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23rd September 2009
Keith R Stevens,
Director of ACT Ltd, has been appointed as Principal Consultant: Public Sector with the Xact Group Ltd. Xact has offices both in Luton and in Glasgow.

The Xact Group is a national Human Resource, Personnel and Health and Safety Consultancy specifically set up to help businesses and organisations manage their human resource and health and safety functions more effectively.

At a time when public sector organisations are seeking to reduce costs and improve efficiency, a close collaboration and partnership with an organisation such as Xact would enable organisations to reach their agreed objectives.

" I am delighted to be joining Xact at this crucial time in their development”, says Keith. “The Group intends to expand and develop further their product and service offer into the public sector and I am really pleased to be able to spearhead that development on their behalf.

Maurice Hammond, MD of the Xact Group, comments that “we are delighted to have been able to recruit such a well known former Chief Officer from the public sector as Keith to lead this development on our behalf. These are exciting times for Xact and we are confident that we will be forming effective partnerships throughout the public sector in the ares of HR, Personnel Services and Health and Safety over the coming months".

Keith Stevens will still be running ACT Ltd as before and the new relationship with Xact does not preclude any developments within ACT.

1st February 2008
Keith Stevens joins Nottinghamshire County Council as an Interim Director

After leaving Breckland at the end of 2007, Keith Stevens, Director of ACT Ltd., is pleased to announce that he will be joining Nottinghamshire County Council as the interim Director of Cultural Services from the 13th February 2008. The post sits within the Communities Department and reports to Mick Burrows, the Strategic Director (Communities). Nick comments that “our cultural services are one of our greatest assets in that they add real value through the delivery of a wide range of services and initiatives, which enrich the lives of many people across Nottinghamshire”.

The Communities Department is designed to meet the Government’s agenda for local services and provides the focus for the County Council on the people and places of Nottinghamshire. Services in the Department impact on the everyday lives of people throughout the County and include: libraries, highways, trading standards, passenger transport, waste management, planning, sport, road safety and country parks.

Keith says the new role is a major challenge as the Department employs over 7000 people working in 300 locations. The budget is over £200 million per annum.

Keith’s particular responsibility is that of interim Director of Cultural Services and is likely to last for at least six months. The Division he will lead builds on a well established core of libraries and information services, sports and arts, together with countryside services, including country parks, conservation and green space management to create an integrated approach to cultural services.
Amongst others, key areas that Keith will be involved in will be the development of partnerships and the emerging joint Cultural Strategy with the City Council.

Keith states that he “can’t wait to get started with such a progressive authority such as Nottinghamshire CC and to contribute to the very far-sighted vision for the development of services”. Keith will be working closely with the Director and the three Heads of Service within the Division who will report to him.

This position was sourced through Tribal Resourcing and Keith is very grateful to Mike Taylor for his encouragement and support.

31st December 2007
Keith Stevens leaves Breckland Council

After spending nearly three years with the Council, Keith Stevens is finally leaving Breckland Council. Keith has been working on a number of projects over the last 33 months, as an interim manager, including the highly successful leisure PFI, which led to a brand new leisure centre in Dereham, and greatly improved facilities in Thetford.

After this, Keith worked on a number of leisure, cultural and community projects, including the development of the Cultural Strategy.

More recently, Keith has been working on the Strategic Alliance, between Breckland Council and Capita. This focused on trying to realise the Breckland's vision of becoming an "entrepreneurial Council". This involved the setting up of trading platforms for the Council to deliver services in innovative ways. Most recently, Keith was the interim Strategic Director (Business Transformation) and was responsible for the transformation of many Council services, involving business process re-engineering. The next service area to be transformed is to be Environmental Health and Keith was involved with the final scoping of that work which Capita will carry out.

Keith has really enjoyed working in Breckland - "it is a really innovative Council and is to be congratulated on all it has achieved. For such a small District Council, Breckland has worked wonders:

  • a highly regarded PFI scheme viewed as "the most beneficial PFI ever negotiated by a Council in the UK".
  • an innovative Strategic Alliance
  • a highly successful Asset Management approach
  • a highly effective Marketing and Communications approach
  • and many more!"

" Obviously, after all this time, I have mixed feelings about leaving Breckland but it is time to move on to pastures new and the next challenges" comments Keith Stevens, the Managing Director of ACT Ltd.

27th December 2007
ACT Successful in the TUPE'ing of Staff

ACT has been working closely with a Norfolk-based charity to effect the transfer of former staff of the Norfolk Connexions Service to The Exchange, based in Wymondham. The Exchange is heavily involved in helping Norfolk's businesses obtain sufficient suitably equipped and qualified young entrants over the forthcoming years. This is being achieved by encouraging the County's education sector to develop a deep understanding of the needs of local industry. This includes managing the Work Experience programme for over 9,000 young people.

Obviously, the staff were concerned about their future and Keith Stevens worked closely with them to ensure that the transfer was effected smoothly and quickly. The staff were delighted that they were able to remain within the Local Government Pension Scheme - LGPS - which had been a key aim from the outset. The transfer took effect on the 1st December 2007.

Keith was pleased to have been able to assist in this very sensitive and complex project. Not only was the project completed on time, it was also achieved at 50% of the originally agreed fee - which obviously pleased the Client!!

