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The 2016 network queries circulated for this service are listed below. 

If you would like more information about any of these queries or want to submit a response, please email Alistair Holcroft at aholcroft@apse.org.uk.


G0263 - Employee Health and Well-Being Strategies – 140116

A member authority is considering the development of an Employee Health and Well-Being Strategy. They are enquiring whether any other local authorities have:
·         produced such a document and would be willing to share it 
·         can offer any advice they may have about the process and how the strategy has been implemented
·         any benefits that have come out of the implementation.


G0262 - Soft FM in corporate property - 080116

A member authority is seeking to standardise roles and responsibilities across its corporate properties to ensure buildings are kept to a consistent and acceptable standard.

Areas to be investigated are security, reporting of repairs, fire safety, front of house, mailroom and printing.

They are interested to hear from councils:

  • who have you carried out an option appraisal including these soft facilities management areas
  • who can share the any findings?

G0261 - Inspections on mobile climbing frames - 070116

This member authority has mobile climbing frames and are looking to identify someone who can carry out inspections on the climbing area and areas of the trailer related to the on-site assembly of the climbing wall and pull tests on the foot and hand holds. If you could pass on the contact details of anyone suitable, this would be much appreciated.

G0304 - APSE Network Query: Shared E-Mail Communications 08.12.16

This authority would like to ask how you manage shared email
communications? Specifically how are emails assessed, allocated
and tracked when a number of officers have access to a shared
mailbox and responses required within specific timeframes.


G0303 - Introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement 06.12.16

This member authority is currently undergoing the Introduction of
Civil Parking Enforcement, devolved from the Police and would
welcome the benefit of any assistance other member authorities
could provide along the following lines:

• Examples of business cases for the introduction of Civil Parking

• Examples of parking strategies encompassing on and off-street
parking, that ideally give consideration to obtaining consistency for
residents across local authority borders and within a whole county

• Information regarding how staff were prepared and trained for
delivering the new service

• Comments on the place of your Parking Strategy within your overall
approach to income generation – i.e. do you aim for it to be costneutral
or generate a significant revenue stream through the


G0302 - Council Speed Management Policy 06.12.16

This authority would like to ask if your Council has a Speed
Management Policy, and if so, would you please share the criteria
for decisions to reduce speed limits in your county?


G0301 - Approach for allocating passenger assistants for
children with special educational needs (SEN) on minibuses
or larger vehicles 02.12.16

This member authority currently uses 32-seater coaches to
transport children with special education needs and provides two
passenger assistants for each journey and are considering
reviewing this approach. They would be grateful if other APSE
member authorities could kindly share their approach for providing
passenger assistants on mini-buses or larger vehicles to transport
children with special education needs. In particular, they would be
very grateful if you could please provide a brief answer to the
following questions and all responses will be shared with all

1) Do you use passenger assistants on mini-buses or larger
vehicles to transport children with special education needs?

2) If yes, how many passenger assistants accompany on each
journey, is there a particular quota and what informs this decision?

3) Do drivers fulfil any PA/Escorting duties?

4) Approximately how many SEN children are transported by
your authority, what vehicles do you use and is the service in-house
or out- sourced?


G0300 - Use of Customer Access Terminals at Council front facing locations 28.11.16

A member authority is looking at the possibility of installing
customer access terminals at Community Hubs/Libraries across the
These will allow residents to pay Council Tax and make benefit
enquiries etc.
It is envisaged that these include PC’s, scanners and webcams with
direct Skype access through to the teams involved.
They are interested to learn from others:
· What were the approximate upfront and running costs?
· Was the technology developed “in-house” or bought in?
· What teething problems have been experienced?


