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V4 Services

News & Events 2011 Archive

City of Stoke on trent
07 Nov 2011
V4 Services have been appointed by Stoke on Trent City Council to conduct a review into the current catering services provided at Stoke Town Hall, the Potteries Museum Café and the recently ceased services at the Gladstone Pottery Museum.

The Council is keen to explore all future options for ensuring these services are financially viable and provide high quality services to its staff and visitors to the two local attractions.  Members of V4 Services' Catering and Hospitality Team will be working with representatives from the Council and employees at the venues to assess the current status and future potential of the service.
Watford Borough Council
16 Sep 2011
V4 Services has been selected by Watford Borough Council to work in partnership with the Council in exploring future options for the delivery of waste collection and recycling; street cleaning and maintenance of parks and open spaces.
Following a tender exercise and interview, a panel of senior managers and current operational staff appointed the V4 Services team based upon their experience of similar work for other local authorities and their expertise in transformational change.
Cate Hall, Executive Director at Watford Borough Council said: “We’re proud of the current services provided by our staff and have a very difficult challenge of retaining the current service provision, protecting front line jobs and reducing the cost of the service to the council and local tax payers.”
“V4 Services have the knowledge and expertise to support our internal team and members in investigating all possibilities so that we’re fully informed and can make decisions about the future delivery of these important services for Watford’s community.”

V4 Services will be working in partnership with the Council to develop an Outline Business Case which sets outs the options for internal efficiencies and going to the market for a new service provider.
Herefordshire Council
18 Jul 2011
V4 Services has been appointed by Herefordshire Council as its provider of permanent and interim Executive Recruitment Services. The contract, which is also open to Herefordshire Primary Care Trust and Integrated Care Organisation, has been awarded for a two year period.

Sheila Thompson, Recruitment Manager, Herefordshire Council said: “In addition to the standard recruitment process to attract and source top individuals to work in Herefordshire.  We were particularly impressed with V4’s governance of interims and specialists which is fully aligned to ensuring any investment made in external resource is fully aligned to the delivery of strategic objectives and specific outputs, they also bring with them a broad knowledge and strong track record in local government transformation.”

Rob Levene, V4’s Director of Resourcing said: “Delivering the right people at the right time, who in turn deliver the right results is our overriding goal. We take accountability for the performance of the interims we supply and help our clients to challenge the need for external resource in the first instance and secondly when they do, our job is to ensure they are getting best value for money.”  

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Herefordshire Council particularly given the competition and look forward to providing the necessary people to help drive the vision of the Council and improved and efficient services for local people.”
Cyngor Gwynedd Council
19 Jul 2011
We’ve just been appointed to work in partnership with Gwynedd Council to assist on a Strategic Review of Leisure and Physical Activity for Gwynedd Council.  The council serves a sizeable area of Wales, stretching from Bangor in the North to the Dyfi Estuary on Cardigan Bay and including Snowdonia.

The aim of the review is to maximise leisure and physical activity across the public, private and voluntary sectors and includes 14 leisure centres.
Gwynedd Council is seeking the views of local people to ensure that they capture current and future needs and provide value for money.
Click here for more information
07 Jul 2011
A new strategic partnership between Peterborough City Council and Enterprise Managed Services to deliver a package of frontline services was presented at last week’s Local Government Association conference in Birmingham.  The 23 year deal, worth £210 million and set to deliver £1.9 million this year rising to £3 million in five years’ time, will see ‘Enterprise Peterborough’ providing the following services for the city council:
  • Waste collection and recycling
  • Street cleaning
  • Parks, trees and open spaces
  • Property design and maintenance including surveyors and management of minor construction works within schools and community facilities
  • Catering, including schools and council functions
  • Fleet management, servicing, maintenance and testin
  • Management of travellers’ sites
  • School and public buses
  • Couriers
The end to end procurement process, from service specifications to appointment of the preferred supplier, was managed by V4 Services, the city council’s transformation delivery partner.
download Read the full case study
The Extra Mile
29 Jun 2011
V4 Services were pleased to give recognition to Aylesbury Vale District Council staff who do outstanding work and go the extra mile to provide quality services to local people. The Star Awards, in their second year, and held at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on 24 June highlighted a whole host of successes and achievements by individuals and teams from across the authority.

