Agenda and draft minutes

EAP Connected Communities - Friday 20th October, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, The Cube, George Street, Corby NN17 1QG

Contact: David Pope  Email: david.pope@northnorthants.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Valerie Anslow and Richard Levell. Apologies were also received from Adele Wylie and Janice Gotts.

20.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations received.

21.

Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd June 2023 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that:-

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd June 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

22.

Developing the Council's Approach to Communication pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Minutes:

The Council’s Assistant Chief Executive, Guy Holloway attended the meeting and provided a presentation with regard to the development of the Council’s approach to communication.

 

The meeting heard that the Council was reviewing its approach to communications with an aim of developing a new Communications Strategy. It was noted that while there were positive aspects to the current approach, there remained areas for improvement.

 

The panel was provided with details of factors that guided the Council’s approach to communication, noting that communication activity should mirror and enforce the Council’s Corporate Plan. The values of the Council were highlighted, with the meeting noting that methods of communication should demonstrate these values.

 

The following aims were set out as being targets for achievement in terms of communications

 

·       Informing residents, customers and other stakeholders of relevant information

·       Explaining how to access services and detailing what was available

·       Engagement with stakeholders in policy development and decision-making

·       Provision of timely, relevant and accurate information

·       Helping customers to help themselves

·       Attracting the right attention to the area

 

The panel noted a number of constraints to achieving the targets set out above, including time and information overload, the digital divide, cultural and language barriers, misinformation and misunderstanding. Limited resources and the complexities of communication were also factors facing the Council.

 

The meeting was provided with details of the Council's customers and key stakeholders, who covered a wide range of individuals, organisations and sectors. It was noted that there was a need to engage with all of these stakeholders when developing policy and making decisions, while being mindful of the need to target stakeholder groups through a variety of communication mediums to allow for better coverage.

 

The panel heard that there was a vision to allow customers to access services 24/7 rather than just by visiting the Council offices in person or making contact by telephone. Early interventions and access to relevant advice first time could assist in stemming issues further down the line, with examples provided including debt advice and housing issues.

 

It was considered that members had a very important role in the Council’s communication approach, not only with their constituents, but also in developing the Council’s communication strategy.

 

The meeting heard that following unitarisation a corporate identity had to be formulated, with details of the brand guidelines detailed to the meeting that would allow all communications to be issued in a standard, cohesive manner. It was also noted that there was a variety of content issued by the Council in the form of press releases. In addition, there was a significant number of high-level conversations undertaken with local media services that was a positive route of circulating the Council’s messages.

 

Reference was made to the Council’s website, the panel noting that customers could undertake a wide range of business at a time that suited them, although it was heard that use of the website could also present challenges in access and navigation. The meeting heard that individuals could sign up for updates on specific areas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Minutes:

The Executive Forward Plan for 1st October 2023to 31st January 2024 was noted.

24.

Forward List of Items for the EAP

Minutes:

The forward list of items for the EAP was considered.

25.

Close of Meeting

Minutes:

There being no further business, the Chair thanked Members and Officers for their attendance and closed the meeting.