G0299 - Development of former landfill sites 10.11.16

APSE Energy is advising a local authority on the development of a
solar farm on a former landfill site. The land was never properly
capped and so is contaminated in nature. The proposal is therefore
to undertake remedial works to the land, which will see the deposit
of a substantial amount of top soil and other materials upon it, which
will then be compacted. The solar farm will subsequently be
constructed on top of that layer. There are also issues of public
access to be addressed.
We are keen to hear from any other local authority who has been
involved in a contaminated land development, where the deposit of
material on the land was a precursor to development. This could be
any type of development and does not necessarily have to be a
renewable energy project.


G0298 - Software packages for FM services 08.11.16

A member authority is currently looking to invest in a new FM
software package to help reduce the amount of paperwork teams
have to complete. Ideally, they are looking for a package which
interfaces with other systems including HR, payroll, and possibly
logging and recording timesheets for remote employees etc.
1. Which software package do you use for FM services?
2. Please provide details of any associated costs for investing?
3. What are the main functions of this system?
4. What have been the benefits to using this system e.g.
reduction in labour hours or volume of paperwork etc


G0297 - Policies on back-filling vacant / sickness absence posts 02.11.16

This APSE member authority is reviewing their overall policies
towards back-filling vacant posts.
They would welcome details of your policies and any issues arising
from your policies specifically in relation to the following situations:-
· Your policy on covering short-term sickness absence ( 2-6
weeks )
· Your policy on covering long term sickness absence ( 6 weeks
or more )
· Your policy on covering maternity leave
· Your policy on covering paternity leave
· Your policy on filling vacant posts ( for example are posts
always reviewed before filling?)
Do you have any further information or comment on back-filling
posts and any challenges presented that you have


G0296 - Local authority intranet network 27.10.16

A member authority is currently looking to review their employee
intranet computer network service. The would like to hear from any
colleagues who have reviewed or updated their intranet service and
would be grateful for any information you would be willing to share
on this.


G0295 - Finance and Human Resource restructuring 15.09.16

A member authority is currently undergoing a major council-wide
restructuring and is seeking information from other authorities
around the corporate areas of Finance and Human Resources, as
they are aware of different emerging models.
They are interested in the following information:
· Does your authority have a separate corporate lead for each
of the Finance and HR functions or are they the overall
responsibility of one person?
· How long has this arrangement been in place?
· If it is a recent transformation, is it the result of efficiency
savings or was it considered genuinely to be a better way to
manage the services?
Where possible, please could you supply organisational charts and
job descriptions for the lead post(s).


G0294 - School Crossing Patrol Charges 08.09.16

A member authority is seeking to introduce a revised method of
funding and charging for School Crossing Patrols
Please can you provide details of:
· how your patrols are currently funded?
· any charges you make to schools for the service ?
· cost to purchase the service where not provided by the


G0293 - Depot Review 05.09.16

A member authority is looking to review their Depot that is
considered no longer fit for purpose, expensive to maintain and
wasteful in energy consumption terns..
They have only one depot that is central in the borough and houses
all the direct services including Recycling and Waste, Highways,
Transport, Parks, Grounds, School based services, Security,
Careline etc.
They are enquiring as to whether any member authorities carried
out a depot review and would they be prepared to share their
The member authority would be particularly interested if the review
resulted in the move to a new facility or in significant improvements
to an existing depot.


G0292 - Integrating a call centre into a working depot/office 05.09.16

A member authority would like to ask if any other authority has
integrated their call centre into a working depot/office?
1. If so, do you have examples of any difficulties that occurred
during the design stage and after moving in?
2. Do you have any recommendations that they would
incorporate into the design in hindsight?
3. Would any authority who has gone through this process be
open to a visit from the enquiring authority?


G0291 - Lifebelts and other life saving equipment 24.08.16

This member authority would be grateful for any information which
can be provided in relation to the following:-
1. Who is responsible for ensuring that lifebelts are sited
2. What type of life saving equipment is supplied along river
banks, harbours, beachfronts and ponds
3. How often are they inspected and by whom
4. Can any member authorities provide a check sheet that they use.


