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£500k ‘Online Service Investment’ To Improve Council Services Online

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 20th, 2014.

Wrexham Council say their new online services will enable savings of over £100,000pa despite a £490,000 startup cost.

The Council say “Wrexham Council is investing in a new fully interactive online service as a response to customer demands for 24/7 contact.

“With more residents than ever accessing its’ services on line the Council is investing over £400,000 on new technology and bidding for further grants for the ‘self-service’ portal.

“Evidence suggests that households who do not shop or pay bills on line can lose on average £560 per year. With Wrexham’s total households amounting to 57,029* at the last Census in 2011 that means Wrexham residents are missing out on just under £32 million extra into the County Borough.

“In addition the Council can make savings of over a £1million over 10 years if customers embrace the new technology which will provide customers with services 365 days a year.”

Detail given in a report to the Executive Board gives the upfront costs at £490,000. The report says “The preferred solution will require initial up front investment of £490k followed by annual licence and development fees of £135k”.

A ten year view is also given with costs predicted to be down from £5,980,000 to £4,947,000 enabling a saving of £1,034,000.

The Council say “The new technology will provide a full range of on line services such as viewing your Council Tax account, reporting Streetscene issues or requesting a licence.

“The changes will also bring significant efficiency savings to the organisation as demands for services rise and the resources available to meet these demands reduce. Encouraging more customers to use on line services, where appropriate, will enable the Council to focus telephony and face to face contact on those more vulnerable customers or those with complex needs.”

Helen Gerrard, Corporate and Customer Services Manager for Wrexham County Borough Council said: “Our customers are telling us that they want to be able to deal with the Council on line in the same way they do with their on line banking or supermarket shopping. This is an exciting investment which will meet these expectations and ensure Wrexham Council projects a more modern and professional image suitable for the 21st Century”.

Leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Neil Rogers said: “This project has the potential to transform the relationship between the Council and its customers, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Our customers expect a similar experience from us as a Council as they do from other high street organisations. We want to meet and exceed these expectations.”

The approved report states “The business case suggests indicative net savings of approximately £140k year on year within 3 years and over £1million over 10 years. The solution could be fully self
funded, including the initial investment, within 6 years.”

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