Agenda and minutes

Corporate Support Committee - Thursday 15th September 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber & Blue Room, Arun Civic Centre, Maltravers Road, Littlehampton, BN17 5LF. View directions

Contact: Carley Lavender 

Note: We’re sorry to advise that due to unforeseen circumstances a recording for this meeting of the Committee is not available. 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.


Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:


a)             the item they have the interest in

b)             whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest

c)             the nature of the interest



There were no declarations of interest made.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 115 KB

The Committee will be asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the Corporate Support Committee held on 19 July 2022.


The minutes of the Corporate Support Committee meeting held on 19 July 2022 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chair.


Public question time

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)


          There were no public questions submitted for this meeting.


Customer Services Annual Report 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 99 KB

This report provides an update of service delivery across all channels and statistical information to support the report.

Additional documents:


The Customer Services Manager provided members with an introduction to the report. She explained that the report highlighted the areas where the customer service teams helped and assisted the districts customers. She confirmed that they handled approximately 3000 webchats annually. She drew members attention to appendix 3 in the agenda pack as it highlighted all the different contact channels available to customers. She also advised that call volumes had seen decrease in numbers and that this was due to number of available trained resources as well as other contact channels being chosen and used instead of just the telephone option. Turning to appendix 5 she explained that showed the decrease in the ‘come in’ figures, the number of people coming into the Civic Centre and or Bognor Regis Town Hall, she also confirmed that the zero figures highlighted the pandemic timeframe. She also explained that recently an appointment system had been put in place at both the civic and town hall locations. Confirming that the customer services teams were covering both receptions and assisting customers with the best route to have their query resolved, which may involve a variety of options from a video call with a specialist advisor or an in person appointment where needed. In summing up she also confirmed that any individuals presenting as homeless would also be assisted by the staff on the receptions.


          In turning to the debate, members were invited by the Chair to ask any questions if they had any, a summary of which is below.


          It was queried how many employees there were in the team. It was confirmed that the team was made up of 23 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) when fully staffed. However, the team were currently 4 FTE short as well as 1 member of the management team short. It was confirmed that all Customer Service team members were trained, and all took calls, especially during high peak times.


          Clarity was sought regarding staffing at Bognor Regis Town Hall after several press reports had been seen over the last few months that stated the Town Hall reception had been closed and this differed from the presentation member had just received. It was confirmed by the Customer Service Manager that reception at Bognor Regis Town Hall was open and was now benefitting from the recently introduced appointment system. It was confirmed that no complaints had been received since the appointment system had been introduced and that the only staff that had been relocated from Bognor Regis Town Hall was some parts of the Revenue and Benefit Teams.


          There was further discussion in relation to how working remotely had impacted the Customer Services Team, what were its advantages and disadvantages. This then led to discussion on how the team approached referring customers to the website to self-serve in the future. Where it was confirmed that the team will always encourage customer to take the self-serve option inclusive of talking the customer through the step-by-step process over the phone or inviting the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 265.


Corporate Support Performance Report for Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

This report sets out the performance of the Key Performance indicators at Quarter 1 for the period 1 April 2022 to 30 June 2022.


Additional documents:



Budget Process Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

The report provides a summary of the budget process for 2023/24 as required by the Council’s Constitution. The Committee is then asked to approve the Budget process for 2023/24 as outlined in the report, having been endorsed by the Policy & Finance Committee on 6 September 2022.



The Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer introduced the report to members. The Chair confirmed that previously there had been confusion as to the right place to ask questions related specifically to the Budget and confirmed that this would be at the budget meeting early next year. This report was to note the process that would be followed as highlighted in appendix B.

As there were no questions, members noted the report.



Sundry Debts Write Offs 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

The report lists cases where authorisation is sought to write off miscellaneous sundry debt where delegated powers cannot be used. In addition, a list is provided where delegation has been used for Members’ information.



The Group Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer introduced the report to members.


          The Chair queried the process followed for chasing bad debts and had the council considered selling these debts to an external debt collection company to try and recover some of these monies. The Group Head of Finance & Section 151 Officer explained that external debt collection agencies were used by some areas in the council. However, should this be something that was of interest to members for Sundry Debt, then this would require a policy change and members would be consulted prior to any changes being implemented. It was then commented by one member that he would not encourage this approach and he would advise against it.


As there were no further questions, members noted debts written off in 2021/22 under delegated powers of £67,250.77 as detailed in the report.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 78 KB

For information only.


It was queried if the Chair had received any contact from members with suggestions of items to add to the Committees work programme as previously requested. The Chair confirmed that no contact had been received.


Members then noted the work programme.