G0290 - Community Asset Transfer 23.08.16

A member authority is engaged in a programme of Community
Asset Transfers in relation to its portfolio of community centres.
They are seeking to undertake a risk assessment of each proposal
• Have you developed a proforma or standard checklist that
you might share?


G0289 - Examples of Consultation/Engagement Strategies 23.08.16

This member authority is currently reviewing their
Consultation/Engagement Strategy and would value examples of
other local authority Consultation/Engagement Strategies or Policies
to inform their work.
If you have a formalised strategy or policy related to consulting with
residents, businesses, partner organisations and other
stakeholders, I would be very grateful if you could please forward a
copy to APSE


G0288 - Setting up a licensing scheme for A-board (pavement signs) 17.08.16

This member authority is looking to prepare a wide consultation on
the use of licensing A-boards for use across the city, particularly
areas within narrow streets and old parts of the city.
They would be very interested to hear if other local authorities have
undertaken similar activities and in particular the following questions:
1. What was the success / response in establishing a licensing
scheme for A-boards?
2. Where there any administrative / management issues
3. Has any enforcement action proved problematic or is it
4. Has any licensing scheme been chargeable? If so have the
set up costs been recovered?
5. Whether a licensing scheme has proved success and
whether an outright ban would be easier to apply?
6. Any other issues of interest to note?


G0287 - Delivering your organisation’s finance function 05.08.16

This authority are interested in finding out how other local
authorities are currently delivering their finance function and would
appreciate it if others could respond to the following questions:
1. Within the last few years have you reviewed / restructured your
organisation’s finance function? If so what model did your
organisation adopt – centralised, decentralised or a hybrid of the
two? If you were reviewing the finance function again what, if
anything, would you do differently?
2. Do all elements of financial services sit within the one section /
department / structure?
3. Have efficiencies been realised following implementation of
your preferred model?
4. Does your organisation have business partnering arrangements
in place for the delivery of financial services, and if so what have the
pros and cons been during and after implementation?
5. Has your organisation created a shared service for financial
services and if so how well is this working?
6. Does your organisation have SLAs in place for the provision of
financial services? If so could you provide copies / examples of
relevant SLAs?
7. Please also feel free to provide any other supporting
information that you deem to be relevant including any other issues
to consider in the review of our finance function.


G0286 - Accommodation Strategy 27.07.16

A member authority, in line with its Accommodation Strategy, are
currently looking to relocate staff situated in their main office, Civic
Centre to alternative accommodation. As such they are keen to
hear from other Authorities who have carried out any recent
accommodation reviews or who have relocated staff to share their
experiences/lessons learnt etc.
They would like respondents to reply to the questions below as fully
as they can or pass it on to their colleagues if they are unable to
1. Have you carried out any recent accommodation reviews or
relocated any staff recently and if so, when?
2. How did the review/relocation of staff result in any different
working practices if any?
3. What type of “lessons learnt” exercises were carried out
following the review/relocation and what outcomes did you find?
4. Where possible, please provide details of space allocation for
staff or desk/staff ratios
5. What considerations were given to the differing needs of
departments when allocating space?
6. What considerations were given to differing roles when
allocating space?
7. Could you provide any information/key statistics you have in
relation to desk allocation/space allocation within your Authority?


G0284 - HR arrangements 11.07.16

This authority is interested in finding out how other local authorities
are currently delivering their HR functions. They would appreciate it
if others could respond to the following questions:
1. Which model does your local authority currently operate -
centralised, decentralised or hybrid model of HR delivery?
2. Has your authority implemented HR Business Partnering
arrangements and if so what have the pros and cons been during
and after implementation?
3. Has your authority created a shared service for HR and if so,
how well is this working?
Please provide any other supporting information that you deem to
be relevant.


G0283 - Employee Engagement Survey Frameworks 11.07.16

This authority would like to ask others:
1. Which employee engagement survey/s do you use? (e.g. IIP,
Best Companies, Dolphin Index)
2. What do you think are the pros and cons of the survey/s you



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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