Fiona Burn - 2018 blog posts archive
Place and Economy Manager
Fiona has stopped her weekly postings, but you can still read her stories here ...
Fiona joined the Place & Economy Team (previously the Place and Investment team) in August in the newly formed post of Place & Economy Manager.
Following a long career in cultural management, including seven years as Chief Executive - Theatre Royal Winchester, Fiona formed Burn & Co as a freelance consultant. Through a series of short contact consultancies with Adur & Worthing Councils Fiona's focus shifted to a new career in place management and a permanent role which she thoroughly enjoys.
In her spare time Fiona is a regular if reluctant runner and a keen if untalented tennis player. She lives in Worthing with her partner Marie and two cats, Bellatrix and Chai.
You can read Fiona's archived 2018 blog posts on this page below:
The snowdrops are out, the trees are blossoming and the daffodils are nodding in the verges. Spring has arrived in Adur and Worthing and I for one am happy to welcome its arrival.
Another sure sign that Spring has come is the start of lambing at Coombes Farm. For the next four weeks this popular farm opens its doors to the public and with one hundred and ninety lambs due this month there's a great chance visitors will see one born. It's a heart-warming sight and one which all ages enjoy. Well, it made my day!
In another celebration of Spring, Lancing Village Market will soon be launching its new location in North Road, Lancing. With toe tapping live music, bunny biscuit decorating, MORE baby lambs and a visit by the Easter Bunny we're all set for a morning of great fun. The Lancing Spring Market is taking place on 21st Saturday April 2018 and features a host of traders selling the best in local fresh produce.
If you're an entrepreneurial maker or producer and you're looking for a retail opportunity you might like to know that our Adur Markets manager is always on the lookout for new stall holders. With prices as low as £15 at Lancing Village Market or £40 per stall at Shoreham Artisans' Market we'd love to hear from you.
Before I sign off for the week did anyone else see the massive collection of dachshunds on West Worthing seafront over the weekend? You've never seen so many happy dogs and smiling owners. The visible effect of Spring ...
Now, where did I put that mint sauce?
See also: Markets
Photo: Lambing at Coombes Farm
In a week which saw Storm Emma take on the Beast from the East in what sounded like a WWF wrestling contest, Adur & Worthing Councils showed its metal.
The hardy cleansing teams continued their bin rounds, the facilities team kept the pipes from freezing and our estates team made checks and gave help to our tenants. As you'll have come to realise our markets team are the epitome of fortitude and forged through the snowy South Downs to ensure town centre markets continued as planned.
The blast of inclement weather necessitated a change in plans for many as the ability to travel any distance became risky and our emergency, community and health services took the strain, continuing to support those in need of help. My woolly hat comes off to you all.
An event which is sure to not just warm the cockles but will blow the socks of the kids is the forthcoming BigBang@Butlins Bognor Regis. On Thursday 8th March Butlins is home to a scientific extravaganza for mind boggling experiences and attention grabbing activities. Brought together by our friends in Coastal West Sussex, STEMfest's Big Bang showcases how an interest in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) can lead to an exciting and engaging career. As the saying goes, find a job you love and you'll never work again!
And if that doesn't give you a metaphoric toasty hug how about taking the family to see the lambing at Coombes Farm which kicks off on Saturday 10 March? There is also late night lambing for the grown ups and Ren's Kitchen will be serving up tasty treats to keep you warm.
In the meantime, stay warm Worthing
Photo: Worthing Town Hall in the snow
If the title of this blog isn’t the name of an 70s band well it should be!
This has been a ‘head down, tail up’ kind of a week. A get things moving, get the job done couple of days which doesn’t easily lend itself to light hearted and excited blog posts. However, something I am learning through the writing of regimented weekly blogs is that this process is strangely cathartic. If offers an opportunity for me to reflect on my week at work from an entirely different perspective, your perspective I hope!
One of the highlights of my week was a trip to technical engineering, industry leaders Ricardo, based in Shoreham. As with previous visits to Ricardo’s rather beautiful Centenary Innovation Centre the purpose of the meeting was one of a professional nature but in secrecy I’m always desperate to take a closer look at the fantastic displays which sit around the edge of their contemporary conference room. From a Steve McQueen-esq 1920’s motorbike (the sort with a springy saddle) to a rather splendid looking state-of-the-art racing car, it’s all I can do to keep my hands to myself and my mind focussed on the topic at hand.. I bet I’m not the only one either!
For my trip to Ricardo I rode shot-gun with the Councils' Chief Executive's Policy Officer, Alan Higgins. As the job title suggests Alan holds a key role in the councils with an extensive overview of its workings. The meeting looked in depth at the agenda for the Greater Brighton Economy Board, of which Adur & Worthing Councils are members. The Greater Brighton Economy Board, in turn, liaise closely with our Local Enterprise partners Coast to Capital, whose area reaches from the A3 in the west to Lewes in the east and from the south coast up to Croydon in a lopsided triangle.
