Consultancy

One Voice Wales is able to offer member Councils a range of consultancy services provided by fully qualified professionals. The services are available through the medium of English and are summarised as follows:

Human Resources and Employment Law

  • Review of existing HR policy infrastructure and design of bespoke employment policies for Councils
  • Specific advice and support in relation to all HR matters including discipline, grievance, redundancy and sickness absence issues
  • Acting as a professional advisor to Council Appeals Panels
  • Providing external investigation of serious disciplinary cases
  • Design of settlement agreements in appropriate cases
  • Providing mediation services to Councils in dispute with an employee
  • Assistance in the recruitment and selection of personnel including preparation of job descriptions, employee specifications and design of assessment tests
  • Assistance in the preparation for employment tribunals
  • Investigation of complaints
  • Design and delivery of bespoke training courses

Consultants – Paul Egan and Brian Kultschar

Paul Egan
Following a successful career in local government, Paul commenced a career with the Probation Service in 1981 serving in a range of roles including Assistant Chief Officer (Support Services) and Director of Human Resources and Business Development. During the period up to his early retirement in March 2008, he was Acting Chief Probation Officer for the South Wales Probation Area in the year ending March 2003. During this period of acting up, Paul served as a member of the Local Criminal Justice Board and the Wales Forum of Chief Officers and Board Chairs.

Paul is a graduate in public administration, a chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. He has a wide range of experience across all aspects of human resource management and strategic planning gained through membership of the Ministry of Justice’s National HR Strategic Board and National Business Development Group; serving as Vice-Chair of Skills for Justice (Wales Regional Group); and through participation in a wide range of regional and national criminal justice groups in the fields of personnel and training and development.

Since 2008, Paul has practised as a freelance HR consultant, has worked as Clerk to the Corporation Board at Coleg Glan Hafren and is currently employed as Deputy Chief Executive and Resources Manager for One Voice Wales.

His knowledge base extends to corporate governance; the use of business excellence models; financial management; and organisational design and management. He has been active in the field of local council administration for many years and is currently the Clerk to Llandough Community Council, Trustee of Brynawel Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre and Trustee of Barry Memorial Hall and Theatre Trust.

Brian Kultschar
Brian is a graduate in economics, is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has a diploma in the theory and practice of counselling and is a member of the British Association for counselling and psychotherapy. He has held the following positions during his distinguished career:-

Director of HR for the Principality Building Society
Interim HR Service and Business Manager for the Ministry of Justice
HR Manager for the MSS Group

Brian has gathered considerable generalist HR experience by fulfilling a variety of challenging operational and strategic roles in the manufacturing and service sectors. In addition he has also worked on both long-term and interim assignments, and prides himself on his ability to engage, adapt, and to create a lasting foot-print on the organisations he has worked for. He has done so by engaging with, and actively developing people. He has also managed challenging employee relations caseloads. He is a practical, grounded, commercial, pragmatic, and an excellent communicator and is empathetic and consultative in his approach to people and situations.

Accountancy Services
  • Preparation of accounts for Councils in cases when external support is required

Consultant – Nicola Eyre
Nicola is a highly professional Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Wales. She is a former Community Council Clerk. During this time she gathered extensive experience in local council administration and procedures and has recently gained her CiLCA qualification awarded by the Society of Local Council Clerks.

Prior to working for the Community Council, she worked for KPMG for 8 years, one of the big four Accountancy firms in the UK. She undertook her Chartered Accountants’ exams when she joined KPMG and passed all the exams first time. She worked in both the Audit and Corporation Tax departments during this time and gained comprehensive auditing and taxation experience. She has worked on many large clients including Julian Hodge Bank, Admiral, Panasonic, Patent Office and Bridgend County Borough Council. She was also responsible for training and mentoring more junior members of staff.

Whilst at KPMG she especially enjoyed meeting and working with new and existing clients. This involved working with all levels of staff within an organisation.

Value Added Tax Legislation

Local authorities are extremely complex organisations from a VAT perspective.

For larger authorities typical issues range from property development and consolidation, collaboration and partnerships, partial exemption breaches, capital goods schemes issues, waiving exemptions on properties and delivery of leisure and cultural services

For the smaller authorities typical issues range from community and capital projects dealing with purchases using donated funds or monies from trust funds and or monetary or non-monetary considerations treated as deemed business supplies.

These are part of a range of likely issues where getting it wrong could mean that VAT claims are overestimated and errors that are compounded by penalties.

Despite extensive constructive dialogue with HMRC the application of penalties to the public sector continues to be anything but soft.

Consultant – William Mann
William has enjoyed an extensive career in HMRC specialising in Local Authority VAT legislation and policy and as a freelance consultant offers an inclusive approach to help to avoid errors and the pitfalls of penalties.

For many years William was also a community councillor and understands the issues and problems that local authorities are faced with when budgets are incorrectly devised and incur unanticipated costs.

