Archive for February, 2015

It’s employee survey day

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Just a quick note to say that today is Employee Survey Day. It’s important for you to take part because the Senior Leadership Team and I use the survey data to prioritise activities that will continue to make the County Council a better place to work.

You have my support and encouragement to take the few minutes you need to complete the survey at, and please be assured that your responses are completely confidential.

I’ve already submitted my response – so please take the opportunity to submit yours.

The Medium Term Financial Strategy

Friday, February 13th, 2015

This week saw the Council set its budget and its five-year Medium Term Financial Strategy, as well as the Council Tax for next year. For the first time for a few years this sees the Council raising Council Tax, but this has been done as part of a £20millon investment in Care to ensure that we continue to be able to support those who most need us, which I think is why most of us have chosen to work in local government. It is good that we have a plan to get us through the next five years but I also think we have to be realistic and know that after the general election we could face further reductions in government support whichever party is in power. That is why we must be really prudent in the management of our finances, and, as I said at the recent senior managers conference, there is no permission to overspend. But overall we are in a good place, with good plans that mean we can face the future with real confidence.

One of my more glamourous tasks this week was to go down to the Houses of Commons. I always feel really privileged to be able to go into Westminster – what a fabulous building and what a fabulous sense of history. I went down with the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council, along with leading local politicians and business representatives from the Local Enterprise Partnership, to meet with the Staffordshire and Stoke MPs to tell them what we are doing in Stoke and Staffordshire to drive economic prosperity. This was a really good session and we have a really strong story to tell about how we have helped to get the economy moving. Among other things, I found out that Busy Bees, the country’s if not the world’s leading childcare business, is based here in Staffordshire, which helps to illustrate just how strong and diverse the County’s economy is now becoming.

Finally, I just want to extend my congratulations to Eric Robinson who has been appointed as the Chief Executive to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. I have worked with Eric as a fellow member of the Senior Leadership Team ever since I joined Staffordshire about 8 years ago. In that time he has initiated some major, ground-breaking change and has been a key figure in the transformation of the County Council. Details of when he will leave and how we will fill his shoes (no easy task) are still being worked out, but I want to wish him every success in his future role.