I have found that in these meetings there is an understanding that issues facing our local authority neighbours will be issues which either do or will effect Adur and Worthing too (and vice-versa). In particular, social and economic behaviours and trends.
By meeting regularly and looking collectively at problems or opportunities, potentially too daunting or financially demanding for a single local authority to overcome, connected regional working becomes key in addressing weighty issues.
For example, failures in infrastructure or issues requiring a united voice to push forward plans. Joined up working across our regional boundaries can also result in our accessing large scale funding through public or private investment. Naturally not all of the resultant activity may take place in Adur or Worthing but the benefits of our support will be felt in our communities and businesses.
Coast to Capital recently brought together an alliance in support of proposed improvements to rail networks on the Brighton to London mainline. The successful handling of which would mean significantly better rail connectivity and an improved service for Adur and Worthing’s commuters and visitors travelling to the coast.
Metaphorically speaking I’d like to think the Adur & Worthing Councils would be ready with a cup of sugar for our local authority neighbours and that Brighton & Hove would bring out a lovely slice of Battenburg for us…or maybe a small sherry.
Until next week,
Photo: A Ricardo branded car presented at the event
Photo: An interesting mechanical object presented in the Centenary Innovation Centre
Watcha! In Blog #1 I promised an explanation of how we view the word 'Place' in relation to 'Place Management'. Stay with me here, you'll enjoy this as it affects you ... in fact all of us.
The mission statement for the Place and Economy team, as a whole, is to promote Adur and Worthing as a place to work, live and visit. And all of us will be impacted by all three of these objectives on a daily basis.
For example, a professional couple living in Goring may take visiting friends for day out to Shoreham Farmers Market, stopping on the way to sample locally caught fish at a seafront restaurant in Worthing. The friends, so enamoured by the Sicilian fish stew at Crab Shack (other fish stews and restaurants are available in Worthing but seriously Crab Shack's tangy Italian number has yet to be beaten), decided to extend their stay to enjoy a walk on the South Downs and some contemporary circus at the Pavilion Theatre. Which not only sounds like a lovely weekend, it also represents a snap-shot example of how the councils manage and promote their various assets.
Adur and Worthing are growing in population. You may have noticed an almost subliminal change in the demographic and cultural feel of our town centres. This shift in population is evidenced in recent economic profiles commissioned by the Place & Economy Department. Young families, in particular, have recognised the advantages to living and working in our region. Moving most notably east from Brighton and south from London. The economic term for this migration is the long-shore drift and it is this change which is also driving and influencing council strategy and subsequent activity.
Now I know you're going to say “well you work for the council so you would say that wouldn't you”. But you can trust me as I'm a lousy liar.
Adur & Worthing Councils are extraordinarily progressive and aspirational local authorities. They recognise and seize opportunities, working as closely as possible to the communities which they serve and in partnership with local businesses, investors and service providers. From a council officer's perspective this makes for an exciting and stimulating place to work.
One of Worthing's greatest assets is its seafront and in understanding its importance the council recently completed a Seafront Investment Plan (SIP) The plan is a vision of where the seafront may and can be adapted and enhanced. Work on some of the priorities with the SIP has already begun and we feel it will go a long way to connecting our mission to our community.
As one of 2,000 runners taking part in the Worthing Half marathon last Sunday, I also had the opportunity to appreciate our gorgeous seafront ... in particular the last 50 meters. Not so much a case of sweating the assets and sweating on the assets. Groan!
Until next week and with aching legs, Fi
Photo: Some of the 2,000 runners taking part in the Worthing Half-Marathon and me (Fiona) with my medal
Photo: The Worthing Town crier and the Mayor of Worthing presenting the Half-Marathon winners with their medals
This week I'm off on travels so I am handing over the blog to Angela Crane ...
“Hi - do you have a business card?”
It is my favourite phrase. The tool of my trade. And opportunity most definitely knocks as a result! Hi, I'm Angela Crane, Economy & Skills Officer, within the Place & Economy Team. My role is to help facilitate growth within the local economy.
Growth can mean many things to many businesses. My task is to work with the local business community to identify what they might need and signpost to appropriate sources of help, guidance and practical resource.
In order to perform my role successfully, networking is a key aspect of the job, working with appropriate stakeholders, partners, consultants and business groups; those bright sparks whom understand their sector or service so incredibly well, they can help our local firms negotiate the most complex of business deals.
So what is a typical week for me? Last week I was organising the Adur & Worthing Better Business Show stand. Held at the Assembly Hall, Worthing and run by the Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce. The Councils have a huge stand to man and our presence at the event is important for many reasons. Many of our businesses are also residents of the area, so it's a great chance for us to engage across the board. On the stand this year was staff from Procurement, Business Rates, Discover Worthing and Waste.