As one of six organisations to support the staff award scheme, V4 Services sponsored the Best Project or Major Piece of Work category. The categories reflect the council’s priorities in delivering the best possible service to the district and aim to recognise excellent performance across the council. More than 100 nominations were received, with an overall winner in each category.

Winners of the awards were:

Best Project or Major Piece of Work went to the Payroll team, who recently secured additional income for AVDC by winning the Dacorum Council payroll contract. The team already manage the payroll for a number of other councils.

Team of the Year, sponsored by Morgan Sindall, went to the Green Spaces team, who secured a great deal of external funding for improvements to parks, open spaces, trees, wildlife and conservation. Leading the way nationally, they organised the 2010 Black Poplar Conference attracting 60 experts to share best practice and secured two Green Flag awards for the Vale’s parks and open spaces.

Excellent customer service award went to the local land charges team, sponsored by Aylesford Newsprint. The team increased their market share of the local land charges market to almost 70 per cent.

The Innovation award was presented to the Forward Plans Team, who developed a completely new way of working to develop planning policy. The award was sponsored by Midland HR.

Angela Dwyer, from People and Payroll, was recognised for finding better ways of doing things at less cost. Angela has worked with managers and staff to reduce sickness across the council. The award was sponsored by Aylesbury Vale Estates.

The winner of the Outstanding individual achievement award, sponsored by Willmott Dixon, was Brynmor Jones, IT Service Desk Analyst.

Speaking abut the achievements and the event, Councillor John Cartwright, Leader of the Council, said: "It was a really great event which recognised a few of the many unsung heroes who work for AVDC, delivering a wide range of services to our residents day in, day out. The awards recognised their hard work and dedication– so often going the extra mile to make a real difference to someone’s life."
Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands
20 Jun 2011
V4 Services has been appointed by the Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM) to carry out a health check of procurement within nine authorities in Staffordshire.
Delivering savings through more effective procurement is one of the major priorities for the Chief Executives and Leaders of the participating authorities. The Staffordshire Chief Executives are committed to deliver a practical output focused plan that will enable a stronger and more proactive approach to procurement both across the region and for the individual councils involved.
V4’s Commercial Procurement Team will be working with each of the eight authorities to identify the opportunities by authority and for regional collaboration that exist for savings, the resource required to deliver, the risks of non-delivery and the systems and processes that need to be embedded to ensure each council achieves best value for money from its supplier base. 
Star Awards
16 Jun 2011
We’re pleased to be supporting this year’s employee awards at Aylesbury Vale District Council. The awards, in their second year, are to encourage and reward staff who come up with ideas for savings and improving customer service.

V4 Services is sponsoring the Best Project or Major Piece of Work category.

Awards will be presented on Thursday 23 June 2011 at an awards ceremony help at theAylesbury Waterside Theatre, part of the council’s regeneration scheme.
North Ayrshire Council
14 Jun 2011
Getting the right management and operational arrangements in place for North Ayrshire’s new and exciting £15 million leisure centre is a top priority for North Ayrshire Council.  V4 Services have been appointed to support the team and carry out a management options appraisal to determine the most efficient and effective management model for the community’s new facility which is scheduled to open in Summer 2014.

Derek Yuille, Project Manager, North Ayrshire Council said: “The Council’s investment in the new Leisure Centre will provide the people of North Ayrshire with a modern facility to enjoy their leisure time.  It’s right that we test the management options to ensure that they too are the best they can be and align to both the Council’s and the Government’s vision to enable our communities to ‘Reach High’ in sport.”

The new Leisure Centre will offer the following facilities:
  • 25 metre, six lane swimming pool with spectator viewing
  • A teaching pool Six court sports hall for multi-sports use
  • Fitness Suite with 100 exercise stations
  • Three exercise/dance studios
  • Changing rooms
  • Four consultation/assessment rooms
  • Information centre
  • Cafe area     
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
19 May 2011
V4 Services is delighted that Buckinghamshire's new Aylesbury Waterside Theatre took the Project of the Year accolade at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) South East Awards held at The Grand in Brighton on 18 May 2011.

