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21 Apr 2011
15 Apr 2011
Read all about the latest news from the Midland Highways Alliance, an EM IEP sponsored flagship project.
This publication contains:
Membeship boost for MHA
MHA invited to West Midlands conference
Work stream focus
MHA Website update
Seeking a surface dressing contractor?
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adeu
Special equipment resource poll
04 Apr 2011
The Local Government Chronicle has recently announced the winners of it 2011 'Recognising Innovation' awards.
Congratulations go to those authorities in the East Midlands who have featured highly in both winning entries and those projects that have been highly commended by the judges, listed below are their details:
Most Improved Council of the Year Award - WINNER
North East Derbyshire DC
Project - Shaping the Future
North East Derbyshire DC decided to re-organise its management and departmental structure: the aim was to tackle a ‘silo working' culture. They began by producing a five-year corporate plan covering the period 2011-15 - this was done while the council faced having to make savings that amounted to 30% of its budget. The decision was made to create ‘people and place directorates' in place of departments; a detailed report was then commissioned on the challenges facing the district council. North East Derbyshire has worked to get as many staff as possible involved in meeting its efficiency targets. Similarly, other local stakeholders were also consulted with a view to prioritising some services and placing less emphasis on others. The council successfully reduced its budget by 30% in April 2010.
‘‘ They have continued to demonstrate innovation, value for money and an absolute priority to meet the needs of their citizens."
Finance Award - WINNER
Project - Celebrating Continuous Improvement
Northamptonshire's achievements include launching a local government shared services operation in partnership with Cambridgeshire CC that will provide "transactional, professional and strategic support" to both local authorities and other interested public sector bodies. The council also provides information to residents on how it spends its money by detailing transactions of more than £500
on its website. The pension scheme's costs per member stands at £19.91, compared with an average of £21.77. Treasury benchmarking club data shows that the council is paying interest at an average of 4.09%, compared with a club average of 5.30%, and receiving interest at a rate of 5.50% compared with an average of 5.22%.
"The authority's progress in finance has been meteoric. Also, the whole team is operating at a very high level."
Low Carbon Council Award - WINNER
Project - A Low Carbon Council
After taking part in the Carbon Trust's carbon management programme, Mansfield DC decided to work to reduce its energy costs by £2.8m by 2013-14. Consequently, the council agreed a programme for implementing carbon reduction measures. It also recruited a climate change officer. So far, the council has allocated £160,000 to specific energy-saving measures across all departments, out of £484,000 of funding that has been made available. Last August Mansfield ran an energy awareness week in conjunction with the Energy Saving Trust and an energy advice pack for residents is being designed. In 2009-10, a 12% reduction in emissions was achieved across the council.
"An exemplar for districts and boroughs across the country, demonstrating what can be achieved in a short time from a standing start."
Health and Social Care Award - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Project - Prevention is better than cure
Kettering aims to improve the health of people in the borough in a number of different ways including: the provision of a cardiac rehabilitation scheme for older people; the provision of the ‘Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!' programme, which aims to prevent obesity among children and young people; and maximising opportunities for sport, leisure and culture via the 2012 cultural Olympiad. Community engagement has been key, and the council runs healthy living services in sheltered accommodation, village halls, community centres, and at roadshows and sporting events. A total of 30,000 people have taken part in the keephealthy@kettering initiative over the past year, including more than 1,600 young people who took part in children's holiday activities.
Legal Award - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Project - Creating a Positive Mansfield
The legal team has had an important role in tackling two of the council's priorities: revitalising the district - as well as the town centre and neighbourhoods - and reducing crime and antisocial behaviour. To further these aims, the council decided that it would be useful if all housing officers were given legal training to help improve the poor relationship between its housing and legal departments. The housing officers are now much more aware of what evidence the legal department needed when handling cases and how such evidence is best gathered. The positive results include a reduction in legal spend from £200,000 per year to £30,000. Mansfield has also managed to increase the number of antisocial behaviour injunctions it secures.
Workforce Award - HIGHLY COMMENDED
Project - Northamptonshire Teach er Recruitment & Retention Strategy
Northampton created its NTRRS in 2009 in response to a number of issues, including a pupil/teacher ratio that was higher than the national average, a lack of secondary newly qualified teachers, and a lack of succession planning for replacing a large number of headteachers aged 55 or over. The appointment of a recruitment, retention and trainee teacher adviser was one of the key measures that was carried out, as was a detailed needs assessment. There had been 722 expressions of interest from newly qualified teachers by the end of the first year of the initiative, while 21 governors had received recruitment training. Sixteen headteachers also took part in the council induction programme, which aims to create a more stable workforce.