Photo: Adur & Worthing Better Business Show
With over 4 main commercial Business Parks in the area, it's important we have strong links with our industrial sites. Last week was our quarterly committee meeting for Lancing Business Park. Discussion focuses on many things but can include signage, road conditions, security and park maintenance. Forums like this can have a significant and direct effect on those that take part. For example, some firms on the Lancing Business Park share the cost of mandatory and refresher training. Not only does this encourage mutual working but reduces business overheads. A definite win-win for all.
But, it's not all heads down, profit and loss sheets. Once a year is the utterly brilliant Adur & Worthing Business Awards. A glamorous, glittering affair that gives the tux a dust down and a healthy cash boost to beauty salons across the area.
So, pass by room 22 in Worthing Town Hall and pop in to say hello.
And be sure to have your business card at the ready ...
Photo: Pictured networking are (from left) Tina Tilley CEO of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce, Angela Crane and Paul Trew, Commercial Training Manager, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College
Ah you're back! Welcome to my Blog #2.
As you may remember from my previous blog post Place and Economy are based in Room 22 of Worthing's Art Deco Town Hall. It's a building which lends itself to far more than departmental offices and often reminds me of a 1920's department store or a luxury cruise liner. In the past month it has hosted the Better Business Show, two weddings, a multitude of training days and, of course, meetings ... a lot of meetings!
One of the things I enjoy most about working for the councils is the vast array of professions and expertise we, as officers, are able to tap into. There is rarely a question which can't be answered or a problem that can't be solved without a quick email or more likely a natter to the right person in the communal kitchens.
The town hall is also home to Community Works, the Citizens Advice Bureau and Worthing Churches Homeless Project (who drink a considerable amount of tea). All of whom are terrific neighbours and specialists in their own right.
Photo: Sarah from Worthing Churches Homeless Project making tea and coffee
The town hall's cross departmental working again brings comparisons with life of the high-seas. As a wide-eyed twenty-something, fresh out of Hotel School I headed for a life of adventure with P&O Cruise Liners as a steward. To this day I am still certified to lower lifeboats, can turn a hospital corner, sleep on a washing line and am the first one out the door when the fire alarm goes off.
They were heady days filled with great fun, world travel and very hard work.
In same way that a walk through the corridors of the town hall often leads to a quick chat with accountants, IT experts, cleaning staff, solicitors, HR business partners, porters, chartered surveyors and council members. So a walk through m/v Royal Princess would have me passing the time of day with Italian chefs, Mexican day cleaners, Pakistani deckhands, American croupiers and naval officers of all nationalities, to name but a few.
This week we said a very fond farewell to our Captain and Head of Place and Investment, Lynda Dine. Lynda is an extraordinary woman, as all who have worked with her over the past couple of years would testify. We wish her a sunny extended shore-leave!
Next week I'll also be on my travels but fear not, Angela Crane (yes, the one that eats cereal without milk) will be stepping in.
Fair winds all,
Fi - Officer of the Watch
Photo: The Mayor at the Better Business Show 2018
Photo: The Better Business Show 2018
Well hello there and a warm welcome to my inaugural blog.
Let me introduce myself, I'm Fiona Burn (aka Fi) and in this week's blog I'll be whisking you through the super staff in Team Place and Economy.
When I tell people I'm the Place and Economy Manager for Adur & Worthing Councils the first question I get asked is usually about bin collections and the second is normally 'what is place management?' Understanding who I work with I think will help my explaining what it is I do and why.
Hang onto your hats and strap yourselves in, as I explain all!
First up and in a clockwise direction from my desk in our shared office Angela Crane, Skills and Economy Officer.
Superpower - eating cereal without milk.
Next along, John Kerr, Adur Markets Officer.
Superpower - Christmas tree wrestling (please see the photo below!)
In the centre of the room, Zara Brazil, Events & Tourism Co-ordinator.
Superpower - World travel in a weekend.
Diagonally opposite, Pauline Freestone, Events Officer.
Superpower - the ability to look chic in a full-size hi-viz coat and safety boots.
Tucked in the corner, Wendy Francis, Place and Investment Support Officer.
Superpower - real life riot-trainer and I'm not even joking.
And last but by no means least, fellow blogger Judy Fox, Visitor Experience and Marketing Officer.
Superpower - swimming in the sea, every Saturday, in the middle of winter and HONESTLY enjoy it.
In all seriousness I feel very fortunate to head up a highly skilled, experienced and proactive team.
I have found leading a multi-disciplinary team produces much more in the way of creative thinking as each individual has a particular speciality with which to contribute when developing ideas. And Place and Economy is an environment packed with ideas.
The team work hard and genuinely care about high quality delivery in Adur and Worthing. In addition the office is, without doubt, one of the happiest and funniest environments I've worked in and how many of us can honestly say that?
And my super power you ask?
Well *modestly looks away and fans self* a good helping of intuition perhaps and the ability to mix a mean Margarita. Fact.
Photo: John Kerr wresting with a Christmas tree
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