County Hall bosses collect a ‘gold star’

Photo: David Hurst'County Hall, Preston
Photo: David Hurst'County Hall, Preston
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Cash-starved Lancashire County Council has been given a pat on the back after being praised by a government quango.

The authority, which is in the throes of shedding hundreds of jobs to shave millions off it’s budget, has had it’s Investors In People accreditation renewed.

Excellent communications, valuing ideas, learning and development were singled out for applause following an inspection by representatives from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The council’s chief executive Jo Turton said the assessors praised the council on many fronts.

She said:“In particular, inspectors mentioned our communication with staff, our learning and development culture and what the assessors’ report calls ‘a diverse workforce that brings many talents and skills to it’.

“They also found that managers value ideas and suggestions, and that employees are encouraged to constructively challenge where we’re going and how.”

The inspection team looked at the council’s controversial BT Lancashire Service, the county council’s strategic partnership with BT. They said that people seconded to the partnership were now ‘much more positive’ about their working environment, leadership and opportunities for development.

Jo Turton added: “This is a challenging time for local authorities as we manage reductions in funding which are resulting in major changes to the way in which we provide services.

“However, the renewal of IIP shows we’re well placed to make sure we retain our positive working culture and communicate well with each other at the county council and BT Lancashire Services.”