We’d like to share a great example of a council service who are determined to be open and to invite our councillors in. Here’s what happened when some of our councillors had a personal tour of Huddersfield Customer Service Centre.
Councillors have a unique role in connecting us to our communities. Strong councillors are at the centre of local networks and help us to grow our relationships with our citizens. That’s why it’s important for us to put councillors at the heart of what we do.
We know it’s important that our staff feel confident working with councillors. When we held workshops with councillors and officers, some of our colleagues told us that they feel councillors only get involved when something has gone wrong. Yet we also discovered a great enthusiasm for working together, getting to know each other and building trust.
We’re pleased that staff at the Customer Service Centre decided to do something positive to help. They thought about what might be most useful for councillors and designed a visit to achieve that. Rather than feeling under scrutiny, they saw it as an opportunity to help local people by keeping our councillors informed. So the visit was both practical and informative. It has enabled councillors to support people in their wards, and to get to know more of our staff.
Following this successful pilot, the Customer Service Centre are now offering tours to other Kirklees councillors. And we’re busy encouraging other teams in the council to follow this great example.