Posted: Thu 5th Oct 2023

New Website to Streamline Planning Applications in Blaenau Gwent /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 5th, 2023

A NEW website that will allow residents to see planning applications lodged with Blaenau Gwent planners will “quicken up the system” according to a senior councillor.
The new planning portal is supposed to be switched on early next year and was brought up at a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, October 4, as councillors discussed the future Customer Services Strategy for the authority.
This strategy, which will run to 2027, will go hand-in-hand with the Digital Transformation strategy approved by the cabinet earlier in the meeting.
This is because residents will be expected to access more council services online to “self-serve.”
Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Cllr John Morgan said: “I’m 100 per cent supportive of this introducing new digital services will help our residents.
“I’d like to highlight the improved service which will come about via the new planning (website) which is due to be launched.”
“This will allow applicants and residents to look up applications and see exactly what the position is, and where they are in the system.
“It will greatly cut down the amount of time required by planning officers to answer queries and should help quicken up the system.”
Council leader, Cllr Steve Thomas: “I can really see the value in people being able to access that information.”
The use of libraries as centres to access council services known is also expected to play an important part in the strategy,
Known as “community hubs” their creation in 2021 is a by-product from the council’s decision to close and the subsequent demolition of the former Blaenau Gwent headquarters the Civic Centre in Ebbw Vale.
Cabinet member for social services, Cllr Haydn Trollope said: “This follows on from the great work our officers have done with the hubs.
“The public are telling us the hubs are working, I’ve not heard one bad word about them.”
The strategy was unanimously approved by the Cabinet.
This strategy is underpinned by three key principles:
Principle One – is to deliver a positive customer service experience;
Principle Two – is to invest in staff to support customers and to resolve queries at first point of contact where possible;
Principle Three – is to develop a culture that supports digital improvement, innovation and continues to make the best use of new technology. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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