Life at Capita…
Tell us about your role at Capita Local Public Services?
I joined the organisation two years ago as Head of Capita Local Public Services. While Capita has been providing services to local government for over 25 years, when I joined the business we formed Capita Local Public Services, which essentially has brought together the majority of services that Capita provides to local authorities into one area. We also work closely with other parts of the business to draw in specialist services such as software from elsewhere within Capita plc. We have around 6,000 people serving local authority customers and residents across the length and breadth of the country from back office administration and customer facing services right through to property technical services and major regeneration schemes.
What is your biggest success or proudest moment at Capita?
Over the past two years we have made some changes to certain areas of our business, enabling the services we deliver to be more flexible, innovative and efficient to meet the ongoing requirements for of customers. The support that I have been given by teams within Capita Local Public Services has been fantastic, so I am proud of the people that have been on this journey and their commitment to driving change successfully.
If you could describe Capita in three words, what would it be?
‘A big family.’ Like any organisation there will always be challenges but people are always willing to help and support, they want the business to succeed and ultimately deliver the best for our customers.
What do you like most about your role?
The variety; I have worked in ICT and business process outsourcing roles all my life so the opportunity to also be involved in wider service areas such as planning, regeneration and housing has been tremendous. I also value the ‘back to the floor experiences.’ For example, I recently did a site visit with the Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside, where I was taken around the local area and it really brought to life the impact of the services we deliver and some of local opportunities and challenges that the area is facing.
Tell us something people might not know about Capita Local Public Services?
We have worked for over 70 local authorities providing advice on planning and building control - from small districts to Barnet where are leading the £2.5bn regeneration programme of Brent Cross Cricklewood - the largest in Europe. The development will bring a new town centre including 7,500 homes, 27,000 jobs, three re-built schools, new parks and community facilities and an additional train station on the Midland Mainline and major road and public transport improvements.
Over to you…
When you were a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
To be honest I didn't (I was always a bit sensible for that). I do recall however wanting to be a quantity surveyor or something in building or design. My father was a draughsman and designed huge pressure vessels and I loved to see his drawings spread out on the table with all the specialist tools. Nowadays it's all computerised but then it was more like art work. Regrettably, I didn't inherit his skills but I guess that's why I'm so fascinated by the work carried out by our property technical services teams today.
What do you do in your spare time?
Nothing beats a nice long walk with my dogs. I also completed a half marathon recently so before I lose interest, I’m desperately trying to get back into my running!
If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
It would have to be freshly cut granary bread, a good Wensleydale cheese and home- made chutney.
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
A slant on the old golfing analogy “the harder you work the luckier you get.” An old colleague and I used it in the days we worked together - it doesn't always work but over the years I have found it true, as has he.
Tell us something people might not know about you
I went to the same school as William Hague He’s was a couple of years above me but I still remember him returning to school after attending the Conservative conference where he delivered a speech as a teenager.