'Residents first' among refreshed values for Northumberland County Council

Northumberland County Council is rolling out a new set of values that have been drawn up via a ‘bottom-up’ approach with plenty of staff involvement.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 4:10 pm
The council leader said the response to last year's Beast from the East was a 'fantastic example' of the efforts of staff. Picture by Jane Coltman

At today’s (Monday, April 29) meeting of the cabinet, members approved the authority’s revised mission, vision and values and endorsed the implementation plan to embed them across the council.

The aim of the refresh, according to the report, is that ‘the promotion of positive organisational values will strengthen staff engagement and commitment to the organisation together with providing residents with a clear aspiration and consistent application of the organisation’s work and service to them across the county’.

The idea is that the new values will more closely align with the corporate plan, which has obviously been amended since the Conservatives took over at County Hall two years ago.

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Coun Nick Oliver, cabinet member for corporate services, said that it will also shift the focus more onto residents, adding: “We are all here – staff and members – to serve the people who live in Northumberland.

“This will be a very important tool, not just a set of words, that will be built into all of our HR processes and appraisals as well.”

The four new values are: Residents first; excellence and quality; respect; keeping our communities safe and well.

Outlining how the process was driven by staff, Kelly Angus, the council’s executive director of HR, said: “They have been tested and they haven’t always agreed, but I think that’s good.

“There are only four values, but they are the very four that meant the most to staff across the organisation.”

Council leader Peter Jackson highlighted the response to the Beast from the East last winter as a ‘fantastic example’, but also mentioned ‘work with children and older people that no one ever gets to hear about’.

“It’s about bringing back the resident focus which hasn’t always been there in the past,” he said. “These new values won’t just be on paper, we are going to live them day by day.”

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service