Northumberland County Council has launched an online customer portal that it said should save £1m on processing council tax, business rates and benefits.
These are some of the highest volume transactional areas for the council, which currently deals with over 200,000 telephone and face-to-face transactions a year and spends more than £300,000 on print and postage.
The My Northumberland portal will provide citizens and businesses with a single log-in to access multiple services, so that they can view documents, statements and transaction information online. The council chose digital services company Gandlake to provide the portal.
Graeme Barnes, revenue, benefits and customer services manager at the council, explained that one of the reasons for selecting Gandlake is that documents are displayed as they appear in paper form.
"With such an easy to understand format, customers are far more likely to select the paperless billing option and this should provide us with an instant and significant saving. This was one of the unique factors that made the difference and enhanced our business case significantly," he said.
Barnes added that Gandlake had delivered the platform on time and to the original budget, which has meant that it can go live in time for Annual Billing 2016/17.
"The project team worked excellently together to deliver to some very tight timescales, which will significantly help to drive take-up of the service. Our plans include adding more services to My Northumberland," he said.
Councils across the UK are being urged to use more digital tools to improve systems for residents and cut costs. A report last week said that councils need to become more lean and agile for the digital era.
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