Dear Community Council
Customer Services Review - Consultation on Proposals
On the 13 March 2014 the Council agreed to implement a review of our face to face services in 23 Service Point locations across Highland. These 23 locations have been chosen because of the low number of customers who use this service or where there is another Service Point close by.
This review could make savings of up to £355,220. £160,000 will need to be used to meet budget savings with the rest re-invested in order to support improved services via telephone, email and online. A Customer Services Board of 10 elected Members was set up in April 2014 to undertake the review and to make a decision about future service ‘provision’ at these 23 locations.
The Board has been listening to information from partner agencies in order to better understand how we currently provide services and how we could potentially work in partnership with others to provide this in the future. The Board agreed 6 principles to guide its work when considering how best to provide customer services in the future.
These principles are:
One solution will not suit all communities and we need to look at each community to understand how Service Points are used and opportunities for local service delivery;
It is about providing services not keeping buildings where appropriate, not assuming that the current Service Points are in the right locations;
Need to offer a face to face point of contact for those who do not want to or cannot use technology, or for more complex enquiries;
Consider potential for moving work out to support staff working from home or local locations;
Adopting an appointment based Registration Service to enable a mobile service to replace a dedicated Registrar in certain locations;
Proposals for dealing with complex enquiries and confidential issues in a an environment where there is not a dedicated Service Point e.g. thinking about use of technology to link to officers in other locations.
Before decisions are made, the Board are seeking to hear the views of the people that live in these areas and use these Service Points so that we can understand how any changes impact on communities and what alternative options communities may want to suggest.
The Consultation process will run from 22nd January 2015 to 19 March 2015, and following that period the feedback from the consultation will be presented back to the Members Customer Services Board for their consideration.
The consultation document detailing the proposals is attached for your information. There is a separate response form for community groups which you will also find attached. This document will be circulated to all elected members, and key stakeholders including Community Councils, and will be published on the Council’s website on Thursday 22nd January . The Council will also be conducting focus group consultation with Service Point customers, as well as on-going consultation with staff and trade unions.
Thank you for considering these proposals and please be aware that the final date for responses is Thursday 19 March.
Depute Chief Executive