To find out more go to the:
04 Apr 2011
Derbyshire County Council have been awarded funding by EM IEP to develop an eAuction tool for authorities in the region.
The use of Reverse Auctions (eAuctions) as a tool to deliver enhanced competition is growing across both central and local government. As part of the 'Changing the Way Derbyshire Works' programme, the Council has been working with the other East Midlands councils to raise the profile of eAuctions and collate future opportunities for regional and local collaboration which are expected to deliver improved Value for Money. This work has been funded as part of an eAuction programme by the EM IEP.
The market has misgivings that the introduction of the eAuction tool is purely to drive down prices. It does have the effect of sharpening prices but bidders are also beginning to recognise that they can derive significant benefits from the eAuctions, in particular:
i) Time saved in bid process;
ii) Accessible and easy to use bidding tool;
iii) Auctions still deliver a balanced quality/price solution;
iv) Clear transparency and control of the process;
v) Real-time data and the ability to respond to competitor pricing (multiple dynamic bids); and,
vi) Provides real evidence to improve competitive performance.
The proposed solution is required to meet specific criteria:
• Be delivered within the available budget
• Require minimum ongoing support
• Be a tried and tested solution
• Have an on line training package for users
• Have the "buy in" of heads of procurement in the East Midlands
• Allow eAuctions to operate at any financial threshold
• Have minimum on going costs
• Auctions able to be managed at a local level
• No restrictions on number of Auctions through the solution
The website will be launched soon.
04 Apr 2011
In 2006 EM IEP recognised Derbyshire County Council's 'Source Derbyshire' website as good practice and provided funding to roll-out equivalent site for Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire. and Rutland The sites are tied up to the overarching Source East Midlands website which has been a valuable to tool for local and national businesses searching for contract opportunities.
EM IEP have recently provided further funding to refresh the site to enhance the demand from businesses in providing all the information they need to ensure authority tenders/contracts are publicised as widely as possible.
A wide range of products and services are required by local government across the East Midlands, from ingredients to make school dinners, to IT equipment, paper, building materials, vehicles and construction. Any organisation connected with local government in the East Midlands can use the free service to advertise the goods and services they wish to buy.
Businesses can sign up to receive free alerts on the area of business they are interested in. And the Source websites work both on PC's, mobile phones and has an iPhone App.
Authorities will benefit through:
- Cost reduction opportunities made through removing the need to advertise in chargeable publications
- Increased reputation gained through clear and transparent good practice
- Opportunities to increase the local £ (LM3 effect)
Addressing a number of areas in Central Governments Transparency agenda
The websites will have a number of key themes:
• Tender Alerts
• Search ability
• PQQ Corner
• Potential for wider Affiliation
• Easy Administration
• Easily Developable
• Easy print option
• Signposting to other opportunity sites, guidance and business support
• Mobile functionality across a number of platforms (Blackberry, Ipods etc
• RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works
Each website will as now be designed around:
i) A standard template
ii) Allow some local customising for each affiliate
iii) Live Opportunities
v) Sub Contract opportunities
vi) Forward Procurement Plan
Visit the Source East Midlands website and sub-regional versions at:
01 Apr 2011
31 Mar 2011
The Standard Documents Group have now completed their work in updating the region's Standard Template Documents.
Special thanks goes to the members, listed below, for their involvement and hard work. The group will continue a watching brief over the documents going forward to maintain their relevance in light of new legislation and developments. Please contact any of the group if you have any suggested amendments:
David Hayes - Gedling & Rushcliffe BC
Sandy Williams - Bassetlaw DC
Surinder Kahlon - Derby City
Steve Cotterill - Broxtowe BC
Andrew Hickson - Derbyshire CC
Gus de Silva - Northamptonshire CC
Roger Holloway - Lincolnshire CC
Matt Hird - Lincolnshire CC
The purpose of these templates is to:
(a) Provide the regions authorities with consistent standard template base documents relating to procurement processes.
The benefit from using a standard template is that it both saves time on each individual procurement and provides a good consistent base document.
(b) Develop over time a consistency of documentation emulating from local authorities which provides suppliers, in particular SME's with a recognised format in which they are comfortable in responding against.