"ACT will always charge for actual days worked and if this is less than the agreed fee at the outset, the full benefit is passed on to the Client. Should the amount of time required for the project be exceeded, then this is a problem for ACT and not the Client" says Keith Stevens, Managing Director of ACT Ltd. Keith added that "in the long run, ACT believes that this brings in substantially more Clients rather than having a rigid fee structure".

29th April 2007

ACT Ltd is pleased to announce that it has secured a contract with Henman Green Ltd - a family business based in Norfolk has been designing and building bespoke conservatories, and installing windows and doors of the highest quality for over a decade.
Using the finest materials and the latest technology coupled with traditional Norfolk craftsmanship, Henman Green is able to provide a comprehensive range of products designed to improve and enhance the quality and character of your home.

Keith Stevens will be providing specialist HR support to the company and will assist in bringing up-to-date all HR processes and procedures. Keith is very pleased to be involved with Henman Green at this important stage of their development. "I originally went into the company to order a conservatory and came away with a consultancy assignment", Keith comments, "and I can't wait to get started with the team".

This is the first consultancy assignment, within Norfolk, secured by ACT since their move to Westfield in February 2007, and it is likely to be the first of many.

Keith will also be providing specialist advice and guidance directly to the Managing Director, Giles Henman, as part of the agreement.

22nd March 2007
Keith Stevens joins the Board of Trustees of Leisure and Community Management Ltd.

ACT is pleased to announce that Keith Stevens, Managing Director of ACT Ltd, has been invited to join the Board of Trustees of the newly formed Leisure and Community Management Ltd (LCM). The business plan for the new company, which is currently being finalised, states that “LCM has been established to promote and encourage all aspects of leisure and recreation for the benefit of the community”.

The Company aims to explore the growing need for the management and development of leisure and recreation facilities. The leisure and recreation market has opened up to the private and voluntary sector, encouraged by the Governments PPP/PFI initiative as a vehicle for community participation, expansion, renewal and replacement. The Company has been established to work with the public and private sector in these new initiatives drawing on public and private sector experience in these fields.

The Company’s strategic propositions are anchored in the need to address the holistic issues of leisure and recreation for all in a market competing for resources .The Company do not see that they are competing for business in the leisure and recreation field; rather they aim to encourage and promote all initiatives in these fields.

The founding trustees of the Company, Dennis Bell, Alan Freeman and Keith Stevens, have extensive knowledge of strategic and operational management of public sector facilities and services. Whilst they have varied experience, encompassing commercial, voluntary and public sectors across many disciplines, they share a common professional background in community leisure provision and management. Each works currently in consultancy and interim management, mainly for public sector clients.

Keith Stevens states that “this is a marvellous opportunity to give something back to the leisure and recreation field and I am keen to work with my fellow trustees to ensure the continuance of local authority community provision at the highest level”.

ACT has moved!
After many successful years of operating in Hertfordshire, ACT has moved to Norfolk. We are now operating from Westfield near Dereham and our new contact details are as follows:

ACT Ltd., The White Cottage, Whinburgh Road, Westfield, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1QJ. Tel: 01362 822402 or 07778 870815. or

Keith Stevens comments that “we have been very happy in Hertfordshire and ACT has grown considerably since we set up in the late 1990s. We are looking forward to being fully established in our new base and to continue to offer our clients the high standard of service that they have become accustomed to. The location may have changed but our services, values and approach have not. Our clients are always our first priority.” Christine Stevens says that “we look forward to working with new clients as well as continuing our relationship with existing clients.”

New Web Site:
ACT is pleased to announce its new website which has been created by Chris Gulliver at t-factotum which is based in Stow Bedon in Norfolk. Chris was ably supported by his partner, Claire Salley. Keith Stevens is absolutely delighted with the new site and the new logo that “t-factotum” has produced. Keith says that “we felt that our old logo was looking a little tired and was not accurately portraying the type of company ACT had developed into. Our turnover this last year has increased by 44% and there are many new clients we are working with. Chris and Claire have managed to capture the fresh new look we were searching for and we believe that this logo will continue to add to our bottom-line.”

ACT has already used the new logo in an advertising campaign with Leicester Tigers Rugby Club. ACT has a regular advert in every home programme throughout the year and also occasionally sponsors the match programme. The photograph shows Keith and Chris Stevens when they received a commemorative souvenir programme from members of the Tigers first team squad when Tigers played Stade Francais in the European Cup in 2005.

Link to Nexus Consulting
ACT has entered into a strategic partnering arrangement with Nexus Consulting in order to collaborate on educational projects. The first such project involved a feasibility study for a redundant school site in Kidderminster for Worcestershire LEA and the second concerned a review of 14-19 education in the City of Sunderland. It is ACT’s intention to enter into such collaborative arrangements in order to grow the client base and the range of work which can be completed by the team.

New Leisure Centres in Breckland
ACT has been working with Breckland Council on their imaginative leisure PFI scheme. A completely new centre is being built in Dereham (see visual) and a greatly enhanced provision at Thetford. The total investment is £12.9m on the construction costs alone.
Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
Keith Stevens has just been elected to the Court of Assistants of the 105th Livery Company – the Management Consultants. Keith is absolutely delighted with the honour of being elected to the Court and commented “it is so gratifying to be involved with the traditions of the City of London which go back a thousand years and yet still be associated with a modern Company”.
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