Headlines: November 15th, 2006

KIOSKS ARE KEY TO EFFECTIVE E-GOVERNMENT IN LIVERPOOL

 

Liverpool Council is to install 12 more info kiosks around the city bringing the total to 51 and say this is evidence of its further commitment to efficient e-government at a time when a study shows the ‘pods’ are the only Internet access available to a majority of local people.

The information kiosks are to be installed to ensure more people have access to council services and the authority says a survey, to be published soon, will reveal that 60 per cent of the people who took part had no computer at home and their only access was through the kiosks.

The programme of installing the kiosks is being carried out in partnership with BT. The first six ‘pods’ appeared on the city’s streets in 2004 and proved so successful that there are now 39 across Liverpool. The programme, which has been shortlisted for several prestigious national awards, will be completed with a further 12 installations. Work will begin before the end of the year and is due to be finished by April.

The council says that the kiosks give people on-the-doorstep access to a range of services, Capital of Culture events, sport, tourism and job information as well as helping to put Liverpool in the ‘premier league’ of tourist-friendly European cities. People can use the terminals to contact the council on-line at any time of day to report a fault, search their local library catalogue, to make an appointment or just to find out who their councillor is. They can also use the system to contact friends and relatives or to send free e-mails and text messages.

Richard Marbrow, the City Council’s executive member for central services, said the authority had been striving to put technology at the heart of what it did to create efficient and effective e-government which had a positive impact on people’s lives. He added, “These kiosks are a central plank of this policy and customer feedback tells us that they are wanted while being easy to use and they also fill the gap in technology that many people may have at home.”