£25k digital funding boost for Lancashire councils

PORTAL:  Preston's City Hall
PORTAL: Preston's City Hall
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  • £25,000 to be given to Lancashire councils for new online portals
  • ‘Digital public service hub’ will allow residents access to council services
  • Councils could save more than £50,000 if 25 per cent of services moved online

A £25,000 funding boost has been given to Lancashire councils to create online portals for residents.

Preston, Lancaster and Fylde are among a handful of councils to receive digital experts funding from the Local Government Association, for new portals on their websites.

Lorraine Norris

Lorraine Norris

The authorities will use the cash to build a “digital public service hub”, allowing people to access all their council transactions online.

Residents will be able to access different services, including seeing council tax bills, reporting missing bins or looking at business rates.

Bosses expect the councils would save more than £50,000 if 25 per cent of services were shifted online.

Lorraine Norris, chief executive of Preston Council, said: “This is new. This is exciting and a real step change for all three councils.

Whilst we generally have good websites and deliver good services we do need to do more

Lorraine Norris

“Whilst we generally have good websites and deliver good services we do need to do more.

“To give customers simple, easy access to all our services from a mobile phone or any device they choose.

“Yes, this is about technology but it’s also about culture. The project heralds a new approach to working collaboratively and changing how we as councils do things.

“Through one single, simple login customers will receive public services that are personal to them and their area.”

Mark Cullinan, chief executive of Lancaster Council, said: “The three councils are working together with one outcome. To improve services to the public and be more efficient in all that we do.”

Allan Oldfield, chief executive of Fylde Council, said there was less money for councils to work with, but services had to be delivered. He said: “By working in partnership like this, we can achieve so much more and be completely focused on the holy grail of public services. Doing more with less.”