Get In Touch

If you've got a story or event for the GPSJ website, e-mail Stuart Littleford at


Winter/Spring 2015

September 2015
« Aug    

Conquer your litter problems with Invicta™ Litter Bin

The Invicta outdoor litter bin

The Invicta outdoor litter bin

Invicta traditional litter bin is new to the Glasdon UK range of metal litter bins.

It is manufactured from 2mm thick mild steel with Armortec® coating, which gives Invicta outdoor litter bin an incredibly strong construction and outstanding durability.

The high quality of these materials offers excellent resistance to vandalism, coastal sea spray and annual road gritting salt.  This minimises the requirement for expensive refurbishment that is often associated with outdoor metal litter bins.

Why not view the Invicta product testing videos available on the GlasdonUK YouTube channel, which include both Vandal testing and Environmental material testing.

In order to allow easy access for the operator to empty, Invicta external litter bin has been designed with a large front opening hinged door.  This reduces manual handling issues as the liner does not need to be lifted to be removed from the litter bin.

Ideal for any external environments such as recreational areas, parks and town centres, Invicta metal litter bin offers large personalisation areas for organisations logos or branding to be included.

Glasdon also produce a wide range of Indoor Litter Bins, Dog Waste Bins, Cigarette Bins and Street Orderly Barrows. Download a copy of the Waste Management Solutions Brochure today for more information.

If you have any questions contact Glasdon on (01253) 600410, email, or visit

Wiltshire Police manages social media risk using CrowdControlHQ

Wiltshire Police Road Policing

Wiltshire Police Road Policing

Wiltshire Police HQ buildingOldest police force in the country engages with public across 68 social media accounts including neighbourhood police Facebook pages and HQ twitter accounts

CrowdControlHQ has announced that Wiltshire Police is using the company’s social media risk management and compliance platform to manage 68 active social media accounts, including 24 Neighbourhood Policing Team Facebook pages, several senior management Twitter accounts and community group Facebook pages including ‘Horsewatch’. Wiltshire Police invested in CrowdControlHQ software to address the demand by the public to report crimes using social media.

Wiltshire Police is using CrowdControlHQ to manage content on its social media pages as well as keep a record of the deleted content for reference. A single dashboard enables the communications staff to manage multiple accounts and everyone, given access to the system, is trained to use it and sent an electronic copy of the Force Media Guide. CrowdControlHQ enables on-line chatter, trends and comment to be managed consistently and provides a full audit trail of when people were last logged in and when accounts are inactive.

Helen Kennedy, Head of Media at Wiltshire Police said, “Wiltshire Police has seen how social media has become one of the most effective tools in terms of customer care and how we communicate with the public. Whether this is at a local level through our Neighbourhood Policing Teams or the Chief Constable’s Twitter account – social media has become an integral part of policing and not just corporate communications.

“CrowdControlHQ means that the communications department can maintain an overview and assess the risk, manage the problems and respond where necessary to ensure the public are getting a quality service from Wiltshire Police. It has made monitoring all of our social media accounts simpler and less time consuming.”

The different social media accounts have been divided among the members of the Corporate Communications team, including the Press and Media office, all of whom have access to the CrowdControlHQ platform. Several members of the call centre control room also have access and assist with out of hours monitoring of posts and replies, flagging any issues to the appropriate people.

Wiltshire Police posts videos online to engage the public’s interest and support. Recent videos posted have gone viral, including CCTV coverage of the safe use of a taser on a man trying to rob a convenience store. Using CrowdControlHQ also allows the communications team to monitor the online chatter and moderate the content being posted when social media is particularly active, for example, during a rave event in Swindon.

Helen Kennedy continued, “In recent months we have had continued success in identifying wanted suspects by appealing to the online community to assist. In one instance, the offender was at the police station within thirty minutes of a social media post giving himself up. Although we cannot put a figure on it, this type of use of social networks will certainly contribute to saving thousands of pounds worth of police time and resources.”

James Leavesley, CEO of CrowdControlHQ concluded, “The ease with which social media platforms allow users to share information and communicate has resulted in a steady increase in use by public services organisations. Managing multiple accounts and being able to respond in a consistent and accurate manner is essential for the police and other public bodies. A missed tweet or failure to reply could have severe consequences in terms of events and the resulting potential harm to individuals and/or reputations. CrowdControlHQ provides an easy to use single interface to manage and control all points of contact via social media reliably and securely, reducing risk across an organisation.”

