Swift launches People's Champion.

February 26, 2007 2:21 PM

Councillor Keith Swift, the Portfolio Holder for Townships and Corporate Management has welcomed the Council's decision to pass the budget and bring in a 'People's Champion' Department that will champion resident's concerns and deal with disputes that residents will have with the Council.

Councillor Swift told last night's Council Meeting, "People in the borough deserve excellent services and it is up to us as a Cabinet - and as a Council, to make sure that they get them. The best way of knowing what we're doing right - and what we're doing wrong is to listen to what people tell us - and where we make mistakes, act quickly to resolve them.

The People's Champion will play an important role in this process. He or she will work closely with citizens to resolve concerns and complaints and to improve the delivery of services by helping to shape them with the public in mind.

The role also strengthens accountability by giving local people an independent point of appeal when things can't be resolved straight away.

It is vital that local people have a voice and the ability to change things that are not working well - and the People's Champion will act as a challenge to all services to improve.

The information gathered by the People's Champion will be shared across the council. This will help us to understand the difficulties and problems people face when they come to the Council for help. This information will be used to design services with people in mind - in a way that makes sense and matters to them.

We acknowledge that this is a change in approach and make no apologies for wanting to give citizens more of a say in how services are run or wanting a faster response when our citizens need us. Having a people's champion will mean the public get a better service from us and like any service, this will, of course, be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure it works and shows real benefits."