Dacorum. Our commitment to business. Working together to make things happen. Look no further

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1 Dacorum Look no further Working together to make things happen Our commitment to business

2 Live, work, enjoy A great place to live, work and enjoy that s our vision for Dacorum. Our goal is to create a safe and secure place for local people to live and a great location for residents and visitors alike to enjoy, with something on offer for everybody. And a community of thriving businesses that helps create opportunities for all in a vibrant local economy. Dacorum Look no further Contents Working together 3 Making things happen 3 Business support and advice 4 Planning for growth 6 Safeguarding the environment 8 Managing waste 10 Supplying services to the Council 12 Building safer communities 13 Land and property 14 Know your rates and payment 15 Licensed to help 16 Working in partnership 18

3 Our commitment to business Working together Making things happen This document outlines our commitment to businesses in Dacorum and contains valuable information and guidance on the wide range of support and services that the council provides. It is also an open invitation to each and every business in the borough to join with us in helping to establish Dacorum as a premier location to do business. Central to this ambition is ensuring that our services supporting local business remain highly valued and relevant to their needs. To achieve this we need to maintain an ongoing dialogue between Dacorum Borough Council and the local business community. Working together we can meet the challenges of these tough times head on and grasp the economic opportunities available to us both now and in the future. We look forward to continuing working with our partners to ensure that encouraging enterprise and facilitating growth are central to everything we do. Sally Marshall Chief Executive Dacorum Borough Council Against a difficult economic backdrop of budget cuts and downward pressure on services, our local businesses have a vital role to play in creating the conditions necessary for economic growth and prosperity, through their enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship. Businesses tell us that high among their reasons for coming to Dacorum is that the Council are seen as people to do business with. We're recognised for finding a way to make things happen, not as a block to progress. For us being open for business means: Delivering a level of customer service that exceeds the demands of local businesses Working with all stakeholders to make things happen across the borough Representing the needs of local businesses through our vision for Dacorum Cllr Andrew Williams Leader Dacorum Borough Council Portfolio holder for Strategic Planning and Regeneration 3

4 Business support and advice Making it easy to do business in Dacorum is what drives us. Our Economic Wellbeing Team is on hand to offer expert support and practical advice tailored to your needs and aspirations whether you are a new start up or an established business. How we can help: Being a first point of contact to help businesses reach the right people within the council - we will respond to missed phone calls within 24hrs and s and other enquiries within 3 days Arranging to see you within 1 week of your first contact with us Signposting valuable services to help your business grow Providing free help and support on starting a business Offering advice and guidance on skills and employment matters Supporting the local supply chain and encouraging local trade Promoting the use of sustainable transport Aiding business growth through training programmes and events Regenerating the town centre and surrounding areas to make Dacorum a more attractive place to visit and to do business Giving Dacorum businesses a voice on issues of local, regional and national importance 4

5 Working together: Let us know how we can help your business and tell us about your challenges and successes. Give us your feedback so that we can improve the services we are offering and ensure that Dacorum businesses are well placed for success. Sign up for our business update on our initiatives and events Visit our website and follow us on twitter for regular business updates Let us know about your successes and future plans we love to hear about the great things you are doing and can help you shout about them Get in touch and we ll do all we can to help Your business champion: Lee Byrne 5

6 Planning for growth We want to make the planning process in Dacorum as effective and as fair as possible. We consult with interested stakeholders about planning applications and emerging policies for the development of land and buildings. And we respond to breaches of planning control, using enforcement action where necessary. How we can help: Ensuring our team is accessible to agents and applicants through free planning surgeries Adopting a proactive approach to the pre application process by offering alternative solutions where issues arise and taking into consideration the positive outcomes of any developments Validating applications and administering legal agreements in a fast and effective way in order to streamline the decision making process Working pro-actively through positive engagement with applicants and agents to seek an acceptable solution that gives applications as much chance as possible of success first time round Giving policy advice on where to locate in Dacorum Enabling planning applications to be made electronically Deciding planning applications within a timely manner, aiming to achieve the 8 week target (13 weeks for major proposals) 6

7 Working together: Come and speak to us at an early stage of your planning application to ensure we have an understanding of what you require and can advise on how to bring the proposal forward. Be positive in how you deal with our planning officers we are here to help Be flexible with your proposals and be prepared to adapt we have many considerations to take into account and will always try to take things forward Let us know if you would like to be part of our consultation database Your planning champion: Fiona Bogle 7

