CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: COUN COLIN JOHNSON
One of my cabinet responsibilities is customer access. Where appropriate we’re trying to encourage residents to change how they communicate with us.
We’re keen to encourage residents to interact with us via the internet and online, making the best use of digital technology, to make it easier for residents to engage with us and to give them access 24 hours a day, seven days a week via their chosen device.
Speaking to us in person, or on the telephone, may be the best option in some cases, however digital communication is instant and less costly for the council, making communication via the website both effective and efficient.
We’re asking residents that are able to do so to self serve through the South Holland District Council website.
Our research shows that 86 per cent of our residents have been online in the last three months and that 75 per cent have all the five basic digital skills required to use digital services should they choose to do so.
This suggests that for many people online communication might well be their preferred method of contact. In line with this we will continue to expand our self service option so that residents will be able to make enquiries and report issues through simple user-friendly online forms.
Of course, we do realise that not everyone has the skills or the equipment required to get online so we’re working with the community to increase access to equipment and will help residents if they wish to use digital methods but are unsure how to do so.
All of this will allow us to reserve our most expensive methods of communication and support for the most vulnerable and those that need it most.