Cofely wins FM contract with Harrow Council

Harrow CouncilCofely has been awarded a five year contract by Harrow Council to deliver a range of facilities and energy efficiency services.

The partnership will see Cofely deliver mechanical & electrical maintenance, building fabric, cleaning and a range of security services across the Council’s 162 building portfolio.  It will also include energy efficiency services in support of the Council’s carbon reduction strategy and initiatives to tackle fuel poverty.  In total, 420 employees will transfer to Cofely under TUPE arrangements.

The new contract brings together a number of smaller contracts previously managed by different Council departments into a single outsourced delivery. This will deliver greater consistency and efficiency of services, lifecycle visibility and projected financial savings in the order of 20%.

Another key aspect of the partnership is a number of wide-ranging social value commitments which will deliver significant benefits to the local community.  These will support the Councils own priorities for the vulnerable, communities, local businesses and families.

To support these priorities Cofely will create a number of apprenticeships and graduate and work placements. It will also establish a new Harrow Community Fund to directly back local community projects and also provide training and volunteering opportunities for Harrow residents.

Venetia Reid-Baptiste of Harrow Council commented: “By working with Cofely we will be able to deliver a significant improvement in services to the local community while meeting our commitment to reduce costs. I have no doubt this partnership will prove to be of great benefit to Harrow residents.”

Cofely’s UK CEO Wilfrid Petrie added: “We look forward to developing a strong relationship with Harrow Council that will make not only a real difference to the delivery of council services but also to the sustainable development of the wider community as a whole.” 

Knightstone Housing Group enlists Sennheiser to provide headsets for company-wide Lync implementation

Telecoms Presence UC

Telecoms Presence UC

Sennheiser, leaders in premium headset and UC solutions, has been chosen by Knightstone Housing Group to supply a total of 550 headsets to its office-based and contact centre staff, contact centre supervisors and mobile-based staff in a complete refit of the organization. Sennheiser was chosen due to the premium quality and reliability of its devices as a cost-effective alternative to its previous models.

The Challenge

Knightstone Housing Group made the strategic decision to invest in a complete Microsoft Lync 2013 implementation to replace its existing Cisco Call manager setup, and opted to replace the Cisco 7940 phones and Plantronics headsets it had been using for nine years in order to improve mobility and provide a greater service. Its aim was to deliver a brand new centralised multi-channel customer contact centre and it required a range of headsets to improve staff efficiency and comfort when dealing with customers.

The solution

Knightstone trialed multiple headsets from all major manufacturers during the pilot phase of the new project, with the aim of selecting the most appropriate models for each department.

Sennheiser’s SC 660 and 630 range was chosen for the contact centre staff due to its quality, robustness and comfort. As a critical part of the organisation, the contact centre needed a device that was second to none on these factors, being required to wear headsets for long periods during the day. Staff were given the option of either the single sided monaural 630 or dual sided binarual 660 depending on their preference. Due to exceptional voice quality these headsets are also used to record training videos and audio for the organisations training needs.

When asked about the benefits of the SC 660 and 630, staff claimed they provided “Sound quality that is far superior to other brands, comfort, remote control, ease of use and portability”.

It also chose the premium DW Pro 1 for its contact centre supervisors, allowing them to maintain mobility when managing a busy contact environment. According to Chris Mocock, UC Consultant at Xpertlink Solutions: “This is my personal favourite, which I use for my own business needs. These devices provided second to none sound quality and comfort. Battery life is also excellent and paired with the dock you could not get a better device.”

Finally the Presence UC Bluetooth headset was chosen for its mobile and semi-mobile based staff. These users spend around 90% of their time on the road and need a device that is robust, portable and with a good battery life in order to be productive. The qualities of the Presence were listed as “build quality, Bluetooth range, battery life, robustness, and a case that provides excellent protection during travel” by the mobile staff.



It also provided the Presence to office workers, which left a lasting impression.

“Initially thinking that these devices would be too small and expensive for a standard office user, I was surprised to gain feedback that staff loved having the flexibility of roaming the office with their Bluetooth headsets” said Chris Mocock.“Staff have the freedom to leave their seats and still be available to receive calls as the range of these devices were excellent.  As a result the default for all staff is the Sennheiser presence UC.”

