Agenda item

Commercial Strategy Quarterly Performance Monitoring

To consider the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.


Consideration was given to the report of the Interim Chief Officer Commercial.


The Interim Chief Officer Commercial spoke to the report which outlined Quarter 4 of the Commercial Strategy. The Interim Chief Officer advised that the Council’s commercial activities were driven by the ambitions as detailed in the Strategy. The pandemic continued to have an impact on the delivery of the Strategy, however substantial progress had been made in Quarter 4 and referred Members to the key activity which was summarised in the report in line with the Council’s key themes and ambitions.


The following questions were raised at this juncture and responded to accordingly:-


Strategic Commissioning and Commercial Board – it was confirmed that the Board was made up of the Corporate Leadership Team, Legal, Resources and Procurement officers.


Welsh Government Digital Democracy Fund – it was informed that the fund was in relation to user research with 16 to 25 year olds to gain an understanding of how young people access the democracy and obtain feedback on their experiences.


Contact Centre – concerns were raised around the Contact Centre, particularly ‘Out of Hours Service’ being sourced outside of Blaenau Gwent as it was important that operators knew the local area. It was also asked that if there are any changes that Elected Members be informed.


An Officer confirmed that a local based service provision would be pursued. The Officer further advised that a number of actions were being taken forward with SRS to address issues raised.


Closure of the Civic Centre – concerns were raised around the services offered at the Civic Centre via the Receptionist and asked if these services, such as Blue Badge applications would be available at the Community Hubs.


The Interim Chief Officer Commercial advised that all these aspects of the services available at the Civic Centre are being looked at in order to understand the needs of the customer. The data would be collected and communicated to Members to ensure they are informed accordingly.


Bilingual Contact Centre Message – it was advised that residents had raised concerns with Members that Welsh was first for the Contact Centre greeting. It was a long message and in some cases costly to the resident. A Member asked if the English could be first, which was practice in some other local authorities.


The Interim Chief Officer Commercial reminded Members that the Council had an obligation to the Welsh Language Act and advised that this request could be investigated, however it was important that the Council operated within their responsibilities to the Act.


Calls Times to the Contact Centre – in response to concerns raised in relation to the cost of the sometimes lengthy wait times to the Contact Centre, the Interim Chief Officer Commercial advised that waiting times are monitored as part of the service performance arrangements and improvements such as a que system would be developed.


Officers Mobile Numbers – due to agile working arrangements it was pointed out that some officers were hardly in the office and had been provided with mobile phones. A Member asked if these mobile phone numbers could be issued to Members as it was important they remain accessible to Members.


The Interim Chief Officer Commercial advised that office numbers should be re-directed to officers mobile phones.


The Committee AGREED to recommend that the report be accepted and endorse Option 1; namely the Quarter 4 progress update against the Commercial Strategy was considered prior to the report being presented to Executive Committee.


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