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“Work with us to improve HGV facilities,” government urges industry

The government has encouraged the industry to respond to plans to overhaul the country’s outdated planning system and explain how “high quality” lorry parking facilities should be provided. In a response to a petition demanding that councils are forced to include “safe and secure HGV parking with refreshment and washing facilities for drivers” when deciding distribution park applications, it said it was considering “innovative ideas” to improve HGV parks. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said: “As part of our wider agenda for planning reform, we have published our Planning for the Future proposals for reforms to the planning system. “We are consulting on these proposals until 29 October, and would welcome views on planning for high quality HGV facilities as part of that.” The MHCLG said it recently introduced policy that local plans and decisions should recognise the importance of adequate overnight lorry parking facilities: “Consequently, proposals for new or expanded distribution centres should include provision for sufficient lorry parking to cater for their anticipated use,” the department responded. “This policy is set out in our National Planning Policy Framework. “This must be taken into account when local authorities are preparing their local plans and is a material consideration in planning decisions.” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently wrote to the RHA chief executive, pledging to improve overnight HGV parking facilities as part of the Covid-19 recovery plan. In the letter, Shapps said his department was “committed to looking at both established and new approaches to increase the provision for improved overnight lorry parking in England.” The Planning for the Future consultation can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future

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UKWA is rolling out a new digital self-audit tool to help the warehouse and logistics industry to up its game.

Covid-19 has changed the world for everyone, but most certainly for those of us in the warehousing and logistics industry. The pace of online spending has accelerated exponentially, with internet shopping now representing an astonishing 32.8% of total consumer spend according to latest ONS statistics. As we’ve noted for some time at UKWA, logistics has become the new retail, and this rapid transformation is bringing us as logistics providers and warehouse operators ever closer to the consumer. While this creates great opportunities for growth, there are significant challenges ahead too. To survive in this fast-moving, demanding environment, and to operate efficiently, sustainably and profitably, it will be essential that businesses ensure compliance and manage risk. Many of our larger members already have compliance and good governance at the heart of their business – particularly if they deal with hazardous substances, food or other sectors where demonstrating compliance is a given, but for many SMEs this is new territory. The pandemic has given rise to a specific set of required standards that businesses must now adhere to, regulations which seem to change with every new government announcement. Brexit – now only a matter of working weeks away – will doubtless generate still further new demands. Now is the time for our industry to take a more strategic view and step up our game. Only by understanding and continually monitoring processes and performance can businesses manage risk, commit to a culture of continuous improvement, and deliver a service that is fit for purpose. To support our members on this journey, UKWA is rolling out a new digital self-audit tool, developed in partnership with rradar, a specialist law firm with deep experience in the field of compliance and regulatory issues, with the technical expertise to build a digital solution based on our legacy audit, designed to reduce commercial and legal risk. The new tool, which has been piloted by members of the UKWA management board, will provide members with their own governance platform, identifying areas that need attention at strategic, operational and ground level across all key business functions, also providing a central repository for all governance, compliance and insurance documentation. This is an important milestone for the Association, replacing as it does the previous ‘MOT’ type audit with an extremely flexible digital solution, designed to keep businesses compliant and protected from risk on an ongoing, real-time basis. Part of our mission as UKWA is to drive up industry standards. Not policing those standards, but rather helping professionalise our industry by facilitating continuous improvement and supporting our members in managing their businesses more effectively, equipping them to operate successfully in the future, fast-changing digital world. Peter Ward UKWA, CEO

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New campaign launches to celebrate the hidden hero behind the wheel

Great to see this campaign to give thanks to the most valuable asset in the UK transport sector; the drivers who have gone the extra mile.A huge thanks to all of our drivers at TLP, and indeed all of the drivers across the UK who have kept the wheels of industry turning through the Pandemic. We salute you! https://www.ukhaulier.co.uk/news/road-transport/drivers/new-campaign-launches-to-celebrate-the-hidden-hero-behind-the-wheel/ Global telematics and tracking providers, Teletrac Navman, has launched “Who is a Commercial Driver?” – a campaign to give thanks to the most valuable asset in the UK transport sector; the drivers who have gone the extra mile. The initiative, in partnership with Brake – the road safety charity – sees 15 commercial drivers from fleets across the UK join forces to share their stories about how they kept Britain moving during Covid-19. Delivered through an uplifting and inspiring video campaign, “Who is a Commercial Driver?” aims to raise awareness of the extra pressure the pandemic has put on the country’s commercial drivers, as without their continuous efforts, communities across the nation would have struggled without access to essential goods, services or healthcare. Richard Lilwall, Managing Director, at Teletrac Navman, comments: “It’s these workers, on the front line of logistics, who not only have an important role to play generally, but who have kept this country going over the past six months, with everything from vital life-saving PPE deliveries, to fast-moving consumer goods that keep the economy ticking over. “What’s more, extended working hours, more vehicles on the road, an increase in shifts, and more deliveries per shift have all become the norm in recent months for those drivers bearing the load, in partnership with their colleagues in logistics. For their dedication to ensuring everything gets from A to B, we want to show our appreciation.” Katie Shephard, spokesperson for Brake, says: “The past six months have been extremely challenging times for everyone across the UK and it has been a pleasure to work with Teletrac Navman on this project. As a road safety charity, Brake understands the challenges around driving for work and is proud to support this campaign to thank commercial drivers, especially during this difficult time.”

