Camden residents will be able to pay bills at Post Offices
By poppy_smith | Saturday, March 09, 2013, 12:05
Hampstead residents and businesses will be able to pay their bills at Post Offices as Camden places services into the community meaning every resident will be no further than a mile from a payment point.
In addition to this, making payments can continue to be made either online, face to face or at the 17 new post office locations.
The services for making payments that will be improved include: council tax, parking, benefits, rents, business rates, leaseholder services and housing management.
The move will provide residents and businesses particularly the vulnerable and those from an ethnic minority have a greater choice of how they want to interact with the Council. It will also help people who currently have difficulty with accessing council services, such as vulnerable residents.
Digital improvements to Camden's website will reduce the time taken to make an online payment and in total the improved customer access programme will save the Council £3.34 million per year.
Councillor Pat Callaghan said: "Our residents and businesses want council services that are easy to access. These improvements do just that and will make contacting the Council, to pay rents or business rates faster and more convenient for them. People have told us they want to go online and use their smartphones to contact the Council. For others, calling us and face to face transactions are still very important.
"We've thought about all of this and used comments from 1,500 residents to develop these new plans. Our focus groups had people who currently have difficulty with contacting the Council, including Camden's BME communities and residents with sensory and mental health needs."
Camden Council is currently contacted through 1.48 million telephone calls and 220,000 visits in person, per year. Every time someone visits a council building it costs the council £13.86. A call costs £3.86 and a web transaction 32p.
The new services will allow more customers to access council services by their preferred method of contact. With more people going online as they prefer, telephone and face to face contact will be freed up for those that want and need it most, such as residents with complex needs.
Councillor Callaghan added: "We are delivering on our commitments to reducing inequality by improving access to the Council, providing better value for money and including resident feedback to inform how we modernise our services."