West Lindsey District Council have welcomed representatives from the Local Government Association who will undertake an independent review to help improve West Lindsey District Council’s planning service.
The council received 1,321 planning applications in 2014/15 and has seen a significant increase in the number of major and complex applications this year.
The Local Government Association’s Planning Advisory Service will provide an objective assessment of the service and suggest any improvements as part of the peer challenge process. It will take place between Wednesday, 21st October and Friday 23rd October 2015.
Cllr. Stuart Curtis, Chairman of the Planning Committee at West Lindsey District Council, said:
“We want to continue to improve our service which is why we have arranged for the peer challenge to take place.
“The review team are highly experienced in planning and local government and will have plenty of ideas of how we can take things forward and make the service even more customer-focused for the residents of the district.
“The planning team will be fully involved in the process as they are key to delivering growth in West Lindsey. We need to make sure we achieve a more effective, efficient and customer focussed service that supports the council’s objectives of being ‘open for business’ to enable sustainable development.”
The team includes:
- Phil Mason, Head of Planning, Housing & Regeneration, Cornwall County Council
- Tracy Darke, Head of Development Services, Warwick District Council
- Cllr. Andrew Proctor, Conservative Group, Broadlands District Council
- Alice Lester, Programme Manager, Planning Advisory Service
They will hold one-to-one sessions (including telephone interviews) and focus groups with representatives of resident and amenity groups, local businesses, community organisations, customers and other partners, as well as district councillors.
It is anticipated that the recommendations of the review team will help the council to identify how:
- Our planning service can continue to improve its engagement with customers and stakeholders
- Best to support the wider objectives of the council, residents and businesses
- To benchmark against best practice nationally including ICT support
- The team can be supported to introduce improvements, develop skills and understand expectations of key stakeholders
Cllr. Giles McNeill, Chairman of the Coucnil’s Governance and Audit Committee said:
“This is the second part of a two stage review of the planning department at the Council. We are seeking assurance that we have the right people and processes in place both for now and in the future.”