Association for Public Service Excellence
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Restricting the number of betting shops – G0098/291112
This authority is seeking to restrict the number of betting shops in an area . Do members have examples of how they have successfully done this or planning to do this, whether through the planning process or other measures?

Use of Social Media – G0093/280912
A member authority is seeking examples of Social media usage in:

  • Environmental Health Services
  • Streetscene
  • Housing
  • Waste Management
  • Health and Well-being, Leisure
  • Environmental Crime Enforcement
  • Licensing
  • Food Hygiene
  • Pest Control

Do you have a Facebook page/ Twitter feed / Web Apps /You said -We did for any of the above?

Do you use Fix my Street or Love Clean Streets Apps? Any advice?

Who keeps the content ‘fresh’?

Who monitors/responds to the social media channels (is this done Corporately or by the service)?

Functional approach to delivering outdoor environmental services – G0091/120912
This authority is putting together a programme of work called 'Managing the Outdoor Environment' which incorporates everything that is part of the 'outdoor environment' including highways, parks, cleansing, etc. The programme is being designed on a functional basis across all service areas, and avoiding the silos of the specific service areas.

They are interested in hearing from other Councils that have moved from a silo based service delivery model to a functional view / approach. Although they would like to hear from those who have made this change in the context of outdoor, environmental services, they would be equally happy to speak to any authority that has taken this approach with regard to other services.

They would like to hear about:

  • the strategic context
  • the approach to managing the change and any barriers / lessons learnt
  • a short description of actions taken
  • contact details to discuss further.

Highways weed control service – G0090/030912
This authority is investigating the practicalities of providing their highway weed control service by an in house team. The service needs to be based around two quad bikes equipped with spray tanks and the option to spray with both a boom and hand held lance. They would be grateful for information fromother authorities providing a similar service on:

  • What type/size of quad bikes you are operating and the reasoning behind your choice of machinery
  • The size of spray tanks used on the bikes and the proffered boom and lance options to administer the treatment
  • Information regarding suppliers of equipment for this type of weed control

Health and Safety support providers – G0092/140912
This authority is developing a health and safety strategy and management system which includes various approaches to developing and influencing the culture within the organisation. They would like to know which organisation other authorities use in terms of quality and standards of award systems to support and develop Health and Safety, namely either:

  • RoSPA or
  • British Safety Council

They would also be interested to hear of any other approaches taken or organisations engaged to support them in this area of work.

Network query: Health and safety in driving – G0089/070812
This local authority would like to find out from other authorities what their health and safety procedures are in relation to driving refuse collection vehicles, in particular:

  • Do you employ a designated reversing assistant for all of your refuse collection rounds?
  • What size are your crew (e.g. driver + 1)?
  • What safety measures are built into vehicles e.g. lights/warning systems?
  • Do you have training that incorporates reversing, if so who delivers it?
  • Do your Risk Assessments/Safe Systems of Work incorporate reversing?

Network query: Control of distribution of printed matter – G0088/020812
A local authority in Northern Ireland, new to the Clean Neighbourhoods Act which came into force in Northern Ireland in April 2012, is interested to learn from the experiences of councils in England and Wales. They would like to know:

  • Has any council used their powers to designate land to control the free distribution of printed matter?
  • If so, what internal process was involved?
  • A copy of the procedure used would be welcome.

External Funding Co-ordinator – G0087/300712
This authority would like to receive copies of job descriptions (and salary) for those authorities who have a dedicated External Funding Co-ordinator (or equivalent). Please specify if this role covers a number of different service areas within the council or is dedicated to a particular service (e.g. parks).

Review of Anti Social Behaviour Team/ Task Force – G0086/200712
A member Council is intending to carry out a full review of its Anti Social Behaviour Team/Task Force

In terms of its:

  • Role
  • Objectives
  • Achievements/ Impact
  • Costs

It is looking to see if member Councils have done similar policy/ operational reviews. The Council is particularly interested in:

  • Copies of Review reports
  • Copies of Improvement Plans
  • Job Profiles of Wardens

Cleaning central reservations on 30mph roads – G0085/190712
This authority would like to find out from other authorities safety practices when operatives are working on 30mph roads cleaning central reservations. This authority’s operatives use large sweepers but are also working by hand (scraping and sweeping) and they have the correct PPE. They also put warning signs up in advance, and use 2 “buffer vehicles, one in front, one at the rear, with the sweeper in the middle.

Would other authorities fully cone off the areas where they are working or use a “rolling road” type.

Sun protection for worker – G0084/120712
This authority is interested to know what other member authorities do with regard to avoiding sun burn amongst staff.

They would be grateful to know how others address this issue, for example do they give out sun protection lotion?

Training, Learning and Development Plans for staff – G0081/150612
This member is keen to see examples of existing training, learning and development plans for staff.

Advertising on council vehicles – G0079/290512
This authority are investigating the use of their vehicles for commercial advertising. Does anyone have experience of working with advertising agencies to sell space on their vehicles, if so:

  • Who provides the service?
  • What vehicles do you place advertising on?
  • Does it generate a good income?

