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Covid-19 update

We are here to help

Coronavirus brings unprecedented demands on the expertise and resources of our 2,000+ members and their organisations. Supporting the rapid rollout of homeworking and maintaining local public services require their immediate attention. Socitm is here to help.

We provide a help line, a set of resources and facilities for sharing information and practices that are available to anyone in local public service organisations. This information will be updated regularly, so please check back frequently for the latest information and updates.

How are we supporting local public services?

Advice and guidance

Providing a telephone help line with free access to independent, impartial guidance from Socitm Advisory.

Collaboration

Facilitating information sharing between our members – useful discussion, design blueprints, documents, procedures, etc.

Signposting

Sharing up-to-date advice and links to other relevant organisations and sources of key information.

Resources

Opening-up our resources to make them as easy to access as possible.

Suppliers

Working with techUK, its supplier community and our Socitm Partners to curate services and offers of products and support.

Legislative changes

Considering the digital implications and options arising e.g. for virtual council meetings.

A statement from our president

This is a very difficult time for everyone.  Guidance is changing daily. It is the safety and wellbeing of the communities we serve that is paramount. This is what keeps us grounded.

Never before has technology been so sorely tested. Never before has it been so vital in uniting people and facilitating positive change. What our members and their staff are achieving, in answer to the unprecedented demand, is truly remarkable. What once took months or even years is becoming real before our very eyes.

Connecting communities and engendering a sense of place and belonging in a transient world is what we strive to do. Now that transience has turned into a maelstrom. IT staff might not be perceived as being on the front line. But, on both counts, we are. Staff that previously were hidden from view – help desk personnel, server, network and security technicians, and many others – have been thrust suddenly into the limelight and have risen to the task of ensuring that public services are able to be maintained.

Big changes are afoot. Valuable ones. The challenges we strive to overcome today will create opportunities tomorrow. Enabling people to work differently – and through changing their mindsets – we are opening up possibilities. Through our work, we are facilitating more diverse teams, more agile working and more creativity than ever before in the public sector.

We must not underestimate this. Despite our struggles and restricted resources, we are winning.

Our Coronavirus support team

Paul Cotton
Regional Director and Chair of Socitm Committee of the Regions

Martin Ferguson
Director of Policy & Research

Chantelle Denny
Director of Finance and Operations

Nadira Hussain
Director of Leadership Development & Research

Dave Sanderson
Regional Director

Andrew Rogers
Innovation and Insight Director

Ask Advisory

Contact us through our dedicated email address: askadvisory@socitm.net

We would like to extend our hand of support to all those that work in local government and its partner local public services organisations through the provision of this free advice. We undertake to triage your request and to obtain specialist, independent and practical advice. Much of our strength also comes from our ability to facilitate the wider sharing of knowledge that is already happening across Socitm’s membership network.

Our advice will be given in good faith and we aim to be agile in our response. We cannot give written advice at this busy time, but we will call you back and endeavour to help.

Socitm events

Socitm is keeping the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation under review. The wellbeing of our members and staff is our absolute priority and we want our events to be safe, informative and enjoyable for all. We want to assure the Socitm community, and our friends and partners, that we are monitoring the situation closely, carefully and frequently.

We have taken the decision to postpone all events scheduled for the next 12 weeks (to the end of June 2020) in accordance with Government guidance.

Meanwhile, a number of our Regions are actively planning to hold virtual meetings.

 

We are actively exploring the possibility of holding the following conferences in a virtual format:

Socitm Cymru Tuesday 19th May 2020

Socitm President’s Conference Tuesday 9th – Wednesday 10th June 2020

We are also seeking to enable our leadership and training sessions to continue virtually wherever possible. We will be contacting delegates individually about these sessions.

We regret any inconvenience that these changes may cause you. As our options become clearer, we will be back in touch with you about revised arrangements.

If you have any comments or questions, please drop the events team a line at events@socitm.net

Socitm services

All Socitm staff are now homeworking until further notice. We are taking steps to provide them with support and help to ensure that they are able to continue working as effectively as possible and maintain their wellbeing. The best way to contact them is directly by email. For general enquiries, please use info@socitm.net.

Whilst today we continue to operate as closely as possible to business as usual, we do need to ensure that if required that we can mobilise contingency plans. We have established a Socitm Limited Contingency team comprising:

David Bryant, Chief Executive

Chantelle Denny, Director of Finance and Operations

Aimie Francis, Head of Memberships and Partnerships

The future

Our members are working flat out to implement the big changes needed to maintain services for a remote workforce. Councils are already unrecognisable from how they looked even one week ago. Many suppliers have been working hard behind the scenes too.

Our members are already telling us that the changes being made now will change things forever. How are organisations going to embrace these changes in practices and what could it all mean for our people and their staff? Which technologies are likely to be most in demand? Will there be greater trust in AI, robotics etc? Whatever the technology, data requirements and working practices were a month ago, they’ve just changed.

Socitm stands ready to explore the opportunities and challenges that these changes will inevitably bring in the near to mid-term.

As the situation unfolds, we will keep you updated. We wish you every success as you and your colleagues manage through this challenging time.

Resources

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