Association for Public Service Excellence
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Dimming and trimming street lights and crime and disorder – RH0161/231211
This council is looking to trim and dim their street lights. They are interested in the potential impact upon the level of crime and disorder.

They would like to hear from other authorities where changes to lighting levels have been made and are especially keen to hear about:

  • Evidence collected about crime and disorder after changes have been made
  • Impacts upon perceptions and fear of crime

They would be happy to talk over the phone if you just wish to respond with a telephone number.

Salt additives – RH0159/251111
This authority is looking at post treatment of their grit salt supply (at an additional cost) based on advice that it will enable them to grit earlier in the evening. They are aware that other councils have had both positive and negative experiences of using additives.

Working time Directive for winter maintenance gritting operations – RH0160/121211
This authority is looking at the Working Time Directive for winter maintenance gritting operations.

They are allowing for a minimum of 7 hours continuous break following gritting and at least 11 hours total rest time in a 24 hour period.

They would like to know what others are allowing for what is classed as ‘Adequate Rest’ and any other related information.

Survey covering gully cleansing services/RH0158/091111
APSE along with Wigan Council are carrying out a short survey looking at arrangements in place for gully cleansing work and related issues. All councils will be addressing these issues and we hope to gather some information which will help to keep all members up to date with good practice in this.

RH0155.260911 Gully cleansing operations
This authority would like to hear from any member authority who has carried out a cost and productivity comparison between one and two operator gully cleansing. They are aware that some authorities have moved from one operator to two operator gully cleansing and would like to hear from any who have done so, why they have increased staff, benefits and problems as well as impacts on.

RH0154.260911 Ironworks
This authority has had a recent incident involving an accident following theft of ironwork. They are interested to know how others try and stop theft (e.g. by using locks or smartwater) or if they have arrangements in place with the utility companies or Police.

RHO156 051011 Pedestrian barriers during re-surfacing works
A member authority would like to know if any other member authority currently undertakes a policy of erecting pedestrian barriers when re-surfacing work is carried out in urban areas.

They are interested to know of any circumstances in which barriers must be erected or where they have been requested to erect them by other bodies such as the Police.

Any information that can be provided on the above would be most gratefully received. This might include use of other methods of protecting the public, procedures used methods of identifying when barriers/other methods should and should not be used, risk assessment, etc.

RH0154.260911 Ironworks
This authority has had a recent incident involving an accident following theft of ironwork. They are interested to know how others try and stop theft (e.g. by using locks or smartwater) or if they have arrangements in place with the utility companies or Police.

Safety inspections of highway verges – RH0153/190811
This authority is looking at its inspection regime. They would be grateful to know what criteria other authorities use when assessing defects on a safety inspection on highway verges, both rural and urban.

Hard to access lighting columns – RH0152/190811
This authority is experiencing difficulties in removing concrete street lighting columns from remote footpath sites where no crane access is possible. Has anyone else encountered this problem, and if so have they developed a safe method of removal and transportation from site?

Grit bins RHO150/300611
The use of grit bins remains a sensitive topic. This council is interested in comparing its provision with other providers and would be grateful if the following questioned are answered.

All who answer the questions will receive a copy of the responses.

  • What is the size of the highway network in your authority?
  • How many bins are there in your authority?
  • How many are filled at the start of the season?
  • How many are filled more than once in the season?
  • Is this dependent on salt stocks or do you fill them whatever?
  • Do you fill all at the same time or only respond to requests?

Please add any comments or thoughts you have or initiatives your council is taking with regard to grit.

Workforce pay scales and structures RHO151/ 280611
This authority is rationalising the workforce grades and pay across the StreetCare function which includes up to 250 grounds, cleansing and highways staff. They are looking at a proposal for 4 to 6 job descriptions or role profiles to span from charge hand to a basic operative. Each will have a defined set of competencies and responsibilities.

As part of this process they would like to gather some benchmarking information and any examples of similar exercises carried out in other authorities, specifically information on:

  • Grades and associated pay scale information for:
    • charge hands
    • skilled workforce (such as street lighting electricians, brick layers etc)
    • semi skilled workforce (such as gully teams, paver operators etc),
    • operatives
  • Examples of structure charts for the operational workforce.
  • Salary / pay ranges for the operational workforce.

Highways inspection frequency RH0149 / 040711
This Authority has a Highway Safety Inspection Manual derived from the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management. This enables them to comply with Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 and for the purposes of Section 58, which provides for special defence, they undertake inspections of all adopted highways within the County.

The parameters used to specify the safety inspection regime are: frequency of inspection, items for inspection, degree of deficiency and nature of response.

In these times of austerity the authority is looking at altering its frequency of inspection its degree of deficiency in order to make efficiency savings. They would appreciate it if other authorities would be prepared to advise on their frequency of inspection and category of defects (degree of deficiency).

Road closure payments RH0148/ 280611
This authority is having problems linking up payments from utility companies (received after the closure) with specific road closures and so are unsure whether all payments are being made.

They would like to hear from any other members who have put in place procedures which make this process simpler, such as interactive payment at the point of application for a road closure or other approaches.

Network query: HAVS management system – RH0142/240211
In order to minimise/stop the potential of the workforce been affected by Hand Arm Vibration (HAV's) this Council have purchased an electronic vibration management system from Reactec.

They are enquiring if any other APSE members are using or have experience of such a system. They would like to speak with other users about the effectiveness of the system and how they can most benefit from it.

Network query: Electrical testing cycles – RH0140/220211
This Authority would like to know how other Councils approach the electrical testing of street furniture such as street lamps, signs, bollards etc. Is a six year cycle (as recommended in BS 7671 Inspection & Testing Guidance Note 3) followed or have alternative testing regimes been developed?

If so could as much detail as possible be shared including the following:

  • the criteria in operation
  • the benefits of an alternative approach instead of the six year cycle
  • the reasons why this regime was chosen
  • any problems you have encountered
  • and how you overcame them

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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