Agenda and draft minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 October 2017, as a correct record



Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 October 2017 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.



Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered


There were no additional declarations of interest.



Actions from previous meeting


There were none.




Update from Portfolio Holder


The Portfolio Holder, and Chairman, advised that


·         he had recently given 3 briefings to Council staff, particularly focussing on the Corporate Plan which reflected the presentation given to the Advisory Committee at its last meeting. He had also covered topics affecting staffing and the intention to build services around the customer; and


·         the Government’s Budget had little additional impact on local government apart from a request for new housing to be built. The Chancellor had advised this should not be on the Green Belt. The Chairman recommended that housing focus move from the constrained South East to the northern cities which were currently losing housing.



Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.



Corporate Projects Update pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Officer, Environmental & Operational Services, presented the report and gave a presentationwhich updated Members on progress made on three of the  Council’s corporate projects, namely: the bradbourne car park; the Sennocke hotel; and the proposed development of the Buckhurst 2 car park in Sevenoaks.  The decking of the Bradbourne Car Park was completed and opened in April 2017 with a net gain of 120 spaces, within timescale and budget.  An 83 bed hotel was being built and would be leased to an operator for 25 years and it was expected to be completed in June 2018 at an estimated cost of £7.2million. On 19 October 2017 the Council received planning consent for the development of the Buckhurst 2 Car Park with 10 4-bed town houses and associated landscaping works.  It was planned that work would commence on the cark park and landscaping works to the Environmental Park  in January 2018 to be completed March 2019.


Members discussed the alternative parking arrangements that were being made at Knole Paddock, Bradbourne, Morewood Close , the Vine Waste and on –street while the Buckhurst 2 development took place.


Resolved:  That progress made on the Council’s corporate projects, be noted.



Customer Experience Update pdf icon PDF 19 KB

Additional documents:


The Corporate Customer Services & Delivery Manager gave a presentation on the key data relating to the Council’s new website which had gone live in March 2017. She explained that the website had been commissioned as the previous one was considered to have too much content, difficult to navigate and had few online services. Data showed the activity on the new site from 18 May to the end of October 2017 .


Members asked whether the new website had reduced the number of calls to the contact centre. The Corporate Customer Services & Delivery Manager advised that people were still discovering the website and it was expected there may be an impact once it was advertised more. Webchat would be introduced in early 2018 to assist customers in serving themselves online. The Chairman noted that more residents were becoming aware of the Council’s services but the transition of more services online could reduce some of the more time-consuming calls.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.



Corporate Complaints Update - Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Annual Letter and Lessons Learnt pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Additional documents:


The Corporate Customer Services & Delivery Manager presented the report which updated Members on the receipt of the annual letter from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO). She reported that the LGO had taken 12 decisions on complaints about the Council in 2016/17 none of which were upheld. The number of complaints decided was equal lowest for District Councils in Kent. Only two other Kent authorities had no complaints upheld by the LGO in 2016/17.


Members discussed the difficulty of getting customer experiences of the Council reflected in public perception data when people would take into account their experience of the public sector as a whole. The Chairman also explained that he was aiming to introduce a more pre-emptive rather than reactive customer service to reduce the chances of dissatisfaction. Allowing customers to track progress of their services online would also provide more clarity.


The Chairman welcomed the report and asked that thanks be passed to all the managers, who helped achieve this.


Resolved:  That the report be noted.



Work Plan pdf icon PDF 14 KB


Members were advised of the following additions to the workplan for the meeting on 22 March 2018:


·         Corporate Plan


·         Customer Centred Services


·         Update on proposals for development in Swanley


Action:  Officers to advise the Committee concerning which Committee the KCC Swanley transport strategy will be reported to.



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