HMRC no longer perform the regular and routine audit checks that once offered some reassurance that the VAT regulations are being applied correctly and so now authorities can often be unaware that errors are being made.

Getting the VAT wrong can mean an increase in costs of up to 20% and a further penalty based on the VAT value if the error is not declared! These are issues that can jeopardise current and future projects if the VAT implications are not understood properly.

William believes in a proactive approach that will identify VAT problem areas before they arise and deal with past errors in a way that can often avoid the imposition of penalties.

Health, Safety and Welfare
  •  Review of existing policy infrastructure and design of bespoke policies and procedures
  • Undertaking risk assessments and providing procedures to support finding
  • All aspects of advice on health, safety and welfare
  • Provision of bespoke training

Consultant – Christopher Johns
Chris has been a health & safety professional for more than 20 years involved in policy making, procedures, safe practices of work and training etc. for the public and private sector He is a Chartered Fellow of IOSH, a Member of IOSH Council and is a NEBOSH Examiner. He has been the Secretary of the Cardiff & S. E. Wales Safety Group for almost 20 years and Secretary of IOSH S. Wales Branch for the last 8 years. He strongly believes that his experience together with his pragmatic approach to health, safety & welfare brings a useful / beneficial perspective to health & safety concerns which will enable local councils to ensure health & safety legislative compliance/governance.

Property Management (Service to North Wales Councils only)

  • Property Maintenance and Facilities Management
  • Project Management and Evaluation
  • Value for money, cost saving and procurement
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Environment Strategy, Policy and Assessment
Consultant – Dr Ian Gardner PhD, MSc, BA (Hons), FCIH, FCMI, FRSA
Ian has an impressive career history as a local authority Housing Manager, Head of Housing, a Company General Manager, Neighbourhood Manager, a Housing Association Maintenance Consultant and Director of Asset Management and is currently Managing Director of a Consulting Company. Overall he has extensive experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors with a track record of successful delivery of change management, performance improvement and cost reduction in challenging environments. He is also a serving community councillor.

Community Engagement and Development

  • Design and delivery of community engagement and development training
  • Development of community involvement plans
  • Mentoring and support services

Consultant – Liz Court
Liz trained initially as a teacher working in secondary and middle schools across the UK In the late eighties, Liz transferred to the third sector working in a range of community development posts across Wales. Liz's career has included grass-roots and development work as well as senior management roles working for Cardiff Bay Development Corporation and the Community Development Foundation (UK). More recently Liz has worked for Community Development Cymru, responsible for policy and workforce development. Liz also leads on the promotion of the CDNOS (Community Development National Occupational Standards), a UK framework for improving community development practice. Liz is an experienced facilitator and trainer, delivering community engagement training for One Voice Wales.

Community engagement, Asset Transfer, Partnership Working and Funding and Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Consultant – Cerys Thomas
Cerys Thomas has over thirty years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector in Wales, including three years leading Wales’ largest Community Development organisation, Community Development Cymru, where she led the development of the National Strategic Framework for Community Development in Wales for the Welsh Government. She also spent five years as Operations Manager, Wales at the Community (now Big) Lottery Fund, and worked as a development officer for One Voice Wales, before leaving to join Resources for Change (R4C), an employee owned consultancy in 2013.

Cerys, a fluent Welsh speaker, is experienced in developing community plans, and recently (2015) worked with four communities in Powys to develop their plan. She is also experienced at asset transfer, having worked directly on the transfer of community buildings and recently supported a council aiming to take over the largest land transfer in Wales, with an event bringing stakeholders together to develop appropriate structures. She is an experienced facilitator, and regularly works on evaluating projects which have received external funding.

The team at Resources for Change also includes people with expertise in renewable energy, sustainable development and developing and managing community assets as social enterprises. For more information, see wwwr4c.org.uk

Place Plan and Well Being statement development

  • Compilation of local data profiles
  • Community Engagement exercises
  • Preparation of Place Plans setting out local views on proposed developments and economic, social and environmental service needs
  • Engagement with mainstream service providers
  • Accessing funding to deliver local actions
  • Preparation of Well Being statements and annual reports of progress

Consultant - Chris Ashman MSC MIED
Chris is the Owner/Director of Sustainable Regeneration Solutions and is one of Wales’ leading Place Plan practitioners. He has over 25 years experience of working with communities across Wales to help identify local priorities , develop practical, fundable responses to key issues and enable greater partnership working between town and community councils, businesses, local communities, third sector organisations and all tiers of government. Particularly skilled in community engagement, brokering agency partnerships, data analysis, securing funding and undertaking evaluation on the impact of investment, Chris led on the delivery of the Llanelli rural council place plan which is the first adopted, Well Being of Future Generations compliant, place plan in Wales. Chris also offers assistance with production of Well Being statements linking councils own plans and activities to the local Public Service Board’s objectives and national Well Being goals set out in the Well Being of Future Generations Act.

 

For further details including costs please contact Mr Paul Egan, Deputy Chief Executive and Resources Manager. Please email