Andy Hoare, Head of Service, ICT briefed the
plan on the use of improved technology to support business change.
Head of Service referred to the example in the report on changes to
the business process when a member of the public reports that their
bin has not be emptied. Head of Service explained how technology
could be used to reduce and automate elements in the current
lengthy process involved to deliver a better customer service
experience. Head of Service commented on the advantages to the
Council in making use of new technological developments.
Head of Service that the example cited that
refuse collection is possible with good 4G connectivity which would
allow someone to match an address to a problem about a
collection. Head of Service commented
that the Council has technology to give a faster and better
customer service experience.
Wolverhampton is learning from the experience of other local
authorities who are introducing technological solutions to the
delivery of the council’s business.
The panel had concerns about the intrusive
nature of using personal data to contact a resident about a problem
with their bin collection. There was also concern about how groups
such as elderly people would cope with such a system. Head of
Service accepted this was an issue but responded that the Council
was following a digital by design rather than digital by default
– where the public would not have a choice about how to
access a service. The aim of the change is to provide another
method for the public, while also supporting people to use the
technology, where it would save time.
Head of Service explained that Wolverhampton
is catching up with other authorities such as Coventry, Telford
& Wrekin in terms of introducing digital services.
The panel queried the planned expenditure of
£3.5 million and how the risk of spending money on technology
which may become outdated or more costly was being managed. Head of
Service explains that the budget includes provision to bring in
expertise needed, however the plan is the Council becomes
self-sufficient by learning the skills from experts to support the
process of change.
Head of Service, accepted the risk and the
Council was adopting a major change which would mean less money
spent on technology and the use developments such as cloud storage
which allow services to adapt to future issues more easily. Head of
Service commented on changes in how the Council purchases software
licenses to reduce costs.
The panel requested the a briefing paper be
presented on the following details
The level of digital exclusion in Wolverhampton.
The current number of people using new services compared was
The Council response time to enquiries by email, telephone and
social media sites
Provide an example of where technological improvements could make a
difference to how services are currently delivered.
Head of Service explained that Wolverhampton has good broadband
coverage. The level of digital
exclusion is estimated to be about 55-65%. Wolverhampton has a high
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