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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 14/11/2001
BEST VALUE ACTION PLAN PROGRESS REPORT



This report explains the progress against the actions and initiatives set out in the Best Value Action Plans for the Planning Policy and Development Control Services;
Raises wider Member/Officer communication issues arising from the Best Value Interim Challenge and assessment by the new Development Control and Policy Manager; and
Seeks to agree a framework with members to take the actions forward in a constructive and inclusive way.
APPENDIX D

WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

ENVIRONMENT OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
14TH NOVEMBER 2001

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Title:
BEST VALUE ACTION PLAN PROGRESS REPORT

[Wards Affected: N/A]
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Summary and Purpose

This report explains the progress against the actions and initiatives set out in the Best Value Action Plans for the Planning Policy and Development Control Services;
Raises wider Member/Officer communication issues arising from the Best Value Interim Challenge and assessment by the new Development Control and Policy Manager; and
Seeks to agree a framework with members to take the actions forward in a constructive and inclusive way.
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Introduction

1. At the last meeting of this Committee, members agreed to add this item to their work programme and requested a more detailed report on the implementation of the Best Value Action Plans. The attached annexes explain the current position in relation to the actions set out in those plans:-

Annexe 1 - the Development Control Action Plan;
Annexe 2 - the Policy, Information and Environmental Conservation Action Plan;
Annexe 3 - the detailed Action Plan arising from action DC20 in Annexe 1.

Other Issues

2. Following the Best Value Interim Challenge and the fresh view from the Development Control and Policy Manager there are a number of other issues which require joint working between officers and members. These include:-

(i) Member and Officer interaction regarding the strategic planning of the service;
(ii) Member and Officer interaction in the delivery of services on a day-to-day basis;
(iii) A communication strategy to engage with and obtain feedback from key stakeholder groups.
(iv) Training and development opportunities for Members.


3. It is suggested that a special event be organised in mid-November to stimulate all members and engage them in these wider service issues. Following that event officers would welcome the setting up of smaller and more informal groups to look at different aspects of the service and take the change process forward.

4. It is important that the Service Managers have the support of Members during the period when significant changes will be introduced over the next 18 months. Some of these changes are more fundamental than others and there is no doubt that some individuals will struggle with these changes as is the norm with any change process. However, with a clear vision for the service focused on the benefits for all concerned then the process can be managed.

5. Members are key to the service provision both as gatekeepers to resources but also as providers and recipients. In that context it is important for members to identify with what the service can deliver and to what standards, but equally what it cannot deliver. Members are key to setting those standards and expectations and therefore there needs to be appropriate mechanisms in place to allow this communication process to flourish.

6. Members of this Committee are invited to consider what mechanisms might be appropriate which strike the balance between workable groups without excluding others from the information or discussion. The Planning Service is of interest to all members and not just to the members of the Development Control Committees or this Overview and Scrutiny Committee. However we need to start somewhere and just by starting the process may in itself induce continual improvement in these areas.

Human Rights Implications

7. There are no direct implications for Human Rights. In considering the design and implementation of detailed processes and systems the Director of Planning and Development will have regard to Human rights issues but particularly to Article 8 issues.

Community Safety Implications

8. There are no direct Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 implications.

Resource/Environmental implications

9. There are no resource implications arising from the action plan other than those previously identified as part of the Best Value Improvement Plans.

"Opportunities for All" implications

10. The wider proposals for the realigning service embraces the principles of “Opportunities for All” the community to participate in the provision and receipt of services as appropriate.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:-

1) the progress on the Best Value Action Plan be noted;

2) the Committee considers and makes observations on communication mechanisms which are inclusive and informative between Members and Officers and which might be appropriate in moving service improvements forward.
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Background Papers (DPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: John Anderson Telephone: 01483 523298
E-mail: jaanderson@waverley.gov.uk