Overall the new implementation of the Sennheiser headsets has been a complete success, with each member of staff enjoying the quality, flexibility and additional benefits on offer, such as superb voice clarity due to ultra noise-cancelling microphone filters that help to eliminate unwanted background noise and Sennheiser HD voice clarity with wideband sound for the most natural listening experience.

“Build quality, sound quality and comfort make these the best headsets available for a Unified Communications environment. Having used all other brands not a single one comes close to the Sennheiser products” said Chris.“Whenever staff are asked about their devices they are full of praise and certainly would not give them up for any other product. I personally use only Sennheiser products as I travel across the country and need to be available regardless of my location and make and receive calls with no disruption from background noise. They are also extremely sturdy and can be carried around on a daily basis without being damaged.”

When asked whether he would recommend the headsets to other similar establishments, Chris had no qualms about doing so, and already has another project in the works that he believes would be a good fit.“As a consultant at Xpertlink solutions I work on many Lync Voice projects and have recommended Sennheiser to customers. In fact I am working on a 3000 user deployment of Lync voice and have recommended Sennheiser as the best choice for headsets. Obviously cost is always concern so Sennheiser are working with me to get the best value for money on the headsets to secure the deal.”

Comments from Knighstone staff on the new Sennheiser equipment 

“I can walk around the office and take calls without having to be sat at my Desk” – Comms member (Presence UC)

“The sound quality of these devices is excellent, I can also listen to my music during lunch” – Customer Contact Agent (Sennheiser SC 660)

“Being an IT Support technician it’s impractical to be stuck to a desk all day, but now with my Sennheiser Presence UC I can build work both on the IT bench and at my desk whilst continuing to take calls” – IT Support technician (Presence UC)

“I used my new headset in a café the other day and the quality was great” – Head of IT (Presence UC)

“On a few occasions I have got home to find I have left my headset on as it doesn’t even feel like you are wearing it” – Comms member (Presence UC)

About Knightstone Housing Group

As a leading housing association in Somerset and the West of England, Knightstone provides services to 23,000 people in 11,000 homes, and builds around 300 homes a year.

The headsets

SC 660 and 630

The SC 630 and SC 660 are premium wired headsets for all-day use with desk phones in busy call centers or offices. Built to withstand the rigors of the toughest jobs, they are designed for quality-conscious office professionals requiring HD voice clarity, durability and all-day comfort.

The SC 630 is a single-sided wired headset with outstanding sound performance while allowing users to maintain contact with their surroundings, while the SC 660 dual-sided headset delivers the same great sound and is ideal for noisy environments. Both offer effective noise cancellation technology via an ultra noise-cancelling microphone and patented ActiveGard™ technology to protect against acoustic shock and sudden sound surges.

DW Pro 1

The DW Pro 1 is a single sided wireless headset designed to offer people the flexibility to converse freely with those around them, while offering premium sound, supreme comfort and intuitive operation. Specifically designed to meet the needs of all-day users, it offers effective noise cancellation technology via an ultra noise-cancelling microphone and patented ActiveGard™ technology to protect against acoustic shock and sudden sound surges. Long distance wireless of up to 180m ensures freedom to move around without affecting a call and each offers up to 12 hours of uninterrupted talk time with fast recharge of 50% power in just 20 minutes.

Presence UC

PRESENCE™ is a premium Bluetooth headset for professionals on the road who demand a consistently excellent communication solution both for themselves and the listener.

It offers a number of unique and patented technologies such as SpeakFocus™ that adapts seamlessly to background noise for crystal clear sound, WindSafe™ to automatically adjust for wind noise to ensure the clearest possible audio outdoors and ActiveGard® technology to protect against acoustic shock. Multi-connectivity allows users to quickly switch between softphone and mobile calls, bringing seamless operation to a range of different devices and it offers up to 10 hours talk time between charges for full day performance on the move.

The PRESENCE™ UC is optimised for Unified Communications to deliver consistently excellent communication across a range of platforms and environments.

Information about Sennheiser is available on the internet at

Hat-trick of public sector frameworks for Comensura

Jamie Horton

Jamie Horton

comensura_BLK-220x220Comensura, a labour supply management specialist, expands its leadership in helping the UK public sector procure and manage temporary staffing needs, with three places on new frameworks –MSTAR2, the Cirrus Consortium and National Procurement Service for Wales.

