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Leading Coventry businesswoman urges other businesses to ‘think outside the box’ and provide remote work experience for school pupils during lockdown

Fleur Sexton

“Giving the next generation of our workforce an insider view of how our world works is absolute gold”

 With the pandemic sabotaging so many key experiences that should be shaping young people’s lives and aspirations, work experience is one area where businesses can step up their game and provide invaluable support and inspiration to the next generation of our workforce. Coventry-based PET-Xi Training – one of the most hard-hitting and dynamic training providers in the UK with a reputation for success with the hardest to reach – is offering school pupils a whole range of remote work experience placements, from marketing to finance and graphic design, and Managing Director Fleur Sexton is urging other businesses to ‘think outside the box’ and follow suit.

“Life isn’t perfect, but understanding how to deal with imperfect situations and still succeeding is one of the most important lessons young people can learn,” said Fleur Sexton, who is also Deputy Lieutenant, West Midlands and Businesswoman of the Year. “Lockdown has put up so many barriers, and businesses may be shying away from offering work experience in such challenging circumstances. But it’s vital that we give the next generation of our workforce an insider’s view of how the career world works – let them see how businesses are keeping going in the hardest of times, how they are adapting and creating positives from difficult situations. It’s more important now than ever to show young people a ‘warts and all’ view of life.”

Businesses should look at what insight into the working world they can offer work experience students during lockdown instead of what they can’t. While traditional ‘in-person’ placements are currently not feasible, ‘remote’ placements are – and they can even offer new advantages.

For example, young people living in seaside towns with limited job prospects suddenly have a raft of opportunities opened up once work experience moves online – location is taken out of the equation. Similarly, those with physical disabilities, anxiety or who are disadvantaged in other ways may have difficulty accessing work experience via the traditional route – the playing field is levelled in many ways once it becomes virtual.

A range of remote or virtual work experience options are on offer at PET-Xi, with packages of support designed around the interests and potential career path of each pupil taking part – whether they are considering a future job in sales, training, teaching, marketing, graphic design or HR & admin. Reflecting PET-Xi’s commitment to ‘re-wiring’ communities and creating social equity, these options include:

  • ‘Smashing glass ceilings’ – workshop-style sessions where students learn about the issue of certain industries not being accessible to certain kids and how these inequalities can actually be fixed with remote packages For example, a career in law is still less likely to be pursued by young people from the BAME community
  • Inspiring and providing role models – pupils have the chance to ‘shadow’ workers in different jobs by joining zoom meetings and being involved ‘remotely’ in their day-to-day job. This is hugely important as missing out on seeing how other people do things is one of the biggest threats of lockdown. Having someone ‘on hand’ to answer questions and show them the kinds of challenges they may face – such as meeting tight deadlines or resolving conflict – gives young people crucial insight into what working life entails. In finance for example, pupils may ‘meet’ apprentices as well as directors who have worked their way up and have the chance to find out about their job.
  • Providing networks and contacts  – during these tough times it is harder to establish these vital industry links, especially for young people at the bottom of the career ladder. These sessions will give pupils practical advice on how to ‘grow’ networks and make the right contacts to help kickstart their chosen career
  • Initial assessment/career wise assessment with feedback – practical steps to help students decide what careers best suit their skills and aptitudes, and what they need to do to reach their career goal
  • Joining podcasts/interviews of successful business people who have smashed ceilings or who are outstanding role models for pupils to inspire and help them to aim high
  • Developing interview skills – live sessions geared towards specific job roles with clear practical advice on the do’s and don’ts of interviews
  • Employability support based on PET-Xi’s traineeship delivery model
  • Experiential learning – project-based activity such as an evaluation of on-line delivery, what went well/even better if?

Commenting on the importance of providing work experience during the pandemic, Fleur Sexton said, “Businesses should focus on what they do best and then think outside the box to create an experience of working life that will open pupils’ minds to the opportunities available to them, demonstrate the real value of resilience and show them the skills and mindset they need to develop to work in different roles and sectors. Giving the next generation of our workforce an insider view of how our world works is absolute gold – and I am calling on all businesses to play their part in helping to shape young people’s futures.”

