One District One Council

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1 One District One Council Mr Hugh Burnett OBE receives The Queen's Awards for Enterprise Promotion from Vince Cable, Business Secretary. This is available in large print, audio format or in another language upon request. Please telephone or For all other enquiries call Nilam Popat Corporate Head Property, Regeneration and Enterprise Lewes District Council Southover House Southover Road Lewes East Sussex BN7 1AB Lewes District Council Business Charter

2 Contents Our Services 08 Property, Regeneration and Enterprise 10 District Services 12 Environmental Health 14 Finance 15 Housing Services 16 Internal Services 17 Legal & Democratic Services 18 Planning & Building Control 20 Emergency Planning Communications 21 Contacting Us 21 Business Champions 21 Consultations 22 Complaints & Compliments Working in Partnership 22 Local Enterprise Partnerships 22 Lewes District Business Grouping 22 Local Business Support and Network Groups For further information contact: Property, Regeneration and Enterprise, Lewes District Council, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1AB Telephone: One District One Council

3 Foreword Lewes District Council Business Champions We are facing some of the most difficult economic conditions of recent times. Increased globalisation, evolving industrial and organisational structures, pressure on resources, changing demography and advances in new technology are key drivers of change that pose significant challenges and opportunities for national and local economies alike. Within this context, Lewes District Council recognises the importance of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship as the fundamental building blocks for creating prosperity that will improve the quality of life for all. It is for this reason that through our vision to create One District One Council we promise: An unswerving commitment to customer service To connect with our workforce and partners to inspire exceptional contributions To save money and, where possible, put money back into the pockets of our residents and businesses. This Business Charter demonstrates how the Council will lead the way in unlocking the full potential of local businesses, through ensuring the standards of our services supporting them are high, relevant and valued. Central to achieving this will be a refresh of the terms of engagement between the Council and local businesses, so that together we can grasp the economic challenges and opportunities faced now and in the future. We look forward to working with our partners to put business, enterprise and entrepreneurship at the heart of everything we do. For further information on Lewes District Council s services please contact one of our Business Champions who have responsibility for driving forward the Business Charter: Finance Ian Morris Recycling Trevor Watson Refuse collection and street cleansing Greg Kitchener Parks and Open Spaces Andy Frost Housing Rebecca Wynn Food Safety/Health & Safety Tim Wyatt Licensing Ed Hele Planning Catherine Jack Building Control Roger Carsons Emergency Planning Ian Kedge Property, Regeneration & Enterprise and all other enquiries Greg Macdonald All the above can be contacted by phone on , by post or in person at: Lewes District Council, Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1AB It should be noted that whilst every effort is made by Council officers to assist businesses, they are not able to act as private consultants. In addition those businesses that disregard the law will be subject to formal action in line with the Council s enforcement policy. Environmental Protection Tim Bartlett Cllr Rob Blackman Nilam Popat Cabinet Member Business, Corporate Head - Economic Development and Tourism Communities & Enterprise Lewes District Council Lewes District Council 04 05

4 Introduction The purpose of this Business Charter is to establish a new working relationship between Lewes District Council and local business in order to improve overall economic performance and prosperity across the District. The Business Charter aims to: Deliver the highest quality of service for businesses and where possible ensure that the particular needs of individual businesses are understood and met Provide value for money, especially within the current economic climate which has required an enterprising and agile approach to delivering public services. To achieve these aims, we will: Analyse needs, seek the views of business and implement resultant changes Plan services in light of local and strategic priorities Monitor performance to embed a culture of continuous improvement Work in partnership with local business to establish effective joint working arrangements Deal with businesses honestly and with integrity. This Business Charter will consider each service area within the Council against the following: provided specific standards that business should expect. For your part we ask that in general you: Make the District Council aware of the needs of the business community Participate in events and activity aimed at supporting business Respond to consultations regarding policy, projects and funding bids which may affect local business Treat our staff with courtesy Follow our advice and guidance to avoid the need for any formal enforcement action Recognise that the Council looks to secure value for money for its customers Think about any things which could disrupt your business (for example bad weather, power cuts, damage to your buildings) and put in place business continuity plans to keep your business going Keep us informed of any change in contact details. At a service specific level you: Provide timely and constructive input into the planning process when we consult on planning applications and on new planning policies Seek our advice regarding sustainable development and energy use Come and talk to us at an early stage of construction design work to enable us to provide the best possible advice to you on Building Regulation matters and help you to avoid costly and time consuming technical design alterations Contact our Environmental Health Team to discuss any plans you have to upgrade, enlarge, improve or replace equipment whether it be in kitchens, manufacturing processes or retail. We can provide advice on a range of matters including ergonomics, process efficiency, food safety, pollution control and general health and safety Ensure that we can get good access to your bins on the days that we collect and keep yourself informed of changes to collection days for Christmas and Bank Holiday periods and other useful information. A golden thread running through this Charter is the recognition of the importance of the dynamic between prosperity, place and people. This means we will take a sustainable and strategic approach that benefits entrepreneurs, investors, shareholders, residents, visitors, workers and the physical and natural environment. The Business Charter will be monitored through the Lewes District Council Business Champions Group and will be updated as required to reflect discussions with local business

