“The level of passion amongst people at WCC is extraordinary, I’ve never worked at a council like it.”
Jonathon Toy is responsible for the Trading Standards and Community Safety team at Warwickshire County Council (WCC), including a prevent and response team that is dealing with all regulations and outbreaks since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Jonathon joined the council in January 2020 with a background in community safety and enforcement services, working for several other local authorities in different boroughs of London and the home counties. He is most well-known for leadings teams working to combat violence including preventing gang violence and county lines. He has also spent much of his career working with families and young people to move them away from that lifestyle by developing policies and strategies as well as violence reduction units. In his current role, Jonathon works very closely with schools to raise awareness of county lines, developing training programmes for children, young people and professionals.
Jonathon said: “Trading standards and community safety is all about collaboration. We are a team of over 50 people at Warwickshire and every single person is hugely knowledgeable. We have amazing skillsets within the team that benefit communities across the county.
“We use our connections and skills in a way that we can make the best difference to peoples lives and we work with a variety of other organisations across the county to keep people safe. The collaboration between partners is one of the reasons I love working for WCC, it’s really noticeable here and there is a real willingness to work together with other teams and partner organisations.”
COVID-19 brought about many challenges which meant collaboration of trading standards and community safety with other organisations has developed even further and relationships with partner agencies have grown so much stronger.
Jonathon said: “One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic for my team has been getting to grips with the changing regulations. We had to create a process and structure with district and borough councils so collectively we could respond to different breaches and challenges as the COVID-19 regulations were being brought into force. We’d never done that before across the whole of Warwickshire, so we had to completely shift our mindset.
“The pandemic has absolutely changed the dynamic of how we will work with our partners in the future and we will now always work more collaboratively.”
When asked about what he enjoys most about working for Warwickshire, Jonathon said: “I am bowled over by just how kind people are here and how people are very open to ideas and conversations. It doesn’t matter where you go or who you talk with, you are received with kindness and support. The level of passion amongst people at WCC is extraordinary and I’ve never worked at a council like it.
“I have an amazing team in trading standards and community safety, they are so supportive of each other, and this isn’t just within my team, it’s apparent across the whole county council.”
Jonathon and the wider trading standards and community safety team make a difference to the lives of residents in Warwickshire by keeping people safe. Whether that’s safe from being exploited by an unethical business or consumer product or keeping someone safe from hate crime or domestic abuse. Jonathon added: “We work for the communities of Warwickshire and our role is to keep people safe and enable them to enjoy life to the fullest, whilst making sure people are protected. It’s why I get up everyday to do my job. If we’ve taken an action to keep people safe or dealt with any issues, then we’re doing a good job.
“One of the most noticeable differences for both Trading Standards and Community Safety in Warwickshire, compared to other areas that I have worked, is the breadth of issues that we deal with. For example a Warwickshire Trading Standards we lead on Animal Welfare, including farm and feed inspections, tackling illegal puppy farms, food safety issues such as allergen labelling on prepacked foods, Illicit Tobacco, Setting up No Rogue Trader Zones, in High incident areas, weights and measures and New Business Advice on Compliance matters. The Community Safety Team lead on cyber safe and cyber awareness campaigns, safety advice for businesses, support vulnerable people, preventing counter terrorism, addressing hate crime and learning the lessons to prevent domestic homicides.
In every one of these areas of work we make a point of always taking it back to the impact, effect and outcome for the individual. For example, if we’re working with someone who’s had a rogue trader cause damage to their property and taken thousands of pounds, we establish what is best for that individual – which could be anything from financial recovery or making the work good. We also make sure we’re on their side, so they know we’re there to protect them. The same goes for anyone affected by hate crime, domestic violence or exploitation. We always make sure we understand the best outcome for that individual and how we can help them to move on.”
Jonathon and the trading standards and community safety team at WCC are just one example of a service in the council making a big impact on the lives of people in Warwickshire. Working at WCC means people can improve the county and see just how much of a meaningful difference they can make to the community.
Jonathon said: “At WCC, we’re a family and we look after each other, it’s a very caring place to work. To anyone thinking of joining, I would say Warwickshire is one of those places where you can do things in a different way. There’s plenty of opportunity and we use our collective strengths to face challenges, there are few places I’ve worked where I could actually say that, people are really welcomed here.”
WCC has a diverse workforce with a large variety of opportunities. Working for WCC means you'll be able to apply your knowledge and abilities in a place that matters to people and communities. And simply put, you'll enjoy working here because of that. View our current vacancies, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jobs.