How a Business IT Mindset Can Help Smart Cities Maintain Cleaner Air

By Sascha Giese, Head Geek at SolarWinds

As our cities continue to grow in population density, the need for positive environmental action on a domestic and global scale grows more urgent. However, the sheer complexity of contemporary urban living means city planners need more actionable insight into the factors affecting issues such as air quality and emission levels. They need to understand—with precision and in real time—what’s changing about their local environment, where the risks and dangers lie, and what steps they can take to mitigate them.

The collective lockdown experiences of the past 12 months illustrate the potential for significant change. As reported recently in Chemistry World, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a 7% drop in global carbon emissions, a trend not seen “since World War II.” Granted, these have been exceptional circumstances, but they do offer a real-world benchmark and increase the urgency behind more permanent methods of environmental improvement, such as investment in smart cities.

The Rapid Rise in Smart Cities

Smart cities are built around interconnected networks of fixed and mobile remote sensors designed to record and exchange data 24/7. From an environmental perspective, this data is used for a wide variety of purposes, including identifying underlying patterns and trends across the city ecosystem. Take the movement of traffic, for instance, where real time information about the number and location of vehicles can help authorities make accurate predictions about key issues such as air quality.

Momentum is growing—in London, the mayor recently announced an air quality monitoring investment of almost £1.5 million to fund 195 sensors, which will generate real-time data shared publicly via the Breathe London website.

Armed with this kind of data-driven insight, authorities can take proactive steps to maintain air quality. For example, public transportation vehicles can be switched to an all-electric mode when they’re entering areas of higher pollution. Indeed, some cities are using the data in public information messages to encourage people in vehicles or on foot to find alternative routes when air quality decreases.

Complexity on an Enterprise Scale

This isn’t without its challenges, however. The sheer volume of data—plus the complexity of the many interconnected networks involved—gives UK government IT system administrators the monumental task of managing not just the sensors but their underlying systems.

Think of it this way: a highly connected smart city is like a large enterprise—it generates huge quantities of data needing to be stored and analysed. As such, this data has the potential to become an extremely valuable asset, but the sheer level of complexity involved means artificial intelligence technologies are now essential tools for city administrators, who need to extract and cross-reference insights from the different data sets involved. Addressing these challenges already generates huge levels of investment across a range of business sectors and will become increasingly important as smart cities grow further in scale.

The parallels between smart city technology management and business infrastructure don’t end there. Smart city administrators can apply the same expertise, tools, and processes to manage these requirements as those used by their commercial counterparts. By prioritising real-time monitoring for network performance, security, and data privacy, they can keep smart cities connected, safe, and in a position to deliver better environmental performance to their citizens.

With greater data volumes and complexity comes the issue of compliance. Businesses everywhere are increasingly aware of their regulatory obligations, and the impact of rules such as UK-GDPR means it’s increasingly the administrators who shoulder the responsibility for data integrity and protection. Admins working in smart cities not only have a responsibility to secure the growing amounts of data but must also ensure they and their third-party partners don’t misuse it.

With the world facing extreme environmental challenges, governments are beginning to set more ambitious targets, and their ability to meet the huge range of challenges head-on will be helped considerably if smart cities can fulfill their green potential and curb the damage they cause. Technology teams have a huge role to play, and their expertise will be in high demand as smart cities continue to develop in the years to come.

Meet the new Assistant Executive Director for Adult Social Care

Knowsley Council has appointed Jenny Rollinson as Assistant Executive Director – Adult Social Care.

Jenny has worked at the Council for almost four years, and is currently the Head of Adult Social Care.

Over the last 15 years Jenny has held a number of senior Health and Social Care roles working for both Stockport and Oldham Council before joining Knowsley in 2017.

Jenny has experience of managing front line operational teams and leading Adult Social Care services through transformational change.

Jenny has a successful track record of improving performance and implementing change and will build on the improvements she has made in Adult Social Care and on her experience of leading, directing and co-ordinating the Council’s Adult Social Care functions in the role of Assistant Executive Director – Adult Social Care.

Speaking about her new appointment, Jenny told GPSJ: “Having worked in Knowsley now for almost four years, I’m really passionate and committed to providing the very best care to our residents.

“I look forward to working at a strategic level, with staff, partners, residents and other stakeholders to ensure our services and the support we offer meets people’s needs and improves people’s outcomes.

