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Monday 4 April 2016

Councils join forces to boost building control services


Cheshire East Council has joined forces with a neighbouring authority to boost building regulations services and provide greater flexibility to meet demand.

Cheshire East has entered into an agreement with Staffordshire and Moorlands District Council (SMDC) to enable the two authorities to assist each other with building regulations applications.

Civicance, a wholly-owned company of Cheshire East Council, which provides building control, planning support and address management, will be the Cheshire East component of the partnership.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “This new agreement is great news for local taxpayers and signals a great opportunity for greater collaborative and effective working between the two councils and providing even better value for money.

“The ‘memorandum of understanding’ between the authorities provides a great opportunity for Civicance to carry out work for another authority on behalf of Cheshire East. This ability to share resources will enable both councils to be more responsive to fluctuations in workload, cutting through unnecessary delays.”

Since signing the agreement, Civicance has been dealing with SMDC building regulations applications for SMDC on behalf of Cheshire East Council.

The main areas of work carried out on behalf of SMDC are plan checking and site inspections, for which the CEC will receive a fee. The identified benefits include:

Improved competitiveness;                                                                                           

● Increased income associated with building regulations;

● Further marketing and promotional opportunities;

● A positive attitude to joint working; and

● Opportunities to further staff development.

Cllr Arnold added: “This represents a good beginning for Civicance working in partnership with other authorities.

“This new agreement is part of an overall package of resource and operational improvements to development management and building control services, which aims to ensure that all applications are dealt with in a timely manner.”

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