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G0167 - Customer services – costs for customer transactions - 090614

This local authority is currently undertaking a review of a number of streams of their customer service areas and are keen to hear from local authorities who have collected any information on costs for customer transactions (via different contact channels) and any savings achieved.

If you have any information you would like to share regarding this, it would be greatly appreciated. Of particular interest would be any headline quality or cost performance indicators which you have used.

G0166 - Income stream from CCTV - 060614

This authority is carrying out a review of the CCTV aspect of the service. It is considered a valuable community service and a deterrent but there is no specific budget to provide it. The local Police use the service to gather images of incidents for evidence and they also have a link to the control room and ask for the cameras to be directed to incidents as they happen.  

The member would like to hear from other authorities who have responsibility for CCTV monitoring/surveillance about the income streams they receive or know are available.

Additionally they would like to know whether others provide a similar service for the Police and if so whether they receive any income from them in return.

G0165 - Integrating service delivery between teams - 280514

A local district authority has managed to get staff from a range of public sector bodies onto one site , including the county council social care functions, local policing teams and Department of Work and Pensions and is now considering the next step of integrating service delivery. They would appreciate contact from any council who has done this or who is considering this, for an informal chat about ideas.

G0164 - Staff transport policies - 060514

A member authority is seeking to improve the way they manage travel expenses. They wish to:

  1.      Reducing travel costs
  2.      Simplify the way transactions are processed
  3.      Reduce administration and invoicing costs.

They would like to hear from any other authorities who have achieved these aims. Specifically, they ask:

  1.     Are there any authorities that have implemented travel schemes that have delivered both reduction in cost and administration?
  2.     Can you detail what has been most effective?
  3.     Are there any hurdles we should consider to maximise cashable efficiency savings?
  4.     Is there anything else you would advise the authority to consider to achieve its objective?

G0163 - Merging litter-picking and leisure management – 240414

This authority is reviewing its litter-picking arrangements and one proposal is to merge litter-picking with Leisure Management activities.  They would like to know if any other authorities have considered or are looking at the re-organisation of their litter-picking services and whether they have looked at integrating Leisure Management (with responsibility for parks) and the Litter Management in terms of the street scenes.


G0162 - Commercial Permits in Parks
A member Authority is looking at charging for commercial activities within their parks. This could be military fit, Nordic walking or other activities which use the park for commercial purposes.

They would like information from those who:

  • Charge a yearly permit fee - and if so how much and for what activity?

G0161 - Purchasing flood defence equipment - 310314
This local authority is looking to go out to tender for flood defence equipment such as flood sacks,sandbags, snakes, etc. Given the recent flood situations in the country, they would be interested to hear:

a)if there are any national initiatives being considered with regard to procurement of this type of equipment

b)whether others would be interested in joining with this authority in a joint procurement exercise

c)from others who have been through a similar tender exercise recently

G0160 - Measuring wellbeing initiatives - 240314
This APSE member local authority is considering how to measure the success of initiatives designed to enhance wellbeing.

They would like to know:

  • Do you have any tools in place to measure the wellbeing of local people or groups of people? 
  • What are these tools and how do they work for you?
  • Have you used these measures to track the success of grant funded or commissioned programmes or projects?  If so, how?
  • Would you be willing to share any documentation relating to how you measure wellbeing?

G0159 - Local authority strategies for engaging with hard to reach communities
This member authority is currently developing a strategy for engagement with Communities of Interest e.g. BME/Faith Communities and would be interested to hear from other APSE members who are involved in similar work.

They would like to know:

  • What steps are you taking to engage communities of interest in your area?
  • How are you measuring/quantifying the success of any engagement undertaken?
  • Do you run a grant programme to promote cohesion/social inclusion in your council area?

G0158 - Storage of road sweepers, especially mini (1.5t) and midi (4.5t) in freezing weather This authority is looking at storage options for cleansing sweepers. They want to avoid the problem of water pipes and valves which freeze resulting in the need for maintenance to restore them to working order.

They are interested in the following:

1) whether others store machines under cover, or in a building, especially over night

2) whether those machines which remain outside, are drained down and refilled with water on a day to day basis

3) any other measures which address this issue?

G0157 - Sickness absence monitoring
This member authority is reviewing its sickness absence monitoring policies and they would be interested to know if:

  • Your authority has one overall policy regardless of service area or job types or
  • If your authority has departmental sickness absence monitoring policies - to allow for differences in job types and service needs.

They would also welcome examples of any policies in operation within your authority and if these have been particularly successful in supporting employees and reducing sickness absence and associated.

Internal auditing of health and safety management systems certified to OHSAS 18001 - G0156/140314
This APSE member authority has a health and safety management system, certified to OHSAS 18001 for some key service areas.

They are currently reviewing how they operate this system and, in particular how they conduct internal audits of their H&S procedures, alongside more ‘traditional’ workplace health and safety monitoring.

They would like to share experiences of internal auditing with other authorities who are certified to 18001, with a view to devising the most efficient system, that provides maximum benefit, but does not compromise compliance with the standard.

Please send any details that you may, including any copy documentation as appropriate to Alistair.

