Bryony Houlden, Chief Executive, South West Councils
Welcome to the latest edition of SW News.First of all thank you to all of you who have already completed our Customer Satisfaction Survey, for those who have not please take the time to click here and complete the survey. It really won’t take long and we would really value your views about our work and customer service to you. The last survey generated over 200 responses and we would like to better that this year. The survey closes on 13 March 2015. Key to having great customer service is having excellent and dedicated staff and great team working, we were delighted that this was recognised in achieving IIP Gold but I also wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate one of the key members of our team – Pam Robinson – who has been delivering support to our training courses for 30 years this year.
We have also just held our first Leadership Master Class with Mark Rogers, Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council and President, SOLACE proving very inspirational. In brief, as Mark tweeted later, his session covered “Courageous Leadership is values, purpose, outcomes, people and pathways. Follow the moral compass.” The second Master Class is on 31 March 2015 with Cllr Jane Scott, OBE, Leader, Wiltshire Council, on Building Creative Relationships. The Master Class discusses the importance of flexibility, trust and creativity as good foundations on which to build a council team. If you haven’t booked, you really should call us now.
With May and local and national elections approaching fast, we are very aware that councils will be busy thinking about induction training for new councillors so in conjunction with Member Support Officers, we have designed a day of “taster” sessions aimed at supporting the development of skills for the 21st Century Councillor.This is not just for new Members but experienced Members might also want to dip into some of the sessions as skills refreshment – it will also be the chance to meet colleagues and share experiences.
DEFRA to withdraw funding for the ACRE Network
Defra has announced it plans to withdraw its funding for the ACRE Network which is made up for 38 rural community councils nationally ...
Transformational Challenge Award funding
Local authorities in the South West have been awarded over £6 million from the Transformation Challenge Award to enable them to streamline services in a variety of areas which will directly affect local residents.
Local Economy and Finance
Nuclear power station to boost local economy
On the 21 October, the Government announced that the proposed nuclear power plant, Hinckley Point C, in West Somerset is to become a reality. There will be two reactors at the site, with the first expected to be operational by 2023.
Both Somerset County Council and West Somerset Council have welcomed the approval of Hinckley Point C. Both councils have highlighted the economic benefit that the station will bring to the area and the region. It is expected that the construction of the plant will create 25,000 jobs and will inject £100m into the local economy, in addition to 900 permanent jobs for its 60 year lifespan.