North Devon Council services retain Charter Mark

THE Environmental Health and Housing service at North Devon Council has retained its coveted Charter Mark award for customer service.   The Charter Mark is the national standard for customer service in the public sector and was first awarded in May last

THE Environmental Health and Housing service at North Devon Council has retained its coveted Charter Mark award for customer service.

The Charter Mark is the national standard for customer service in the public sector and was first awarded in May last year after an assessor spent two days interviewing customers, staff, senior managers and business partners in a rigorous test of their customer service performance.

To keep the award for three years, the service had to prove that it was still reaching the Charter Mark standard, was continuously striving to improve and had progressed further in each of the assessed categories. The service now keeps it's Charter Mark until May 2011.

At last month's visit the assessor praised the service for

* Improvements to the website

* Strategic Housing services achieving a 'good' rating from the Audit Commission

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* The "excellent" Homelessness and Rough Sleeper strategic planning documents

* Using a translator to provide food safety training to Mandarin speakers

Providing informative newsletters for a wide variety of service users.

Cllr Pat Barker, Lead Member for Environmental Health, said: "We are really thrilled that our service is continuing to improve. Our staff work really hard to deliver the best service they can to our customers and the review proves that they are still reaching the hard targets set by Charter Mark. We are lucky that we have at the head a good forward thinking leader of this department."

Cllr Andrea Davis, Lead Member for Housing, said: "We are all very proud to have kept hold of our Charter Mark for the next two years. This award owes much to the dedication and professionalism of the whole department."

The department provides a wide range of services, from food hygiene and licensing to affordable housing, decent home grants and dog wardens.

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