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Sarah Turpin with international rugby player Nigel Owens at a WCC speaker event in November 2016.
Sarah Turpin with international rugby player Nigel Owens at a WCC speaker event in November 2016.

“We’re not just admin, business support is the backbone of the council.”

Business support at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) provides support across all three directorates (Communities, Resources and People). The entire team play an important part in the effective running of the Council and the achievement of its vision to make Warwickshire the best it can be, now and for future generations. The service aims to deliver effective, high quality and professional business support to teams across the organisation. 

Every employee at WCC is making a difference in their role in one way or another. Sarah Turpin, Business & Customer Service Delivery Lead, said: “In business support, we support our colleagues to do their job well. From supporting parents with applying for school places, to making sure new staff have the right kit and access rights on their first day with us.  It’s also the little things that business support do that have the biggest impact on colleagues and the residents of Warwickshire”. 

There are business support colleagues embedded in nearly every service area across the Council. Sarah and her team support the Resources and Communities Directorates at the council with anything from ICT Purchasing, legal support, blue badge applications, processing post, trading standards, HR and much more.

Giving a snapshot of her varied role, Sarah said: “This morning I’ve been budget forecasting and then later today I’ll be meeting with my team leads.  One minute I might be talking about providing support for a recruitment campaign and next providing the Ukraine sponsors with DBS checks – every day is completely different!”

As part of the Council Plan 2022-2027, WCC want to be a County with a sustainable future which means adapting to and mitigating climate change and meeting net zero commitments. Sarah and business support teams across the Council are contributing to this strategic priority by focusing on how we can all reduce the amount of printing to save paper, encouraging people to use the Microsoft 365 tools and ensuring that people are only printing documents when necessary.

Sarah added: “The pandemic has encouraged us to be a more proactive Council and to be solution focused.  We have had to think on our feet and act quickly. As part of our climate change agenda, in business support we are reviewing paperwork we send to our customers, and asking ourselves whether we can do more online, and what digital solutions we might already have access to. In addition, colleagues are encouraged to use the technology we have available to us like Microsoft 365.

“Now that many areas of the Council work in an agile way, we’re also looking at the stationary rooms across our buildings and how we can make these work better for us all in the future.”

Business support was key in helping colleagues across the Council to adapt to the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions when they came into place in 2020. Sarah said:  “We had to support our blue badge team to work safely in Shire Hall and bring in a new mail room solution so we could continue to send and receive post safely”.

Sarah started her career at WCC as a Legal Secretary and soon progressed to Office Manager.  Sarah added: “I’ve been in the business support team from the beginning - we started as a small team and it has evolved over the years and now we are one large, centralised team supporting the whole Council”.

“It was great to be involved from the start. We provide so much support across the Council that links in with the organisation’s strategic priorities.  We are an efficient and effective team who support services to manage their day-to-day challenges.”

Following a transformation in 2020, the Business Support service is now made up of nearly 350 people. Describing what it’s like to work for WCC, Sarah said: “We really nurture and support the staff in our teams.  Once you are part of business support, there are a huge variety of opportunities available within WCC as one of the largest employers in Warwickshire.  We provide training, support and some of our staff will, and have, progressed very successfully to work in other areas across the Council.”

Sarah added: “The best thing about working for the Council is the flexibility and being able to work from different locations – I feel privileged that we have the latest technology to assist us in being able to work in this way.  We have a voice, and everyone is approachable.

“For anyone thinking of joining the Council, I would really encourage them to apply. Everyone brings something unique to the service whether that be different skills, qualifications or experiences.

“The Council has really excelled over the last couple of years and moved with the ever-changing times that we find ourselves in.  We are a modern, vibrant place to work; that offers a supportive and caring environment. I have been fortunate with my career at the council, it has taken me in many different directions and provided the variety that I thrive on.  Over the years, I have met and worked with countless staff, from different teams, directorates and services. Through all this networking, I have made some very good friends and built long-lasting relationships.  It is very reassuring that there is always someone on the other end of the phone, or video call that is ready to help.”

WCC is currently recruiting for various roles in business support, join a thriving and fast paced service that has something to offer to everyone.  

If you want to work somewhere where you are trusted and empowered to build relationships, take responsibility and make decisions, whilst leading by example at all times view our current vacancies.  

Published: 10th May 2022

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