“We have made fantastic improvements here in Knowsley with a range of initiatives and service developments intended to maximise people’s independence and help people to stay at home for as long as possible.  This has included harnessing community assets, increasing the use of assistive technology, and embedding an asset based approach to assessment.  We have also worked in partnership with our local health colleagues to prevent avoidable hospital admissions and facilitate timely discharge from hospital with support where it is needed.

“Throughout the pandemic, our residents have needed us more than ever and I know that the vital support and services we provide is needed and valued by our communities.

“I look forward to taking up my post and driving forward Adult Social Care services in Knowsley.”

Jenny will take up her new role shortly (and once she has returned from her maternity leave).

New partnership launched to reduce absenteeism and help disabled workers under UK scheme to get a million people into employment

  • Occupational health & disabled services provider distributes technology to 200 assessors
  • NuroKor bioelectric technology will help support disabled people as they start work 
  • Microlink staff with health conditions successfully trial NuroKor therapy

Microlink PC, a global leader in education and assistive technology solutions, is offering cutting-edge technology from NuroKor BioElectronics to 200 disability assessors, in a bid to reduce absenteeism and help disabled people back to work.

NuroKor founder and CEO, Rick Rowan

The assessors support an estimated 70,000 disabled graduate students and employees annually through Government grant schemes, to enable them to continue with their studies or employment. From May  2021, Microlink will be extending the solution to the employment work programmes, to help unemployed people with health conditions and disabilities, as part of the UK’s pledge to get an additional one million disabled people back to work by 2027.

Operating across eight countries, NuroKor develops and produces state-of-the-art, wearable technology using bioelectric nerve, muscle and microcurrent stimulation to manage pain and recovery and optimise physical performance.

Multi-award winning Microlink  decided to partner with the technology pioneer after loaning its mibody devices to a selection of its 100-strong workforce. As well as seeing a reduction in sick leave and an increase in productivity, after regularly using the technology for six weeks, one member of staff with painful arthritis was able to stop using a wheelchair and crutches, return to cycling 70 miles a week and stop taking strong, opioid painkillers.

Scott Hurst, Microlink

Facilities manager Scott, 43, from Southampton, said: “Before trying the device, my arthritis was so bad that I would have to use crutches or a wheelchair to move around at work. The pain stopped me cycling to the office, walking and even going shopping, so it really impacted my life. After 4-6 weeks of using it, I could get back on my bike and life’s a lot easier now.”

Microlink UK CEO Dr Nassar Siabi, OBE, claims the technology could revolutionise treatment of musculoskeletal conditions among the UK’s workforce and significantly help to reduce the high rates of absenteeism due to pain and discomfort.

He said: “I invested in devices for team members who were struggling with debilitating health conditions. The results were overwhelmingly positive and the next step is to share the technology with those supporting people with disabilities and health conditions, so that people who wish to return to work, could benefit.”

Currently the only life science company of its kind, NuroKor’s technology is distributed across the  UK, Norway, France, US, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Ireland and will this year be expanding its US market reach.

NuroKor founder and CEO Rick Rowan said: “We know how pain can significantly impact on a person’s quality of life, so I am delighted that our technology will be used to help support Microlink’s users back into employment, as well as providing them with more control over their own care.”

And as more remote workers experience posture-related pain, the technology looks set to be an alternative solution for organisations wanting to better support their workforce and cut condition-related absence and sickness. [1]

Microlink UK CEO, Dr Nassar Siabi OBE

Dr Siabi added: “We now have millions of people working from home and we want to help reduce the rising numbers of people experiencing pain caused by bad posture. Staff need to have an ergonomic workstation to reduce discomfort and need access to emerging technology such as NuroKor’s, then you stop work-induced pain from developing into a permanent problem.

“Organisations will need to be more proactive in the care of their remote workforces because this is how millions of us now work.”

Hampshire-based Microlink will also introduce the technology to around more than 40 health and safety leads from its client base, which includes some of the UK’s leading banks, broadcast companies, law firms, councils and pharmaceutical companies. Its workplace adjustment programme currently supports the disabled employees of organisations with a combined workforce of more than 1.4 million across the UK and internationally.

