23 August 2023 | Our Work

View from the top: Getting the balance right

This week, I’ve been getting more speaking proposals from both council members and associate members. I really don’t envy our Local Authority board members who will be helping to make the final decision. Each submission is very strong, some great ones from supply chain members about the collaborations they are doing with councils and vice versa.

Trying to get the right balance for this year’s Strictly Highways is incredibly exciting, but also somewhat nerve wracking. This year we’ve taken onboard feedback from last year. Feedback showed that councils (and suppliers) wanted more time to network and more opportunities to ask questions in the sessions. There was also a continued request to hear sessions on future and current thinking, as well as hearing from projects and councils that are rarely heard from and of course hearing from Government. Judging by the tweaks we’ve made to the programme timings, and the great sessions planned, I think this will be achieved.

I have been peeking at the councils signed up so far, such a diverse range of roles and considering holiday season is in full flow, I just hope those in councils returning from leave in September (or those haven’t yet signed up) book their place quickly before the last places go. We are fully booked for the private sector with a waiting list too.

Getting the balance right is also important when we look at Social Value and how councils and the supply chain play a key role in this. I am pleased to say that the LCRIG team have been working with Colas to develop a webinar, and a Strictly panel session will also look at the importance of delivering collaborative social value and the impact it can have on society.

Having worked previously in the charitable sector, national and local government roles, too often initiatives can be “done” to communities and it’s important that social value has a legacy, planned exit (if this is needed and tied to contracts) and a consistency to it. When working with Colas colleagues, they were keen to share and discuss the importance of maximising social value delivery through collaboration. As well as how far the highways sector has come in embedding social value and where the challenges still lie.

Measuring social value is incredibly important, and there are as many social value calculators as there are carbon calculators. But, the true impact of social value and getting social value into “Business as Usual” has to be that social value practices and policies becomes an organisational cultural standard too.

I’ve asked Kerry Winstanley, our Finance and Operations Director to write ‘View from the Top’ next week, on the work she’s leading on one of our four pillars “Skills”.


Public sector fully-funded places still available!

To find out more and book your place, please visit the Strictly Highways website here.

Register for our ‘Rebooting Social Value’ webinar!

Find out more and register here.