Brief from the Chief: Christmas 2019 message to staff
Wed, 18 Dec 2019

As we approach Christmas I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your hard work and dedication throughout this year.

It may be a cliché but it certainly doesn’t seem like a year has gone by since I was last writing a Christmas message. I’ll take that as a positive - that the year has passed so quickly because there has been so much to be satisfied with and proud of.

The council has again delivered many achievements across all directorates, from success in the North East Local Authority Challenge and various national and regional awards to being England’s top recycler for the third year running.

However it’s not just the high-profile successes which I want to recognise. There is a whole range of day-to-day work across all services which may not attract lots of plaudits but is deserving of as much acknowledgement as anything else because of its positive impact on residents’ lives, businesses’ livelihoods or indeed our own working environments.

Every one of us makes an important contribution to working life at the council and the lives of the people we serve - a contribution to the Your East Riding… where everyone matters vision and the values of quality, pride and respect which we champion. Thank you for that.

As we head from 2019 into 2020 – and a new decade - it’s a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future.

Ten years ago we were heading into austerity and, despite the message that austerity is now over, the council has still got a £10million gap in its Financial Plan and there is continuing uncertainty over future funding.

We still need all services to come forward with ideas for further savings or increased income generation. Collectively, we need to be prudent but I also encourage you all to be creative and innovative in thinking of ideas to help the council be more efficient or more commercial, so that any increased revenue can be reinvested in services or contribute to savings targets.

Looking forward, it’s hard to imagine what the next decade will bring, as the pace of change in so many walks of life is only going to keep increasing as we move through the 2020s.

However, we can be sure that technology will keep evolving and keep offering opportunities for business efficiency and improved results for services and residents.

We have to make the most of these technological opportunities so that our systems are as effective as possible and so that we meet the expectations of residents who are used to certain standards in their digital inter-actions with organisations.

As we continue our digital journey, I encourage you all to keep embracing positive change and to make the most of emerging technology to not only benefit your working practices but also the outcomes for residents and businesses.

One digital project which has just been launched is a new podcast for council staff – I Heard It Through The Grapevine. For those who don’t know, a podcast is a digital audio file. I think of it as like a radio clip which you can download or play online at a time of your choosing.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine, as you may have worked out, complements our workforce magazine The Grapevine and I’d encourage you to have a listen to the launch edition via the intranet.

It features an interview with myself as well as several other interviewees, including Didi Conn, otherwise known as Frenchy from the film Grease and the star of the Bridlington Spa panto. Give the podcast a try and I’m sure you’ll become “hopelessly devoted” to it!

You can listen to the podcast using this link

Other digital projects with launches on the horizon include eNewsletters and eNoticeboards. A bulk email system will enable the production and distribution of digital newsletters for a variety of purposes, including the sharing of information and marketing, and digital screens are being rolled out across a number of council venues, such as depots, to provide bespoke news, information and employee health and wellbeing guidance.

There will be more news on these projects in the new year.

I hope 2020 will continue to see lots of staff contributing ideas and feedback about the council’s work and working environments and I thank everyone who has already submitted suggestions as we continue to develop our modern workplace, modern workforce initiatives.

Please keep those ideas coming and keep being creative in your thinking. To quote author Dorye Roettger: “There are no problems, only opportunities to be creative.”

Thank you to everyone who had a role in the running of the General Election in the East Riding and also thank you in advance to all the staff who will be working over the festive period.

My final thank-you is to the whole workforce, whatever your role, for your valued work and commitment throughout the year.

I hope you have a great Christmas and I look forward to working with you all in 2020.

Caroline Lacey, Chief Executive


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