8 Safeguarding the environment Ensuring that Dacorum is a safe, secure and healthy place to live and work is our goal but we can only achieve that with your help. Enforcement of Environmental Health legislation is a key aspect of our work and in practice the solution to achieving compliance is working closely with business and giving advice in the first instance. In line with our Enforcement Policy we adopt a staged approach to enforcement and in the majority of cases compliance is achieved without recourse to instigating formal action. Food Safety, Health & Safety, Infectious Disease Control, Pollution Control (managing air quality and contaminated land management), Private Sector Housing are just some of the areas that are our responsibility. We also investigate instances of statutory nuisance, such as noise and bonfires, and tackle fly tipping, littering and graffiti, pest control, dog control and animal welfare. How we can help: Only taking action in accordance with the Council s Enforcement Policy Actively encouraging best practice and not interfering with business continuity unless absolutely necessary Ensuring enforcement action is proportionate ranging from initial advice to formal action Offering initial advice to businesses on complying with environmental health and other relevant laws 8

9 Paying particular concern to the needs of start-up and small businesses Responding to requests for advice on legal compliance within 3 working days Prioritising enforcement against businesses that flout the law, while supporting compliant businesses Preparing Business Continuity Plans to keep the council s services running if there are disruptive incidents Working together: Engage positively with enforcement officers and acting on advice or instructions given by officers quickly. Be aware of legislation relevant to the business and keeping up to date with any changes Ensure that the safety of the public and employees is at the core of your business Consider possible safety risks that your business may pose and take steps to control these risks Ensure that business continuity plans are kept up to date Notify relevant enforcement bodies when there are serious accidents or incidents Pay for services provided by the Council in a timely manner Your environment champion: Chris Troy 9

10 Managing waste Generating waste comes with great responsibility and it is a responsibility that our Environmental Team can help you meet in order to keep the environment clean, safe and tidy for other businesses and home owners in the area. Our task is to ensure that all commercial premises in Dacorum are made aware of their responsibility to dispose of any waste produced on their premises in a responsible and legal manner, providing a collection service when requested. It is also your responsibility to ensure that your employees are aware of their environmental impact and the reputational implications to your business How we can help: Prosecuting commercial premises that do not adhere to their responsibilities regarding the storage and disposal of commercial waste Carrying out investigations regarding fly tipping within Dacorum Resolving missed collections by the end of the next working day Providing advice for businesses of any changes regarding commercial waste legislation Undertake educational and awareness talks to businesses and their employees Advise businesses on how they can reduce, reuse and recycle their waste. This can reduce costs and waste to landfill 10

11 Working together: Sign a Commercial Waste Agreement with a waste carrier who is legally authorised to transport waste businesses cannot use the public civic amenity sites for free disposal. Check your waste is taken to a licensed disposal site or tip you can be prosecuted if your waste carrier dumps your rubbish illegally Complete the waste transfer note and provide a written description of the waste keep a copy of all documentation for two years Ask your waste carrier to provide more bins/sacks or to collect more often if you start to produce more waste Don't let your rubbish blow away and cause litter set aside appropriate space for storage between collections Keep all your rubbish and bins on your own property when waiting for collection Keep your premises and the area clean and tidy Your waste champion: Craig Thorpe 11

12 Supplying services to the Council Using a range of best practice procedures and principles, our procurement team is tasked with supporting front line services to generate value for money and quality from the contracts it commissions. This includes utilising local suppliers and supply chains to provide the Council with a range of goods, services & works; Office Supplies Security ICT Grounds Maintenance Construction Professional Services How we can help: Advertising all tender requirements via the website and social media for upcoming opportunities Considering the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 in all relevant service contracts to ensure maximum local economic impact Encourage departments where appropriate to spend locally for contracts up to 10k Aim to ask local businesses to quote on contracts up to the value of 50k Working together: Register your organisation on the Supply Hertfordshire portal https://supplyhertfordshire.g2b.info/ Contact us to discuss any issues that you feel you would like to raise with us Provide procurement awareness events as and when appropriate Your procurement champion: Andrew Linden 12

13 Building safer communities Our Community Safety Partnership Team works closely with local partners to create communities where local people and businesses can live and operate safely by addressing antisocial behaviour, environmental concerns and business crime. Listening to local residents and community groups and getting involved with local shops, neighbourhood centres and town centre management is vital to achieving this. How we can help: Acting as a single point of contact for the CSP for information and advice to identify trends and risks to business that relate to community safety Providing a link with community groups Offering opportunities for sponsorship including community events, theatre productions and play parks Working together: Keep us informed of any concerns or incidents. Work with us to implement community safety projects and plans in your areas Your residents champion: Julie Still Your community champion: David Moore 13

