Friday, 21 January 2011
Just a quick update on life and progress.
I am now a visiting Research Fellow at Plymouth, I just found out this week! How nice and it makes me proud and delighted to be part of a successful research team and University with a vision. I have other job offer changes but will let you know this at a later date.
However, as many who follow me on Twitter know, I did a re-visit to the Council Depot this week to catch up with the latest gossip, news, issues and tantrums. Wow…… what a difference!
The Council, Councilors (Labour mainly) are still acting like five year olds and fighting amongst themselves, the opposition and the Senior Officers anyone it seems to score points, failing to realize the good work that’s going on in the Borough and the impending doom for local authorities and lives at risk. Nothing changes there then, but the greatest change of all…. The Environmental Service Department, the focus of my programme last year.
They are leading by example, with great ethics and passion. The Binmen and Recycling Crews are at one! The work I did last year in removing ‘management’ theory and systems, has been truly taken on, and driven to new heights. I never doubted them, but I never thought it would have such dramatic results so quickly, and this is of course down to people like
Keri Jones (HR), Phil Edwards, Steve Price, Mike Wilcoks, Beth Jones, Justin Hodges (the man), Lisa, John, Matthew Stone, John Issacs, Steve Postlethewaite, to name but a few of the ‘democratic leaders’. The process hasn’t been smooth, but the results amazing. Why? Well its simple, give people the chance to change the system, trust them and allow them to do it their way and the results will always be beyond what you expect. Is it perfect, of course not, no system is perfect, but with this way of thinking we have 60 leaders now not just one as in the old system.
I also have to mention here Alan Reed, the ‘Director’ of Environmental Service, who was brave by volunteering his service, some 15 months ago. He stepped up to the mark, and never wavered in his commitment to change the service, relationship with his team and the public. I am hoping that he will never stop working for the Council and gain some reward and recognition for the tireless effort to support this programme.
The results at BGCBC (and I use BGCBC to represent the crews rather than the five year olds) are truly wonderful a year on. Not sure if you picked up the press this week, but BGCBC Recycling crews topped the league in Wales for the biggest improvement in recycling rates. From 19% when we first went in to 41% as measured in October, but I can't wait until the official Audit figures come out in May as we suspect they will be in the 50% region. It’s the biggest change in recycling rates WAG have seen. Also the waste to tip is down 140%.....stunning figures, all done by managementless crews/teams by implementing their ideas. Ideas such as Buster & Dean, who went around houses in the evening to ask people to recycle more of their food waste. Also Justin Hodges, who on the programme was, lets say not very happy with me and my ideas, driving the new bins delivery and fortnightly collection implemented seamlessly over the past year.
The binmen were also praised over Christmas being the best authority in the UK for maintaining collections in the snow. In two months of snow disruption the Binmen only missed one day, claimed NO overtime, and lost just one staff day in sickness. Unlike the more affluent, and flatter counties such as Oxford who were a whole month behind collections. I know some out there, will still say so what, but the saving made, the increases in service targets and WAG PI’s are all clear indications that the Environmental Services have it right.
More to follow…