Council to invest in technology to improve services for Oxfordshire residents and reduce running costs

Plans to completely overhaul the county council were given the go-ahead by the county council’s Cabinet (16 October). They agreed a major investment in digital technology to improve customer service and reduce council running costs.

The redesigned council will enable residents to report faults or book appointments online, freeing up staff time to help to service users who cannot go online or have complex care needs.

Staff will be given the tools they need to do a better job and spend more time on delivering services to residents. Outdated ICT systems make it hard to join up services and will be replaced, with admin tasks automated to save money and make the council run more smoothly.

The changes will support the county council’s long-term vision of ‘thriving communities for everyone in Oxfordshire’. The redesign is also needed to secure the council’s long-term financial stability as demand for services continues to rise – particularly for children and adult social care.

Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council, said:

“We know that the council has to change as the needs of Oxfordshire residents change, and we have to provide more services with fewer resources. Councillors have decided that now is the time to make a major investment to ensure that we provide services more effectively so we can continue to support the county’s thriving communities in the future.

“Residents who are used to booking holidays online or checking their bank balance will see real improvements in their dealings with the council. We also know that computers are not for everyone and I would like to reassure those people that there will still be a personal touch for those who need it.”

The Cabinet approved the plan to work with specialist advisors PwC as the programme management partner, with likelihood of other partners being brought in for specific projects.