Headlines: February 21st, 2000

The move towards a one stop shop for public services takes a step forward today as the London Borough of Lewisham extends its Tellytalk service. With 13 Tellytalk booths in supermarkets, libraries and neighbourhood offices, journeys to the Town Hall or other public offices have been eliminated. The extended service allows users to get face to face contact with the Benefits Agency in Belfast, Child Support Agency, Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, police and the local college, as well council staff in the Town Hall.Users select the service they want to contact by using a touch screen menu. The computer and video equipment then allows face to face contact. Form filling is a popular use of the system and there is a document scanner to send the form or other document to the screen contact.

Apart from the improved service that Tellytalk provides, Lewisham have found that it is a cheaper way of providing services, because they can keep staff in a single location.