Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Conference Room, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks

Contact: Democratic Services 01732 227247  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 29 November 2018, as a correct record.



Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 29 November 2018 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, reported that since the last meeting, Brexit had moved forward and the potential use of the M26 post Brexit had been downgraded after the Gold Commander of Kent Police advised the motorway would not hold as many lorries as first thought.


He also advised that the Council were looking into a reduced reliance on business rates in the District after being part of two conferences regarding the future of the High Street.


A Member queried whether Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) would be applying for some of the £476 million in High Street funding the Government had provided. The Chairman confirmed that he had received the same email and had passed it onto the Council’s Economic Development team to look into further.


The Portfolio Holder advised Members that the Buckhurst 2 car park was nearly complete and was due to open in April 2019.


He also advised Members that the three sites in Swanley which were being used for the redevelopment of the area had moved forward, and residents living in Swanley would receive documents through their doors over the next couple of weeks. The redevelopment of White Oak Leisure Centre had also been announced, with residents able to see the plan in the next issue of InShape.


The Vice Chairman queried whether the new leisure centre would have SDC branding once completed. The Chairman confirmed this would be the case.


Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.


Communications Strategy update pdf icon PDF 47 KB


The Head of Transformation & Strategy presented the report to update Members on the progress made since the Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Review in September 2018.


He advised Members that since the last meeting, a temporary Communications Officer had been appointed on a six month contract. He also reported that external support for formal actions of the review were being discussed. This role would provide the Communications team with a more strategic outlook and were looking to appoint someone in March or April 2019.


The Head of Transformation & Strategy also advised that the Council were still looking at the “quick wins” mentioned in the LGA report, which included offering promoting more of the Councils services digitally, which had already seen positive results when working with the Health teams.


Resolved: That the report be noted. 


IT Forward Plan update pdf icon PDF 564 KB


The Chairman presented the report which outlined the work the ICT service has undertaken over the last two years and how it has positively affected the day-to-day running of the Council’s services.


He also advised Members about the implementation of the Red Dot system, which places a red dot on a person’s file, which indicates to teams about disruptive residents or customers for the protection of visiting officers from across the Council, who all have access to the same files.


The Corporate Customer Service and Delivery Manager added that the Council had a strict file retention policy and customers were made aware in writing if they had been added to the list. She also advised Members that the customer would be on the list for a maximum of three years.


The Vice Chairman questioned whether the information about customers could be provided to Members as well due to their interaction with customers.  The Corporate Customer Service and Delivery Manager advised that she would have to look into this further.


Action - The Corporate Customer Service and Delivery Manager to look into whether Members could be made aware when resident has been added to the Red Dot system.


Members queried whether the increased use of the Cloud to send documents is secure and protected from data breaches.


The Chairman advised that normal email were sent securely and some teams such as the Benefits team had their emails further secured due to the nature of their work.


The Head of Transformation and Strategy also indicated that the Council had regular tests to check security and is compliant with the Government secure network standards. He explained that some old apps were thought to be vulnerable, but these had now been disabled.


Members also queried whether the Council had back-up arrangements in place to access networks that were now stored in the cloud. The Chairman confirmed that regular data back-ups were held securely but that if there were to be a significant power outage inevitably there would be an impact on using the Council’s IT systems.


The Corporate Customer Service and Delivery Manager added that all Service Managers have a business continuity plan which is reviewed annually, which includes prioritising which services require immediate reinstallation.


Resolved: That the report be noted.


Customer Experience Project pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:


The Corporate Customer Service and Delivery Manager presented the report and gave a presentation on website data from Google analytics over the last 12 months.


She advised that over three quarters of visitors to the website were new, with nearly 300,500 visits to the website in the six month period from 1 July 2018 – 31 December 2018.


She advised that the Council were trying to reduce the number of PDFs on the website as these documents were not mobile/tablet friendly. But she informed Members that some PDFs were still required on the website.


Resolved: That the report be noted.




Work Plan pdf icon PDF 33 KB


The work plan was noted with the Annual Complaints report, GIS update and Customer Service Projects all added to the 20 June 2019 meeting.


Back to top