Our Culture Book

The Journey So far

Our Culture The Journey So Far

Our Culture Book

Our Culture Book.

The Council plays a pivotal role in ensuring essential services reach every individual in the Vale of Glamorgan through our vision of ‘Working together for a Brighter Future’. For us, our vision and values are at the heart of our organisation. Reflected through our people, our focus is to embed a culture that celebrates individuality, innovation, collaboration and empowers ownership.

It's a Book about you, for you!

What is a Culture Book?

This book has been designed as an alternative to an employee handbook, as a guide to ‘how we do things around here’ with a focus on the ethos of the organisation - our vision and values. It reminds us, and future employees, who we are, what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Our culture is defined through the contribution of every single one of us, it illustrates what it means to be an employee of the council through shared values, beliefs, and behaviours. Sharing our stories in this book brings these things to life and gives us the opportunity to reflect on the way in which we are influenced by our four organisational values: Ambitious, Proud, Open, Together.

Culture is the heart and soul of the Council – it is our values, beliefs, and behaviour that lead to what is valued, how people work, how decisions are made and how the Council interacts with its employees, the public and our communities. It impacts our engagement, motivation, satisfaction and performance and will directly impact the success of the Council. By supporting you as individuals to contribute to the Council and celebrating the great work we do, we will not only continue to create an amazing employee experience but create a culture where our people feel connected and have the right environment to thrive. What is our organisational culture?

About the Vale

About the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Our 4,000 plus members of staff, contribute to one of, if not the most, diverse organisation in the Vale! We provide a multitude of services, ranging from education to environmental protection, housing and issuing birth certificates, to planning and highways maintenance; and each of our external services is supported by a wide range of internal support services. Regardless of your role in the Council, each of us plays a part in our success in delivering our vision of “strong communities with a bright future”. The Vale of Glamorgan Council has an impact on every single one of our 130,000 plus residents! For some their contact with the Council will be around services such as collecting their refuse or maintaining the roads; for others it could involve lots of direct touchpoints, educating their children, housing their family, or looking after their elderly either in daycare or residential care. No matter how much or little of our services people access, we will interact with all of them in some capacity.

Our Vision and Corporate Plan

Our Vision and Corporate Plan

The Council wants to deliver the right services to the right people at the right time and at the right cost.

Our vision is “strong communities with a bright future”.

The Council’s Corporate Plan 2020 – 2025 sets out how the Council will deliver its four Well-being Objectives and contribute to the delivery of the seven national Well-being Goals.

Our Wellbeing Objectives

To support learning, employment and sustainable economic growth To support people at home and in their community To work with and for our communities To respect, enhance and enjoy our environment As a public body in Wales we are required, under The Well-being of Future Generations Act, to think about the long term impact of our decisions. For the 2020-2025 Corporate Plan we have four new Well-Being Objectives that we believe complement each other and collectively contribute to the seven Well-being goals under the Act.

Our Values

Our Values





Our values are the beliefs, principles and foundations by which each of us should behave. They are the DNA of the Council and should be at the heart of every decision, action and task that we undertake. Our Values will drive the Council’s success, but only if each us live by them in everything we do at work.





Our Core Competencies





Our Core Competencies complement and support our Values and identify additional behaviours essential to drive the success of the Council and support us to deliver our Corporate Plan. We recognise that Communication, Digital expertise and Customer Experience are all essential to support us in the achievement of our Well- being Objectives.


Customer Experience

Senior Leadership

Senior Leadership

Our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) steer the ship! The Directors and Heads of Service are responsible for devising key strategies and priorities that support and drive the Council’s success. Click on their names below to learn more about their view on culture and their leadership style Members of the Senior Leadership Team Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services/Monitoring Officer Lance Carver – Director of Social Services Matt Bowmer -Head of Finance/Section 151 Officer Marcus Goldsworthy - Director of Place Miles Punter – Director of Environment and Housing Paula Ham – Director of Learning and Skills Rob Thomas - Chief Executive Tracy Dickinson - Head of HR and Organisational Development Trevor Baker - Head of Community Learning and Resources Tom Bowring - Director of Corporate Resources

Our Elected Members

Our Elected Members

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has fifty four Councillors elected ordinarily every five years

Councillors are elected to represent both their local community in the running of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and to deal with casework for individual constituents who raise issues or concerns within their locality. Councillors help to decide how local services are provided, funded and prioritised. Councillors work with the employees of the Council to make sure that services are relevant and delivered effectively, as well as promoting and supporting good governance of the Council and its affairs.

Councillors are also supported by colleagues within our Democratic and Scrutiny team based at the Civic Offices who are responsible for developing and supporting effective decision-making processes and committee arrangements, as well as providing advice and support for elected Members.

Want to know more about how decisions are made and delivered Click Here for more information

Reshaping, Transformation & Innovation


We’ve been transforming how we work in response to a changing and challenging financial position, and the desire to be at the forefront of delivering excellent customer service. Our transformation programme, known as ‘Reshaping’ involved adopting an open mind and working together across the organisation and with partners. So far we have introduced new models of working for community libraries, developed shared services for environmental health, audit and adoption services, adopted a new way of working to deliver neighbourhood services, and launched Big Fresh, a separate catering company that supports school meals and reinvests all profits back into the service. The next phase of our Reshaping programme will drive opportunities for transformational change that reshapes our communities, our work and our resources.

