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Access to Services Review Ė Emerging Recommendations

Review strand

Reason for recommendation/action

Recommendation /action

Timescale †

Responsible Officer

Digital Accessibility -Website Accessibility

There is no clear process for residents who require help with digital accessibility via the website. An established process for this type of feedback would put the Council in a better position to respond to residentís needs.

The Digital Team to establish a digital process on the website for users to report issues or seek assistance and advice with online accessibility.

June 2021

Gary Hunter/Digital Team

Website Accessibility

The website has met the EU and Government standards for accessibility for Public Sector websites but in order to maintain this standard the website content and documents produced by officers across the Council need to adhere to the appropriate standards.† There is no guidance available to Officers to support this change.

The Task and Finish panel (with support from the Policy and Information team) to develop a guidance document for Officers that outlines the standards required to ensure all written communications meet accessibility standards.† This includes the use of Plain English, PDFs and the presentation of graphical and pictorial information.

May 2021

Task and Finish Panel (with support from Policy and Information team)

Digital Services

The Council has 100 transactional services available to it.† The way in which residents access services has changed considerably in the past 10 years and perhaps most significantly in the past year. It is often the most vulnerable in our community that need to be better informed on how services can be accessed from home or from a mobile device. Councillors would like to be better equipped to respond and advice residents.

The Digital Team to produce an electronic leaflet for Councillors, providing a directory of the online processes and transactional services available via the Councilís website.

May 2021

Gary Hunter/Digital Team

Digital Services

A presentation given by the Digital Team on the evolution of the Councilís website and online service offer was hugely informative.† The Task and Finish Panel would like all Councillors to be given the presentation.

The Digital Team to arrange an all Councillor session to deliver the presentation on Digital Services.

July 2021

Gary Hunter/Digital Team

Digital Inclusion

A Digital Inclusion page is under development on the Councilís website.† This will include details of the resources, support and advice available in Maidstone.† This is being developed by the Digital Team with partner organisations as part of a local action plan to support Digital Inclusion.† It was identified that the awareness of such a resource needed to be communicated widely so that those who needed it most could access it.

The Digital Team to launch its Digital Inclusion webpage with an appropriate Communication Plan in place, this should include a feature in the Borough Insight which will reach every household in Maidstone.

June 2021

Gary Hunter/Digital Team

Communication - Communication and Engagement

Involve, as part of a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Council are responsible for running a number of Community Group Forums and maintaining a Community Group Repository.† It was identified that the listings of Community Groups in Maidstone was incomplete; it did not detail where the group was based, the area it supported and did not distinguish between parished and non parished areas. There was also no agreed process in place for regular revisions or for this to be made available to the Council. The Task and Finish Panel will review and send a revised document back to Involve and a process for review is to be put in place.

The Policy and Information team will redesign the Community Group repository to detail the area the group is based, who it supports and whether the area is parished or non parished. All Community Groups and organisations known to the Council will be incorporated into the list. The Repository will also be mapped for ease of use.


The Task and Finish Panel will review the complete listing of Community Groups and identify any groups that are missing. This version will be sent to Involve.


Involve will review the Community Group Repository on a quarterly basis and a review meeting will be put in place with the Council to allow for the Councilís input (this could include other aspects of the SLA).












March 2021






Involve/Policy and Information Team