Dr Siabi said: “By introducing this type of technology, I believe that the majority of long-term absenteeism, which is caused by pain related conditions, could be avoided. Forward-thinking companies can then ensure their workforce remains safe from work-related injuries.”

For further information please visit: nurokor.com

National Care Forum and Institute of Health and Social Care Management announce partnership to provide an exciting member benefit

The National Care Forum (NCF) has created a new partnership with The Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) for the benefit of its members.

Members of the NCF will be able to enjoy the full membership offer from the IHSCM which includes:

  • A full programme of events and support for conferences
  • Accredited short course masterclasses
  • Reports and expert analysis on key topics
  • Special interest groups

Increased professional support for those working in social care has never been more important. The membership bodies explain that at this challenging time within the social care sector, organisations involved in planning, delivering and supporting health and care need exceptional managers who use consistently good management practices. There is great demand for those who can work in partnership with staff and patients to drive the change agenda.

Jon Wilks, Chief Executive at the IHSCM comments, “We’re excited to join forces with NCF because together our support for leaders and managers across both the health and social care sectors is much stronger.”

Vic Rayner, Chief Executive at NCF adds, “This innovative partnership with IHSCM affirms NCF’s commitment to the importance of developing leadership and management skills in the social care sector and through IHSCM’s network and resources provides a substantial new benefit for existing and future NCF members.”

Alcidion acquires UK patient flow software company ExtraMed

ExtraMed, which provides patient flow software to NHS trusts, has been acquired by smart health tech provider Alcidion Group in a move that will provide an enhanced offering to hospitals and associated primary and social care organisations.

Smart health technology provider Alcidion Group has today announced the strategic acquisition of ExtraMed, a UK company which specialises in providing NHS trusts with software that helps frontline staff make informed decisions based on real-time visibility of patient flow.

Alcidion, which already works with more than 40 hospitals across the UK through its Miya product suite, which includes the electronic observations module Patientrack, will now be a leader in the UK health tech market for patient flow and command centre communications, following the acquisition.

ExtraMed currently has 9 customers in the NHS, including involvement as a partner in a 10-year Digital Control Centre project at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust – part of the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group.

In the immediate instance the companies will maintain business as usual, but a combination of shared knowledge across the organisations is expected to quickly lead to enhanced offerings for existing and new customers across the NHS. New opportunities are expected for customers around integration, automation, clinical decision support, resource management, patient observation and clinical communication.

Lynette Ousby, UK general manager for Alcidion, said: “Bringing ExtraMed and its team of experts in patient flow into the Alcidion Group is a fantastic opportunity to further enhance how we work with hospitals across the UK. The combination of our capabilities and our expanding partner network opens up exciting possibilities as we continue to grow our offering to help NHS hospitals and integrated care systems that want to advance digital maturity by complementing and orchestrating their existing systems.

“Existing ExtraMed customers will benefit from the knowledge and experience we have in developing and delivering technological systems that improve patient care, while current Alcidion customers may take advantage of the digital expertise ExtraMed has in patient flow, in ensuring that each patient gets to the right bed at the right time.

Susan Say, managing director of ExtraMed, said: “All of our customers will continue to receive the same high standard of service as our team joins the wider Alcidion family. The Alcidion Group is a perfect fit for ExtraMed, as we join a clinically driven organisation with a strong history grounded in patient safety and digital innovation. We look forward to expanding what we can do for our existing customers and other hospitals in the NHS as well as strengthening our bond with the Northern Care Alliance.”

Under the agreement Alcidion will purchase 100% of the shares in ExtraMed, a wholly-owned subsidiary of bedside communication and entertainment unit provider Hospedia. All staff, customers and assets are included in the acquisition agreement.

Kate Quirke, Managing Director of the Alcidion Group said, “This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the UK and signifies our commitment to this very important market. We are delighted to welcome the ExtraMed customers and the highly experienced ExtraMed team as we continue to transform the delivery of healthcare with smart technology solutions.

“In combining our customer bases and the established solutions alongside Miya Precision, we are creating a strong competitive advantage and the opportunity for further growth as we look to introduce our Miya product range to these new customers. The combination of our technologies, staff and customers establishes Alcidion as the UK market leader for patient flow and command centre communications.”

