Guide to Development Management at Gateshead - page 29

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Guide to Development Management at Gateshead
make customers aware of national, regional and local changes in
planning including any operational changes within Gateshead
Council and the planning service in particular.
We always try and foster and improve relationships with regular
customers and our consultees, including those internal to the
Council and external consultees such as the Highways Agency,
Environment Agency and English Heritage to name but a few.
We pride ourselves on the close links and relationships between
officers and local members and endeavour to provide a first
class service to all ward councillors and to professionally serve
those councillors, including the Planning and Development
Committee on a three weekly cycle.
Customer Surveys
Central government used to have a best value performance
indicator (BVPI111) as to customer satisfaction with the planning
service. The last such survey before this indicator was
abolished was in 2006, when 71% of customers were satisfied
with the planning service at Gateshead based on the government
criteria given.
In 2012 Development Management undertook their own survey
of customers and has split the survey down into groups such as:
Applicants who received planning permission
Applicants who were refused planning permission
Objectors to applications where the application was approved
Objectors to applications where the application was refused
Architects, Agents and Planning Consultants (Service Users)
Statutory Consultees
Members of Gateshead Council
The survey identified that overall 82% of customers were of the
opinion that they were dealt in a professional and courteous
manner and the person was knowledgeable and able to respond
to the issues, the highest satisfaction (100%) being Members
and Statutory Consultees with the lowest (50%) being
applicants where the application was subsequently refused.
The intention is for another customer survey in 2015.
Working with the Planning
Advisory Service (PAS)
Gateshead Council has done a lot of work over the past
two years with PAS and CIPFA who are the Local Authority
accounting body. The work has been aimed at understanding
where our main workload is in terms of time and cost and
benchmarking this against other similar Local Authorities
to Gateshead.
Of the 15 similar authorities we compared ourselves to we came
highest in the customer response for the following questions:-
“You were helped to make a good application with a good
chance of approval”
“The Council responded well when you had questions”
“You were kept informed, treated fairly and listened to”
Gateshead also came in the top three in response to the
questions for overall value for money and when responding to
the statement:-
“This Council helped with the whole development process
end to end”
We are using the report from PAS as a service improvement tool
and a mechanism to set fees in the future if central government
allows. We will also work with regional colleagues and PAS,
using the data to deliver service improvements.
Virtual NewcastleGateshead (VNG)
VNG is a joint venture between Northumbria University,
Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council to create a
three-dimensional digital model of the urban core areas of
both Newcastle and Gateshead.
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