Comensura has retained its position on the highly successful Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resources (MSTAR2) national framework as a ‘best value’ provider in both lots it tendered for. The first lot is Neutral Supply Chain Management, where public sector organisations can call off directly with Comensura for a neutral vendor managed service without the need for further competition. The second lot is Supply Chain Optimisation (Hybrid), new with MSTAR2, where public sector organisations can define a sourcing strategy using a combination of procurement models depending on their temporary resourcing objectives.

Achieving an impressive score of 93%, Comensura has been appointed to Lot 11: Neutral Vendor of the new Cirrus Consortium Framework, which enables members – Registered Providers of Social Housing, Local Authorities, ALMOs and NHS Trusts to appoint a provider without the need for lengthy and expensive tender processes.

Finally, achieving the highest score out of the three appointed providers, Comensura has also been appointed to the National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales new managed services framework for the provision of agency staff, through which it will give many public sector organisations across Wales access to temporary staff.

Jamie Horton, Managing Director of Comensura, said: “We’re delighted to have secured our place on three key frameworks in the public sector. Our appointment to the frameworks and the high scores that we achieved are testimony to the high quality, yet excellent value for money service we can provide to public sector organisations.

“Public sector organisations require access to temporary staff to enable them to deliver public services cost effectively. We have proven experience of procuring temporary labour from recruitment suppliers in an efficient and cost-effective manner for public sector organisations.”

The Cirrus Consortium Framework runs until March 2019; the MSTAR2 Framework runs until at least April 2017; and the NPS for Wales Framework runs until at least April 2018.

Councils urged to tread carefully on signage

LOCAL authorities are being warned to stay on the right side of the law in the battle to keep traffic on the move.

New guidance laid down by the Department for Transport (DfT)* spells out the legal requirements for variable message signs.

And councils are being urged to ensure all roadside units capable of displaying changing text or pictograms make the grade.

Brian Lyus, of the Association for Road Traffic Safety and Management (ARTSM), said: “Increasing numbers of authorities are now using digital signs to get their message across.

“But compliance and quality can sometimes be neglected in the face of price pressure.

“Guidance issued by the DfT recently spells out the requirements for variable message signs laid down in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD).

“It’s a reminder that councils must tread very carefully to ensure they don’t break the rules.”

Variable message signs hit national headlines last year when a unit showing a temporary speed limit was found to contravene the DfT guidelines.

Mr Lyus says traffic displays must conform to the regulations or those using them face the risk of non-compliance and the creation of an unenforceable sign.

He added: “Some councils may still be unaware of legal requirements for the form of the displays as well as the messages, fonts and colours to be used on UK roads.

“And permanently-installed variable message signs must conform to EN 12966 and be CE marked.

“It’s obviously important to get signing right, both for maximum prominence and from aspects of safety and compliance.”

The DfT Traffic Advisory Leaflet spells out requirements for the signs on aspects including form of display, sign housing and messages.

And David Skinner, of Rennicks UK, believes anyone involved in the delivery of services for the road network should familiarise themselves with it.

He said: “The guidance enables local authorities and other highways operators to clearly see their obligations when it comes to signage.

“There’s no longer any ambiguity and, as the requirements are laid down in black and white, there’s also no excuse for getting it wrong.

“Our signs are a significant step forward in terms of technology and yet, importantly, they’re all fully compliant with DfT guidelines.

“Ultimately, it’s our customer who controls the displayed message, but at Rennicks, we also offer advice surrounding the lawful creation of road traffic signage.”

Don’t risk a lopsided public service

Paul Connolly is Director of the MCA Think Tank

Paul Connolly is Director of the MCA Think Tank

2015 is a crucial year for the public sector. The General Election has passed, and economic growth continues, but still the looming threats of Brexit, Grexit and Scoxit remain. If the challenges of the last Parliament were significant, going forward they will be even greater.

Since 2010, the Government’s deficit reduction approach has been dogged, but not especially strategic. Health, education and overseas aid spend were protected. So every other area had to find disproportionate savings. This pattern is set to continue, resulting in an increasingly lopsided public sector.

This is just one of views expressed in the Management Consultancies Association’s (MCA) Special Edition of its Annual Report, which also argues that 2015 is pivotal year for public sector and its advisers.

MCA firms have an important role to play in the reform of the public sector, and services provided to it. They are currently developing robust standards for ethics and client satisfaction. As a result of fiscal retrenchment after 2010, spend on MCA consultants fell from £1.8bn to less than £1bn. Last year, it rose again. But officials and taxpayers can be confident the rise represents value.

