L Roberts presented the Q2 performance results, noting that a number of retained services relate to customer services, the Old Town Hall and communications, and community safety partnerships and community partnerships are now covered by L Warden.
L Roberts confirmed that measurable targets were achieved other than the average wait time for phone calls due to an increase of 1,500 calls compared to Q1 and a number of leavers from the customer service unit. Replacements have now been recruited and are now in the process of being fully trained.
Cllr Harden referred to item 2.1 on the performance of the CSU, noting the challenge with the average wait time and that CSU12 doesn’t have recorded statistics. Cllr Harden asked how long the pre-booked scenario has been implemented and if staff are being managed on call-handling. M Rawdon advised that pre-booked appointments have been in place for around 6 months and that incoming calls are triaged with around 2-3 in-person appointments per week and most appointments taking place over the phone. M Rawdon confirmed that staff are multi-skilled in handling customers over the phone or in person and a customer review is ongoing to look at the future service model.
Cllr Harden asked if they were receiving a negative response from the public on the lack of in-person appointments. M Rawdon confirmed that no formal complaints have been received and that satisfaction remains high. L Roberts added that if they can deliver to customers over the phone then they will and that they will provide in-person appointments where necessary.
Cllr Harden noted an error on item 3.5.6 and clarified that it should state that funding is from April 2022, not 2021.
Cllr Mahmood noted a concern regarding the increase in reported safeguarding issues and asked if those handling these cases are fully qualified to do so. L Roberts confirmed a national increase of referrals and that there is a strong triage system in place with appropriately qualified people to discuss each individual case. M Rawdon advised that mandatory safeguarding training is in place for all staff and advanced training for those dealing with vulnerable people, and a safeguarding officer acts as a triage to discuss any issues.
Cllr Adeleke commented on item 3.1.2 and asked for further information on the Old Town Hall review and asked how it differed from the working party made up of members. M Rawdon confirmed that a review will be conducted on the programme, customer feedback and how to best utilise the asset. In response to member involvement, it was confirmed that alongside the Old Town Hall review is a review of the Old Town with Hemel Place and information will be reported in due course. L Roberts added that the Old Town Hall will be recognised as part of Hemel Place strategy and the individual conducting the report has experience and the key findings will be reported back.
With regards to communications, Cllr Adeleke asked if the large screen in the town centre could be used elsewhere in future to help connect the borough. L Roberts agreed that this could be considered with external bodies to look at gaining commercial income and will be considered going forward. M Rawdon advised that the content is managed by Communications and that the physical screen is run by the Economic Development team.
The Chairman noted an earlier request to look into heritage funding for the Old Town Hall and asked that this be included in further advice. L Roberts advised that there are some restrictions to funding that can be received as a local authority