Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




An apology of absence was received from Cllr Gurjit Bains.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The minutes of the meeting on Thursday, 07 February 2019 were signed by the Chair.



Declarations of Interest


Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox declared a non-pecuniary interest for item 5 as he works with KCC Preventative Services.



The Gr@nd pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Committee received a presentation from the Operational Manager, The Gr@nd on the services the Gr@nd operates within the Borough (please see supplementary).


Following the conclusion of the presentation, the Operational Manager, The Gr@nd fielded questions and comments from the Committee, explaining that:


·         Children of all ages, sexes, genders, disabilities and background were welcome to join any of the Gr@nd activities that were offered. There are no barriers in place to stop anyone from joining any of the safe space activities either. The Gr@nd encouraged active participation from every group of people and works with groups that aren’t represented to determine what they require to make the sessions viable to them

·         Children that are at risk are made to feel comfortable with the Gr@nd so that they can talk to a member of staff if they feel they are at serious risk of anything; they would be able to go to the Gr@nd and seek help for whatever is troubling them. At the Safe Space disco, security is always hired for the night so that the children attending feel safe around each other and can express themselves without fear of being attacked

·         The Gr@nd monitors young children for as long as possible in order to sustain the heathy relationship that is created with them; a system called eStart is used which records the progress made in sessions with young people. It records things such as what was spoken about and if there were any positive/negative outcomes. There is also an accredited process which looks at giving young people accredited qualifications such as a Food Hygiene Certificate which can be used to help them find employment in the future. The Gr@nd also provides young people with help completing their CV’s and searching for their future careers as many young people don’t know what they wish to do. The funding contract with KCC finishes in 2021

·         RBLI is an organisation that supports people in getting back to work

·         The lifestyles choice group is designed for motivated adults who desire to change but do not know how to go about it; the group is about helping people make small changes to their life in order to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle choices aren’t preached at young people and are primarily only for those who seek out additional help to change their lifestyle

·         The Langa Seva group session is a weekly event organised by the Sikh Temple; every Tuesday they make food in the Langa (the kitchen in the Temple) and bring it to the Gr@nd to distribute to people in need

·         No alcohol is allowed at the safe space disco events as it covers the ages 14-19; everyone attending the event should feel safe so any people displaying inappropriate behaviour would be spoken to or asked to leave

·         With regard to the questions posed in the presentation such as ‘What’s life like for a 19 year old’; all of the questions were created by young people who felt that those were the topics  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


Customer Service Update and Customer Engagement pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was informed of the service provided by Customer Services and given information on how the council dealt with customer engagement.


The Customer Services Manager explained to the Committee that following a discussion at the last Community Services Cabinet Committee on 26 November 2018 it was proposed that a report be produced looking at how the council ensures it is providing customer satisfaction.


The Community Involvement Officer gave a brief update to the Committee on the surveys that had been carried out in the Gateway. The surveys were filled out over two weeks by customers at the Gateway and in total, 63 were given back with detailed information regarding their age, ethnicity, language competency and disabilities etc. That information was collated with information from the Census, other customers who had contacted the Customer Services Team by telephone and digital data, to produce the report; a breakdown of the figures was included at appendix 4.


The Customer Services Manager informed Members of the different types of contact the Customer Services Team operated, their varied work across the departments and face to face contact versus digital self-help: 


·         Telephone Contact Centre – Customer Services Officers man the contact centre and take a range of inquires including taking phone calls from a number of departments; the team took calls related to Parking, Housing Allocation, Waste Management and Council Tax etc 

·         By taking calls for other departments it freed up officer time so that they could focus more on their work; if a member of the public needed to speak to an officer urgently then the Custer Services Team would be able to get into contact with a relevant officer  

·         The officers also dealt with general email inquiries and operated a web based chat that helped customers get directed to the Council webs pages that they needed (i.e. paying their Council Tax) and it is able to be accessed as soon as the user clicks on the Council website

·         Gravesham Gateway – The Gateway has Customer Service Officers that deal with face to face inquiries; the public have ten minute appointments with an officer. The majority of the time the enquiry could have been handled over the phone or through an online form but some customers prefer the face to face contact

·         The Gateway has numerous organisations situated there such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Victim Support. The Customer Service Officers can direct a member of the public to these partner services at any point during the day via the different forms of contact available

·         A Customer Service Officer is situated at the Market Tourist information desk to provide assistance Thursday to Sunday. 

·         Online contact is by far the cheaper option for the Council and Gravesham will continue to offer more web based contact options and make more forms available online to keep up with the digital movement. However, Gravesham will always have officers available to help those who require additional help including face to face and on the telephone. Having increased  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.