The Cabinet Office has reformed how departments purchase consulting. The system isn’t perfect, but consultants and departments have taken significant steps forward to ensure a more outcome based approach. For instance, MCA member firms are keen to promote innovations such as payment by results, and departments are now more thoughtful, making more strategic buying decisions to ensure that they only buy the expertise they really need.

The MCA’s Special Edition also says that the new Government needs to develop a more principled approach to prioritisation, moving beyond the disfigurements of blanket protections combined with tactical cuts.

Take local government. The sector found around 30% savings in the last Parliament. It will need to do even better in this one. With the central Government grant to councils potentially evaporating by 2020, radical overhaul is needed. Substantial fiscal devolution to councils is being contemplated. The MCA has called for a conference on local Government’s future. This would help councils develop an understanding, in the context of scarcity, of what they should do, what they should discontinue and what citizens should do themselves.

MCA members note significant transformation appetite among local government leaders. Consultants are supporting demand management, digitisation, shared services and inter-agency collaboration.

The health sector is also gearing up for reform. Consultants are helping integrate care, redesign A&E and digitise services. Reform is urgently needed. Health spend is protected, but the NHS has grown in real terms every year bar one since its establishment. NHS England’s survival is predicated, in CEO Simon Stephens’ plans, on £8bn of new money and £22bn efficiency savings.

Moreover, given the lack of political or public appetite for additional taxation, future NHS spend increases mean reductions elsewhere. Public sector lop-sidedness will become entrenched and worsen.

To address this, the NHS must undergo radical prioritisation – a principled analysis of what is in scope and what is not. Prioritisation should be accompanied by a shift towards prevention. The NHS is a health service that sometimes looks like a sickness management service. Costs associated with lifestyle conditions like obesity, smoking and alcohol-related illness could be reduced by changing behaviour. Hospitals are expensive, reactive forms of care. Local health economies should be incentivised to move resources towards more community-based provision.

The NHS also needs relentless digitisation. Improvements in Digital management of caseloads and patient records will improve efficiency. Wearable technologies help manage long-term conditions. Analytics can promote innovations in treating genetically inherited conditions.

Improving local authority and NHS performance will require input from the private sector, including service outsourcers. So will schooling. Head teachers now enjoy significant commercial freedoms, but need support in exercising them. Yet outsourcing’s reputation is poor. Outsourcers have helped transform many services. But high-profile scandals have created a curious condition in which government publicly pillories failing providers, but continues to use others, almost surreptitiously, without promoting the case for doing so. More open and balanced debate is needed to ensure outsourcing plays a proper and valuable part in reform. Outsourcers must maintain high ethical standards and should also provide the most transformational offerings. Creating a parallel, slightly cheaper public sector of TUPE-ed staff won’t be enough. Outsourcers must help government truly reinvent services.

While consultants still assist with crises, most programmes they now support are long-term and transformational. MCA firms are currently developing robust standards for ethics and client satisfaction. Consulting firms work best where they are tackling complex problems, marshalling multi-skilled teams, then get paid by results, leaving clients in better shape through knowledge transfer. This use of consulting is becoming more commonplace. It needs to be, as the challenges ahead are enormous, especially the deficit.


Command Wall

Command Wall

Honeywell (NYSE:HON) today announced the next generation of smart building technology, Command and Control Suite, which turns complex facility data into recommendations and easy-to-implement changes that help boost business outcomes — lowering costs, minimising risk and reducing downtime.

By combining intelligent automation, advanced analytics and visualisation with the simplified user experience of today’s home and mobile electronics, Command and Control Suite links building automation and the enterprise. It provides a holistic view of a connected building’s video feeds, access control and fire alarms, for example, and pulls in relevant information from human resource applications. Integrating data from these disparate systems could help security personnel track occupants and make sure they exit the facility in the event of an evacuation, improving employee safety.

Investing in this type of smart building technology typically pays for itself within one or two years by delivering operational efficiencies as well as energy savings, according to a a financial and professional services firm.

Command Wall

Command Wall

“The building data currently collected in modern facilities presents a vast opportunity to reduce operations and maintenance costs,” said Benjamin Freas, senior research analyst, However, difficulties in integrating data from separate building automation systems have encumbered realising this potential. The usability of facility technologies has been a persistent challenge as well. To date, success in system performance has largely been dependent on the skill and experience of operators.”

