Archives for November 4th, 2003

PHONE MORE POPULAR THAN INTERNET FOR GETTING IN TOUCH

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 November, 2003

More people prefer to use the telephone for contacting public services rather than the Internet. A survey by Fujitsu Consulting found that for many types of transactions, particularly when information only is required, the phone is considered by people to be far quicker, more convenient and simpler to use than the Internet, even when the Internet is readily available.The survey found that while around 45% of UK households are online, 71% of citizens said that if they were to contact their local authority, they would do so using the phone. This finding is supported by the limited growth in the number of citizens accessing online government. Since 2000 this has only moved from 15% to 16%. Buying and banking online have consistently grown over this period and now the figures have reached 27% and 21% respectively.

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REGIONAL GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

Headlines, PublicNet: 4 November, 2003

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has launched a campaign to raise awareness and spark debate about elected regional assemblies for northern England. The North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber regions were found to have the highest level of interest in regional government in the recent soundings exercise. The campaign will culminate in the autumn of next year.The ‘Your Say’ campaign explains what regional government would mean to people in the three northern regions so voters can make an informed choice in the referendums. The campaign includes a leaflet setting out what an elected regional assembly would mean for the regions, a ‘Your Say’ website, and promotional material. Exhibitions and visits are planned over the next 12 months. The leaflet argues that an elected regional assembly would improve democracy and bring decision making closer to the people. It would give regions a strong new voice, championing regional interests and priorities. It would have responsibilities on a range of issues from jobs, business and skills, housing and planning to culture, tourism and fire and rescue.

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THE VISION THING

Features, PublicNet: 4 November, 2003

By Warren Hatter Reproduced by permission of eGov Monitor Weekly. Localism is at the centre of local e-government developments. The author describes a variety of e-government visions that are evolving across the country. He sketches a scene of intense activity with some services being transformed for the better. He concludes that the general picture is a steady piecemeal change driven by local visionaries.

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