I joined Stroud District Council as Chief Executive in November 2018. At that point in time, the council had been working with other ICT consultants for a number of months but report conclusions and recommendations were not clear and the council did not have a clear way forward. I had previously worked with Foresight at two other councils, initially being introduced to them through a Solace consultant advising the council on taking a partnering approach to improving the ICT function, who highly recommended them. At Stroud DC, based on my previous experience of working with them and working within our procurement process, I asked Foresight to undertake a review of the ICT service and the work to date, to help establish a way forward. Their report was delivered in a timely manner and was well received by the management team, staff in the ICT team and by the Members on the ICT Task and Finish Group, who had all been frustrated by the lack of progress towards modernisation. Once again Foresight's brief was extended to include interim project management, initially concentrating on improving the council's ageing ICT infrastructure whilst working towards a modernised approach to service delivery. Brian and Lon initially worked hard to achieve buy-in from operational managers and Members. Lon has successfully project managed the infrastructure refresh programme that Foresight had mapped out during the review, and has led improvement at pace. Again, we have been very pleased with both the rate of progress made with a number of significant risks being mitigated within the first couple of months and the enthusiasm being demonstrated by the team to the changes being introduced. Having experienced other consultancies at first hand, I can confidently endorse Foresight Consulting. They are knowledgeable, work quickly, engage well across the organisation and most importantly can turn an ICT service round quickly, effectively and within the budget set. The results have been an improvement in ICT services appreciated by all consumers of ICT within the Council, with a tangible impact on services outside too.
Kathy O'Leary, Chief Executive - Stroud District Council
"The City of Lincoln Council undertook a review of its IT function in June 2019 and commissioned Foresight Consulting to help with that review. I had personally worked with Foresight before, at other Local Authorities, and always been very satisfied with the results of their work. It is refreshing to work with an organisation that fully understand the environment that we operate in and who are willing to work with a client to ensure they are fully briefed on the outcome sought and the objectives to be delivered. It probably goes without saying that Brian and Lon were extremely professional, highly competent, and once again delivered what they said they would deliver, when they said they would deliver it. Their review, although delivered in challenging circumstances, has been extremely well received by the Council's corporate management team and provided a blue print for service improvement in the coming years. As a result of the success of the initial engagement the IT team went on to work with Foresight on the critical procurement of new infrastructure for the Council. This again led to a fantastic outcome, one which I firmly believe will provide us with a platform for enhanced service delivery in the new year. Again, based on this success, the Council further commissioned Foresight to help the Housing Directorate review its existing IT provision and to offer advice and guidance on what opportunities are offered by the market as it moves toward re provision of IT services this area. This again proved to be a very successful commission. Throughout all of their time working alongside colleagues at City of Lincoln Brian and Lon have been diligent, insightful whilst at the same time cognisant of their position as consultants working within the Council. Their knowledge, experience and professional background has been invaluable and I hope left some legacy which the council can fall back on as it moves forward in the next few years. It is great to work with an organisation that goes the extra mile, and works with you until "the work is done and the customer is happy". Both Lon and Brian remained completely flexible throughout all of the individual commissions and, in my opinion went above and beyond what they were contracted to! I have no doubt that I could pick up the phone to either in the future and they would offer advice and guidance as a result of the relationship we have developed. This is invaluable. I would have no doubt in recommending Foresight to any organisation seeking positive change that can be led by quality IT provision."
Daren Turner, Director of Housing and Investment - Lincoln City Council
"I have engaged Brian on a number of occasions. He brings a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm. Recently, he was engaged with colleagues from Foresight in shaping, and leading the implementation of the Council's Transformation Programme. This was very successful, and the Council is much better placed thanks to Brian's work. I would recommend him. A real benefit not often publicised by Foresight is their knowledge and contacts within the industry. As they have a wealth of experience in working for local authorities, they also know who to go to within supplier organisations. For a small Council with a limited influence, the Council used Foresight's ability to open doors previously shut to us. This proved valuable in generating a pace to driving solutions."
Andy Radford, Director of Resources - East Cambs District Council
"I've engaged Brian at two different local authorities to help with business transformation and change. He is extremely focussed, professional and I'm always impressed with the speed in which he processes complex information. He also has great business acumen and excellent communication skills. Very highly recommended!."
Averil Price, Director of Community Services - Chelmsford City Council
"There is no doubt that Foresight offer an effective consultancy service and are highly competent on technical and project management issues. They are driven by a desire to support their customers, and recognise the need to deliver. As such they will provide focus and determination in both overcoming barriers and ensuring that the agreed outcomes are delivered."
Stephen Baker, Chief Executive - East Suffolk Council (formally Suffolk Coastal DC & Waveney DC)
"Foresight improved the service and found considerable savings. They worked sensitively with some challenging elected members and I have found them easy to engage with. Their skills are complementary and they can contribute to strategic thinking and deal with the technical things. From my perspective as Chief Executive they helped support the vision for joint management, managed performance well and tackled some long-standing issues, delivered significant financial savings and did not develop a dependency on themselves. I found that they could communicate technical matters in a manner, which enabled and empowered non- technical persons to take strategic decisions and tackled tasks with tenacity. I would have no hesitation in using them again."
Terry Huggins, Chief Executive - Breckland Council & South Holland Council
"We had, as you well know, struggled with a lack of investment in the service which had resulted in an underperforming ICT service. In addition to low performance in quality, we had significant concerns regarding data recovery and system stability, which featured regularly at the top the senior officers list of key concerns. ICT is now on the road to becoming our success story and this transition is widely recognised across the council."
Louise Miller, Corporate Director - Performance, Improvement and Transformation - Dacorum Borough Council.
"We have been very pleased with the work provided by Foresight on our Digital Strategy. They have been responsive and agile and have listened to our issues and challenges and incorporated them into our new strategy in a professional and objective manner."
Paul Fleming, Chief Technology Manager - Oxford City Council
"I am currently leading work on our Customer Access Strategy. Having reached the point where we had agreed our direction of travel, we needed support to assist with developing a road map. It was refreshing to work with someone who could bring an independent eye to the subject, when difficult choices and large budgets are at stake. This is an area where such decisions have to be made relatively infrequently meaning that internal expertise is, understandably, limited. It has been invaluable therefore to have someone helping us along this important journey in an impartial way."
Sue Griffiths - Head of people, projects and performance - South Kesteven District Council
"Foresight Consulting assisted me with the initial review of the Business Support and Business Improvement function within the Directorate of Safer Communities. The consultant looked at the current operations and how work is allocated and prioritised. He also considered the working relationship with other teams across the Council and made a recommendation for change. The consultant was extremely focused, professional and I was impressed with the speed in which he processed complex information. His business acumen and communication skills enabled this initial review to be carried out in just four days."
Averil Price - Director of Safer Communities - Chelmsford City Council