Your council, your way
Residents are at the very heart of what we do. There are lots of different ways for people to get involved, shaping the council’s knowledge, plans and policies and keeping up to date on news and views.
Getting involved: community boards
There are 16 community boards across the county who focus on bringing change and improvement to their local communities. They bring together councillors and local communities to engage with each other to:
- decide how to help solve local issues
- take local decisions
- influence local service design and delivery
We continue to provide guidance to town and parish councils to support them to develop and deliver neighbourhood plans and produce regular local planning updates for local councils.
Our 5 local planning committees and strategic sites committees continue to meet regularly.
Inform, consult, and involve
We believe engagement should be meaningful, timely, inclusive, and direct. We want local people to help shape any proposals that affect the services they use or the areas where they live and work. We want to hear the voices of those most affected. It is important to us that local people - including the young, community groups, businesses, partners, and staff - are involved, working together on developing and testing solutions and services. We are constantly looking to develop and improve on this.
Councillors and committees
Being democratically accountable and having good governance is essential to any council. We achieve this through the rigorous scrutiny of our processes and decisions by both the Audit & Governance Committee and our extensive Select Committee work.
Our website helps you find your local councillor and see which meetings are coming up and decisions that are being taken. To make sure the council is open and transparent, agendas and minutes of meetings are available online, with many meetings being filmed and in public.
We must have a strong customer focus with services that are easy for everyone to access and we continue to improve our user experience with a commitment to return calls, keep customers updated on progress and to escalate queries when needed. We are improving our website content to improve accessibility and availability of information in high traffic areas, such as Planning, School Admissions and Home to School Transport. We are also developing our Digital Strategy focussing on improving resident’s interaction with council through digital channels.
We want our residents to have a choice of how they engage with the council, including in places local to them. We know that some people would like to ‘self-serve’ online, but others will still value talking to us face to face. To support this, we have developed a Customer Experience Framework which we call Customer First.
Key to Customer First are our 3 promises to our customers about the experience they should expect:
- Easy for you to get in touch with us, easy to get what you need
- Helpful and that we aim to get things right first time
- Fair and honest in our approach so that we’re clear about what we can and can’t offer, and the reasons why
Supporting this we have described the behaviours that we expect from our staff and those we request of our customers. To track the customer experience that residents, services users and businesses receive we have published our Customer First Annual Report setting out what we have achieved so far and our priorities for the next year.
Our equalities commitment
Buckinghamshire Council is committed to equality of opportunity, fostering good relations, and eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
We recognise, respect and celebrate the fact that our staff and the people we serve are all from different backgrounds, whether this is our age, disability, ethnicity, family setting, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We will work with our partners to promote equality, celebrate diversity, improve social inclusion and mobility, and ensure fairness for everyone.