The theatre, also won the Regeneration category of the RICS South East Awards, and is at the heart of a wider regeneration programme for the town which is being project managed by V4 Services

The canal and canal basin were hidden gems with limited access to the public and uninspiring buildings occupied much of the area together with small car parks.

Overall, reaction and support for the theatre has been strong. Its location makes it unmissable, local restaurants are seeing improved business and it is being used to attract more food and beverage outlets to the town. The benefits are also recognised by the commercial sector as the new facility has sent out a strong signal to potential new investors.

Aylesbury Vale District Council's far-sighted development of this site in a depressed inner area of the town has proved exceptionally successful and adjacent redevelopment is evidence of the theatre’s role in contributing to the wider regeneration of this area.

"The theatre is an impressive building with its architectural form and roofline flowing to reflect the nearby Chiltern Hills. Every effort has been made to reduce the visual bulk of a modern theatre, with carefully chosen materials breaking up the form, and reflecting the town’s surroundings," 
- James Offen, Chairman of the RICS Awards South East Judges.
CIPFA performance in public services
10 May 2011
The CIPFA Procurement & Commissioning Network
17 May 2011 London, 18 May 2011 Leeds, 24 May 2011 Birmingham 
As the public sector spending squeeze starts to bite, and the trend towards greater reliance on external providers (private companies, CSOs or mutuals) to deliver public services gathers pace, client organisations need to place added emphasis on contract management to help drive out costs while ensuring front line services are maintained. 
The approach to contract management in many organisations can be very fragmented and inconsistent, resulting in wasteful expenditure. The current economic climate means that we urgently need to move away from the ‘let and forget’ syndrome that has hindered many contracts in the past. Evidence from the NAO, OGC and others indicate the importance of being an ‘intelligent client’ to ensure that service levels and value for money are delivered over the duration of the contract. 

Mark Stephens, one of V4 Services’ procurement specialists, will present recent case studies highlighting the key components and benefits of good contract management at this month’s CIPFA Procurement & Commissioning Network seminars.
To book a place

Click here to find out more about CIPFA's Procurement & Commissioning Network
Cumbria County Council
13 Apr 2011
Leisure experts, V4 Services, have been appointed by Cumbria County Councilto work in partnership with the eight organisations across the county (including: Allerdale Borough Council, Barrow in Furness Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council and the Lake District National Park) to conduct a review of culture and sports development assets and advise on the range of options available for the future management and operation of these services set against a target to reduce budgets by up to 25 per cent.
South Tyneside Council
05 Apr 2011
V4 Services is to provide expert professional advice to assist South Tyneside Council in the development and delivery of aNot for Profit Distributing Organisation (NPDO) to manage and operate its leisure and cultural services.

Bryan Atkinson, South Tyneside Council said: “We’re facing unprecedented financial pressures and we need to ensure that we implement the best organisational structure to deliver leisure and cultural services to our local community, meeting their needs and our strategic priorities going forward whilst protecting front line services and continuing to invest in new leisure facilities including the Foreshore Leisure Centre.

“The development of a cultural offering continues to be really important for us in addressing some of the social and economic issues that we face and our aim is to ensure we can continue to provide quality services at the best cost to the local taxpayer.”

The V4 team, supported by Lawrence Graham LLP, will use their first-hand experience of establishing numerous successful culture and leisure charitable trusts throughout England.  Under the direction of V4’s Director of Leisure and Culture, Steve Laird, the team will work with South Tyneside Council to ensure that firstly the feasibility of the transfer has been established and confirmed. Subject to approvals from the Council it will be a requirement that the future delivery organisation is able to drive forward the Council’s strategic objectives, will gain maximum financial benefits from VAT and rate relief, be able to trade and generate income streams, and that existing staff within the service are consulted and transferred over without interruption to the day-to-day operation and services provided to customers.