Use of energy and water efficient systems in public conveniences – G0080/300512
This authority are about to embark on a capital investment programme to refurbish some of the public conveniences. The intention is whilst upgrading to minimise future running costs by the use of energy and water efficient systems. 

They would like to find out:

  • Are there any other authorities that have recently done this?
  • What systems have been installed?
  • Who are the key suppliers?

Use of handheld PDA technology – G0078/110512
This local authority is interested in hearing about the experiences of Local Authorities who have invested in and implemented the use of handheld PDA technology to facilitate the reporting, inspection and performance monitoring of work activities. The work activities concerned being across frontline service areas including cleansing, street sweeping, roads inspection, parks maintenance and woodland/tree management activities.

Working patterns and fleet usage in Parks services – G0075/220312
This member authority is looking to revise working patterns in its Parks service to maximise use of its fleet and reduce costs of fleet and equipment. They would be interested to hear from other local authorities who have:

  • Moved away from annualised hours
  • Introduced new work patterns of work such as  5 over 7 days or 7 over 10 or other roster combinations
  • Explored the impact on fleet and other equipment such as reduced costs or increased costs as a result of different working patterns
  • Aligned fleet maintenance arrangements with new working patterns

They would also like to know if, having implemented any of the above arrangements, you would be prepared to agree to an APSE member site visit to further explore these issues

Charging and trading in Parks – G0072/140312
This member authority is considering means to maximise opportunity for income in Parks as part of the 2012 Olympics (in encouraging activity in public parks).

They would welcome details from other members as follows:

  • Have you developed a charging strategy or fees and charges review for your Parks services?
  • Do you operate a licensing arrangement / agreement with your legal services department to allow, for example, funfairs to be charged for clean-up operations etc and who receives the revenue for parks sites being temporarily occupied in this way?
  • Do you set up kiosks / catering arrangements as a means of generating income and are these franchised or operated by other councils departments?
  • What other charging activity has proved successful for Parks based income generation such as concerts or other open air events?

Sickness absence policies - G0074
This member authority is reviewing its sickness absence policies and would welcome information as follows from other authorities:

  • Have you reviewed your sickness absence procedures and are you willing to share your findings?
  • Have you introduced any measures such as rewards for non-absence / good attendance?
  • Have you introduce any financial penalties such as non-payment for the first one or two days of absence?
  • Have you considered not reinstating annual leave for employees taken ill whilst on annual leave?

Review of marketing and communications – G0073/150312
This member authority is in the process of reviewing their corporate marketing and communications strategy and structure. They would like to make contact or receive details from other authorities that have undertaken a similar review to identify some of the following issues:

  • Did your review consider bringing all marketing and communication activity within one corporate unit?
  • If you operate all marketing and communications under one unit has this successfully removed duplication and / or costs?
  • Have departments who may have run their own campaigns and communications – such as recycling campaigns for example found more centralised arrangements worked well?
  • Has a more centralised approach to marketing and communications frustrated the ability for departments to have an input into service specific campaigns or communication strategies?

Monitoring HAVs – G0071/020312
This authority wants to know more about HAVs monitoring and how others approach it. They wish to hear from other councils and how they monitor and record vibration in particular with regard to personal tooling. For example do they use the HSE points system, a traffic light system or another way of monitoring the exposure values?

They would be grateful to hear about this and other relevant information regarding HAVs monitoring.

All who provide information will be copied into all responses.

Use of social media and networking tools by local authorities - G0070
APSE are seeking examples of where local authorities have embraced social media and networks to:

  • Communicate with the public
  • Receive feedback and complaints
  • Engage with specific target groups
  • Assist staff in achieving improved efficiency

Examples might include:

  • Web Apps for iphone and mobiles
  • Social networking pages such as Facebook and twitter
  • Websites to encourage participation e.g, recycling or young people
  • Use of PDAs for capturing data for quality
  • Innovative technologies such as bluetooth broadcast.

Taking vehicles home - G0069
This local authority are looking at reducing the size of their depot (or not having a depot at all) and are looking at staff being able to take the vehicles home. They would appreciate feedback from other local authorities who have done this or looked into this including consideration of issues such as:

  • Risk assessments
  • Insurance / liabilities
  • Protocols for vehicle and fuel use

Risk assessments for street scene developments - G0068
This authority would like to receive copies of risk assessments from other authorities relating to the following tasks:

  • Bricklaying/blocklaying
  • Paving
  • Tarmacing
  • Fence/Post erection
  • Hard landscaping

Use of the powers in the Clean Neighbourhoods Act – G0067
The Clean Neighbourhoods Act is due to come into force in Northern Ireland in April 2012. A member authority is interested in any lessons learned from councils in England and Wales with particular regard to:

  • Dogs, fouling, control orders, barking dogs, dog walkers
  • Light pollution
  • Noise
  • Fixed penalty notices
  • They would also welcome any comments on the Educate v litigate approach
  • Examples of good practice
  • What hasn’t worked

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association 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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