Surrey is the first county council in the UK to beat the national deadline for making 100 per cent of its suitable services available electronically. The target date is December 2005. The Council now provides some 900 processes electronically. To ensure that residents can use the Council’s new electronic services it has installed at least one computer in each of its 52 libraries with free Internet access.According to a survey by the Society of Information Technology Management, Surrey is one of only three county councils to provide a ‘transactional’ website. For the web site to be transactional, it has to include the ability to apply for service, pay for goods and services, and make a booking, for example for a resource, course or room. Surrey’s website is ranked as one of the top 20 local authority sites in the country.
Publicity for the new services aims to get through to residents across the county. The local press are reporting the launch and the council magazine, which goes to all households, will carry details of what is available and the benefits the services offer. The council also collaborates in an e-partnership with 47 organizations within the county, including district councils. The partnership provides a web portal with links to all partner sites.
Peter Langham, executive member responsible for resources and best value said: “This has been a tremendous cross-county effort with teams and individuals throughout the organisation working to achieve this target. We are now able to offer our customers the easiest and most efficient way to access our services simply by logging onto our website, www.surreycc.gov.uk”
Birmingham and Newcastle-on-Tyne city councils and Tameside metropolitan borough council have also met the deadline 21 months before the target date.