Steve Laird, who has worked with over 20 local authorities to review their leisure operation arrangements said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with South Tyneside Council to establish the business case for a new ‘trust’, and if the decision is approved to proceed to support the Council in the business planning, establishment and transfer process.  We know how important culture, leisure and sports provision is to the Council, to the employees and to those who benefit from the services and we’re confident that our experience will enable the new organisation to be established and developed to meet the future needs of local people.”
ISO 9001 registered firm
22 Mar 2011
Following an independent assessment, V4 Services has been awarded ISO 9001 certification.  The standard, which is only held by about 5% of UK businesses and is supported by the Government and recognised world-wide, is endorsement of an organisation’s working practices, procedures and processes.
Adam Jacobs, Managing Director, said: “We’re proud of the services that we deliver for our client base and the way that we conduct our business.  The award of ISO 9001 by external assessors, who are used to judging standards on a daily basis across a wide variety of trades and industries, is confirmation of our approach and methods in place to ensure consistency across the organisation.
“What matters most of all to us is that this approach is reflected in the way that we work with our clients to deliver major change programmes and cost reductions across the public sector.”
CIPFA performance in public services
04 Mar 2011
Ben Ticehurst, Director of V4 Services, joins a line up of eminent speakers at CIPFA’s Public Sector Practitioner Summit that will consider the merits of outsourcing public services on 29 March 2011 in Central London.

The event will offer a realistic and challenging perspective on outsourcing public services

Recent financial settlements and increases in demand for services have forced the public sector to look for ways of delivering ‘more for less’. In response, many organisations have begun to develop robust commercial strategies and looking at outsourcing and divestment as a means to deliver public services in the future.

However, although outsourcing is likely to become more common, there are still many concerns about the public sector’s ability to handle large complex contracts and some opposition to the idea of outsourcing. These concerns include the loss of accountability and difficulties with ongoing performance and contract management.  

This conference will give delegates the opportunity to hear both sides of the outsourcing debate in order to help them make a more informed choice and steer their authority in the right direction.Click here to book a place
Cheshire West and Chester
28 Feb 2011
V4 Services has been appointed by Cheshire West and Chester Council to help drive and deliver the council’s leisure and culture vision, objectives and specific priorities as part of a new four year Leisure and Culture Framework.

Chris Cook, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Head of Culture and Recreation said: “Following a tender process, we’ve appointed V4 Services as our partner over the next four years to work with us in developing our leisure and cultural sector as a key component of regeneration and supporting a healthy and active local community.  We recognise that the next four years are going to be particular challenging and have developed an innovative and trail-blazing approach to leisure and culture service delivery.” 

Steve Laird, V4 Services’ new Director of Leisure and Culture and the delivery team, are already working on the first two projects which include the provision of a new leisure and cultural offering within Northwich and Ellesmere Port.

“This is a very exciting partnership for us.  This opportunity was particularly attractive  because the council recognised that engaging a delivery partner through a framework agreement would not only provide better value for money, but will also enable our team to build up a better understanding of local issues. The council’s longer term approach means that we can really understand the needs of the local community and work with our clients to ensure that their vision and plans are supported by robust business planning, financing and sustainable delivery models. We hope that other authorities will follow Cheshire West and Chester in procuring partners in this way,”
 said Steve.

Having worked in the leisure industry for more than 25 years at a senior management level, Steve and his team have successfully completed projects for a broad range of clients including: London Boroughs of: Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Newham and Greenwich; Formby Pools Trust; New Deal for Communities; Aston University and Sport England to name a few. Steve has worked with over twenty local authorities to deliver Options Appraisals – providing support right through to service transfer (often involving ‘Trusts’). 
North Down Borough Council
09 Feb 2011
V4 Services and Peterborough City Council share their experience and tips for managing change and a major council wide transformation programme which has resulted in £48m cumulative savings over a four year period.The event will highlight the:
  • strategy for winning internal support from staff, managers and members
  • governance structure and gateway process for decision making  and reporting of the work programme
  • means of financing future savings through an 'invest to save' fund
Click here to find out more and enrol
Leisure and culture
28 Jan 2011
Leisure and Culture Consultants – C3, have been acquired by local government supplier, V4 Services.  The acquisition by V4 Services, who provide cost reduction solutions to a growing number of local authorities, is a further step in meeting the needs of local authorities to provide new and innovative ways of providing non-statutory services at reduced cost.

