Economy, communities and corporate

The economy, community and corporate directorate performs an internal, corporate function, as well as an external function dedicated to ensuring that the various communities in Herefordshire are sustainable and provide safe and well-managed places to live and work. Our corporate services work closely together to help us plan ahead, offering professional advice and effective internal controls, by working closely with the political and managerial leadership, commissioners and providers in service directorates.

Externally, we work with our partners in both the public and private sector to align our resources to maintain and enhance our distinct environment, to provide good quality housing, to provide and encourage good quality well-paid jobs, to provide safe and convenient access throughout the county, and to reduce the impact of the waste we generate.

Finance

The finance team provides strategic financial advice to councillors, directors and managers and supports and informs change programmes and operational service delivery. The team also has overall responsibility for treasury management, external financial reporting, internal management reporting, financial probity and governance.

Corporate asset management and property services

The corporate asset management and property services team acts as corporate landlord in managing the council's owned and leased estate.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

ICT supports the work of approximately 1,200 Herefordshire Council staff, 300 Hoople staff and provides web services.

Human resources (HR)

The HR team focuses on how the council attracts, recruits, rewards, develops, engages and retains great people to take the organisation forward.

Facilities management

The facilities management team provides duties such as reception, custodian and security across key sites including the Plough Lane, Shirehall, Blueschool House, Moor House, Nelson House and the Town Hall.

Communities

The communities service delivers information and advice to residents and businesses in Herefordshire and provides legal advice and representation to the council and its services, supports the council's democratic process, civic role and decision making, ensuring the law is correctly applied. The service also supports the delivery of a range of cultural services including libraries and museums.

Cultural services

The cultural services team provides management and monitoring of partnership relationships such as those with Halo Leisure, Courtyard Centre for the Arts, Brightstripe Cultural Health, Visit Herefordshire and external arts organisations, including Arts Council England and the Three Choirs Festival. The team also manages museum and archive services and co-ordinates delivery of cultural programmes such as the WW1 commemoration and the City of Culture bid.

Law and Governance

The law, governance and resilience service enables the council to achieve its policies and objectives and to discharge its statutory functions in compliance with the law.

The legal team provides legal services to the council on a full range of administrative and local government law and policy ranging from constitutional and governance issues to contentious and non-contentious legal matters. The team includes solicitors, legal executives, legal assistants and administrative staff with a range of advocacy, advice, drafting and negotiation skills.

The governance team provides and facilitates a quality framework for democratic decision making to ensure council compliance with governance arrangements.

The electoral services team implements election legislation to enable electors to participate in the democratic process by voting.

Equality, resilience and information compliance

The ERIC service provides advice and guidance regarding access to information and ensures compliance with statutory responsibilities in regards to the keeping and sharing of information and data protection. The service includes the registration of all births, deaths and marriages, the co-ordination of the Freedom of Information process (FOI), Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and investigates data protection breaches. It also manages and provides the Herefordshire Language Network services for translation and interpretation.

The land charges team maintains the Land Charges Register which records relevant information on every property/parcel of land within the county. It contains information on planning permissions, highway status/proposals, conservation area designation, tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, improvement grants, management orders and financial charges.

The resilience team is the council's connection to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the West Mercia Local Resilience Forum (WMLRF) through which emergency services respond to emergencies. The team also provides a comprehensive and competent advisory and support service on health and safety matters, reducing risks and protecting employees and visitors.

Fastershire

The Fastershire service delivers the fibre broadband network across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire with funding from national government via Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). The project is led by Herefordshire Council with the contract awarded to BT as the supplier. The project also includes encouraging people to be e-connected through a digital inclusion programme and business support activity.

Library service

The library service provides a network of libraries in the county and supports the establishment and operation of community and partnership libraries that are run locally. The service also delivers reading material to people who are housebound, runs specific activities in libraries to encourage young readers, operates a 'Books on Prescription' scheme and has recently installed free to use Wi-Fi.

Customer services

Customer services provides information on council and partner services to customers across a broad range of contact channels including e-contact, telephone and face to face via centres in Bromyard, Hereford, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye.

Growth

The growth service is the lead for strategic relationships with local businesses and is responsible for economic development, planning policy and regeneration with a real focus on delivering jobs and housing growth.

Economic development

The economic development team provides support to businesses and people wanting to start up in business and assists them to access the support required to grow their business or employ more staff. The team is the principle contract between the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the council and provides the local lead on the development of the LEPs economic strategy and priorities.

Strategic planning

The strategic planning team is responsible for preparing planning policies which apply to Herefordshire and ensuring they conform to national planning policy. A principal task of the team is to continue working on the council's emerging Local Plan - Core Strategy and other development plan documents in accordance with the approved programme of work in the local development scheme.

Neighbourhood planning

The neighbourhood planning team is responsible for providing technical support and advice to parish councils and steering groups that are preparing neighbourhood development plans or Community Right to Build Orders.

Sustainable communities

The sustainable communities team supports communities to take responsibility for delivering local activity at a local level.

Regeneration programmes

The regeneration programmes service contributes to the development and delivery of regional, national and European programmes and policy. They manage, monitor and administer a range of internally and externally funded grant programmes and projects across the county and further afield and provide project development advice and support which helps to secure significant external funding for statutory, voluntary and community organisations. The business mentoring support the team provides helps to ensure the creation and sustainability of social enterprises in the county.

Commissioning

The commissioning service is the lead for strategic supplier relationships, market development and cross organisational integration of commissioning and commercial activities. It directly delivers waste, highways, transportation and regulatory services such as environmental health, trading standards, building control and planning.

Development management

The development management service receives, consults upon and determines all planning applications. It also enforces breaches of planning legislation.

Environmental health

The environmental health service fulfils all the statutory environmental health functions of the council as well as its obligations for its closed landfill sites.

Trading standards and licensing

The trading standards and licensing team administers statutory licensing for alcohol, general licensing, taxis and private hire and the provision of authorised gypsy and traveller sites on behalf of the council.

Technical and parking services

Technical and parking services encapsulates a number of individual teams that are a mix of regulatory, environmental and/or income generating, namely; building control, parking, CCTV, bereavements and markets, fairs and street trading.

Waste management collection service

The waste management collection service provides for the collection of household and commercial waste across the county.

Energy and environmental management

The energy and environmental management team provides day to day management of the centralised energy, street lighting and water budget. They also proactively identify and develop energy, cost and carbon saving projects, develop and deliver the council's carbon management plan and co-ordinates the council's 40% CO2 reduction target by 2020.

Highways and community services

The highways and community services team manages the road network and public places, which includes all highways assets throughout Herefordshire (with the exception for the trunk roads and motorways), other public places such as parks and public rights of way and public assets such as ordinary watercourses. They also look after traffic authority, including the network management duty and the co-ordination of street works.

Transportation and access

The transportation and access team covers all of the council's passenger transport commissioning and procurement (buses, school transport, special educational needs and social care transport), transport strategy including the Local Transport Plan, road safety accident analysis and education. They also promote sustainable transport, manage funding bids for revenue and capital projects and highways development management.

Directorate services

The directorate services team has overall responsibility for the council's corporate plan, delivery plans, performance reporting and risk register. They also provide flood risk management support.

Commercial services

The commercial services team provides commercial experience and expertise to departments across the council; supporting the procurement of services from the market and negotiating with existing suppliers. They lead all major procurements and provide support to many more.