Posted: Fri 30th Sep 2016

Council Increases Online Services

This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 30th, 2016

As part of its proposals to save £5 million in the 17/18 budget the Council is moving ahead with its digital agenda and plans to bring more services online for residents. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Council’s website already offers “My Account” for residents who want to access their council tax online, set up a direct debit, change their address or apply for council tax and housing benefits. It offers a secure and personal account online. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The benefits for our customers are easy to see, it is quick and easy to use and means customers don’t have to take time out to make a phone call or visit the Contact Centre in the town centre. My Account is available 24/7 which fits comfortably into today’s hectic lifestyles. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Over the coming months My Account will continue to be developed with more services added such as reporting fly tipping, potholes or dog fouling. On line forms will be developed to allow customers to report a range of issues and apply for various services. These forms can be submitted directly into our IT systems rather than having to be input at a later date making it more efficient and quicker to deal with. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Customers are also able to sign up for email alerts which keep them up to date with what’s going on at the Council. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

News about businesses, Young Wrexham, voting, registering to vote Welfare Rights, news and events, update on the HMP Berwyn, What’s on, Local Development Plan,planning applications, school admissions and transport, carers, severe weather updates and a bin day collection reminder are just a few of the services that customers can receive an email update about. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Customers can receive a link to the online residents magazine, formerly known as Connect. Providing this on line has already saved the Council £15,000 annually. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

There’s also plans to make Contact Wrexham appointment only for more complex enquiries which will make sure the correct person is available to help and will reduce waiting times for other visitors. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Visitors to the Council’s website will soon be able to access online help with a web-chat option planned for the future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Bob Dutton, lead Member for Corporate Services and Health & Safety, said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“These are exciting times for the Council. When we make improvements to our digital services not only do we save money but we also see improvements to efficiency such as shorter waiting times and access to services online etc. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We already have completely online services such as applying for a Blue Badge or reporting a street light failure. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Residents can now watch Council, Executive Board and Planning meetings live online via webcasting system which we have continued to invest in and hope to roll out to cover the scrutiny process. It is important however that we recognise that not everyone will want to go online or be able to and, where this is the case, we will have Customer Advisors on hand to offer support and advice to Customers.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Improving the digital services on offer are part of the £5 million savings proposed under the Difficult Decisions budget consultation for 2017/18 which includes increased income generation, restructuring some services and working efficiently to improve service delivery. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Members of the public, organisations and businesses can take part in the consultation online at www.wrexham.gov.uk/budgetconsultation or by picking up a hard copy from council buildings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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