Prime Minister invited COP President to update Cabinet on climate change today

The Prime Minister opened Cabinet by thanking those involved in sending an aid support package, which included a number of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, to India to assist their work in tackling coronavirus. The first shipment arrived in the country today.

The Prime Minister said he was proud the UK has been able to help and that this sort of action – along with delivery of core government commitments – is what the public want their government to focus on.

The Prime Minister then moved onto a discussion on the forthcoming Queen’s Speech; the focus of which will be to demonstrate how we will build back better from the pandemic and fulfil our pledge to unite and level up the country. The PM thanked Cabinet colleagues and their departments for their ongoing support in getting the content of the Speech ready for May 11th.

The Prime Minister highlighted that departments are being asked to take part in a savings and efficiency review ahead of the Spending Review later this year. The purpose is to learn the lessons from the last year in how we can run services more efficiently and ensure that we focus our high levels of spending on our key priorities. This is a standard part of the Spending Review process.

Cabinet then received an update from the Northern Ireland Secretary on the programme of events planned to mark the Centenary year. Cabinet agreed that there is so much the UK has gained from Northern Ireland and that it has gained from being part of our Union, and how in the last 100 years, Northern Ireland has contributed significantly to the rich fabric of the UK’s cultural life and will continue to into the future.

The PM invited the COP President to update Cabinet on the work that is being undertaken to ensure COP delivers on the government’s desire to increase international ambition to tackle climate change ahead of the summit in November. The PM highlighted that tackling climate change remains our number one international priority and that this will be achieved in a way that benefits the UK public, creating sustainable, high wage jobs for years to come.

Cabinet concluded with an update on the pandemic. The PM re-iterated that the data continues to look good but warned that we are not out of the woods yet as variants of concern continue to pose a threat. The PM said that while the road ahead looks positive, there will still be challenges and this Government will continue to take tough decisions where necessary to protect both lives and livelihoods.

West Midland’s councils join forces with partners to secure positive futures for vulnerable children in care

Finding resilient fostering families for some of the most vulnerable children in care in the West Midlands is the focus of a new venture – ‘The Big Fostering Partnership’ – formed by local councils, including Staffordshire County Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the National Fostering Group and Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group.  Coming together to pool resources and expertise, The Big Fostering Partnership will help secure long-term, nurturing foster carers for children between the ages of seven and sixteen who currently live in children’s homes.

Many of the young people will have lived in a number of different places before living in a children’s home and may have experienced trauma and therefore struggle to form relationships.

By securing resilient foster families, with the right skills, experience and support, the partnership will help young people to reach their full potential.

Once a young person has been identified, the partnership will use its national network of carers to find potential foster families.

Although launching in the West Midlands, The Big Fostering Partnership are already talking with other authorities from across the country who are interested in joining the partnership.

Helen Riley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities at Staffordshire County Council, the lead Council said: “We have built up a wonderful network of foster carers who can provide stable homes for the majority of children who come into our care.  However, we do have a need for more specialist foster families who can support those children with additional needs through the most challenging periods of their lives.  This partnership provides another option to help us meet the needs of the children in our care. Research shows that the stability of a family environment can help children to reach their full potential in later life. And, whilst residential care is absolutely the right place for some children, we also know that for others a foster family will better meet their needs now and into the future.  Working with our partners allows us to share our strengths and experiences to help get these children into the right family as quickly as possible.  Having access to a larger pool of foster carers means we can often match a young person with a family, where we have previously been unable to in the past.”

Sergio Sanchez, Investment Manager, Big Issue Invest, said: “We are really excited to be involved in this partnership, which focuses on improving the lives of children by providing them with stable high-quality family-based placements. The partnership is the culmination of many months of collaboration and is based on a ‘child-first’ outcomes-led approach. We are especially pleased to see that the children selected for our pilot project continue to be cared for in nurturing fostering families.”

Richard Woodward, Director of Strategy, National Fostering Group, said: “We are proud to be the founding delivery partner to The Big Fostering Partnership. It’s been fantastic to work in such a collaborative way, drawing on each organisation’s experience and strengths to develop this innovative approach.  Having already, in its pilot phase, managed to support young people to move into nurturing fostering families, we are excited for all that we will achieve together for young people in care, in the months and years to come.

