Quality & Service Standards

Quality and Continuous Improvement
It is important that you know that Councillors and Staff are committed to providing good quality of service.  Between December 2005 and January 2015 the Town Council held national recognition as a Quality Town Council.  On 6th January 2015 this scheme was replaced by the 'Local Council Award Scheme' and any council accredited previously under the Quality Status Scheme could apply for automatic transition to the new scheme - as a result the Town Council held the Foundation level award for one year.  It has not applied for re-accreditation at the present time.

More details of what the Local Council Award scheme comprises can be obtained from the National Association of Local Councils website

Service Standards
Within our approach to quality, we have set Service Standards. These are designed to give you a service that is consistent, fair and efficient. We will strive to meet our targets and by working with you in a spirit of cooperation we will do our best and will explain where and why we have shortcomings.

Our Councillors and Staff will:

  • Be welcoming, courteous, fair and respectful
  • Provide information that is accurate, timely and relevant
  • Communicate current information via our website and notice boards
  • Maintain confidentiality or let you know of circumstances where this might not apply
  • Signpost you to other more suitable services if appropriate
  • Endeavour to help if you have additional needs for example disability, sensory impairment or language difficulties (this may involve us working with another agency to assist you)
  • Supply if you request information regarding Council policies that are in the public domain
  • Publish a summary of the extent to which we are meeting our service standards

We ask you:

  •  To be courteous, fair and respectful
  • To let us know your compliments, suggestions or complaints

When you contact our office*:

  • If your telephone call is unanswered, you will be invited to leave a message. All telephone messages will receive a response before the end of the next working day
  • Your e-mail message will receive acknowledgement before the end of the next working day, except where an automated reply shows that the person is absent for the period stated
  • If you wish for an appointment to speak to a member of staff this will occur within 5 working days of your request
  • Your written correspondence will be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt
  • If you have a query that needs consideration by the Town Council or one if its Committees you will be advised of the outcome within 7 working days of the decision

* Please note that the office is normally staffed between 9 am and 4 pm but commitments may mean that the office is unattended during these periods.

Where and how to make contact:

Postal Address:
Bury St Edmunds Town Council
Town Council Offices
7 Angel Hill
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 1UZ
Telephone: 01284 725111 Email: info@burystedmunds.suffolk.gov.uk

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Freedom of Information
We operate within a code of conduct – details of which can be found on this website.

Specific Areas of Service:

Councillors, the Council and its Committees:

  • Names and contact details of all Town Councillors will be published and available on request
  • All scheduled Town Council meetings will be published on our website and notice boards
  • The agenda for meetings will be displayed at least 3 working days beforehand
  • Requests for minutes of public meetings will be met within 3 working days
  • We encourage you to attend our meetings and make contact on matters of interest

Allotments:

We will:

  • If you reside in Bury St Edmunds and wish to apply for tenancy for an allotment place your name on a waiting list
  • When you contact us advise you of your position on the waiting list
  • Not indicate to you when you are likely to become a tenant
  • Make you an offer of tenancy at the first available opportunity
  • Ensure that allotment plots are utilised

We ask you:

  • If you are a tenant of an allotment, to comply with the terms and conditions of your tenancy
  • To undertake to notify us of any material change in your circumstances as a tenant or prospective tenant

If you make a complaint, we will in accordance with our policy**:

  • Attempt to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, apologising if this is appropriate
  • Commence an investigation and formal proceedings if applicable
  • Assist you to make the complaint
  • Keep you informed of progress
  • Advise you of the outcome
  • Use lessons learned from complaints to improve our services
  • Annually provide a statistical analysis of complaints

** Our full complaints policy is available on request from the Town Clerk.

Performance Targets

Targets in relation to our Standards cover the following areas and our achievement against these will be published each year:

  • 95% of telephone messages to receive a response before the end of the next working day
  • 98% of requests for an appointment to be met within 5 working days of request
  • 95% of written correspondence to be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt
  • 95% of individual public queries needing consideration by the Town Council to be advised of the outcome within 7 working days of the decision 
  • 100% compliance where requests under the Freedom of Information legislation are received
  • 100% of agendas of public meetings to be displayed 3 or more days before the meeting
  • 95% of requests for minutes of public meetings to be met within 3 working days
  • 95% of allotment plots to be let to tenants
  • 95% of complaints received to be handled within prescribed time limits

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