District Council to improve customer access to services

PROPOSALS to improve and diversify the way in which East Lindsey residents access Council services have been approved by the District Council's Executive Board.

At their meeting tonight (July 7th), the Council's Executive Board agreed the new customer access model that will see the Council offering a range of new and improved options to access Council services. The new arrangements, which will replace the Council's Customer Access Points that have been closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, are focused on providing a wider array of flexible options for residents, and reflect the changes in customer habits that have occurred  since the pandemic started in March 2020.

Included in the new arrangements are:

  • A community hub/ drop-in model which will see specific council services regularly attending towns across East Lindsey to allow residents direct face-to-face access to services; this model will be developed collaboratively by the Council, their partners, and local communities.
  • Increased call centre capacity to accommodate the growing number of residents accessing Council services via telephone.
  • Ensuring a greater number of forms and services are accessible through the Council's website, to support the increasing number of residents who access their services online.
  • Based on customer demand, providing an appointment-based service in Skegness that will allow residents to access housing/ support services.
  • Developing a programme of review that ensure web and telephone options are accessible and meet customers' needs and expectations.

Councillor Graham Marsh, Portfolio Holder for Partnerships and Deputy Leader of the Council, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic forced a change in how customers accessed our services and we want to ensure that, as we emerge from restrictions and towards a level of normality, the way we serve our customers reflects those changes and is fit for the future. Increased capacity within our call centre and across our digital channels will provide support for the ways many customers are now accessing our more transactional services. Separately to this, we are also ensuring continued provision and support for more vulnerable residents; recognising that there are some situations and services where there is no substitute for face to face support.

"Our revised model is more flexible and our proposals include reinvestment in front line services to ensure we can support residents appropriately across the District - including holding sessions in communities to ensure face to face provision remains available and accessible - and we will continuously review the accessibility of our services. We will work with our local communities and community groups to develop a revised model that meets customers' needs."