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Tips On How To Work From Home During Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing life as we know it… from handshakes to home working. For many of us, working from home is unchartered territory in this new COVID-19 world, that we’ll need to settle into and adapt to. A survival map through a day of working from home might be of some help to us, so let’s create one to make for a productive time away from the regular office. WAKING UP This is about setting routine, far more than it is about rising early. With the suddenness of not having anyone to check what time you clocked in – or if you’ve even clocked in at all – a steady waking routine will keep you motivated to work. The average UK citizen spends an estimated 45 minutes on travel to or from work. Yours might be more, or it might be less, but you’ve now got some extra time in the mornings. Let’s be honest – the temptation to lie in and let your sleep break whenever it pleases is great. It will benefit your productivity levels far more, however, to stick to a daily rising schedule, even if it does squeeze in the few minutes not used for travelling. PREPARING YOURSELF FOR WORK Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you had a series of events during the week that geared your mindset towards work. Ranging from your alarm to breakfast, through to your commute. Working from home might feel like you’ve had no time at all to create that buildup to a good workday. You might feel like you’ve hopped straight out of bed and into your job. Bypass this feeling by doing some of the little things that bridge that gap between bed and work. Getting dressed is a good start. Ditch the daytime pyjamas for something neat, even if it isn’t your uniform. Eat breakfast as usual. Take a few minutes to remind yourself of the tasks to be done for the day. Again, the aim is to prevent leaping between home and work too quickly. Conversely, once you’ve finished your home workday, you’ll also need to take a bit of time to wind down. Perhaps pack up your workspace or take a few minutes to stretch. YOUR WORKSPACE Perhaps one of the most essential parts of working from home is to create a separate workspace. Not everyone has access to studies, home offices, or desks. Also, not everyone likes to work in silence, or with other people around, or have a potentially distracting window view. How you create your home workspace is entirely up to you. Whether it’s the kitchen table or your garden furniture, make it comfortable and work-conducive for you. STAYING CONNECTED DURING THE DAY So, you’ve risen on time, gotten into the correct mindset, and sat down at your own workspace… what next? It might feel strange for those of us who are usually cocooned in the hubbub of office activity to be suddenly alone. Or it might be difficult not to have all members of your team project present in the same boardroom. We are lucky, however, to be living in a time where connecting with each other is still possible. If you are working from home during COVID-19, consider using platforms that can connect you to your colleagues digitally. There is an abundance of platforms to choose from – perhaps Slack, a messaging system that allows collaboration on shared tasks; or Telegram, an instant messenger that can also be used to create contact groups. When it’s not work-related, try and stay connected with your friends and family via social media. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has got us all in lockdown, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still interact with anyone. Staying connected with our loved ones will avoid us feeling isolated as well as preserving our mental health. THE END OF THE WORKDAY It’s a different dynamic, working from home. How do you really know when to clock out? The answer depends on the kind of work you do. A lot of places suggest setting designated working hours. You might get ready and make sure you are at your workspace by 8 am every day, then finish off at 4 pm. This works well if you are in a dynamic industry where new information constantly comes in and gets processed… think supply chain management or someone who handles queries for a business. If you are in a task-based business – such as freelancing, or property management – you could also choose to set goals and specific tasks for each day and finish off only when you have completed your work objectives for the day. In both cases, it is important to remember that when working from home you are primarily responsible for your own performance during the day, and that you’re accountable for your levels of productivity. With that being said, however, working from home allows you the rare chance to work to your pace and limitations. You will know when you need to stop and pick it up again the next day, and there is nothing wrong with this. A NEW OPPORTUNITY With that simple walk-through of a productive day working from home, we now have a foundation to build on. See this as a small opportunity to create your own enjoyable, rewarding workspace while working remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic.

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