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Moray Council 24/7 hailed a success

By Alistair Whitfield

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A MILLION pound project designed to offer round-the-clock council services to Moray residents has been hailed as a success.

More than 80 services are now online for residents to access 24/7.

These include applying for a garden waste permit; registering for school and nursery places; accepting council house offers; paying for school meals; and booking leisure classes.

It was revealed that 40% of visits to Moray Council’s website were made out of traditional office hours, prompting a three-year project to improve online payments and form-filling, as well as the introduction of a nationally-used, secure public services customer portal.

Streamlined booking, ordering and payment has been welcomed by residents: 70% of all garden waste permits were applied and paid for online; 100% of all sports development sessions in 2019 have been booked online and 80% of all primary schools meals are paid for online.

Chair of Moray Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, Cllr Aaron McLean (Forres, SNP), said the project is meeting the demands of residents who expect to be able to access council services 24/7.

He added: "Not everyone can phone or visit the council during the day to pay or book for things – and so much is done online now that residents expect the same service from us.

"Although we’ve not seen calls to the contact centre reduce, which can be attributed to some major policy changes including three-weekly bin collections and changes to car parking, more residents than ever are using our online services. Not only is this convenient for customers as they can access services any time of the day or night, it’s also by far the cheapest way for us to operate.

"Promoting and using digital services offers best value for money for Moray taxpayers, with the cost of face-to-face and telephone contact 57 and 19 times more expensive than online, respectively."

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