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Rotheram pilot connects in Autumn ...
Rotheram pilot connects in Autumn

Rotherham MBC is to launch a pilot version of its information service in September.

Rotherham Connect will combine investment in training, longer opening hours and internet links to make it easier for the public to obtain information. The council's aim is to answer 80% of questions straight away.

Residents will be able to find out about services either by calling specially trained telephone operators or using the internet. The scheme will eventually be extended for access by mobile phones.

Leader Mark Edgell (Lab) said: 'People will be a phone call or computer screen away from the information they want, when they want it.'

A pilot version of the website will be launched in September, with full public access by the end of the year. The council will use the RightNow Web system to provide the service.

Libraries' lottery wins

The latest councils to benefit from lottery funding for putting technology into their libraries have been announced.

The councils are East Ayrshire Council, Blanau Gwent CBC, Derbyshire CC, Glasgow City Council, Hammersmith & Fulham LBC, Inverclyde Council, Lewisham LBC, Moray Council, Torfaen CBC, Tower Hamlets LBC and City of York Council.

They will share£4m from a£100m lottery fund which has been rolling out to councils over the past year.

York will use the money to provide a high-speed internet connection in all its libraries. Tower Hamlets will use the money to boost its internet access.

Tower Hamlets' head of libraries Anne Cunningham said: ''When are you going to get on the internet?' is the most frequently asked question in our libraries at the moment.'

Waterways to go on record

Gloucester City Council is to take part in a project

to put all the records of Britain's waterways on

to the web.

The Waterways Virtual Archive Catalogue will improve the accessibility of information on Britain's canals and rivers, currently spread across 15 locations, including Gloucester's record office.

The online archive, due for completion in August 2004, will allow users to find out about all aspects of the history of waterways, including

the personal history of family members who may have worked on canals.

Gloucester county archivist Nick Kingsley said: 'The project will deliver major benefits for local historians, and allow people from across the world to learn more about canals and waterways.'

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