Liam Hornsby - Watford 2020 Programme Manager
I am the Programme Manager for Watford 2020, the council’s internal transformation programme,, which is looking at providing the most efficient service to our customers and making the most of new technologies.
I have worked at Watford for ten years, in a number of different roles and I enjoy the dynamic culture and friendly environment. Watford might be a fairly small council but it thinks big and the bold and progressive vision is visible in everything we do, from the ambitious capital projects to the daily service delivery for residents and businesses.
The provision of up to date technology and equipment, which allow staff to do their job as best they can, is indicative of the council’s willingness to invest in staff and with a strong training programme, opportunities for progression and generous annual leave entitlement, Watford is definitely a place where you can forge a long and successful career.
Barbara Farry - Customer Services
My role is Senior Customer Service Advisor in the Customer Service Centre. I work in a busy friendly talented team of 14 staff in the Customer Service Centre and it’s great to work in a team that are committed to delivering the best service we can to our residents.
The Customer Service Centre are trained to take calls from customers relating to Council Tax, Housing, Environmental Health & Licensing, Planning, Electoral Registration, Building Control along with signposting customers to other organisations either online or by phone. We also deal with the Complaints and Freedom of Information requests, email/web enquiries and social media responses for the Council’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
I have been working in the Customer Service Centre for the last 14 years where I have gained most of my experience in local government. I initially started out as a Customer Service Advisor in 2005 and was promoted 2 years ago in 2017 to Senior Customer Service Advisor, which is a role that I was really happy to fulfil as I enjoy helping/training my colleagues across a whole range of queries. I am also a trained first aider and mental health first aider.
I enjoy helping people I love the positive vibe amongst the staff/members within our organisation and that no two days are the same. Watford as a location is perfect it’s close to town, The INTU Centre and transport links. We have a great friendly team within the CSC and I really enjoy my job.
The council also provides opportunities for staff to develop their skills and knowledge, welcomes ideas, embrace new approaches and ways of working, whilst continuing to deliver an excellent service to our customers. It's also exciting times as we are improving the customer journey digitally.
My favourite benefits of working for WBC are discount gym membership for our fantastic leisure centres in Watford. We also receive a generous holiday entitlement, pension and most of all the staff reward and recognition scheme.
Howard Hughes - Corporate Procurement Manager
I am the Corporate Procurement Manager. I am involved in procuring all the works, supplies and services that the Council needs to deliver its services. My role is to support, guide, advise, influence and challenge service managers in their day to day work with contractors and companies interested in working for the council.
I have been with Watford BC for over seven years and have been with six other local authorities, counties and districts, during a forty year career in local government. I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and have always been involved with tenders and contracts which, I hope, enables me to bring a lot of experience to the role.
My role is far more interesting than the job title may suggest! I enjoy the variety of the role, as we procure so many different services that every day presents a new challenge. My role covers the whole activity of the council, so I meet and deal with almost everyone who works for us. The working atmosphere and the working relationships at Watford are very good, colleagues really care about their work and I enjoy being able to provide support and advice when it’s needed. The real buzz comes from our achievements, to see our projects successfully delivered. .
The council has a strong and clear view of where it wants to go and actively looks at how it can drive those changes. I am fortunate in my role, as I often get involved very early in these things and stay involved.
My work / life balance is important to me. The council’s flexi-time scheme enables me to do other things which are important to me including involvement with family, charity and community activities. The ICT system also enables me to work remotely when necessary.
I have been the programme manager for six months now for our Sustainable Transport portfolio of projects to ‘improve the availability, awareness and choice of sustainable transport options to make Watford a greener and cleaner town for everyone.’ I am also specifically responsible for delivering a number of individual projects such as our Bike Share scheme and Demand Responsive Transport service. Although highly experienced in project management, local government is a new field for me, but I am really enjoying the change in subject matter and I get to work on interesting subjects that I have not experienced before. Having come from a large organisation, I feel I can embrace the Council’s vision for the future and bring my experience of cultural change to help us serve the people of Watford in a most challenging environment.
Having spent 28 years working for one organisation, coming to WBC had the potential to be a difficult transition. What has helped me enormously is the people here – they are welcoming, supportive and willing to help a ‘newbie’ like me. For me, working in a friendly and people-oriented atmosphere is the priority. The first six months have also enabled me to get involved with the council’s health and wellbeing agenda, training as a Mental Health First Aider and raising awareness of the support that is available to all of us, both in and out of work.
Before joining Watford Borough Council in February 2018, I had worked in Senior HR roles within the private sector for over 15 years. I wanted to move into the public sector as I have a keen interest in the local community where I live with my family, I also felt that Watford Council would offer me continued development as well as greater flexibility.
Each day at the council is never the same and this is something that I thoroughly enjoy as it allows you to use your initiative and think outside of the box to achieve results. I am continually learning and expanding upon my HR knowledge and experience; which reminds me of why I accepted the opportunity to join the organisation. I am fortunate to work alongside a talented and experienced HR team from whom I can continue to build my knowledge and experience.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year and each day is different as I support a wide range of client groups and projects. Watford Council pride themselves on the culture of it is very easy to see why, the positive “can do” attitude is an integral part of the culture and is appreciated and you feel valued and recognised for the work you deliver. It’s also extremely rewarding to understand how hard the council continuously work to deliver results to the local community and its residents, something of which I am extremely proud of being part of.
The culture also extends to a genuine appreciation of family life and the importance of time away from work. I have a flexible work pattern which works around having a young family and ensuring that I am able to achieve a good work life balance.
I have been working at Watford Borough Council for 1 year as a Desktop Engineer. My job role is to provide comprehensive support across the desktop and applications estate, management of third parties and all ICT customers and also assisting in any ICT projects.
I enjoy working at Watford Borough Council as I feel I am surrounded by a lot of highly driven and successful people who genuinely care about their work. Every team member has a smile on their face. This is a great place to work as I am treated with respect and given daily encouragement. The council’s visions of becoming digital minded is a great opportunity for me to learn about new technologies and help the council to implement them. Every day we try to implement new ideas for all the staff to work much more easily and stress free.‘