Working with others

A cheesy heading I guess. Don’t worry I’m not going to drone on about how important it is to get along etc. etc. Rather I want to give an insight into my role as the Chief Executive and the work I do with other agencies and organisations.

In local government we continuously work with others. It would be virtually impossible to get things done if we didn’t. You may be familiar with reading about how we work with Essex County Council on schemes to reduce congestion or with Essex Police if an incident occurs within Colchester. Although these things are often the statutory responsibility of others, we know, as your local Council that we need to influence these things.

But what happens when we have a large scale project? Take the improvements being made in Colchester Town Centre for example.

How many of you have heard of the Colchester Town Team? I wonder what a show of hands would reveal. Anyway – it is a group that I lead that brings together over ten business organisations and larger businesses in the town centre to build a better Town Centre.

We meet regularly to discuss ways to take the Town Centre forward, but branch out even further than that!

This is best highlighted by a report that the Colchester Town Team commissioned a few months back. We wanted to find out what issues businesses in the Town Centre are facing regarding their trading. So how did we go about conducting this?

Yep – you guessed it. We worked with them to find out their views. 145 businesses in fact!  How was it paid for? By all the organisations around the table making a contribution. This is because you cannot expect the Council to pay for everything each and every time. It does not work like that anymore even if it ever did in the past.

So what is the point of all this? Well – I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is much more going on behind the scenes than what meets the eye and much of it done by bringing people together. This is not about being secretive or excluding people. It is about the need to identify issues, consider actions and then look at how we can resource those actions.

People often ask questions of large organisations. It’s only natural. Colchester Borough Council make decisions that impact thousands of people but being in my position I can confidently say that they aren’t just made on a whim. Working with others is essential – to ensure a general consensus is gained and the right decisions are made.

I for one am pleased with the developments in the Town Centre this year – the return of the market to the High Street, the new park and ride and rolling out the town centre WiFi scheme to name just a few.


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