Our Teams

Corporate Services have a number of dedicated teams covering a wide range of disciplines. Please read more information about each team below. We are dedicated to creating an organisational culture that enables our people to flourish. As part of our transformation programme, we aim to offer an environment where our workforce feel they can thrive, belong, and succeed.

Electoral Services

The Electoral Services team is the first point of contact for organising the delivery of elections, polls and referenda for Herefordshire, both for local and national levels. Electoral Services also creates and maintains the Register of Electors (electoral roll) monthly and conducts a yearly annual canvass providing daily assistance to ensure members of the public are registered to vote and their details are correct and up to date enabling them to vote and obtain credit.
Electoral Services also works alongside organisations such as Cabinet Office, Electoral Commission, Boundary Commission for England and Association of Electoral Administrators to carry out specific functions like legislation changes, Boundary changes, Community Governance Reviews, Polling District, Places and Polling Stations reviews for which the Electoral Services are statutorily responsible.
Electoral Services are in regular contact with Parish Councils, Councillors, Political Parties and candidates to keep everyone informed of legislation changes and statutory functions and services Electoral Services provide. The experienced electoral administrators will provide comprehensive information, advice and guidance to everyone to enable and ensure all enquiries are responded to in a timely and appropriate manner.

Information Governance

Information Governance (IG) is the framework for handling information in a secure and confidential manner that allows organisations and individuals to manage personal and sensitive information legally, securely, efficiently and effectively in order to deliver the best possible services. Information is one of Herefordshire Council’s most important assets and, just like our staff, our buildings and our equipment, needs to be carefully managed and looked after.
The Information Governance team is responsible for ensuring that we deliver our strategy for meeting all of our regulatory and business requirements around managing information.

HR & Organisational Development

The council’s HR and OD function delivers four key areas of activity; employee relations, organisational development, health and safety and policy and data.  
Employee relations refers to the HR work which is undertaken working closely with managers and services.  The Business partnering team is led by Debbie Thompson and the team’s work includes managing casework, supporting change programmes and workforce planning activities. A key area of work for the employee relations side of HR has been supporting the improvement work in children’s with particular emphasis on social work recruitment and retention.
The learning and OD function is managed by Rachel Jones and leads on council wide initiatives which aim to create the best possible working environment for staff to be able to succeed and deliver the council’s strategic aims. The team focuses on areas such as leadership, talent management, learning and development, culture, staff engagement equality diversity and inclusion and wellbeing.
The health and safety team comprises two advisers and is led by Chris Reeves who is the Team Manager.  The team provides a critical service, ensuring the council is a safe place for people to work.
We also have a small but important team that works on our policy framework, HR data, guidance tools for managers and HR transactional activities.  This team is led by Leanne Edwards and the admin service is delivered by our brilliant delivery partner, Hoople Group Ltd.

Property Services and Facilities Management

Our team consists of 4 separate elements: Estates, Commercial, Building Maintenance and Facilities Management. Each team has a different specialism and role to play.

The team is led by the Strategic Assets Delivery Director, Sarah Jowett. Sarah has over 30 years of local government property experience and is keen to build a strong, focused team who support one another and enjoy their work. The service is exceptionally busy with extremely varied and interesting work across the board, covering all aspects of Council activity and relationships with all sectors of Herefordshire society.

Estates: consists of valuation, acquisitions, disposals and leasing. The section also ensures accurate data is maintained on the Council’s interests and develops strategy and process.

Commercial: this section manages the commercial and retail estate to optimise income and to operate as a good landlord.

Building Maintenance: covers both reactive and planned maintenance programmes as well as compliance. They hold the main Corporate Landlord budget and ensure the operation of the Council’s estate (cleaning, grounds, etc).  

Facilities Management: support with the on-site operation and day to day activity of the corporate offices. This includes post, ID badges, H&S checks, porterage and supporting meetings. 

Overall the team manage risk in Council dealings and advise officers and members alike on property matters, working closely with all other Council services, especially Legal Services and Finance.

Democratic Services

The Democratic Services team is responsible for all 53 ward members and administering the formal decision-making process of the council.  Our principal role is to ensure that decisions taken at are open, transparent, accountable and legally compliant with legislation and constitutional provisions. 

We are highly visible service that all councillors have dealings with, both in regard to committees we service and the support we provide on a one to one basis.  We have 16 public committees in total and we administer approximately 110 to 120 public committee’s per year.  The Service has a team of on-site governance officers who advise and support those who chair Committees and Committee Members on matters directly relating to the management of committee meetings, including:
· Ensuring committee meetings meet corporate standards, standing orders and all relevant legal procedures and processes;
· Manage the Forward Plan of executive and non-executive;
· Attending meetings to minute and provide advice on procedural issues; 
· An effective Scrutiny function by providing advice, briefings, supporting Committee meetings, formalising work programmes, task and finish groups and an annual report presented to Council;
· Review, deliver and facilitate the Council’s Member Development Strategy, mandatory and induction training and a programme of member briefings.

The team also administers approximately 80 school admission and exclusion appeals for local maintained and faith based schools and academies.  We do this accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. 

Registration Service

The Registration Service is a public facing service with statutory responsibility for registering births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships that take place within Herefordshire; meaning the team deal with the general public at significant life events both happy and sad. The service is also responsible for the secure storage and preservation of the birth, death and marriage registers and for producing copy certificates. 
The Ceremony Team is responsible for attending and conducting civil ceremonies that take place both in the Registration Office and at venues throughout the county. They also perform other ceremonies including citizenship, naming, and renewal of vows.  This team generates a significant amount of income for the council.
The service works in partnership with a number of external agencies including Wye Valley Trust, GP practices, hospices, nursing homes, approved wedding venues and the General Register Office.

Coroners Service

The Coroner’s role is to investigate and record the causes and circumstances of all sudden deaths in Herefordshire where the cause is not known, violent, unnatural or occurred when the deceased was in custody. The coroner is an independent judicial officer. Coroners Officers are provided by the police service and the council employs Coroners Clerks to provide administrative support to the Coroner. Of the 2,000 or so deaths in the county each year approximately half are referred to the Coroner for consideration, some will necessitate a post mortem. Of the cases referred, the Coroner will typically open an inquest in 100+ cases each year. The Coroner endeavours to establish how the deceased died. Often this will be useful in understanding whether safe procedures or practices have been followed or can be improved.

The Coroner meets regularly with representatives from business, the police and hospitals to discuss ways in which deaths can be prevented or their number reduced, frequently using the knowledge gained from the inquest process. This leads to the adoption of new practices both within organisations and in our daily lives.