Resident demand for online services is growing and we are committed to improving access to council services online. We want to ensure that residents have access to a range of quality services that meet their individual needs and want to hear from you on how we improve access to our services.
During the pandemic we saw a rise in residents wanting to access more services online with 70% of residents choosing to use online tools to resolve their queries rather than call. This resulted in council services having to consider how we can support all residents better remotely and inclusively.
To date, our efforts have been focused on providing online tools that improve access to council services, including our website & MyAccount, which currently hosts 146k+ residents who utilise the online portal to:
- Manage their housing benefit and council tax accounts online, we have seen over a 50% increase in online activity,
- Book their parking permits and road repairs,
- 83% of green waste signs up, in our street scene service were done online this year, meaning we can prioritise our resources to support those residents with more complex needs,
- Reporting problems like fly tipping or litter, and bulky waste collections, resulting in a 21% increase in online transactions and 18% reduction in missed bins reported,
- Receive real-time updates and proactive notifications on council services, so residents do not need to contact us unnecessarily, and
- Overall, we have seen a 39% increase in usage of the Councils website, as more residents choose to go online to access council services.
Digital inclusion will be embedded in everything we do
While we return to normal, we don’t want to lose any learnings from the pandemic. How we use digital tools to improve service delivery for everyone is one such learning, and we see this as an important pillar to ensuring our services are fit for purpose, are accessible and meet the needs of all residents by:
- Implementing changes to include accessibility considerations on the Council’s website,
- Delivering training to team members and embedding digital inclusion principles throughout all council services and processes,
- Ensuring online services are inclusive as possible, removing barriers by providing tools such as BSL interpretation service and ReciteMe (due to launch later this year), and
- Continuing to engage and ask feedback from residents to ensure our council services are accessible and meet all resident's needs.
We know that not every resident is able to manage their council services online, by making it easier for more residents to access online services we will be able to prioritise resources for residents who prefer to access council services over the phone or in person.
Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated throughout the year and please continue to leave feedback on how we can improve your experience with council services through your MyAccount portal, contact centre or in-person interactions.