The documents can be found at:
29 Mar 2011
All public bodies have a duty to ensure that their use of resources is economic, efficient and effective. Dudley Council would like to share value for money practices with you.
Dudley MBC is keen to share examples of best practice with colleagues in other authorities.
In doing so, they have talked to a number of other councils and confirmed that there's very little new under the sun - but whilst a lot of good practice is out there, and a lot can be found by Googling, frequently the detail is buried in committee meeting minutes or in some cases key individuals involved have moved on.
They have written up their experience of looking at a variety of potential areas for improvement projects, large and small, in a format that hopefully provides enough information for anyone else who'd be interested to progress them. The intention is to continue adding new project cards to this site at least once a month, and possibly more frequently if other people chip in information on their projects
On the following pages are a number of project "recipe" cards which offer value for money processes and ideas. The VFM recipe cards feature subjects you can consider for action. http://www.dudley.gov.uk/council--democracy/value-for-money-projects
21 Mar 2011
Summary: Shaping the Market Project
18 Mar 2011
Everybody loves a bank holiday but for waste and recycling services they can sometimes prove to be a real headache! In January 2011 councils were asked by Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, to consider how they might improve operations in time for the Easter and Spring Bank Holidays. To help councils to review their options, WIN has brought together some top advice and innovative solutions direct from local authorities and supporting organisations. Read our latest WIN FOCUS to get all the details.
18 Mar 2011
The CLG have produced this simple step by step guide on how to hold a community event. The document includes a simple form that residents can use to let their local authority know about their plans.
WIN's Local Authority checklist for street parties:
18 Mar 2011
Trade waste collections carried out by local authorities are no longer subject to VAT, in a move which could have implications for competition between the public and private sector.
To read more click here
18 Mar 2011
Defra update: March 2011 – read the latest on the Waste Review, Anaerobic digestion, C & I waste and much more
18 Mar 2011
From April, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) will take responsibility for coordinating the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) on behalf of Defra and the Devolved Administrations. Defra and WRAP are keen to hear your views on priorities for taking forward the Action Plan and ensuring it continues to add value.
A discussion paper has been written on options for organisation and future work, and ways in which WRAP could provide practical Government-funded help. All stakeholders in the SCAP are invited to submit their views on this via a short online feedback form
Please respond to this consultation by 31st March.
11 Mar 2011
Following the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude's announcement on Mutuals in November 2010, Local Partnerships, Co-operatives UK and the Employee Ownership Association have come together in partnership to provide a signposting service for staff in the public sector interested in setting up a social or mutual enterprise.
The Mutuals Information Service has been set up to help signpost staff in the public sector who are interested in setting up a social or mutual enterprise. Careful consideration needs to be given to the different organisational options available, to ensure that the businesses being created are right for you and right for delivering the services that you want to provide. We can put you in touch with organisations that will be able to help you with various aspects of business planning, HR and legal advice, finance and investment, marketing and market research.
Since November 2010, The Mutuals Information Services has had over 200 enquiries. The vast majority of enquiries have come from Local Government but there have also been some from central government and non-departmental bodies. The potential size of the organisations are ranging from 2 to over 500 staff, and with a turnover of less than £100k to over £50m+. The range of services being discussed is wide ranging from adult social care to education support services to ICT services.
If you would like to take advantage of this free signposting service, please get in touch by calling 020 7296 6705 or visit www.local.gov.uk/mutuals
10 Mar 2011
The LGA published a media release on Monday (7th March) stating that 'over the past 12 months, local authorities have had to spend about an extra £20 million at the pumps to keep their fleets of bin lorries, street cleaners, meals on wheels, buses and lawn mowers running'. With fuel costs expected to rise again in April, matched with expected increases in oil costs in the coming weeks, councils are experiencing increasing pressure on other budget areas and reserves. More
10 Mar 2011
use this Petroleum Products contract from ESPO to procure Automotive Fuel and Heating Oils. To read more click here.
10 Mar 2011
Read the governments vision for a low carbon economy. Includes a section on low carbon transport (p35) outlining government support for low emission vehicle technologies, promotion of the use of sustainable biofuels and changing behaviour to reduce emissions. The report also looks at cutting emissions from waste (p44).
10 Mar 2011
Read case studies on:-
Driver training - Southampton CC's driver training programme saved more than £46k in first year
GPS tracking and efficient vehicles - One council trialed this technology in just three vehicles and saved £48k per year
Lois Dale, Programme Support Officer