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
Consultants: Paul Egan and Brian Kultschar

  • 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

Value Added Tax Legislation
Consultant: William Mann 

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.

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
Consultant: Christopher Johns
  •  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

Property Management (Service to North Wales Councils only)
Consultant:  Dr Ian Gardner PhD, MSc, BA (Hons), FCIH, FCMI, FRSA 

  • Property Maintenance and Facilities Management
  • Project Management and Evaluation
  • Value for money, cost saving and procurement
  • Business Continuity Planning
  • Environment Strategy, Policy and Assessment

Testimonial from Tina Earley, Town Clerk Bay of Colwyn Town Council
“Bay of Colwyn Town Council commissioned One Voice Wales to undertake a review of Facilities Management at the Town Council Offices in May 2016. The detailed review was undertaken by Dr Ian Gardner who visited the Council’s building, interviewed the Town Clerk and looked through documents. Based on this a report was prepared and presented to the Council’s Buildings Sub Committee in July. Dr Gardner clearly explained the findings of the review and the recommendations relating to the management of asbestos, legionella, fire safety and other statutory requirements and answered questions from Councillors.

The Town Council subsequently commissioned Dr Gardner to prepare Memoranda of Understanding for the Town Council’s lessees and tenants. Dr Gardner met with each occupier and discussed their responsibilities before drafting documents setting out how the Town Council and occupiers of the Town Council’s offices would share responsibility for statutory compliance.

The two commissions were undertaken professionally and delivered on time and within budget and the Town Council would recommend that other Councils with premises undertake similar reviews to help them manage their buildings and the responsibilities that arise from being a landlord.”


Community Engagement and Development

Consultant: Liz Court 
  • Design and delivery of community engagement and development training
  • Development of community involvement plans
  • Mentoring and support services

Community Engagement; Asset Transfer; Partnership Working and Funding and Project Monitoring and Evaluation
Consultant: Cerys Thomas

 Cerys and the team at Resources for Change have particular expertise in community engagement and consultation. They are also experienced in developing plans with communities and community groups, both place plans, and community plans. In addition, with a background as a funder Cerys can advise on options for grant and other funding for projects, and how to make the best application. 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

Consultant: Chris Ashman MSC MIED 

  • 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


 

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