Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document
Meeting of the Council held on 12/12/2006
Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee
CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY
REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON 12TH DECEMBER 2006
This report details the work undertaken by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee over the municipal year 2005/06 and invites Members to endorse the topics included in the work programme for future consideration by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
REVIEW OF ITEMS CONSIDERED BY THE CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE 2005/06
A.1 Items considered by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee during the course of the municipal year 2005/06 (May 2005 to April 2006) are set out below:-
East Street, Farnham
Feedback from Planning Consultative Forum
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 : Development of a Business Continuity Plan for Waverley - Progress report
Review of Accountancy and Exchequer Services
Best Value and Local Performance Indicators
Review of Performance in First 6 months of 2005/06
Review of Targets for 2006/07
Proposed Targets for 2007/08
Performance in First 9 months of 2005/06
Review of representation on Outside Bodies
Sponsored Organisation Scheme 2006-2007 Grant Eligibility, Criteria And Timetable and applications for Revenue Funding 2006/2007
Community Partnership Fund Application Process, Criteria And Timetable For 2006/07
Annual Review Report 2004/05
A Local Area Agreement for Surrey
Management of Large Events In Waverley
Draft Capital Programme 2006/2007 and draft Revenue Estimates 2006/2007
Consultation from the Electoral Commission – Periodic Electoral Reviews
The Development of a Workforce Plan for Waverley Borough Council
Haslemere Locality Office/New Haslemere Library Scheme
Financial Strategy 2006/2007 – 2008/2009
Update on Equality Legislation and the Council's Race Equality Scheme
Local Government Review – Update
The Committee undertook one major in-depth review which ran during 2005/06 and concluded in July 2006.
Review of Customer Services
B1. The review focused on addressing the following questions:
What is the level of customer satisfaction for people contacting the Council?
What customer service standards and strategies are in place across the Council?
How do customers contact the Council for services and or information?
What are acknowledged exponents of best practice in customer service doing in other authorities?
What are members’ views/experiences of the effectiveness of Waverley’s customer relations?
What would be the benefits in customer service delivery of introducing a CRM system?
How can we improve service delivery and therefore customer relations?
B2. As part of the background and research to the review members’ undertook a visit to Chorley Borough Council in Lancashire which the Audit Commission had designated as having an excellent three star Best Value service in respect of its approach to improving services through customer access and user focus.
B3. The Committee also commissioned QCL Market Research to undertake a Residents’ Survey of customer service satisfaction in Waverley. A Sub-Committee was also set up to carry out interviews with front-line customer facing staff and the results of which were reported back to the Committee.
B4. The Committee received advice on the review and a national perspective on customer service development from the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).
B5. The Committee reached the following conclusions and made recommendations for consideration by the Executive:
The outcome of the review identified elements of good practice in Waverley but also showed that the approach to customers was compartmentalised in departments. The Committee was pleased to see that customers felt they were given a very good service on queries at the Locality Offices, with staff having access to information covering all Council services. However, the experience for customers visiting The Burys was less coordinated and reception and cash office staff would welcome the opportunity to offer a similar service. The Committee felt that consideration should be given on how to achieve this improvement, but recognised this would have workload implications.
B.6 Accordingly, the Committee recommended to the Executive:
1. To develop a Waverley-wide Corporate Customer Services Strategy to ensure residents receive consistent treatment and information.
2. That a Customer Services Strategy should be seen as an important element when considering departmental restructuring
3. Officers search out and recognise best practice in departments and identify how it can be disseminated and built on across the Council.
4. Invite officers to suggest specific and short-term quick wins and ‘fixes’ such as corporate training and better use of the website and to put forward proposals to implement these.
5. In due course to initiate a continuing process of consultation with customers/residents to ask them how they would like to be dealt with.
Study of Waverley Complaints Procedure – Scoping Report
B7. Deferred to 2006/07 after completion of Customer Services Review.
C.1 There were no items called-in for scrutiny in the municipal year 2005/06.
EXECUTIVE CONSIDERATION OF THE IN- DEPTH REVIEW
REVIEW OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Committee’s final report of the review into Customer Service was reported to the Executive on 11th July 2006 and it resolved as follows that:
Council be recommended that:-
Officers be requested to establish a Customer Service Strategy and Action Plan which aims to spread good practice from areas where standards are good, to those where standards could be improved; and to identify any specific quick wins and fixes as part of the action plan;
the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be thanked for the work which they have carried out and the generally good level of satisfaction with customer service standards in Waverley be noted; and
from the work that has been done, the Executive does not think that customer service is in need of radical improvement and that, whilst a restructured organisation must deliver good customer service, there is not a case for identifying such radical improvement as a major objective of restructuring , nor a case for an early implementation of a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management System.
E.1 The items to be included on the work programme for 2006/07 for in-depth reviews were selected at the June 2005 meeting. These are:-
(i) Review of Waverley Training Services; and
(ii) Review of the Local Strategic Partnership.
It is RECOMMENDED that
1. the work carried out by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in 2005/06 be noted; and
2. the topics included in the future work programme of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be noted and endorsed.
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.