Agenda item

Service Plans 2013/14


The Leader of the Council submitted a report on Service Plans for 2013/14.  The Service Plans are produced every year by Heads of Service and set out the key actions that need to be undertaken to deliver the corporate priorities and key objectives of the Council in line with the budget.


The joint meeting of Scrutiny Committees was invited to scrutinise the Service Plans and to make recommendations to the Executive.


In response to a query from Councillor G McAndrew, the Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service advised that the Local Council Tax Support Scheme had  replaced the previous Council Tax Benefit arrangements following changes to government regulations.


In response to a query from Councillor M Wood, the Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service commented that East Herts Council was operating the same scheme as Stevenage Borough Council.  Members were advised that there were a range of new schemes being put in place across the Hertfordshire Authorities.


Councillor G McAndrew commented on the action plan for the Council’s website.  The Head of Information, Customer and Parking Services advised that the action plan would be submitted to the March 2013 meeting of the Corporate Business Scrutiny Committee.


Councillor J Wing commented that he found  the Council’s website challenging in terms of searching and finding information quickly.  The Head of Environmental Services stated that the service plan action was about further improving the website to allow the public to book appointments online and pay online for Council services.  He stated that the range of services available via the website was being improved.


The Head of Information, Customer and Parking Services advised that the website needed to be compatible with web based search engines, as these were by far the most used by the public when accessing the Council’s services.  The joint meeting was advised that very few entered though the front page of the website.


Councillor C Woodward commented that he believed the Authority was falling short on its plans to maintain car parking income whilst encouraging the use of businesses in East Herts.


The Head of Information, Customer and Parking Services stated that the council is  faced with a challenging balancing act when trying to meet expectations in respect of Car Park Fees and Charges. 


Members were advised that there was a very low level of complaints.


In response to a query from a Member regarding the development of communities and other projects with Section 106 funds, the Head of Planning and Building Control advised that local policies and supplementary planning guidance were in place to ensure that Section 106 monies were secured.


The Head of Communications, Engagement and Cultural Services advised that Officers always sought to ensure that Section 106 funding was used in a timely manner.  Officers also worked in consultation with local ward Members to identify appropriate uses for such funding.


The Joint meeting resolved to recommend that the Executive approve the Service Plan activity for 2013/14.


RESOLVED – that the Executive be informed that the Joint meeting of Scrutiny Committees considered that the Service Plan activity for 2013/14 now submitted should be approved.

Supporting documents: