Falkirk Council to increase online services

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Falkirk Council is promising that people will be able to access more of its services at the touch of a button as it plans to increase its online services and reduce the number of buildings it has for customers to visit.

The intention is that in the not-too-distant future most, if not all, of the council’s services will be managed online and the council’s website will be modernised to reflect the number of people now using it as a first point of contact.

“This has been driven by customer and service user demand to do things differently,” director of corporate and housing services Stuart Ritchie told members of Falkirk Council’s executive.  “People’s lifestyles have changed and they want to access services even when buildings aren’t open.”

Councillors were concerned that no-one would be left behind when services moved online.

Malcolm Nicol said: “It always amazes me the number of people who don’t have the ability to access services because they don’t have access even to a smartphone.”

Mr Ritchie assured them that the new way of doing business would allow staff to help those most in need.

Councillor Gary Bouse said: “The most important thing is that it’s got to be user friendly. It’s very important that it doesn’t just work for our best tech bods, but also for somebody that actually has to use it!”

But a recent report to the council’s executive makes clear that this ambition will not be fulfilled without cost, including additional staffing for the digital team and properly resourced training.