Stowmarket Town Council

Stowmarket Town Council serves 21,000 living in the heart of Suffolk. Ambitious in its thinking, and award-winning in its delivery, it cares passionately about the people it serves, and those work for the organisation.


A democratically elected body, Stowmarket Town Council comprises 16 Town Councillors and a team of support staff. Its main office site is near the centre of Stowmarket.

“Highly recommended”

“Extremely helpful, gave great advice, quick on responding to any questions.” Read the full review

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The background

Ambitious in its thinking, Stowmarket Town Council was eager to put itself on an improvement journey which would position itself alongside the very best public sector organisations in the country.

As part of this, it recognised that competent HR support was an apparent need, and that it can no longer utilise such external services only for ‘999’ emergency assistance – but that it should be embedded in the processes and procedures of everyday work.

An introduction to MAD-HR was made through MENTA, the Suffolk Business Support Agency.

The case for support

At the point of first being introduced to MAD-HR, Stowmarket Town Council had been facing some sensitive employee relation challenges, and the timing was right to move away from the legacy of previous ‘outsourcing’ and ‘emergency’ engagement with HR services.

The Council, and in particular, Town Clerk David Blackburn, was eager to see a move to ‘up their game’ in strategic approach.

David Blackburn

The approach

Commencing work together in October 2018, MAD-HR carried out a thorough exploration of practices, procedures and problem identification.

This work involved such elements as:

  • Regular on-site visits to ‘temperature check’ the organisation and resolve employee issues
  • Establishing HR processes in a robust way
  • Supporting and clarifying all DBS checks
  • Delivering a leadership day
  • Developing a competency framework
  • Providing up to date insights for contracts of employment

This process sat alongside a significant period for the Council, during which a key entertainment venue was closed, and required a carefully managed redundancy process.

Stowmarket Town Council

The verdict

David Blackburn says: “It seemed we had been on the back foot in handling HR issues in the past, and we knew that we wanted clear and confident HR advice from people who knew exactly what they were doing.

“Looking back, meeting MAD-HR was a pivotal moment for us. The relationship has been at the heart of the progress that we have made across all our areas of work since then.

“We now have retained service with them, which provides us with a consistency in approach, familiarity with our policies and procedures and an understanding of our values and culture in handling case management issues.

“They offer complete peace of mind as all their advice and support over the past four years has been spot on.

“We have made some major changes to our staffing structures and personnel in recent years and MAD-HR have been with us every step of the way.

For example, we undertook a multi-million pound investment in one of our facilities and MAD-HR dealt with all HR matters relating to the closure and recruitment of a new team when the building was re-opened to the public. The way that they dealt with this was very impressive.”

Top client tip

David says: “I would definitely recommend outsourcing HR.

We are so much clearer now and more effective in handling HR matters. In my humble opinion, MAD-HR should be on the short-list of any company considering the outsourcing of HR, as they are the very best locally at what they do.”