Guided by experts in the Honeywell Design Studio, all components of the Command and Control Suitewere built with the intuitive, consumer-friendly simplicity of tablets and smartphones, making the technology accessible to both a facility manager and chief operating officer. Because virtually anyone can understand and act on the insights the command suite provides, companies can improve business continuity and efficiency, and get a higher return on investment. A refined user experience helps reduce operator training and related expenses as well.

The Honeywell Command Wall, the core of the suite, features map-based visualisation and navigation, along with integrated workflows and system-wide integration from a single, intuitive touchscreen interface.

The Command Wall presents data from multiple systems across a facility, such as utility meters and temperature sensors, while providing context for more informed decision making. Using progressive disclosure, users can access an enterprise-wide view and also easily zoom into specific areas to quickly understand and react to issues and opportunities as they arise.

“A building’s intelligence is largely influenced by those who operate it and can make the changes necessary to improve performance, so enhancing the user experience is imperative.” said John Rajchert, president of Honeywell Building Solutions “It allows organisations to extract the most value from their technology investment. Like today’s ubiquitous tablet and mobile devices, Command Wall makes connecting with information and others fast and simple.”

A supplement to the Command Wall is Incident Workflow, which guides users step by step through scripted responses to security incidents and other emergencies, helping further reduce risk and improving accuracy in mitigating issues. In addition, Enterprise Dashboards extend the suite’s real-time visualisation by presenting detailed energy data and actionable guidance to help control consumption and boost efficiency.

Command and Control Suite technologies integrate with Honeywell’s flagship building management platform, Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI), which helps facilitate the integration of security, comfort, life safety and energy systems, among other functions. EBI gives users a single point of access and consistent view to information and resources that enhance the ability to monitor, manage and protect a facility, campus or multi-site operation.

The Command Wall with Incident Workflow and Enterprise Dashboards will be available in the second quarter of 2015.

Town councils in fair funding plea

imagesA group of influential town councils has urged their national body, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), to campaign for fairer funding to ensure tens of millions of pounds of Government funding is passed on to them.

NALC’s Larger Councils Committee, which represents the interests of larger parish and town councils within the organisation, expressed its anger at their recent meeting that a quarter of council tax support funding from the government was being withheld by principal (county, district, borough or unitary) councils.

Previous government ministers had written to councils asking for the money to be passed on, instructions ignored by around 30 authorities and described “as useful a chocolate fireguard” by the committee. Town council leaders have also warned that they expect the situation to get worse as long as principal authorities continue to “get away with it”.

However the committee welcomed the decision by the previous government not to extend referenda principles to parish councils, praising NALC’s campaigning on this issue, but urged continued action to ensure parish budgets are determined locally and without interference by ministers.

NALC welcomes the findings of this committee and will be campaigning on this with the new Conservative Government.

Cllr Ken Cleary, chair of NALC’s Larger Local Councils Committee, said: “It is bitterly disappointing that principal councils have ignored instructions to pass on around £40 million of government funding to parish councils. Letters from previous ministers to councils have been as useful as a chocolate fireguard, so a different approach is now needed.

“Communities have been short-changed by around £10m and this is likely to get worse if principal councils are allowed to get away with it. We need fairer funding for our parishes to ensure they can continue to improve lives and enhance communities.”

Cofely GDF SUEZ wins contract to support Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

RBG Kew Palm House

RBG Kew Palm House

Cofely GDF SUEZ has been awarded a contract by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) to provide services across its estates. The contract includes the world famous Kew Gardens, as well as the 465 acre Wakehurst Place.

The partnership will see Cofely delivering a wide range of fabric, mechanical and electrical maintenance. This is to include buildings such as the Palm House (a Victorian Glasshouse), the Herbarium (which houses over seven million specimens and plays a central role in research into plant biodiversity on Earth) and the Millennium Seed Bank (a new building which focuses on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future).

Cofely will employ a site team of 27, who will travel around the extensive grounds using bespoke bicycles and electric vehicles.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Director of Corporate Services, Jill McLaughlin commented: “The unique nature of the RBG Kew requires a facilities management partner that truly understands our requirements and priorities – with the inherent flexibility and commitment to meet them. Cofely has demonstrated a willingness to engage at all levels, which will form the basis of a strong partnership going forward.”