Managing Director of V4 Services, Adam Jacobs said: “We’ve worked with C3 on a number of occasions and their reputation forpractical delivery and tangible results fits very well with our client focused, hands-on delivery and our broader cost savings programmes within local government.”

V4 Services already has a foothold within the leisure and culture sector, providing client-side capital programme and project management for Aylesbury Vale District Council’s town centre regeneration scheme.  The opening of the new £42m Aylesbury Waterside Theatre by Cilla Black OBE, in October 2010, marked the first of five projects to be completed within the overall regeneration programme.  The team is now working on the refurbishment of the town’s AquaVale Leisure Complex.

Steve Laird, Managing Director of C3 Consultants, joins V4 Services as Director of Leisure and Cultural Services.  Having worked in the leisure industry for more than 25 years at a senior management level, Steve and his team have successfully completed projects for a broad range of clients including: London Boroughs of: Barnet, Redbridge, Newham and Greenwich; Formby Pools Trust; New Deal for Communities; Aston University and Sport England to name a few. Steve has worked withover twenty local authorities to deliver Options Appraisals – providing support right through to service transfer (often involving ‘Trusts’).   

Talking about the change, Steve said: “I’m excited about this move and particularly the additional benefits that we will be able to offer our client base.  V4 Services has an excellent track-record of delivering savings and improved outcomes through their managed service Commercial Procurement Hubs and whole-council cost reduction programmes and there are synergies here with the movement towards strategic procurement and partnerships with the not for profit sector and new forms of social enterprises and the opportunities presented by the Localism Bill.”
Creme de la creme business awards winner 2011
27 Jan 2011
We’re pleased to announce that our client, Peterborough City Council, has won aCrème de la Crème Business Award for Outstanding Public Sector Procurement.  V4 Services has been Peterborough City Council’s ‘transformation delivery partner’ over the past four years and is on target to achieve £48m cumulative savings by March 2011.
Our Commercial Hub model is just one of 80 projects which have been implemented within the council to drive financial savings alongside improved operational, environmental and social performance.
Commenting on Peterborough City Council’s Crème de la Crème Business Award for Outstanding Public Sector Procurement, Simon Burgess, Chairman of the Judges said:
“With the public sector facing harsh cutbacks they need to work smarter and deliver more for less. To help achieve this, thebest possible procurement process needs to be in place and Peterborough City Council have gone to great lengths to ensure that this is the case. With savings of over £6 million being delivered directly through the implementation of procurement best practices the Council is putting procurement at the centre to drive commercial decisions. An example for many to follow.” 
Consolidated business support
06 Jan 2011
Find out more about the benefits that can be achieved through a shared service business support model at the Sharing Exchange, 11 February 2011, ICC in Birmingham

An event hosted by the Regional Improvement & Efficiency Partnerships and the National Business Transformation Group

Paul Tonks, V4 Services and Peterborough City Council’s Business Transformation Delivery Partner and Karen Harrington, Peterborough City Council, Head of Business Support will share their experience, learning, the dos and the don'ts.

Having implemented and proved the benefits of a shared administrative model for a single department within the Peterborough City Council, the vision was to build an efficient, flexible and resilient shared administrative model for the whole council – serving a workforce of 5,700 .

In the space of just 18 months the team has grown from 30 to 153, undertaken a major office move, achieved high levels of customer satisfaction, reduced sickness levels and kept employees engaged and motivated.  They have also delivered £329k cumulative cashable savings to date and through Manor Drive Solutions (the new in-house temporary staff agency) have reduced expenditure on agency staff by £1.17m and are on target to produce an income of £45k this year.

Still in its infancy, both in terms of the management team and the model of delivery, the Business Support Team is now focused on driving further improvements to meet the council’s financial challenges and provide an efficient, effective back-office function at a cost no greater than it needs to be.
Watch the highlights of the presentations

Download the presentations