The company was formed last year by four local authorities – Cheltenham Borough Council and Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils - working in partnership to deliver better services for local residents whilst identifying savings of £2.35 million over the first three years of operation.
At Publica’s first AGM, held at the National Star College, Ullenwood on 24 July, councillors from all of the partner authorities were briefed on milestone achievements so far, including news that savings from November 2017 to March 2018 totalled over £400,000 more than initial estimates for that period.
Oher highlights included:
- 93% of key tasks are on target
- Average time to recruit new staff has been reduced to six weeks
- 120 members of staff have benefited from an increase in their annual leave allowance
- Staff turnover remains at pre-partnership levels of 10% per annum
Looking to the future, councillors noted that a modern pay and grading system (based on reward for excellent performance) will be in place by the end of the year. They were also informed that the major service areas will undergo a redesign to align more closely with customer needs by the end of March 2019. Under this new arrangement, employees will harness new technology to provide digitally enabled services whilst ensuring that those customers who need to can still interact with councils face to face.
Commenting on the AGM presentation, Publica Chairman Dave Brooks said:
“This is a very exciting time for Publica as we look to build on our excellent start. Our first priority is to keep on doing the day job really well, and we are managing to fulfil that brief across the partnership. We’re also investing additional effort in transforming service delivery as we aim to exceed customer expectations.
Our people are the key to everything we do and we are developing and incentivising our staff to improve our services. Additionally, we are already outperforming our minimum business case financial targets.
To sum up, we’re ticking a lot of boxes from a standing start, which bodes very well for the future, and I would like to thank everyone involved in making our first year such a success.”