27 February 2004
The excellent quality of service provided by Medway Council’s Building Control and Development Control teams was confirmed recently when their standard of service was confirmed under quality management system ISO 9001: 2000. These front line services achieved certification for greatly improving the way applications are processed and to giving a better service to their customers.
Medway Council’s Building Control section deals with the construction of all types, from small house extensions to major new power stations. This service has to compete with external, approved inspectors and to succeed must provide an efficient, responsive team of Building Surveyors and support staff. In 2003 over 1900 applications were processed.
Development Control deals with planning issues. This involves determining planning applications for new developments, both small (such as porches) and large (such as large residential developments, supermarkets). In 2003 approximately 2,700 planning applications were processed. The section also monitors existing developments and the Planning Enforcement Team is proactive in trying to improve our environment.
Medway is a major growth area and includes major regeneration initiatives in Chatham and Rochester. To further improve its planning service, Medway Council is recruiting more staff to help ensure that planning applications are dealt with efficiently. The Council is seeking to recruit a Senior Planner, two Planners, a Technical Assistant, a Conditions Monitoring Officer and a Customer Contact Assistant.
In November 2003 the Development Control service was re-assessed to the new updated standard of ISO 9001:2000, which has three distinct new benefits for customers:
- Less red tape
- Focus on customer satisfaction – the updated standard helps services ensure that customer satisfaction is central to their operation
- More flexible – and enables services to run quality management systems in a way most relevant to them.
Judith Armitt, Chief Executive of Medway Council, and Richard Simmons, Director of Development and Environment were delighted to hear of these successes and were present at a small award ceremony attended by all members of staff from both teams. The councillors responsible for both services, Councillor Jane Chitty (Development Control) and Councillor Angela Prodger (Building Control), also attended.
Jane Chitty said, "ISO 9001:2000 demonstrates Medway Council’s willingness to work towards open government and better serve both our public and suppliers we work with.’
Angela Prodger added: "ISO 9001:2000 confirms Medway Council’s focus on their customers. It helps protect consumers, promote training and skills, improve the working environment and ensure quality products and services.
For more information please contact:
Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330