Councils to spend £134k on improving department

A cash injection of £134,000 is needed to improve customer service and the poor performance of a council’s planning department.

The merged planning departments of Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils will get extra money allocated from council reserves.

Babergh will pay £75,000 of the total costs, with Mid Suffolk paying £58,500, so that the planning teams are able to provide “an appropriate improvement in planning performance and good customer service,” according to a report by the authorities.

The measures put in place over the next six months include recruiting a conservation officer for a six-month period, a new planning enforcement officer for a temporary period, and two new technical officers.

Plans to address poor customer service levels include staff training, while an action plan is being devised to deal with “poor caseload management”.