“One of the first young people who moved to a foster family during our pilot phase has said that ‘It’s really good. More relaxed than where I was before and I have more freedom. Our relationship is like a mother and son – ‘I feel at home’

The Big Fostering Partnership is part funded by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport’s Life Chances Fund.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer for The Big Fostering Partnership please visit www.bigfosteringpartnership.co.uk or call 0330 0229135

Let the network take charge

Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK

2021 is the year for the EV charging infrastructure to shape up

By Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK

The Government has committed to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than originally planned. This is a key step on the ‘road to zero’ for net zero emissions in the UK by 2050. And, as the number of rechargeable vehicles on Britain’s roads increases, the need for a robust, extensive charging network becomes ever more critical – not only to meet the needs of today’s electric cars, but also because the availability of public charging stations is a key driver for motorists considering making the switch to electric.

Research from UK think tank Policy Exchange reveals that, by 2030, the UK is likely to need around 400,000 public charge points, meaning that charge points need to be installed five times faster than the current rate. So 2021 really is the year when the EV charging infrastructure needs to start shaping up.

Cecilia Routledge, Global Head of E-Mobility for vehicle charging specialist CTEK, gives her views on the trends that will shape the growth of the UK charging infrastructure in 2021.

  • Government funding and incentives will drive expansion. In line with the Government’s vision to have one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world, their 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution published last November has committed £1.3 billion to accelerate infrastructure roll out with a focus on rapid charge points for motorways and major roads, as well as more on-street charge points near homes and workplaces, in a bid to make electric vehicle charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle. This includes £20m of funding committed to the On-Street Residential Grant Scheme for 2021/21, which offers local authorities 75% of the capital costs to procure and install on-street charging points.
  • Charging infrastructure will become a ‘must have’ for new builds and refurbs. Charging infrastructure will increasingly be front of mind for urban developers and architects during the planning process. To support the current and future take up of electric vehicles, action is needed now to make buildings e-fit for the future, and a Government consultation is underway on proposals to make charging points mandatory for all new builds.

For non-residential buildings, the Government’s proposals for mandatory EV charging points go further to also cover buildings under refurbishment and, longer term (by 2025), existing non-residential buildings, too.

  • Smart charging will come to the fore. As the number of vehicles requiring charge increases, focus will turn to the impact this may have on the National Grid, especially as CTEK’s research reveals most people plug in when they get home from work, when there is already peak demand for electricity.

CTEK Chargestorm Connected 2, EV charging point

There is a Government consultation underway proposing that all EV charge points sold or installed in the UK must have smart charging functionality included. Smart charging, which is incorporated into CTEK’s Chargestorm® Connected 2 charging points as standard, allows users to plug in and set their vehicles to charge during off-peak hours, when there may be cheaper tariffs and lots of clean, renewable electricity generation available too.

  • Continued debate on the charging infrastructure. We can expect further debate on the charging infrastructure, everything from payment standards to smart charging, to transmission capacity and load balancing. The market is also under review by the Competition and Markets Authority, whose study on the charging sector is looking to establish how investment can be encouraged, while also making sure this fast-growing sector works well for UK drivers.

The future of sustainable transport lies with rechargeable vehicles, and we expect 2021 to be the year when charging infrastructure is at the forefront of development to support the Government’s drive to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles.

CTEK is the leading global brand in battery care and power management and, with over 10 year’s experience in EV charging technologies. CTEK’s E-mobility solutions are available globally. Products range from individual EV charge points for home charging to larger corporate and commercial installations with multiple charging stations, load balancing and seamless integration with monitoring and payment equipment.

Contact details: www.ctekemobility.com

Cumbria’s new Blue Light Hub brings better service for community

The emergency services outside Cumbria’s new Blue Light Hub

A new Blue Light emergency services hub to better serve the local community has opened in Cumbria.

The multi-million pound Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub brings services together under one roof for the first time in the south of the county.

Cumbria County Council has delivered the combined facility to home the county’s Fire and Rescue Service, Police and North West Ambulance Service.

Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Fire and Rescue, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to see the completion of this fantastic new facility which will benefit the local community.

“Working together under one roof will provide even greater opportunities for collaboration with our blue light partners and will also deliver significant savings to the public purse.”

