Following a meeting this evening with Trade Unionists regarding the flagrant
disregard by the current administration for matters embedded within the New
Council Blueprint, Labour Group wish to register their support for the
retention of jobs situated outside Morpeth and the continuous
decentralisation of services away from the core.
Labour Group Leader Grant Davey said " The administration in Northumberland
has continued to call in jobs from all areas filling County Hall and
Hepscott Park to the gunnels with people who's skills are required on the
ground across the piece. The cost in time, fuel and family stress is
enormous on our workers and the only benefit Group can see to centralisation
is to reduce the traveling time of senior officers"
"In todays electronic world we can easily service and manage our employees
without seeing them personally every day, people like to see their Council
contact person for whatever service that may be locally and not have to
travel miles to County Hall to get their questions answered"
"Being the largest employer in Northumberland we as a Council have a duty to
maintain and regenerate all of our high streets and businesses, having our
employees forking out in some cases hundreds of pounds each month commuting
across a County similar in size to Southern Cyprus means they don't have the
cash to spend across our high street counters, the policy of centralisation
is against everything the new council was set up for."
Labour Group are calling for an urgent rethink on this ridiculous policy and
demand the administration read the mandate they agreed too when setting up
their administration in 2008.
Community forums will be established in each of the Belonging communities.
The structure and constitution of each will reflect local circumstances. The aim
is to be as inclusive and engaging as possible with communities and partners.
It is envisaged that elected members will play an active community leadership
role within these forums. Locality officers and service managers will support
the development and work of community forums. Subject to ‘accreditation’ by
the council community forums may be delegated responsibility to deliver some
local services and through appropriate mechanisms may delegate such work
to town or parish councils, development trusts etc. The accreditation process
and the mechanisms through which the town/parish councils etc, will interact
with the community forums will be defined in detail during the next stage of
the Design process – Component Level Design.
Fast and convenient access to all council and agreed partner services will be
provided through a range of channels i.e. ‘face to face’, telephone, internet,
email, physical-mail, SMS. Each Belonging community will have its own ’front
of house’ tailored to both the geographic context and local needs. In terms of
serving our Customers, the primary aim of the Customer Services function will
be to enable as much service as possible that will improve the customer
experience to be delivered from the front office.
Corporate Support services
Support ‘back office’ services include: Finance, human resources/ payroll,
ICT, legal, procurement, asset management etc – i.e. those services which
are shared by the People/Place/Performance Directorates. They largely
consist of business independent ‘end to end’ processes that support the
organisation in delivering its objectives. It may be appropriate for selected
non-support services to sit within this function - Revenues & Benefits being an
example. The integration of services in this way will deliver significant financial
benefits and support the investment in ‘front-line’ services.
‘Front, middle and back office’ model
The overarching aim is to create a customer centric council with a lean and
efficient administration that works closely with its communities through
partnerships and by devolving decision making and decentralising services.
This challenges the design to ensure a whole council capability of working
effectively at three principal geographic levels i.e. operational layers -
identified in the vision statement, County, Area, Belonging as well as
establishing an integrated customer service operation and aligned support
services supporting the whole organisation. To achieve this aim the ‘front,
middle and back office’ concept is helpful. The ‘front, middle and back office’
concept is set out in detail in Appendix B - it is fundamental to the design of
the new council and provides the opportunity to create a modern customer
centric organisation across the very diverse and dispersed communities withinthe county.