Swale was keen to change the focus of delivery from the service provider to the customer and to resolve 70 per cent of enquiries at the first point of contact.
funding of£650,0000 and a top up of£200,000 from the council, meant that
Swale could implement a Customer Services Centre programme and include
partners such as Kent CC, Kent Police and Primary Care Health
Residents will be offered a variety of ways in which to deal with their local authority including the internet, the telephone and face-to-face. The aim of the project, which forms the basis of Swale Council's e-government strategy, is to ensure that whatever means are used to contact the council, all citizens will have the same level of service from a single point of contact. Key to this is the Contact Handling System through which all enquiries whether face-to-face, telephone or
Internet generated will pass.
Chris Edwards, Swale BC's chief executive, said: 'Northgate shared
Swale's vision and was prepared to work in partnership with the authority
sharing a common agenda to provide the best solution.
'Swale's main council headquarters are based in Sittingbourne with
district centres in Faversham and Sheerness. To access all services, local
people generally have to contact the Sittingbourne office which is
inconvenient for those wanting to make a personal visit from the more remote
areas of the borough. In future they can be assured of the same level of
service whether they are visiting in person, telephoning or making an
inquiry over the internet. There are also plans to have a mobile 'cyber
café' to provide Internet access to remote and deprived areas.'