Wrexham Council is expanding its digital capabilities to enable residents to access more services online…
An expansion of Wrexham Council’s digital agenda will enable residents to access more services online.
The council has revealed it will continue to grow its online capabilities, saving some £5m from its 2017/18 budget.
Currently, Wrexham residents can access council tax online, set up a direct debit, amend their address and apply for council tax and housing benefits.
Online services are growing in popularity, costing less than face-to-face or telephone interactions. People also perceive online transactions to be quicker and easier to use.
The council will develop its online service ‘My Account’, with more functions to be added such as the ability to report fly tipping, potholes or dog fouling. Forms are submitted directly into the council’s IT system, rather than having to be input at a later date.
Residents will also be able to sign up for council email news alerts and under the plans Contact Wrexham will become an appointment based system only, dealing with complex enquires.
A web chat option will also be implemented in the future.
Lead Member for Corporate Services and Health & Safety Councillor Bob Dutton 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.”
Increasing the digital capabilities of the council forms part of savings proposed under the Difficult Decisions budget consultation for 2017/18. A number of services are expected to be restructured in a bid to save money and improve service delivery. The consultation can be accessed here: http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/consultation/budget/index.htm