You said - we did
In our Spring 2008 edition of Talkback we asked you your views and perceptions about working for Calderdale Council.
You said: there are definite benefits of working for the Council but steps could be taken to improve our image.
We did.... focus future recruitment campaigns on the benefits we provide and increase the awareness of council job opportunities.
The information collated provided us with an insight into the improvements we need to make to our ‘employer brand’ and how best to ‘sell’ the image of working for Calderdale Council. The results showed we need to focus on the benefits which scored highly, such as travel to work / locality, good pension scheme, holidays and importantly making a difference in the community.
A number of points were raised in the feedback which will help us to improve our recruitment campaigns and more importantly raise awareness of the diverse range of job and career opportunities within Calderdale Council.
Action has already been taken in relation to raising awareness of job opportunities at the Council by attending career and job fairs across the region. A number of suggestions were made in relation to profiling of the different jobs and careers and these again will be addressed as a section of the on-line recruitment system which will go live in early 2009. All of the issues raised and information gathered will be translated into clear actions within the Strategic Recruitment Plan.
In our autumn 2007 edition of Talkback we asked you your views on, and experiences with, CCTV across the borough. The responses received will help us to ensure that funding is used to upgrade the CCTV system in a way that residents will find useful and reassuring.
You said: CCTV should be used more in Calderdale to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour especially in venues such as popular nightlife areas (pubs/clubs/ theatres); public transport (stations, taxi ranks) and car travel (car parks, traffic movement).
We did.... use the information provided to inform the Calderdale CCTV Strategy and Business Plan.
Findings of the survey have been used to inform and support development of the Calderdale CCTV Strategy 2008-11 (i.e. as supporting evidence of the need to monitor principal transport routes, night-life areas, public shopping areas, etc.).
The feedback has also been used in the development of the CCTV Business Plan 2009-14. This will assist in identifying where new CCTV coverage is required, or additional technology could further improve community safety (i.e. use of audio Help Points linked to CCTV cameras for emergency assistance).
The responses from Talkback have also been used to inform the drafting of the CCTV Codes of Practice. This is to ensure that the correct policies are in place for those members of the public wishing to access CCTV footage - using the information provided to understand what types of incident (i.e. damage to cars, property etc.) the public may need to know more about from the recorded CCTV footage.
In our summer 2008 edition of Talkback, we worked with our partners in the Primary Care Trust, to ask the panel their opinions on the ‘Healthy Minds’ project – a new community organisation set up to address issues relating to mental distress in the area. The project organisers hope to set up a wellbeing centre in Halifax to address these types of issues.
You said: the new centres should provide more services such as: Information & advice, Counselling and Support for finding work. Support was also given to open more centres in other parts of the Borough. 29% of respondents feel there are currently gaps in mental health services in Calderdale.
We did.... use the responses to support the bid to set up a wellbeing centre in Halifax.
The Talk Back responses have helped greatly by providing supporting evidence to funding applications, by showing that there is a real need for this service in Calderdale. Not only has it highlighted gaps in the service provision, but it has also shown which areas and specifically what support people would expect to be available from the service. An additional revelation was from the qualitative comments, where it showed the extent of mental health stigma within Calderdale. These results have now been taken to Health Promotion and we are working jointly to address this in a creative way; not to preach to the converted but to the general population of Calderdale – in such a way that we can positively change peoples’ understanding and perception of this misunderstood issue.
Also in the summer 2008 edition of Talkback we posed the question: ‘Where does your money go?’ In this section we asked what sort of financial information, relating to Council services, would be of most interest to you and in what format you would like to receive this.
You said: the following would be of interest - How much the Council spends on running different services; how that breaks down into pay, premises, running costs etc; where the money comes from to pay for this; how much is spent on building projects, upgrading roads etc; and what funds are held to support future expenditure.
We did..... place a two page spread in the December edition of the Council’s magazine – Calderdale Call – detailing assets (things the Council owns and money coming in) and liabilities (money the Council needs to pay out).
The December 2008 edition of Calderdale Call contained the first article we have put together detailing the financial incomes and outgoings of the Council. Having received positive feedback from this article we hope to repeat it on an annual basis. Calderdale Call is delivered free of charge to every household in the borough, which ensures we can get this information readily to those people who are interested in the financial breakdown of the Council.
Calderdale Council is a big business which belongs to all its residents, so we would like to ensure you are kept informed about how carefully we invest and manage your future.
Keep a look out for the October 2009 edition of Calderdale Call for updated information.