Portfolio Holder – Councillor Alasdair Ross
This report outlines progress on improving customer access across the Council, evaluates the options for moving forward and introduces the Ipswich Borough Council Customer Access Strategy for the period 2018 through to 2021.
130.1. Councillor Ross commented that the report did not sufficiently promote the excellent work which the Customer Services Team had done to improve customer access. By December 2017, 10,000 people had signed up to MyIpswich; that number had been the target for the whole financial year. Councillor Ross noted that face to face contact was expensive to provide, however, the Council was committed to keeping it available for those who needed to use it. More Phones, PCs and a Scanning Station for public use had been introduced into the Customer Services Centre which, as well as encouraging people to try out forms of contact which were cheaper for the Council and often better for residents, experience from other local authorities suggested would be vital for the roll out of Universal Credit. Councillor Ross highlighted that the support of other services in the Council had been essential in making the changes to Customer Services effective.
130.2. The Customer Services Operations Manager reported that the previous Customer Access Strategy had put in place good foundations for accessing services digitally, and had led to many processes being streamlined. The new Strategy built on these successes, with even deeper integration of services, and would also prepare the Council for the impacts of the Homelessness Reduction Act and Universal Credit.
130.3. Councillor Ellesmere commented that this new Customer Access Strategy was important for both the Council and for residents and added that the Council remained committed to allowing residents to contact the Council face to face and by phone.
It was RESOLVED:
That Executive notes the progress and current position of Customer Access across Ipswich Borough Council and adopts the Customer Access Strategy 2018 to 2021 as recommended in Option 2 of the report.
Reason: To give a corporate direction to the future development of customer services across Ipswich Borough Council.