Cheshire West and Chester Council
Highways and Streetscene Re-Design
Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service
Cheshire West and Chester Council has reviewed its Highways and Streetscene service, to transform a traditional service into a sector-leading user of productivity technology to ensure we deliver the best possible service to our residents. The council’s change management team worked with the Highways and Streetscene service to jointly produce a review of our services. The intent of the review was; to identify opportunities for internal redesign of Highways and Streetscene to improve services and reduce cost, to review contract management to ensure a stronger focus on service quality and cost, and to explore the future scope of the Highways contract including whether certain existing in-house functions within Highways and Streescene could be delivered by another part of the Council or a third party. We worked with 15 teams to make sure that colleagues understood why the Council was reviewing the service, and to ensure the experiences and perspectives of our frontline staff and residents were captured. Though this type of re-design project is not unique, we believe that the extent of staff and service user engagement and the way the recommendations have been adopted is exemplary and should be shared with other authorities.
Why do you think it should win this award?
We have worked with and listened to all our Highways and Streetscene staff and customers to look at ways to improve the way we work and the service we provide. Although we recognise we have major budget constraints, the Council’s leadership team have supported an ‘invest to save’ strategy and approved funding to roll out new technologies. This innovative re-design has improved the way we allocate work, allowed staff to communicate with residents directly, allowed staff to work remotely and improved residents’ experience when reporting issues. We are keen to share our learning with other authorities, and hope that this award would give us a platform to do so. Maria Byrne, the Director of Place Operations says that “this project has transformed the way that we deliver our services. When we embarked on this service transformation project, the outcomes we set were to ensure we delivered our services in the most efficient and effective way, putting the customer experience at the heart of what we do and ensuring we deliver value for money. This has been a project that has delivered on all our key outcomes, innovated the way we deliver our services and resulted in savings of approximately £1 million a year.”
What are the key achievements?
The most important achievement of this project has been effective co-production. 15 teams took part in the co-production process. Staff own the review and the recommendations, and recognise the clear benefits of adopting new working practices. Technology implemented in the new target operating model includes:
Implementation of Street Cleansing Route Optimisation technology – software assigns cleansing and maintenance routes to crews based on the most efficient route.
Enabling field based working – A cloud based system has been implemented, enabling field based working. Hand held devices enable ‘real time’ updates and management, proactive prioritisation, and reduce travel and admin.
Evidence Based Highway Scheme Planning – Software identifies resurfacing based on priority according to a variety of data such as surveys, complaints, collision data and traffic flow.
Digital Customer Enquiries – The development and implementation of online reporting forms for customers. Smart forms will enable customers to report Highways and Streetscene issues and receive updates on progress.
In addition to significantly improving services and customer satisfaction, the new operating model is supporting the delivery of savings of £1m p.a.