Council Gets Top Marks for Customer Care
9th April 2008
The Highland Council has been awarded the Charter Mark Standard for excellence in customer service delivery for its network of 37 Service Points and its Service Centre at Alness.
After first achieving Charter Mark status in 1999, this is the fifth time that the Cabinet Office has presented the Council with this UK Government award which recognises top quality service delivery.
The Council's Service Centre at Alness handles on average 6,000 to 6,400 telephone calls each week from the public. Last year, 299,188 calls were dealt with and 98% of customers surveyed said they were satisfied with a further 97% saying that they were very or extremely satisfied with the service.
Customers can also get face to face access to a wide range of services five days a week by visiting one of the 37 Service Points in person. Services include payment of rent, council tax and other council bills; arrangement of special refuse collections; application for local authority housing and report repairs and faults; application forms for a range of council benefits, including housing and council tax benefit, free school meals, school clothing grants and travel cards.
During a visit to the Service Centre in Alness, The Highland Council Convener, Councillor Sandy Park took the opportunity to thank frontline staff for the first class service they provide to the public.
Councillor Park said: "Our Service Centre in Alness, and the network of Service Points we have across the Highlands are our front door to the public, a flagship service which puts customer needs and aspirations first. Due to the geographical spread of the Highlands, it is challenging for us to provide services locally but feedback from the public is that they appreciate the service we provide. Everyone within the network deserves tremendous credit for the amount of work that has gone into providing the high level of service which has resulted in Charter Mark success. We are continually monitoring how we are doing and I would like to assure all our customers that we will carry on looking at ways of improving and developing our performance even more."
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel. The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February. The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows. - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants. The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role. Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.
Highland Council Trading Standards are again warning unsuspecting residents of the emergence of a new Council Tax scam. Today a call was received by the Council from a Council Tax payer alerting to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are now texting people and informing them that they are due a Council Tax rebate.
The Highland Council has published the Highland Common Good Asset Register following the completion of a consultation process required by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. The Register has been published on the Council's website and can be accessed from the download link on the page titled "Common Good Asset Register" or at the following link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20010/community_planning/840/common_good_asset_register For ease of reference, the Register has been divided in the separate former Burghs having recorded Common Good Funds - Cromarty, Dingwall, Dornoch, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Invergordon, Inverness, Nairn and Tain.
According to the draft Scottish Govenment budget, Highlands and Islands Enterprise will get £58.2 million in the upcoming financial year - down from £61.1 million last year. 2018/19 the budget was £71.7 million.
The Highland Licensing Committee, at their meeting on 14 January 2020, made their final resolution in relation to the licensing of the public performance of plays under the public entertainment licensing regime after the repeal of the Theatres Act 1968. This was after the completion of the 28 day statutory consultation period as set out in section 9 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
At a special meeting of the former Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, held in October last year, Councillors agreed a new approach to the introduction of car parking charges across the area that will see a surplus of income split 50/50 with local areas. At today's (Thursday 6 February) meeting of The Highland Council's new Economy and Infrastructure Committee members had the opportunity to discuss the progress made in implementing the first phase of the off-street car parking policy.
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