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Oct 15, 2019

London Borough of Havering’s Chief Operating Officer Jane West and transformation lead Susie Faulkner describe a process designed to bring staff and residents along with change.

Havering embarked on its transformation journey soon after Jane West arrived in post in early 2018, at a time when the borough - already under pressure from a rising population as people continue to move from inner London - was facing up to a front-loaded £37bn deficit.

Thinking by the senior leadership and elected members about change was done around four themes: communities, places, opportunities and connections.

To encourage fresh approaches, officers took leadership of themes not associated with their ‘day job’, the head of social care, for example, taking on the ‘places’ theme. When service reviews were conducted, they were done so with service directors out of the room to encourage staff to put forward their own ideas about delivery.

When it comes to residents, Havering has drawn on Wigan Council’s ‘deal’ with its citizens to create the ‘Havering Together’ concept and the slogan ‘cleaner, safer, prouder, together’.

Part of this is making clear what the council is doing and how it is looking to its communities to share some of the challenges of the stepping back of state provision. Meanwhile residents will see changes in how they access services (including more digital access) and significant regeneration activity, with £3bn of spending being rolled out across 12 estates.