Councils failing to use technology to engage with public, study shows
Although nearly half of the general public would like to use digital technologies to engage with councils, only 7% in the past year have done so due to a lack of availability, a new study reveals.
The O2 Digital Community study finds that 48% of people would like to use the internet, mobile apps or social media to pay council tax or access information on local services. However, only 7% have done so in the last 12 months as the service or information they needed was unavailable.
The study also found that 43% are frustrated they can’t access the information they need from local authorities on their mobile or tablet, with 74% of twitter users frustrated by slow response times from councils.
Mark Adams-Wright, managing partner of O2’s Local Government Practice said: ‘With local authorities under continual pressure to cut costs, digital services can play a big part in saving money and the technology is ready to be implemented. For example, every telephone enquiry from the community will cost a local authority £8.62, as opposed to 15p for a web enquiry. The money saved can then be spent on people and services that really need help from local authorities.’
O2 has launched its 2013 Local Government Digital Fund, which will give the winning local authority access to services and technologies up to the value of £250,000 to turn their digital vision into a reality.
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