Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
EIT Review of Communication, Consultation and Engagement
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented Cabinet with the findings of the EIT review of Communication, Consultation and Engagement undertaken by the Corporate, Adult Services and Social Inclusion Select Committee between June and October 2009.

The review formed part of a three year programme of EIT (Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation) reviews covering all services provided by the Council. The programme aimed to ensure that all services were reviewed in a systematic way to ensure that they were provided in the most efficient manner, provided value for money, and identified opportunities for service improvements and transformation. The Select Committee review examined all of the Council's communication, consultation and engagement with the public, employees, Councillors and partners. The overall aims of the review were:

To communicate what we do more effectively and to improve perceptions of the Council and the area

To identify options for future strategy, policy and service improvement that would deliver efficiency savings and sustain/improve high quality outcomes for Stockton residents. To make effective use of technology and transform the way we communicate, consult and engage with local communities, our staff and key stakeholders.

Following consideration by Cabinet an action plan would be submitted to the Select Committee setting out how approved recommendations would be implemented, detailing officers responsible for action, and timescales.


1. That a centralized Communications team be created which combines all media, marketing, employee communications, web development and internet content responsibilities within the Council. Strategic leadership of the team will be provided by a Head of Communications.

2. That the procurement of marketing services, advertising, printing, design services, brand development and photography be centralized and delivered by the communications team through 4 year framework agreements.

3. That a review of the Design and Print service is undertaken in the final quarter of 2009.

4. That a clear Council protocol for using the corporate Consultation team be established.

5. That the possibility of delivering a consultation services for other public sector organisations be explored.

6. That a comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy be produced to provide a co-ordinated and strategic approach to community engagement and involvement. The Strategy will include a strategic framework on funding for and use of community buildings. The Strategy will be completed by 31 March 2010.

7. That a single Community Engagement team be created to deliver the Community Engagement Strategy. The team will be in place by 31 March 2010 to deliver the strategy in recommendation 6 above.

8. That an Employee Engagement Strategy be produced that brings together all current engagement activities and as part of this process that an employee suggestion scheme with clear feedback route be introduced. The strategy and scheme will be in place by 31 December 2009.

9. That the Communications, Engagement and Consultation teams consider and report back to the Select Committee on the detailed service improvement opportunities included in Appendices 3, 4 and 5 of this report by 31 March 2010.
Reasons for the Decision
To improve Council communication, consultation and engagement whilst seeking to achieve service efficiencies.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Lupton declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled EIT Review of Communication, Consultation, and Engagement as a result of a family member being employed within the Communications Section.
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday 4 December 2009

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009

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