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Blog from Paul O'Brien

January 31, 2009
Tuning into FM!

APSE's annual Facilities Management seminar takes place in Chester and I manage to attend the dinner and second day of presentations.

Missed the first day as I attended a Show Racism the Red Card event at Old Trafford in Manchester but clear links exist between the two events. The issues of healthy eating and tackling racism are partially aimed at the same audience - schoolkids. Joint working would probably reap joint benefit, with football personalities a big hit with schoolkids and their potential involvement / endorsement of school meals services likely to help with uptake levels. 
 

By Paul O'Brien
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January 27, 2009
Bringing diversity to the construction industry!

London's the venue for the Construction Youth Trusts Diversity Strategic Group. The 5.30am start leaves me on that fine line between wanting to make the most effective use of my time and being grumpy.

Early exchanges in the meeting focus on the problem - the construction industry has a White, male, ageing workforce and the demographics suggest that the normal recruitment base is diminishing dramatically, with half a million less 16 to 18 year olds come 2017. So the problem of lack of opportunity for females and black and minority ethnic workers in the industry is not just a moral issue any more but also a crucial one in the future battle for employees.
 

By Paul O'Brien
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January 27, 2009
Commissioning: pursue long term value at all costs!

Mark Bramah and myself run a 90 minute slot on Commissioning for a group of 20 or so future local government political leaders on Saturday afternoon in Manchester. They appear to enjoy it and their interaction makes things more energising for Mark and myself rather than just lecturing them with APSE's position. 
 

By Paul O'Brien
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January 23, 2009
Economy, efficiency and effectiveness

A busy few days for me on planet APSE with a seminar at City of Manchester Stadium on how local authorities can best respond to the challenges that the recession is throwing at them. We call it "Economy, efficiency and effectiveness", obvious I know but it's still the overarching best value duty placed on local authorities by the Local Government Act 1999.
 

By Paul O'Brien
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January 10, 2009
Trading Places!

Go across to Stockport today to meet APSE's main contact Nick Cox. Nick as Managing Director, set up SK Solutions, Stockport Council's arms length trading company.

Nick brings me up to speed with what they are hoping to achieve as a wholly owned council company and sets out their ambitous business growth targets.
 

By Paul O'Brien
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Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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