass sledge, been hit in the face with an oar rafting, taken part in many international camps and made some really great friends.

Rebecca Williams, Audience Development Officer Community, Heritage Education My Guiding life started as Brownie in my hometown of Guildford. I moved onto Guides and became a young leader. When I joined WCC I moved to Leamington not knowing anyone and I got in touch with the local office who put me in touch with 1st Leamington Guides, where I’m now running the unit with a team of other guiders. The centenary year has been a busy one with organising the county heritage exhibition and personally raising £2,500 for the centenary fund for a charity trek in Cuba where I’m going in November. Fancy giving Guiding a go? Contact any of us for more info.

Coming soon... What’s on the radar Staff networks Intranet forums Watercooler chat

Rounders roundup >> back page 14

My Warwickshire Life

David Curle • Asset and Emergency Planning Manager, AHCS

Whitnash lad David Curle left school at 16 and promptly set about finding a job. On 2 September 1970 David reported for work at 16 Old Square in Warwick as Children’s Records Clerk. Aptly the church bells at St Marys were chiming their regular ditty of “There’s no place like home” as David walked into the offices. David’s starting salary was £42 per month, and with his second pay cheque he bought a portable Sony TV which is still working to this day. In the late 80s David came full circle to return to where it all started at Old Square. This job would evolve to become his current role with the additional responsibilities of managing the social services transport fleet and emergency planning. In 2007 David became the first occupant of Saltisford 2, and subsequently coordinated the move of the rest of the directorate into the building. In case of emergency… One of the most challenging aspects to David’s role is emergency planning. He works closely with the council’s Emergency Planning Unit, and colleagues from the PCT with whom he has a great working relationship, warmly describing them as “my great friends”. The extremes of weather – snow, flooding, heat all present their own challenges as do unexpected evacuations of residential homes due to loss of power and heat. David recalls a memory from the 1999 floods: “I received a call reporting people on top of mobile homes which were floating down the Avon and heading towards a low bridge. I’m pleased to say a co-ordinated effort involving

the Army and RAF resulted in everybody being rescued safely.” David says that the snow this year was particularly problematic due to the depths it reached in some parts of the county. “We had a fleet of 4x4s delivering homecare staff to their clients over a two week period, long after everyone thought the worse was over”. He continues, “Without question none of this work is possible without our great transport teams, who never say no, and our homecarers who are our unsung heroes.” In 2004, David won a Diamond Award, from what was then the Social Services department. It recognised his contribution to the organisation over the years, but David is adamant that the award doesn’t just belong to him, “It’s a team effort, I’m just the silly bugger who tells them where to go what to do.” What has kept you here? “Whatever I have done it’s been about working with colleagues and ultimately providing excellent service to the customer at the end of the process. That’s why its been a pleasure to work for the council. Anytime I’ve thought about moving on, new opportunities have arisen, things change and it keeps me here - I truly never know what tomorrow is going to bring.” What advice would you give to 16 year old David? “Become part of a team, it is the only way you will succeed and the county council will succeed. I’m proud to work for Warwickshire and it has been a fascinating forty years, and I’m still here to tell the story” David is about to embark on a pretty daunting personal journey with the diagnosis of an extremely

In this photo, David is wearing the very same tie he wore on his first day, way back on 2nd September, 1970.

rare heart condition - Pulmonary Endarterectomy. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment means David will be away from work for a few months, but he is already planning his return after a holiday in Hong Kong, and is looking forward to his 41st anniversary of working for Warwickshire. Outside of work A recent trip to Hong Kong made such an impact he is planning a return trip for Chinese New Year 2011. Although his favourite mode of transport is the train, he is part of a co-op who have approximately 30 preserved buses and has rescued a Bristol RELH Dual Purpose Coach from a chicken coop in Ireland, to bring it back to its former glory. David steers clear of the engine end and instead will be looking at the interiors.

The Office

Over 40 years David has seen a lot of changes… No ID badges, everybody knew each other and security was not an issue in those days. Printers and photocopies – not in the 1970s, welcome to the world of Gestetner stencils for producing multiple copies of the same document. Underwood typewriters and duplicating paper were superseded by the typing pool which averaged a two day turn around on your typing on a good day. And in the mail room? A wind up franking machine. From 1987 computers started to make their first appearance and David assisted in the initial training of staff in Social Services to familiarise them with them there gadgets. 15

Competition To win a fab iPod shuffle, simply answer the following question (the answer is in this edition) and email your answer to: w4wcompetition@warwickshire. Q. What’s the deadline for GEM award nominations?

Steve Ball of Resources Outlaws dives in vain for home base as he’s run out by Katie Barrow of CYPF Too Salty as Natalie Barrow gets a bit excited in the background.


WCC Super Series

Outlaws triumph in Rounders Competition Warwickshire County Council is currently running our very own Super Series karting driver championships, giving all you budding Lewis Hamilton’s your chance to show off your driving skills. ICT’s Stephen Busler won the 3rd race of the season with two races to go, and all details of results are available at https:// home If you are interested in taking part in next season’s Championship, then please contact Richard Ponynter via Lotus Notes.

Working for Warwickshire is printed on recycled paper and written, edited and designed in-house to minimise costs. For contributions or comments contact: or write to: Sarah Antill, W4W,Customer Service & Communications, P.O. Box 9, Shire Hall, Warwick CV34 4RR • Tel. 01926 476883

Resources team takes the title after hard fought battle

The first WCC inter-directorate rounders league in almost 20 years prompted a great response with more than 150 staff members taking part and eight teams competing. Each of the eight teams played their seven rivals in the friendly, but still competitive games, through the summer months. The Resources Outlaws team were dominant from the outset and managed a clean sheet, winning all of their games, making 129.5 rounders (an average of 18.5 a game), and conceding just 46 rounders. Runners up were Darwen’s Darlings, a Customers Workforce and Governance team who won five of their seven games, followed closely EED’s EE By Gum, also on five wins, and in third spot on rounders points difference alone. Games were played in a 20/20 style, where each team had a 20 minute innings to score as many rounders as possible, or until they were all out (only a couple of teams made it to the 20 minute deadline). Competition organiser Jack Linstead said: “I think the vast majority of people had a really good time and got to meet colleagues in

Resources Outlaws, back row l/r: Tej Grewal, Dan Hone, Kate Sahota, Rich Poynter, Jo Tomasso. Front: Steve Ball, Doug Thrower, Steve Busler. (Not pictured: Geoff Taylor, Lisa Smith & Tracey Checkley.

a very different environment. “A really big thank you should go to Richard Poynter in Resources for all his work and organisation, plus all the team captains and vice captains, for making the league work. “Fingers crossed that we can continue next year and that someone will challenge the Resources Outlaws for the trophy.” The end of the league was celebrated on Thursday, September 2, with a mini-cup competition and barbecue. Congratulations to the Resources Sharks for winning the cup in a close fought final with the

Resources Outlaws. All the games were played at the WCC Myton sports field off Myton Road in Warwick, with the league kindly supported throughout by the WCC Staff Sports Club Committee.

Final league table


1. Resources Outlaws


2. Darwin’s Darlings (CWG) 15 3. EE by Gum


4. CYPF Too Salty


5. Resources Sharks


6. Red Bulls (CWG)


7. Punch Bowlers (CWG)


8. CYPF1


W4W October 2010  

Working for Warwickshire staff magazine Warwickshire County Council

W4W October 2010  

Working for Warwickshire staff magazine Warwickshire County Council