Cofely’s CEO Wilfrid Petrie added: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract, which builds on an established relationship between our two organisations. Our experience of maintaining complex environmental conditions in many other heritage establishments and the ability to adapt our service delivery to suit clients’ specific needs will prove invaluable in meeting RBG, Kew’s requirements.”

For further information visit:

HP and Microsoft Team to Deliver Digital Transformations for Industries

HP today announced it is partnering with Microsoft Corp. to deliver solutions for the automotive, public sector and financial services industries to help organizations quickly deliver differentiated products and create new revenue through mobile, web and social channels.

HP Business Process as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions for Microsoft Dynamics® provide organizations with rapid, industry-tailored solutions that allow them to deliver digital, mobile and social interactions with the customers and citizens they serve. This builds on a 30-year strategic partnership where HP has built one of the largest and most comprehensive global Microsoft delivery capabilities and has repeatedly been awarded for delivery excellence and leadership.

“Fulfilling customer and partner expectations is our number one priority, and in the new digital age, their expectations have evolved,” said Mathew George, chief manager (Petro Chemicals), Indian Oil.  “Working with HP and their partner, Microsoft, has allowed us to transform our processes to improve customer interactions while lowering costs.  We are now extending our work with HP and Microsoft to evolve and deliver a digital client-first experience that will continue to drive and ensure customer loyalty.”

HP and Microsoft are building an extensive portfolio of business process accelerators to address industries’ most challenging business processes and are delivering them as Business Process as-a-Service solutions.  The solutions include accelerators for:

  • Case Management – Easily configured to support different types of business processes, such as license and permit management, grants management and law enforcement.
  • Social Benefits Administration – This solution set can be used to deliver a broad array of social services to citizens such as Early Care and Education, Adult and Aging Services, Remote Care Case Management, Disability Services and Wellness Assessments.
  • Citizen Services: Portals and Call Centers — A solution set that provides citizens with multi-channel access to interact with government agencies to request information and services.
  • Banking Transformation – Allows clients to modernize and automate business processes associated with a bank’s branch network, their lending systems and mobilize their sales force to sell and service customers more efficiently and provide a better customer experience
  • Loan Process Transformation – Allows clients to modernize and automate business processes associated with legacy loan origination systems and build a customer communication and data storage solution.
  • Automotive Aftersales Customer Experience Management – Enables the proactive sales of services and improving the end-customer experience.

Customers and citizens expect their interaction with businesses and government entities to be easy, personal and fast. HP helps to deliver these experiences by allowing organizations to rapidly modernize their legacy applications, get to market quickly and increase their competitive differentiation.

“No trend has impacted business and government as much or as quickly as the drive to digital,” said Anthone Withers, director and general manager, Microsoft Business Applications, Enterprise Services.  “Our BPaaS solutions allow clients to rapidly move to the digital world by modernizing existing applications and simplifying the process to deliver a better client experience.”

The HP Business Process as-a-Service solutions are optimized to run on the HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud platform, providing even faster deployment times and recognition of revenue for businesses.  HP leverages the Microsoft Dynamics platform to offer consumption-based pricing models or fixed cost per product/service based on the specific needs of the business.

“The combination of industry leading Microsoft Dynamics solutions and HP experience and expertise will result in specific industry focused IP that  represent great value and opportunity to organizations looking to accelerate the delivery of products and services to market,” said Hayden Stafford, Vice President, Enterprise Sales, Microsoft Business Solutions.   “For example, in the automotive sector, we will provide both local and global OEM’s with a rapid approach to the transition in delivering a digital first customer experience.”

SNG Commercial Launches Muvo Professional – new laundry brand with the quality of brand leaders that can add to your bottom line

PURE Senses WH Liquid

PURE Senses WH Liquid

muvo pro bio and non bio group

muvo pro bio and non bio group

SNG Commercial Ltd has launched Muvo Professional, a new range of laundry and dishwashing products which have the integrity of the brand leaders but at a more commercially viable price point.

Available in a variety of formats and sizes to cater for businesses of all sizes, the professional range will initially offer a selection of laundry detergents, fabric conditioners and dishwashing tablets. Additional products will be added to the professional range as SNG Commercial continues to develop and adapt its formulas. In addition, SNG Commercial can develop and supply own label products for a number of categories, from household cleaning and laundry to cosmetics and shampoos.

