Northumberland launches revenue and benefits self-service portal

Northumberland County Council estimates it will save more than £1m over three years via a new online customer portal.

The council has launched its My Northumberland portal to deliver services including council tax, business rates and benefits.

It expects the move to significantly reduce the 200,000 telephone and face-to-face transactions it carries out every year, along with postage spending of more than £300,000.

Graeme Barnes, revenue, benefits and customer services manager at the council, said the project was delivered on budget and in time for the start of annual billing for 2016/17.

He said: “The project team worked excellently together to deliver to some very tight timescales, which will significantly help to drive take-up of the service. Our plans include adding more services to My Northumberland throughout the year.”

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The portal provides citizens and businesses with a single login to multiple services allowing them to view documents and statements online covering payments, liabilities, charges, instalment plans and other transactional information.

Online documents are displayed exactly as they appear on paper, which the council says means service users are less likely to need to talk to a member of staff.

Transactions will be automated and integrated with existing systems, removing the requirement for manual re-keying of information.

Forms also enable “assisted digital” processes, meaning customer service staff within the council will be able to operate on behalf of customers.

The platform will be delivered through a contract with supplier Gandlake.

Colin Marrs

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