Walking in a Winter Wonderland

In many families, opinion is divided about the snow.  My son is very keen, and has been sledging and building a snowman.  Personally, I turn into a grumpy old man!  While I appreciate how beautiful the Staffordshire countryside looks, I know the snow and ice is making getting to work something of a challenge for many of you and keeping our highways teams especially busy.  It also makes it that bit more difficult to provide a good service to our customers.  So, thank you to everyone for your huge efforts over the last few days – it is noticed, and much appreciated.

I’m pleased that we are keeping residents up to date on weather conditions and highways action.  You can access this too, via our own Twitter page.  The updates will include the areas where officers will be gritting and any expected adverse conditions such as ice and snow.  Follow us at http://twitter.com/StaffordshireCC/ and click on #staffstwitgrit to get the latest updates. 

This is a great and very popular use of new media to communicate with our residents – I hope we will be able to use it more over a wider range of services in the future.

Elsewhere it has been a busy week, with interviews for the Directors for Place and for Customer Service and Communications.  These are critical posts and the final pieces in the jigsaw for our senior team.  I hope to be able to share the results very soon.

I am always delighted to share news of awards with you.  We have been shortlisted twice in the LGC (Local Government Association) Awards 2011.  We have been shortlisted in the ‘Workforce’ category for the Parent Support Workers Induction and Training Package’.  Working in partnership with other Staffordshire County Council departments, the seven day induction programme created an opportunity for the newly created posts, allowing those staff to come away with qualifications such as Level 1 in Child Protection. 

Shortlisted in the ‘Innovation’ category, W2R (Waste to Resource) first began in 2007 and was created as a project to help achieve zero waste to landfill in Staffordshire, to inevitably make significant savings on waste management costs and meet Government targets. To help do this the WR2 acquired a site where they went on to gain permission for a generic plant.   The results will be given at an awards ceremony on the 23 March 2011.

Let’s hope we get good results for these when the awards are announced – as with all your fantastic work its not only good for our customers but also helps to place Staffordshire firmly on the map as a place that is doing great things.

I’ll sign off now and look forward to my snowman building duties this weekend…

 Nick

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