The full range includes:

      Muvo Professional liquid (bio and non-bio) – available in 5L – 25L

Muvo Professional power capsules (bio and non-bio) – available in 50 – 100 packs

Muvo Professional dishwasher tablets – available in 30 – 100 packs

Muvo Professional dishwasher cleaning fluid – available in 5L – 10L

Muvo Professional rinse aid – available in 5L – 10L

Senses Professional fabric conditioner (two-fragrance varieties including for sensitive skin)  – available in 5L – 25L

Tracey Watson, Head of Commercial Sales for Muvo Professional, said: “We’re excited to be officially launching the new range of professional products which we believe will add real value to businesses in a variety of sectors from facilities management and office products to care homes and hospitals.

“Our products have performed as well as the brand leaders in independent tests so we are confident in the quality of the formulas. We wanted to develop a range of products that not only give great results, but are more commercially viable too.”

For more information contact Tracey Watson on or 0800 098 8065.

Ecodan prepares for the toughest challenge yet

L to R: Stuart Markland; Liam Browning; James Kendall; James Timbs-Harrison, will row the Atlantic in two hours shifts

L to R: Stuart Markland; Liam Browning; James Kendall; James Timbs-Harrison, will row the Atlantic in two hours shifts

Mitsubishi Electric has sponsored All Beans No Monkeys, a team of four men who will row the Atlantic later this year when they take part in the Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Deemed to be one of the toughest races on earth, the Tallisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge will see the crew row 4,800km across the world’s second largest ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean.

Once they leave the safety of La Gomera, All Beans No Monkeys will be on their own, on the vast ocean and at the mercy of the elements. The crew will be equipped with 90 days of rations which will have to keep them going because, apart from the collection of rainwater and fishing, they won’t receive any re-supplies of food, drink or equipment during the race.

James Timbs-Harrison, crew member and Mitsubishi Electric Heating Product Manager says: “If you take into account the fact that only 500 people have ever rowed across the Atlantic but over 4,000 have climbed Everest then you can begin to see how tough this challenge really is.”

James and his fellow crew members, Liam Browning, Stuart Markland and James Kendall will depart on 15 December 2015 in their specially named ‘Ecodan’ boat and will row continuously for approximately 50 days.

James continues: “This is without doubt a challenge of a lifetime, but it is one which we are all looking forward to. A big part of this challenge is also raising money and awareness for our chosen charities and our goal is to raise £60,000, which will be split between the RNLI and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

“We will therefore be promoting the challenge and our chosen charities over the coming months at a number of events around the country. The first event will be the BMW PGA Golf Championship where the Ecodan boat will be the main focus of the Mitsubishi Electric stand within the Championship tented village.”

The BMW PGA Golf Championship will take place at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey from 22-25 May and guests who visit the tented village will be able to challenge James and his crew members to see if they can match their drive and stamina in a head to head competition on the rowing machines.

Further information about the crew and the challenge can be found at their dedicated website:

Jon McGinty has been appointed to lead a new working partnership for Gloucester City Council

Jon McGinty

Jon McGinty

Jon McGinty has been appointed to lead a new working partnership for Gloucester City Council and Gloucestershire County Council.

The joint role is the managing director (MD) – head of paid service – for Gloucester City Council and commissioning director for Gloucestershire County Council.

Mr McGinty is currently deputy chief executive of Aylesbury Vale District Council, where he has led on business transformation and many major regeneration projects. He is also experienced in multi-agency partnerships and has a background in finance – all attributes needed to take on this new and exciting role. He was also deputy director for local government finance and head of profession for statistics at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council and chair of the interview panel, said: “It is a challenging time for both authorities. I’m confident Mr McGinty has the skills and experience to help us find creative ways of working together that will benefit local people and focus our resources where they are truly needed.”

Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “This new role will help Gloucester to be heard at the highest levels of the county council and will cement the working relationship we have been developing for some time. The city is benefiting from significant regeneration and investment and having this new post in place will help us to make the most of the great opportunities Gloucester has to reach its full potential.”

Jon McGinty, newly appointed managing director for Gloucester City Council and commissioning director for Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I’m looking forward to taking on this role and excited about the opportunities it will bring. This is a great example of local authorities working together for benefit of the community. I look forward to meeting with councillors and local people so we can start building our future together.”

Gloucester City Council’s annual revenue budget is £16 million per year whereas the county council spends at least £80million each year within Gloucester. The city council already works closely with the county council and several back office functions are already shared. Although this is not a merger of the two organisations, the joint role will help continue joint working and is expected to save in the region of £100,000.