Speech delivered to the full Council meeting on 15th September 2005
Thank you Mr Mayor.
The Customer First initiative has now taken off with the opening of the new Contact Centre, demonstrating this Administration‘s commitment to the council‘s core value of "putting the customer at the heart of everything we do". At least one opposition group seems to have forgotten this underlying principle, and how it represents part of the laying of a solid foundation upon which we can build.
Others on the opposite side of the Chamber seem more concerned with creating headline-grabbing initiatives ahead of a solid base, so they are like the man who built his house on sand: it would easily be washed away. We build on solid ground, and the public appreciate this kind of approach. I think that, by and large, they have more sense than some elected members who clearly do not represent their views on this issue.
Especially bearing in mind that it will pay for itself in time, there is no reason to oppose this step-change in how we interact with our customers.
In terms of cost, Labour are again confused between inputs and outputs, as they have frequently demonstrated in this Chamber and elsewhere. We are here first and foremost to deliver worthwhile services, and that is exactly what we are doing. Even the title "Customer First" surely gives us the clue. I mean, it‘s fairly obvious, isn‘t it?
Putting the customer first, and providing the most convenient ways to ensure that, in terms of interaction with us, is surely the way to go.
Thank you very much, Mr Mayor.
John M Ward (Councillor, Rochester South and Horsted)