Headlines: March 29th, 2000

Oldham Metropolitan Borough is breaking new ground by establishing an experimental, one call centre that provides a service access point for residents.It is operated by a cross-cutting service team consisting of people from seven departments on secondment.

The team – currently piloting the service in one ward of the council area – has access to information from other parts of the council via personal computers. Also attached to the programme are a joiner and plumber who can respond to tenants’ requests immediately and with greater flexibility.

The project has been chosen by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), established to drive up standards in local government, as a pilot to receive special funding.

The IDeA’s workforce development team will work with the council to evaluate it, spreading best practice to other councils trying to improve their customer responsiveness in the wake of Best Value.

Seeking to provide and demonstrate that councils provide the Best Value for their residents became a duty on April 1.