Hull City Council

As Interim Director of Housing for Hull, Janet led a major improvement and change project which required her to achieve a one star promising prospects inspection result by for a failing housing landlord and building service. During the eight month assignment Janet refocused an existing interim management team, providing direction to more than 1200 staff to enable them to establish robust systems and procedures and to embed a continuous improvement culture. Her success was acknowledged by the Audit Commission in its inspection report, and by the Council.

"The interim Director of Housing has been providing focused and consistent leadership for the past four months. Weekly briefings with a group of up to 80 key managers and staff has helped embed messages about priorities and given middle managers confidence to progress ideas for service improvement. Policy and procedural changes are better explained, with opportunities to become involved in working groups. This has lead to better policy development and implementation and clear ownership of revised policies and procedures amongst all staff. "

Audit Commission Kingston Upon Hull Re-Inspection Report May 2006 para 178.

"The Council was subject to detailed scrutiny by a Government Monitoring Board and the service, which was responsible for the management of a stock of 30000 homes, the second largest retained stock in the country after Birmingham, became the fastest improving in the Council under Janet's leadership. Her tireless dedication to creating a customer focused vision, convincing staff that they could indeed deliver the improvements required and her engaging personality, helped deliver confidence to staff, elected members, Regional Government Office and the Government Appointee. More importantly, tenants noticed the difference and engaged in the creation of a new service, which had them and their needs at its heart. Janet was an inspiring leader who delivered outstanding results for the people of Hull. She was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend her unreservedly. "

David Gibson, MBE, Capita Consulting, formerly Corporate Director, Hull City Council.

Peterborough City Council

In a six month assignment as Interim Head of Strategic Growth and Development at Peterborough, Janet established a new service area bringing together strategic housing, planning policy and economic development to support the City Council's ambitions to deliver 25,000 new homes and 29,000 new jobs by 2021. In this role she advised on governance issues and secured an effective partnership relationship between the Council and the City's Urban Regeneration Company, Opportunity Peterborough, and she devised and implemented a Neighbourhood Investment Strategy to ensure that all areas of the City could capture the benefits of future growth.

"Janet was an excellent officer and I would hire her again." - Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive

Northampton Borough Council

Janet worked for 16 months as Interim Strategic Director at Northampton Borough Council between 2007 and 2009. As a Member of the Council's Management Board, she helped this CPA rated 'poor' Council in its improvement journey, advising the Chief Executive on the establishment of a Housing Directorate and an Environment and Culture Directorate and recruitment to senior posts, as well as supporting the Council through a Waste and Street Scene Inspection and a Housing Progress Inspection. She had responsibility for overseeing and contributing to major corporate and cultural activities including the Market Square Enhancement project and the annual Balloon Festival. Janet also contributed to the strategic development of the Borough creating links between its own emerging housing strategy and its position in the Milton Keynes/South Midlands Growth Area.

Improvement and Development Agency
(now part of the Local Government Association)

Janet was the Improvement and Development Agency's National Adviser on Strategic Housing. Over a 12 month period, she developed and oversaw the delivery of a £3m programme of support, funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, to improve local authority skills and capacity in the strategic housing role. The Strategic Housing Programme has provided support for the learning and development of 350 out of 399 Councils in the nine English Regions through launch conferences, workshops, peer reviews, housing growth events, and leadership academies for elected members.

In continuing this role on a consultancy basis, Janet maintained a high national profile speaking at the major housing and local authority conferences and contributing to the sector's key publications.

"I've worked with Janet at the IDeA & previously at LB Sutton. Janet's extensive knowledge on housing issues & practical advice was always welcome. She is excellent at dealing with people, from senior politicians, through to service users. I have valued her support & inclusive approaches to dealing with issues."

Jennifer Tankard formerly Communications & Marketing, Improvement & Development Agency for Local Government

Homes and Communities Agency

Janet was Strategic Adviser in the Homes and Communities Agency's Skills and Knowledge Directorate. Here she developed a programme of Support for Places, which boosted the skills and capacity of critical areas of the UK with significant regeneration and growth needs, including Stoke/North Staffordshire and Milton Keynes/South Midlands. Janet's role was to advise the HCA on the development of its work with local authorities and local partners and to transfer her knowledge and skills to build the capacity of HCA staff.

She supported the HCA in its 'Single Conversation' process, facilitated workshops in the Leeds City Region and Gloucestershire, and was part of the project team for a large suburban development near Preston. Her role also involved offering coaching and mentoring support and critical challenge to executives and senior managers.

"Janet worked in an interim strategic adviser role to help me develop a new area of the business. I would definitely recommend Janet as someone who quickly grasps the issues, identifies and forges the critical relationships, shapes proposals for action and focuses on delivering results"

Trudy Birtwell, formerly Head of Operations, HCA Skills and Knowledge

Janet acted as Strategic Adviser for the HCA and facilitated discussions with the emerging Leeds City Region Economic Partnership (LEP)

Evaluation of the Bradford and York Dementia Friendly Communities Programmes

In January 2014 Dean Knight were appointed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as Project Manager for a fifteen month evaluation of York and Bradford Dementia Friendly Communities Programmes. The work will be delivered through a collaboration with Qa Research and AESOP. The project involves structured face to face and telephone interviews and an online questionnaire for people with dementia, their carers, professionals, volunteers and project staff working across both cities. Most of the fieldwork will be completed over between June and September 2014. We plan to produce interim findings by November and our report will be published in April 2015.

Tang Hall Community Centre Dementia Friendly Communities Project

Janet Dean is providing consultancy support funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Dementia Without Walls Programme to explore how a local community centre can be at the heart of promoting a dementia friendly locality. Janet is offering advice and strategic support over a nine month period to develop ideas, plans and projects which will be integrated with a strategy for the transfer of the community centre asset from local authority to community ownership.

©2014 Dean Knight