The Climate Emergency


The Vale of Glamorgan Council are committed to reduce our carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Under Project Zero we are bringing together work from teams across the Council to tackle climate change and improve the environment. We already making strides; we have reduced our office space, used technology to offer agile and flexible working benefiting customers, employees and the environment, improved our building to make them more energy efficient and communicated regularly with staff about reducing waste, reusing and recycling within the workplace. But we need to do more and Project Zero reflects the need to be ambitious and transform how we work; we welcome innovative ideas, and are ready to listen, learn and change. Working together with our partners and the community to achieve the necessary changes and being proud of what we have already achieved - working together towards a legacy we can all be proud of.


Engagement Employee engagement is important; when employees are engaged, they build better, stronger and more resilient organisations. To ensure we can drive forward our employee engagement, we’ve got a dedicated team of Engagement and Innovation Champions across the Council who work to drive forward our culture, embed our values and encourage innovation.

Our Engagement Journey So Far.

In 2015 we hosted the Big Conversation, a series of sessions for all staff, who were asked "how do we get better?" and "what can we learn from other organisations?" This kicked off our engagement journey. Our Staff Charter was born and we started working on a number of workstreams to improve key aspects our people valued.

In 2019 we held the Big Conversation 2 to reflect on and develop our engagement journey.

Charter Commitments

The Charter:

Charter Commitments

· Helps us to achieve the Council’s Vision and values

· Informs the way we shape and evaluate future employment policies

Our Staff Charter sets out a framework of mutual expectations for both the Council and all employees to meet the demands of the Corporate Plan. It seeks to set out the support that our employees can reasonably expect and the responsibilities and qualities that are expected in return. The importance of the Charter is that it has been framed in partnership with our employees and recognised trade unions and supports the values, objectives and aspirations set out in the Corporate Plan. Whilst it does not seek to replace agreed policies and procedures it does aim to make clearer the terms of the employment relationship.

· Helps both managers and employers to review their contribution at work

· Be a point of discussion as part of the performance process, #itsaboutme

· Be evaluated as part of a regular employee survey and be reviewed accordingly

Our Charter commitments are broken down against each of our Values - Click the values to the below to find out more.


Open to different ideas and being accountable for the decisions we take


Proud to serve our communities and to be part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Ambitious Proud

Working together as a team that engages with our customers and partners, respects diversity and is committed to quality services.

Forward thinking, embracing new ways of working and investing in our future

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Just as we provide a diverse range of services and cater for a range of service users, we understand that each of our employees is an individual with their own skills, hopes, dreams, interests, passions, and fears. Careers are built around all of these traits, and our culture allows everyone to be themselves, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or other differences.

CX, Rob Thomas, says ' We are committed to being an inclusive employer, eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce '

The Vale Council is a Disability Confident Employer and a Stonewall Diversity Champion Employer. Check out our diversity networks over the page.

GLAM is the Council’s LGBTQ+ network, supported and led by our LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. GLAM ensures that our employees have a voice in creating positive change to an even more inclusive workplace. Ensuring that everyone feel included and supported regardless of their sexuality or gender. The aim of GLAM is to: Have a positive impact on LGBT+ colleagues in the workplace; Raise overall awareness and visibility of its work; and Provide a social and supportive environment.

GLAM forms part of the Inclusivity Workstream of the Staff Charter and the Council’s values shape the work we do.





The Diverse Staff Network

The Council’s Diverse Network aims to raise awareness, visibility and to provide a social and supportive environment.

T he purpose of the Diverse Staff Network

To provide an opportunity for people from Ethnic Minorities to be heard To provide information, advice and support to employees from Ethnic Minorities working within the Council through training and empowerment opportunities To act as an advisory body and consultative forum to the Council on issues of race equality and anti-discriminatory procedures, policies and practice To increase awareness of diverse cultures and issues among council employees and our local authority To work with the GLAM and other networks to jointly address issues that are of common interest to all


Abl is the staff network for people with disabilities. The Vale of Glamorgan Council uses the social model of disability. Abl recognises that disability can mean different things to different people so will aim to include and not exclude, supporting you in whatever way you describe your disability.

Abl aspires to:

Provide support and information to staff with disabilities, as well as guidance to managers and allies. Raise awareness and understanding of different disabilities and health conditions to help improve experiences and relationships. Shape and influence policies and services by being a representative group for engagement and consultation. Champion and support staff with disabilities in the workplace to drive increased outcomes and promote the voice of staff with disabilities in the Council.

Abl will work with the other staff networks to promote inclusion, accessibility, awareness, and acceptance across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Employer Pledges and Accreditations The Vale of Glamorgan Council is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. Our aim is that our workforce will be truly representative of all sections of society and that each employee feels respected and able to give their best. Click here for an overview of our employer pledges, accreditations and staff networks or click the buttons below for more information!