5 Property, Regeneration and Enterprise Property management for council assets Cultural tourism development and promotion including the annual Artwave visual arts festival Tourist Information Centres at Lewes and Seaford Newhaven Fort Historic Ancient Monument as a visitor attraction Visitor guide and website to promote Lewes district as a visitor destination Co-ordination of business support activity Co-ordination of initiatives to support skill development Co-ordination of area based regeneration such as Newhaven Co-ordination of theme based regeneration such as public realm Inward investment function Sector support for current and emerging industries Research and intelligence to inform policy and action Policy and strategy to steer and direct investment Representation of business at strategic partnership level Indoor Leisure Centre services Clean and Green Team (abandoned vehicles, fly tipping investigations and prosecutions) Public conveniences Off-street car parks. We will: Support the visitor economy and associated businesses and activities Support and champion business led partnerships and networks operating across the District and bring these together on a regular basis Work to improve broadband infrastructure to support existing and new businesses and communities Seek to ensure that there is high quality employment space across the district to meet the future needs and aspirations of business Produce and keep a business directory to help understand the changing shape of the economy Produce and keep up to date a directory of available commercial premises Develop projects to address specific challenges and opportunities associated with securing skills development and economic growth Act as a broker between business and the public sector in order to identify and help address areas of conflict. Business Champions: Clean and Green Team: Bee Lewis Regeneration: Greg Macdonald Greg Macdonald Launch of Visitor Guide to Lewes District Newhaven Enterprise Centre 08 09

6 District Services Commercial and domestic refuse collection Domestic bulky household waste collection service Fortnightly domestic kerbside recycling service Fortnightly commercial cardboard and paper recycling service Mini recycling sites for domestic waste Street cleansing Community Resource Centre Scrap store for commercial off-cuts and useful waste, provided to schools and art groups etc. Commercial and domestic confidential paper shredding service Allotments Cemeteries Children s Play Areas Parks, Open Spaces and Nature Reserves Administration, banking and Customer Services one stop shop for our services Provision of information on our own corporate environmental performance. We will: Create clean and pleasant environments to attract and sustain business and their workforce and customers Provide advice to suit individual businesses regarding the recycling and disposal of trade waste Provide efficient and effective waste collection services for commercial waste, providing bins where needed and assistance in completion of duty of care documentation Provide recycling services for paper and card which will be at a reduced charge compared with general refuse charges Encourage local businesses to develop green travel plans and other activities that reduces their carbon footprint Work with local business on campaigns such as say no to single use plastic bags. Business Champions: Recycling: Trevor Watson Refuse collection: Greg Kitchener Parks and Open Spaces: Andy Frost Railway Land, Lewes 10 Street and drain cleaning 11

7 Environmental Health Health promotion and development Food safety enforcement and advice Health and Safety at Work enforcement and advice Infectious disease control Air quality management Pollution control Contaminated land management Noise pollution control Alcohol, entertainment and taxi licensing Pest control, dog control and animal welfare Street trading control Miscellaneous licensing such as gambling, body piercing and tattooists. We will: Follow best practice in enforcement and look to develop strong, successful local businesses Offer free advice to businesses on how to comply with environmental health and other relevant laws Pay particular concern to the needs of potential start up, new or small businesses Respond to requests for advice on legal compliance within 3 working days Ensure our enforcement actions are in proportion to the severity of any offence Concentrate our inspection and enforcement against those businesses that flout the law, whilst supporting those businesses that aim to comply with the law Give our residents information on how well local businesses comply with the law wherever possible to allow them to support well run businesses Follow any inspection of your business with a written report of the outcome of that inspection within 5 working days. Business Champions: Food Safety/Health & Safety: Tim Wyatt Licensing: Ed Hele Environmental Protection: Tim Bartlett 12 Lewes Friday Market Environmental Health check 13

8 Finance Housing Services Collection of council tax and business rates Council tax benefit Housing benefit for Council and Private Sector tenants Benefit fraud investigation. We Will: Contact businesses who we think may be entitled to small business rate relief, but do not claim it Send out business rates bills promptly and clearly illustrate how they have been calculated Offer a range of payment options Provide guidance for suppliers on how to do business with the Council. Give details of contract opportunities and our prime tendered contracts on the South East Business Portal: Treat suppliers openly and fairly Publish a Procurement Strategy Follow the principles and commitments of the National Procurement Concordat for small and medium sized enterprises which can be found on our website at: Business Champion: Ian Morris Estate management Tenant participation Rent collection and arrears recovery Enforcement of standards in privately rented housing Repairs to properties Transfers and exchanges Supported housing Housing Strategy We Will: Work with our tenants to help to combat worklessness Encourage community benefits through the delivery of our services and associated contracts Business Champion: Rebecca Wynn Seaford Pay all undisputed bills in the week the procuring officer authorises payment, even where this is in advance of your credit terms