Local performance indicators for street based grounds maintenance horticultural operations – G0155/130314
An authority’s Streetscene grounds maintenance team are researching the utilisation of local performance indicators and satisfaction on all aspects of street based grounds maintenance horticultural operations (Grass verges / shrubs etc.). The council already use APSE performance networks indicators but would like to ask the following questions in relation to local performance indicators used by other councils specifically for street based grounds maintenance horticultural operations.

  • How performance and standards are measured and how these results are utilised to ascertain various local performance indicators and satisfaction levels.
  • What these local performance indicators are benchmarked against (if at all) and how?

Current performance indicators under consideration are:

  • % schedules completed on time on time / quality

G0154 - Random alcohol and drug testing for driving staff
This authority is considering the introduction of random alcohol and drug testing for driving staff on a risks based basis, i.e. Those who are professional drivers will be subject to testing. Have any other authorities introduced a similar policy and if so what is their experience?  Detail of which drivers are and which drivers and are not tested is of interest.  Also any detail of their risk assessment involved.

Skills audits - G0153/050314
This local authority would like to find out any best practice on skills audits being undertaken by other local authorities in the following service areas:

  • Parks and green spaces
  • Cleansing
  • Highway and network maintenance
  • Countryside and network maintenance

They are particularly interested in feedback on how you approached this and what did/didn’t work.

G0152 - Rates of pay for refuse drivers and loaders and impact of TUPE transfers
This member authority is reviewing its refuse service and they would welcome the following information from other APSE member authorities as follows:

  • Please supply your rates of pay for refuse collection loaders
  • Please supply your rates of pay for refuse collection drivers
  • If your service has been outsourced for three or more years are you aware whether or not the waste management contractor has continued to pay the same rates as when staff were transferred under TUPE or have the rates changed and if so in what way?

Use of the competitive dialogue procedure in the procurement of workshop and fleet management services - G0151/280214
This member authority would be interested to hear from other APSE member authorities, including police and fire authorities, that have used the Competitive Dialogue Procedure in relation to the provision of Workshop and Fleet Management Services. They would also be interested to know about how procurement has been approached in respect of dealing with other public sector providers as well as private sector providers for these services.

Bus shelter cleaning - G0150/280214
A member authority is reviewing their cleaning of bus shelters.

Please can you share any of the following:

  • Risk Assessment
  • Method Statement
  • Guidance on cleaning

Football pitch charges - G0149
A member authority is reviewing the way it manages and maintains its football pitches as well as the cost of hiring them out to teams.

Please can you supply the following information:

  • How much do you charge for pitch hire?
  • How much do you charge for pitch hire plus changing facilities?
  • Do you grade pitches and if so what are your charges per Adult, Junior and small sided football?
  • Do you have any plans to change your pricing structure in the near future to recover full costs?
  • Have you actively considered letting pitches to teams and handing over the maintenance of them?

Essential Skills Training - G0148/300114
This authority is currently reviewing their provision of Essential Skills training and they would like to get some information from other local authorities about how they are provided. They are particularly interested in essential skills training in numeracy and literacy.

They would like to know:

  • Whether essential skills training is offered to all council staff?
  • Are participants allowed 100% time release to attend? If not, what arrangements are in place?
  • Is there a limit on the number of times a participant can attend an essential skills course?
  • Who provides the training?
  • Is there a recognition ceremony for those who achieve?
  • Is a level 2 award considered equivalent to a GCSE C grade for recruitment purposes?

Fleet and Vehicle Maintenance Service Delivery Models and Copy contracts / SLAs - G0148/170114

This member authority is currently considering a range of service delivery options for its fleet and transport services. They would be interested to receive the following information:

  • Copies of any shared service agreements or SLAs for the provision of fleet and transport services on a public to public sector basis
  • Copies of any contracts for the provision of fleet and transport services where the service is provided by a private sector provider
  • Any information you are able to share that has had an impact on vehicle repair and maintenance contracts / specifications and so forth

Reducing costs of gully emptying arisings - G0147
This authority is looking at how it might reduce the tipping costs associated with gully emptying arisings.

They would like to hear from others who have used new methods or equipment for turning this waste into recycled material and details of the equipment used.

Information about the investment costs and the savings made would also be useful as would information about the benefits and problems of implementing the new approach.

Bus Station window cleaning - G0147
A member authority is looking for contract documents and/or specification for window cleaning of a bus station:

  • Do you clean a bus station or similar building?
  • Please can you share any information?

Snow grips - G0145
A member authority is seeking to provide their staff with snow grips. Please can you supply information on the following:

  • Does your local Authority supply snow grips to staff, Waste operatives etc. for the use in snow?
  • Do you have a specific risk assessment for usage?
  • Have you ever stopped using grips for safety reasons and what were the reasons?
  • Are you aware of any accidents while using snow grips?
  • How successful as the local authority been in defending any claim while using snow grips?

Recovery Rates for Parking Charge Notices - G0144
This local authority is interested in hearing from colleagues on the their recovery rates for Parking Charge Notices (PCN’s), namely:

  • How many PCN’s do you issue in a year?
  • Out of those issued, how many do you recover?
  • Over what period do you measure the recovery of those issued?
  • Do you have any advice or best practice in boosting your recover rates for PCN’s?

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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