14 Land and property Our Valuation and Estates Team is responsible for managing the Council s commercial and industrial services. These range from the valuation, negotiation and recording of land purchases and disposals, including Right to Buy transactions, through to negotiations for all property transactions, tenancies and other landlord and tenant matters. The team also advises Parish and Town Councils on land and property matters and provides affordable housing advice to Housing Services to allow for the planning of council homes. How we can help: Liaising with appropriate departments internally to fix any issues that arise with the council s property Responding to enquiries within 5 working days Reassessing rental rates every 3 years to ensure they are in line with market costs Maintaining all council owned commercial property to acceptable standards Working together: Let us know as soon as any issues arise with your council owned property. Pay your rent on time Contact us if you wish to be put on a waiting list for a council owned commercial property Your land and property champion: Adriana Livingstone 14

15 Know your rates and payments Collecting council tax and business rates is vital if the council is to be able to provide a wide range services and support to the local community. But it is also important that we provide the correct discounts, reliefs and exemptions where appropriate and investigate instances of possible fraud when they occur. How we can help: Giving advice and information to all business rate payers Sending out business rates bills promptly, giving accurate information and showing clearly how they have been calculated Ensuring small businesses are aware of possible entitlement to small business rate relief and exemptions Listening to businesses and responding positively Working together Visit our website to stay up to date on changes to legislation. Pay in accordance with your business rates bill Tell us promptly about any change in circumstances relating to your business Contact us with any relevant queries relating to your business rates Tell us if you suspect anyone is committing fraud against the council Your business rates champion Anna Elliott 15

16 Licensed to help Our Licensing Team issues licences and permits for a wide range of business activities, to ensure that these take place safely and without unnecessary risk with regards public safety, public nuisance or harm to children or vulnerable persons. The main licences we issue relate to: Alcohol sales Entertainment venues, such as theatres, cinemas, bars, nightclubs and other venues hosting regulated entertainment Taxis and private hire vehicles Betting shops, bingo halls, amusement arcades, gaming machines, prize gaming and lotteries Late night food outlets Skin piercing and tattooing Scrap metal dealers and vehicle breakers Animal-related businesses including pet shops, animal boarders, riding schools, dog breeders and zoos Sex shops and sexual entertainment venues Charitable public collections We also investigate, and enforce where necessary, complaints about breaches of licences and allegations of unlicensed activities. How we can help: Responding to your enquiries within 3 working days Giving clear advice about activities requiring licences from us 16

17 Providing up to date information and advice on our website including application forms and processing details Processing applications for licences and registrations promptly and efficiently within any statutory processing times Keeping you informed about the progress of your application Giving clear reasons for any enforcement actions taken and advice about how to correct any legal breaches Working together: Contact us to check whether a licence is required for your activities and to obtain the necessary application forms. Provide as much detail about your proposed activities so that we can consider all aspects when giving advice Read any guidance notes on how to submit your application and any other documents you must provide to avoid delays in processing your application Let us know if you have any concerns about breaches of licences or unlicensed activities taking place which are affecting your business, so that we can investigate further Your licensing champion: Ross Hill 17

18 Working in partnership Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry Dacorum Borough Council and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry have teamed up to provide on the ground support for local businesses by appointing a business engagement manager for Dacorum based at the Maylands Business Centre. The Maylands Partnership The Maylands Partnership represents the combined interests of over 600 local businesses and plays a key consultative role in identifying and addressing the needs of local businesses. A new focus on employment and skills has been established with representatives from local companies, key stakeholders and the Council working together to ensure that young people in the area are trained and equipped with the skills and abilities that local businesses need both now and in the future. 18

19 Dacorum Growth Forum Through the Dacorum Growth Forum local businesses are invited to air their views on Dacorum Borough Council s work plans and help shape our future initiatives. This a valuable tool through which the council is able to maximise our resources to help our businesses as much as possible. Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Partnership The Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Partnership (HHTCP) brings together key representatives from the local business community, Dacorum Borough Council and other community groups who are passionate about the continued success of Hemel Hempstead Town Centre. The Partnership aims to create a prosperous and attractive town centre for residents and visitors to live, work, shop and spend their leisure time by improving safety and access through to securing greater footfall and investment. 19

20 Contact Us: For more information please get in touch: Tel: Web: Post: Economic Wellbeing Team Dacorum Borough Council Hemel Hempstead HP1 1HH A41 Tring Luton Stanstead A41(M) Berkhamsted Hemel Hempstead M1 M25 M40 M25 M4 Heathrow LONDON Dacorum Look no further

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