9 Internal Services Legal Services & Democratic Services We provide the following services for our employees and councillors: Personnel and recruitment Training Health and Safety Diversity and equalities Industrial relations Computer services Information technology Design & desk top publishing Printing Internet Post We will: Lead by example as a model employer : -Championing diversity and equalities -Embedding Heath and Safety -Embracing new ways of working that supports a work life balance Investigate opportunities where our employment services can be used to help local business. Business Champion: Greg Macdonald Councillor & committee support Elections & voters registration Media & communications Freedom of Information Land charges We will: Provide opportunities for you to meet with councillors to discuss your views Produce and publish good news stories that promote and champion local business Deal with Freedom of Information requests Add to each agenda item a statement that ensures the author has considered the sustainability in terms of economic, social and environmental impact. Business Champion: Greg Macdonald Telephones & switchboard. Print Unit, Lewes District Council An election count in progress 16 17

10 Planning & Building Control Building control Pre-application advice Planning applications, planning appeals and planning enforcement Conservation Areas and historic buildings Tree protection Flood defence and coast protection Input into key plans and strategies that have implications for Lewes District Preparing an up-to-date Development Plan for the District Monitoring the effectiveness of current planning policies Support and advice for those undertaking neighbourhood planning Accessibility information. We also provide a range of planning services on behalf of the South Downs National Park Authority. We Will: Consult widely on planning matters and make relevant material available through our website. Plan for the future development of the district, including allocation of land for new homes and jobs, and providing the infrastructure to serve it Aim to conserve and enhance the District s natural and built heritage and, in particular conservation areas, listed buildings, trees and the part of the district within the South Downs National Park Provide helpful and friendly early advice on building work and deal with building control applications and dangerous structures to ensure Health and Safety and a reasonable standard of construction Provide support and advice to those preparing neighbourhood plans Provide competitively priced quotations for the provision of our Building Control Services on larger scale construction projects and those falling outside the scope of our standard fixed fee schedules Work with partners to manage flood risk and coastal erosion risk in vulnerable areas of the district. The Planning Policy team issues regular alerts that provide up-to-date information relating to the progression of planning policies and proposals. If you wish to receive these alerts contact us. General planning enquiries: Planning Policy team: Business Champions: Building Control: Roger Carsons Planning: Catherine Jack

11 Emergency Planning Communications Promoting awareness of the risks which may disrupt everyday life Preparing Emergency Plans Leading community recovery after major incidents Preparing business Continuity Plans to keep the council s services running if there are disruptive incidents Advising local firms on business continuity Supporting communities to develop Local Resilience Plans. Your charter We will: Respond to major incidents affecting Lewes District in partnership with the emergency services and other agencies Put in place recovery plans after any major incident Keep our Business Continuity Plan up to date Give advice to local firms on getting their own business continuity plans in place Provide advice and guidance to communities on preparing Local Resilience Plans. Emergency Planning Officer: A critical element of this Business Charter is to ensure that we have clear lines of communication in place that enable the Council and local businesses to develop and maintain a dialogue. Therefore we have a group of Business Champions as the first point of contact for each service. Cllr Rob Blackman will provide the Cabinet Lead for the Council supported by the Properties, Regeneration and Enterprise Department, and the Business Champions Group. Consultations We will consult with business on a wide range of issues and aim to ensure that businesses are: Aware of consultations directly or through network groups such as the local Chambers of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses Given a chance to have their say with clear timescales for responses Provided feedback detailing how their comments have been used. In undertaking consultations we expect consultees to respect the timescales and processes involved so that we are able to develop and deliver policies and projects on time. Publish a Community Risk Register so you can see the risks Business Champion: Ian Kedge Keep our Emergency Plans up to date and carry out exercises to ensure they work well 20 Operation Watermark 21

12 Working in Partnership The ability to secure sustainable economic prosperity depends greatly on partnership working. We recognise that we have to work in partnership to achieve economic success across the District: Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) We are members of the South East LEP and the Coast to Capital LEP. These provide access to political backing and a range of funding opportunities to support the key investments and interventions needed to enable business growth across the District. Local Business Support and Network Groups: Action in Rural Sussex: Federation of Small Businesses: Lewes Chamber of Commerce: Newhaven Enterprise Centre: newhaven-centre.htm Newhaven Chamber of Commerce: Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce: Seaford Chamber of Commerce: seafordchamber.co.uk Sussex Enterprise: Plumpton Business Group: team_business.php CADIA Gatwick Diamond Business Association: Other businesses and networks will be involved on a project by project basis. Lewes District Business Champions Group: Representatives from across the Council services who meet regularly to review the delivery of this Charter

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