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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3 - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Perminder Purewal, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4537 | Email: perminder.purewal@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

8.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Saima Mahmud and Whitney Ihenachor.  The following substitutions arrangements were in place:

 

Councillor Terry Wheeler was present as a substitute for Councillor Saima Mahmud.

Councillor Raja Anwar was present as a substitute for Councillor Whitney Ihenachor.

 

9.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter that is to be considered at this meeting.  Interests are defined in the front cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

10.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 20 June 2019 were approved by the Committee as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

11.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public are welcome to participate in scrutiny meetings.  You may speak for three minutes on a topic related to the Committee’s work, and fifteen minutes in total is allowed for public speaking, at the discretion of the Chair.  If you would like to speak, please contact Democratic Services (details above) by 12 noon on the day before the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

None.

                                                           

 

The Committee welcomed observer John Keer, local resident, to the meeting

12.

COMMITTEE ACTION TRACKER, ACTION UPDATE AND FORWARD PLAN pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report from the Scrutiny Officer.


Andy Spragg, Scrutiny Officer introduced his report and drew the Committee’s attention to the updates given since the last meeting. 

 

Decision:

·         The Committee noted the report.

 

13.

THEMED REVIEW: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Consideration was given to the report from the Scrutiny Officer and the Customer Experience Strategy 2019 Themed Review Scoping document.

 

The Committee was asked to review the scoping document and decide whether the Customer Experience Strategy and Delivery Plan would be the topic for a themed review in order to produce a report to Cabinet with recommendations.

 

Louise Duffield, Director of Customer Service and Business Support presented the Committee with the draft Customer Experience Strategy 2019 (available here).  She advised the Committee that the Council is in the process of developing its Customer Experience Strategy and delivery plan, which incorporates a vision and principles to help define how the Council would interact with its customers.  An Officer led group led had drafted the strategy and it was hoped the Committee would input into the development proposal before the report was presented to Cabinet.

 

The Committee noted that Central government does not define minimum standards for customer service in local government.  The Customer Service Strategy would define how the Council interacts with customers and would feed into the Council’s 2030 Vision and Creating Futures Programme.

 

The Committee discussed the draft Strategy and expressed concern that despite 94% of Waltham Forest residents having internet access, there was still 50,000 calls to the Resolution Centre each month and noted this was mainly due to residents unable to find the information on the Council’s website. 

 

As a result, from questioning by the Committee, it was noted that:

 

·         The telephone system did not count the number of direct dialled calls to service areas and therefore there was more than 50,000 calls a month.

·         Of the 50,000 calls, around 40% was chasing something not done and 30% was from customers not being able to find the information they wanted on the website.

·         Research conducted with other organisations have shown that customers want one method that works

·         A vast majority of customers work so want to access services in the evening or at the weekend.  This cannot be offered with the current telephony service, however the Council can, without spending more money, can use artificial intelligence and chatbots so that services can be available to residents when they require it.

·         The Council were in a process of updating and procuring a new phone system.  The phones would be voice enabled so that customers could make requests without having to speak to a customer service advisor.

·         The average wait time for calls to the Council was 8 mins and at peak times (lunch time/ Monday mornings) would increase to one hour

 

The Committee discussed the Japanese customer service model and agreed that the telephone is not answer and focus needed to centre around Digital by Design whereby the customer access strategy and obtaining a resolution should be explored.

 

Jarlath Griffin, Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services, gave the Committee examples of how the ChatBot system was working and the Committee noted that a reduction of manual handling and a focus on I.T. had meant issues were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

UPDATE ON MOBILISATION OF NEIGHBOURHOODS SERVICES CONTRACT pdf icon PDF 277 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report from the Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services.

 

Jarlath Griffin, Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services, presented the report which updated the Committee on the Mobilisation of Neighbourhoods Services Contract.

 

The Committee noted the robust project management governance and control framework to support the mobilisation activities and that the mobilisation had progressed against the project plan. All parties had been working together to ensure a successful transition of the new Contract and contingency arrangements were in development.

 

As a result, from questioning by the Committee, it was noted that:

 

·         The Neighbourhoods Services Contract covered three areas: waste collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance

·         The TUPE transfer of staff data was completed on time. 

·         The back-office processes and IT systems would change however residents would not be affected and would see a seamless transfer.

·         The Low Hall depot was ready for the transfer and whilst there was still more work to be done, nothing would affect the start of the contract.

·         Electric chargepoints were available at the depot and were located in various places around the borough.

·         Neighbourhood officers would continue to monitor street cleansing and flytipping

 

The Committee discussed the contract and asked for a further report on how the transition had gone so that lessons could be learnt about procuring and managing contracts in the future. 

 

The Committee also discussed their relationship with neighbourhood officers and felt the communication could be stronger.   

 

The Committee thanked Jarlath for all his work done in Neighbourhoods area.

 

Recommendations

That services report back on lessons learnt and contract management in six months’ time.

That services explore how neighbourhood officers feedback on local issues and their resolution for councillors.

 

Decision

The Committee noted the report.