Green light for council access plan for key services

A SCHEME to transform access to council services has been unanimously approved by Aberdeenshire councillors.

The Improving the Customer Experience (iCE) initiative will expand the range of options available to residents who need to access vital council information and services such as housing applications, planning enquiries and fault reporting.

Investment over the next three years will be used to shift how people interact with the council, providing access to council services at a time, and a place that suits the needs of the residents, for example, through out of hours self service via the council’s website.

The plan was approved by councillors earlier this month and will see a programme of changes which will increase the availability of services online, while maintaining face- to-face contact through establishing multi-service hubs in main towns.

The plan also looks to develop the use of social media as well as exploring access to council services through mobile technology such as Apps.

Councillors agreed to invest up to £2.7 million in the programme, over the next three years, subject to regular reviews and reports to committee.

Head of Customer Communication and Improvement, Kate Bond, told members that customers were increasingly seeking to access services at a time and in a way that suits them.

There are no proposals to shut down any existing systems, but to enhance opportunities available for customers to access information and services.The money will also support the training and development of front line staff to ensure better management of enquiries.