MORE and more Bournemouth council tax payers will be encouraged to carry out transactions online in a bid to reduce staff and save money.
A review of the council’s customer services has concluded that investing in new technology and offering 24/7 digital access could save up to £7.7m by 2023/24.
The council has stressed that a personal service will still be provided to anyone who needs it but say moving services online will mean quicker and more convenient access for customers.
A report approved by cabinet members on Wednesday said the change will “provide opportunities to release and redeploy staff or reduce posts”.
And it adds: “Savings identified in the Contact Centre will involve redundancies.”
Cabinet members were told the “transformation programme” would require £3.2m capital investment and an additional commitment of £410,000 from the change management fund.
In return, the council anticipates modest savings of £150,000 in 2014/15 and cumulative financial benefits across the whole organisation of £7.7m by 2023/24.
Now the plans have been approved, between 60 and 100 processes will be moved online over an 18-month period.
Those among the first wave will include applications for taxi licensing, blue badge applications, notifications of missed bins, reports of graffiti, registering to become a foster carer and notifying changes of circumstances to the revenue and benefits department.
Cllr Anne Filer, cabinet member for corporate efficiency, said she was “fully supportive” of the plans and said it would put Bournemouth council “at the forefront of cutting edge services with its customers”.
She said: “It proposes a forward-looking approach to easing customers into using digital communications wherever possible, cutting out bureaucracy and simplifying processes, whilst still retaining a personal service for those who need it.”