Hull council planning £5 million IT upgrade

Hull City Council is pressing forward with a proposal for a £5 million overhaul of IT and digital services to improve delivery of council services to the public and increase levels of customer care.

The upgrade is hoped to help streamline finances and improve efficiencies in the council’s operations, part of which is expected to be covered by job cuts.

Currently a number of customer service centres (CSCs) are operating at reduced opening hours and deputy council leader Daren Hale predicts this trend to continue as more services are transferred to a digital format.

He said, “I think there is a high likelihood that there will be less opening hours (at CSCs) and will almost certainly lead to some consolidation going forward. It won’t be immediate, but once the changes are bedded in.”

He commented that at present not all customers have secure home internet connections, and added that the current council website is deficient: “Our website is not very good.

The reason why some people come to a call centre or customer service centre is because it is easier than using the technology available.”

The state of Hull City Council’s IT infrastructure was criticised in a report which said that a “significant overhaul” had become a necessity due to a “lack of online services, associated integration to ‘back office’ systems and absence of investment in regularly upgrading supporting systems”.

Councillor Hale has pledged to retain a “core” group of face-to-face services where customer queries or services cannot be sufficiently managed by wholly digital services.

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