Demise of the Councils Streetscene Service – What next?

Recently all elected members received an email from Joe Blott, Strategic Director at Wirral Council informing us that the Councils Streetscene Department would cease and be replaced by an online reporting system for Members of the public, Councillors and MPs.  That email is reproduced below.

Its fair to say I have never been a fan of Streetscene for many reasons, not least of all the lack of a dedicated officer who can be held to account.  Consequently I remain to be convinced that this new system is any better.

This new system also disadvantages those people who do not have Internet access or are not internet savvy and I believe is an underhand way of dissuading people from reporting issues.   I believe the Streetscene telephone number will still be available with limited operators who will be able to ‘key in’ any issues that are reported by the public.   However the chances are you will be waiting a long time for your call to be answered, time will tell..

If you have any questions on this please contact Mr Blott on 691 8001.   Alternatively please contact me, Steve or Bruce and we will do our very best to help

Dear Councillor

This is a reminder that from 31st July 2015, the Streetscene@wirral.gov.uk email address will close.

All Councillors should report or request Streetscene issues through Councillor.Net, the dedicated site for all Wirral members.

If an email is received into the Streetscene@wirral.gov.uk email account on or after the 31st July the following will happen:

o From a Councillor
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the Councillor to submit a Streetscene request through Councillor.Net
o From an MP or MP’s staff
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the MP to submit a Streetscene request via a dedicated web link
o Customer
o An automatic email acknowledgment will be sent in reply informing the customer to go to Wirral.gov.uk

Submitting Streetscene requests via an online form on a web link automates the process, freeing up advisors to help those customers who can’t self- serve, either because their enquiry is too complex or because they are not able to get online.

Anyone without internet access can use a self-serve desk at any library or one stop shop for easy and quick access to online service. Our libraries also have free wifi so they can use their own phone, tablet or laptop if they prefer. Staff in our one stop shops and libraries can help people to get online, so in future they will be able to access more services on their own.

These changes in our customer services are nothing new and are not unique to Wirral. Councils around the country are encouraging residents to interact with more services online and, like Wirral, have been for a number of years.

As a Councillor, you can play a role in encouraging your constituents to use online services by becoming familiar with them yourself. As well as the public facing online services, as members you can use Councillor.Net to report issues or request services and track progress for services other than Streetscene. Councillor.Net is freely available to all members and can be accessed through the council website.

The changes in our approach will not only encourage more customers to go online, where it costs the council less to deal with their enquiry, but will also help us meet our ongoing financial challenges. The cost of a face to face transaction is over 20 times that of an online transaction

Regards
Joe Blott
Strategic Director – Transformation and Resources
Wirral Council
Telephone Number : 0151 691 8001
Email : joeblott@wirral.gov.uk

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2 thoughts on “Demise of the Councils Streetscene Service – What next?

  1. I have used this new online complaint system. I have not had a reply after 7 days. Not a fan at all. Once again the “electorate” is left feeling frustrated and confused at the lack of accountability of this service. — That’s if any one in authority (public servants actually) reads this.

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