We met Tim Woolford, Local Area Highways Manager at Wiltshire Council responsible for the south of the county an area covering Amesbury, Salisbury, Southern, South West and Tidworth and features the A350, A360 and A30 primary roads. Tim is not a registered engineer as such, however he is responsible for engineers and technicians and engineering-based activity across the department.
Tim and his team are responsible for pot holes, gulley’s, kerbs, minor highway defects, drainage, the Parish Steward scheme and weather and winter services. He is the link between contractors and the community, town and parish councils and the public to make sure that the work is done. In addition, he undertakes various inspections relating to quality and safety but also authorises any service requests.
Tim’s career began on a Sainsburys graduate management scheme followed by several years in the motor industry. He has worked across local government in several regions since 1991 starting out in fleet vehicle workshops, however Tim got involved in waste management then moved to Wiltshire Council in Street scene. In recent years there were internal changes across the Street Scene and Highways team structures, however when these areas were separated in 2016 Tim remained with the Highways team.
Having gained a HNC in Civil Engineering in 2015, Tim held the necessary qualifications to take up a post within the Highways Team and believed that the move was in his best interests in terms of career development. Tim also holds a CPC Operators license, Level 5 Diploma in Management Studies and a Certificate of Technical Competence for the management of Waste Transfer Sites.
Whilst at East Dorset Council Tim was instrumental in creating the Dorset Action for Safety and Health Programme which was created through a partnership with WAMITAB, The Dorset Action for Safety and Health group and the Health and safety Executive (HSE). It was designed to provide a consistent level of training mapped to a regulated qualification and viewed as something different which enabled good practice to be shared across local authorities. Tim was successful in securing £100k of funding from the HSE to create and launch a training DVD. Over time, employers have developed their own style of delivery and integrated the DASH programme into it. To date Tim is proud of his involvement with this project.
Tim is responsible for 3 Area Highways Engineers that support and deliver the technical aspects of the team. Tim told us that these engineers have a range of experience and knowledge across many sectors that support him in managing the department, contracts and stakeholders.
Highways is predominantly staffed by older white, males, however Tim reflected that his department has not been fully staffed for 2years, as a manager he is keen to recruit from a wider spectrum of people and dispel the image of local government employees coming from a graduate background.
There are huge opportunities across highways and working closely with industry partners and key stakeholders is key in achieving this.