Hounslow channel shift ‘down to resident demand’

London Borough of Hounslow says that resident demand has led to it shifting its housing benefit and council tax services completely online.

The move follows the £9.5m extension of its contract with supplier Liberata to run revenue and benefits services in May. 

In a system the council compares to online banking, residents will be given an online code on their next council tax bill which will give them secure online access to view council tax accounts and benefits claim.

A statement from the authority said: “The new housing benefit and council tax support online services have been designed in response to feedback from residents.

“Residents have said they want to be able to interact digitally with the council without the need for lengthy telephone calls and waiting times, writing letters, or visiting the civic centre.”

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The council said that residents without internet access could use computers at the civic centre and at all 11 of the boroughs’ libraries.

Theo Dennison, cabinet member for finance and citizen engagement, said: “Digital channels offer an efficient way for residents to interact with the council. Furthermore, the time and money saved through enabling citizen self-service means we can use these savings to support other vital front-line services such as support for vulnerable adults and children and those in need of care.”

The council has also adopted the government’s “digital service” to handle claims by Universal Credit claimants.

Colin Marrs

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