Health, Safety and Well-being

Health, Safety and Well-being

We know your working environment is important, and a place where you should always feel physically and emotionally safe. Health and safety at work is about more than preventing people from getting ill and having accidents. By promoting a high level of physical, mental, and social wellbeing within the council we create a culture of safety and wellbeing through our shared organisational values and shared working practices. If there is anything you feel would help you improve your Health, Safely or wellbeing at work, have a conversation with someone to get the situation resolved.

Your Wellbeing

Your wellbeing matters and the Council wants to support you in the best way that we can. To be the best version of yourself, no matter where you are, we want to support your efforts to improve your wellbeing, whatever that means to you. Our wellbeing approach looks at supporting our people with their mental, emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing. We offer a variety of activities, information, and support around each of these areas.

Click Here to Check out our Wellbeing Pages

Time to Change Wales Pledge We are a Time to Change Wales Employer and we’ve committed as part of the Time to Change Wales Pledge to challenge mental health stigma in the workplace. Our Wellbeing Action Plan and Wellbeing Champions are working hard to create an inclusive, open culture around mental health, supporting the concept that it is ‘ok, to not be ok’. Our champions are key agents in developing this culture and the skills in leaders to recognise potential mental health issues, and where we can offer support as an organisation. Who are the Wellbeing Champions? The champions have a key role in supporting teams and colleagues to look after themselves and enable them to provide a high-quality service to our community and each other. From the beginning, the champions have had the vision to create a group that would be accessible, successful, inclusive, and supportive. This ambition is highlighted in our engagement events and encourages other colleagues to support these aims.



We want to support our people to reach their full potential and #itsaboutme is our way to do that. It essentially does what it says on the tin, you have an initiative that’s all about you! Having an ongoing conversation with your manager about your role, your objectives and your development will ensure your success and therefore the success of your team, your service area and the Council as a whole. Your #itsaboutme review meeting with your manager is an opportunity to agree effective objectives aligned with your team’s annual plan and will be supported by regular catch-ups throughout the year to feedback on your progress.

As part of Our Charter Commitments, every staff member has 121 access to their manager to discuss their performance, their development, and their ambitions.

This is about your performance, your personal development and behaviours, not just the role you do.



We want every member of our organisation to feel respected, appreciated and valued for the contribution they make to the success of the Council. All of our recognition approaches are centred around our values – Ambitious, Open, Together and most of all Proud. Our annual awards is an event to recognise the outstanding contributions our people have made throughout the year. The event celebrates the work of our people throughout the Council, recognising the ongoing commitment, dedication and contribution to public service you make. The Awards Event is put together by a small working group of staff, who give up their own time to make this happen and with the financial support of external sponsors, the event is cost- neutral for the Council.

Employee Development

Employee Development

At the Vale, we believe that self-development is an active, participative process that everybody has the right to enjoy at every stage of their career with us. You are, of course, in charge of your development and your future but we want to be there to offer you opportunities and experiences, to develop your talents, learn new skills and realise your maximum potential.

iDev Learning Café Management Development Sessions Qualifications

The Big Conversation

The Learning Café The Learning Café is the Council’s Employee Development Program. It is split into 3 sections - Emails, Events and a Network


Every Vale of Glamorgan employee receives a monthly email which is themed and will link to a variety of resources, which include but are not limited to videos, articles and podcasts. The emails will also highlight any internal or external opportunities available. All employees can also sign up to tailored topics to receive targeted communications for learning opportunities in that area. These topics include Project Zero, Innovation, Wellbeing and Personal Development.


Events are held regularly and include a mixture of learning sessions, Information sessions and collaborative session. Previous events have included Question Time with the Chief Executive, Financial Wellbeing, Being Effective, Planning your Development, Office 365 - Tips and Tricks.

The Learning Café Network The Learning Café Network brings people together from across the organisation together to learn, develop and cross collaborate.

The purpose of the network is –

Foster connections and collaboration among employees from different departments, promoting a culture of inter-departmental knowledge sharing. Encourage the exchange of expertise, experiences, and best practices among staff members. Support and promote skill-building learning opportunities, workshops, and peer-to-peer learning. Gather input and feedback from network members to continuously improve learning and development initiatives in the organisation.

Cultural Aspirations

“Whatever your role in the Council, our culture is reflected in the way we interact with each other.

We are AMBITIOUS in challenging ourselves to always strive to do better and to innovate and change with the times so that we are at the forefront of public service delivery. We are OPEN to different ideas and ways of working and we will always be honest in all our dealings with our colleagues, our customers and our communities. By embracing teamwork, we realise that what we can achieve TOGETHER far outweighs what we can achieve by working in silos and as individuals, and last but by no means least, every single one of us is PROUD to serve our communities and to be part of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and to deliver essential public service.”

Rob Thomas, Chief Executive

What's Next?

Do you have a story to share?

We are looking to build a catalogue of stories from across the organisation that demonstrate how we work, good practice and showcase what we do as a Local Authority. This living book will develop as we as an organisation evolve.

Click Here to share your story.

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54

Made with FlippingBook Digital Proposal Creator