Thinking differently - Redbridge Council planning enforcement team's improvement project
Posted on 2nd August 2021 at 11:41
Planning enforcement plays a significant role in encouraging good development. And Planning Enforcement teams are there to protect planning principles. This benefits everyone in our communities. But it is rarely celebrated.
Mondrem CIC has been working with Redbridge Council's planning enforcement and technical support teams to help them create a new way of working that delivers a better experience for their customers and stakeholders. A way of working that deserves to be celebrated.
Building a shared understanding of purpose, agreeing reasonable expectations, introducing new tools and working together on a clear, practical way to prioritise work have all been part of the challenge.
But responding to human needs and not just answering technical questions is a key part of the team’s success
The team has worked exceptionally hard to improve their service and are delivering results that encourage good development in their Borough.
Bob, our Communications Manager, sat down with Sharon Blaize, Enforcement and Technical Manager, to ask about her experience working with Mondrem.
How helpful was the project?
"The project has helped us to break down the areas that we know we need to work on. It has been very useful to look at issues individually and not just the whole picture."
How helpful were the Mondrem team?
"I find Sarah very approachable, understanding and considerate. We work well together. Other members of the team are friendly and approachable too. There's consistency with Mondrem - good people, good communication and a good level of organisation."
How valuable was the change that was delivered?
"The biggest thing that was helpful was the prioritisation strategy. I was sceptical about what Mondrem could do considering we were already using the strategy. Mondrem was able to give us something we could actually use - a practical and useful tool. That was a great first step and way forward. We are using it and we have two new starters who are using the tool successfully. There are lots of variables in planning enforcement but having a strategy to follow helps people to know what to expect from us and helps the team by giving them options when making a decision.
"Mondrem looked at all the skills that the team had and where there was a need for training and what we could do to capture that need. It was helpful knowing where we need to focus and having a mechanism to measure this. Mondrem are good at putting governance in place to monitor these things.
"There was work on communications to capture the good work we do. When people approach enforcement, they know what they are going to get. We now promote ourselves and people know how we work. We are a small team but we are ranked in the top 10 local authorities for serving notices and PCNs."
What struck you about Mondrem's approach? Is it different? If so, why?
"The organisational aspect is consistently very high. If you say you will do something, you do it. Communication is very good. You say what you are doing, how you are doing it, and what processes you will follow to do it. It's clearly set out at the beginning. But there is flexibility within that approach. You take on suggestions and are open to incorporating those into your approach."
To find out more about how Mondrem are helping planning services to improve performance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request an information pack.
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