Cllr David E. Southward, MBE, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Economic Development and Property, said: “This new building provides a range of facilities for the Fire and Rescue Service, including the fire house where firefighters can train in a smoke-filled environment.

“This facility hasn’t been available in South Cumbria previously, so firefighters had to travel to Penrith to the closest fire training facility. This improvement creates greater training opportunities in the area and reduces travel time for staff.”

The hub includes:

  • Fire house and tower training facility
  • Road traffic collision area for training scenarios
  • Appliance bay accommodating two fire engines and one ambulance
  • Operational facilities such as breathing apparatus workshop, drying room for fire fighters’ PPE and equipment storage
  • Office accommodation for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Cumbria Police and NWAS.
  • Conference/meeting room facilities

A video to mark the opening of the Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub can be watched here:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY7naqxXbmI

John Beard, Cumbria County Council’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “The Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub provides much improved facilities for our staff in the Ulverston area. The building is also ideally located next to the A590 main road in Furness, which will help to maintain a rapid response to emergency incidents. We’re looking forward to working alongside our blue light partners and maximising opportunities for even closer collaboration.”

Superintendent for South Cumbria Matt Pearman said: “When the emergency services and other partner agencies work together the whole community benefits. The new hub will see experienced police officers working alongside colleagues from Cumbria Fire and Rescue, North West Ambulance Service, Cumbria County Council and others.

Cumbria County Council’s Furness Peninsular Blue Light Hub

“This will result in all agencies having a greater understanding of what is going on in the community and an enhanced ability to tackle the issues most important to the public.”

Roger Jones, NWAS Head of Service for Cumbria and Lancashire, said: “This is a much-needed step to upgrade the facilities at Ulverston and ultimately this new location should improve our response times to the public.

“There are many advantages to working so closely with our blue light and local authority partners, while the investment also delivers better value for money. The new station provides adequate space for current emergency and patient transport vehicles, and I’m sure our staff are excited to be working from a fresh, modern building.”

Caddick Construction was the main contractor for the new building.

Derek Billows, Contracts Manager at Caddick Construction, said: “This has been an exciting project for the team to deliver. The co-located emergency response centre will be a collaborative base from which the vital emergency services can provide an efficient response service and support for local residents. This successful project has further strengthened Caddick Construction’s commitment to the Cumbria region and its supply chain.”

Fire and Rescue Service staff have moved into the new hub, which replaces the old Ulverston fire station.

It is hoped an open day will be held for the local community when it is safe to do so.

Cumbria County Council secured £4.9m from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Fire Transformation Fund for the project.

The new hub building links to an access road from the A590 to Ulverston’s Beehive Business Park, home to a number of national retail outlets.

The county council delivered the access road scheme, which unlocked employment land for development, on behalf of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership.

Eric Wright Construction Ltd constructed the new road and signalised junction.

Edtech Charity LGfL joins Mayor of London and London Councils to help close the digital divide and provide 200,000 low-cost laptops for schools

Leaders launch digital exclusion taskforce to help Londoners get better connectivity, acquire digital skills and access devices

LGfL to provide 200,000 low-cost laptops for schools

28% of children in state funded-education are disadvantaged

The attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent counterparts currently

Continue reading Edtech Charity LGfL joins Mayor of London and London Councils to help close the digital divide and provide 200,000 low-cost laptops for schools

Local authority car park management boosted by touchless solution

Local authority car park management boosted by touchless solution

APT Skidata, the UK’s leading parking solutions business, has launched Path, an innovative parking solution that enables local authorities and operators to manage parking across multiple environments through a single ecosystem, with access to real-time user data.

Path is an app-based solution that allows

Continue reading Local authority car park management boosted by touchless solution

Landmarc welcomes new MOD report on climate change and sustainability

Landmarc Support Services responds to new Ministry of Defence (MOD) report: Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach, issued on 30 March 2021.

Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc) welcomes last month’s report on climate change from Lt. General Richard Nugee, Climate Change and Sustainability Review Lead in Defence, in which he sets out how Defence will redouble

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East Lancashire signs deal for early warning technology from Alcidion

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is to work with smart health tech provider Alcidion to provide vital tools to help thousands of staff enhance patient safety.

Thousands of NHS professionals across five hospitals in East Lancashire are to benefit from early warning technology that will help them detect and swiftly respond to

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