Place and Economy Manager
Fiona joined the Place and Investment Team in August in the newly formed post of Place and 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' current 2018 blog posts on this page below
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 and Investment 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 & Investment 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 blogpost 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
Contact Public Relations & Communications
Public Relations & Communications,
Adur & Worthing Councils,
Worthing Town Hall,