CAMBRIDGE City Council’s Customer Service Centre has reopened following the easing of lockdown, for people who have pre-booked appointments only, with residents now encouraged to access services online wherever possible.
In response to the pandemic, and the desire to offer a safer, more streamlined service to residents, the council is now offering residents:
- More and improved services accessible online through its single website portal ‘My Cambridge’ accessed from the homepage of the city council’s website www.cambridge.gov.uk or directly via https://my.cambridge.gov.uk
- Full support and guidance over the phone or in person, for anyone who needs help in accessing council services online
- Improved support for customers who are particularly vulnerable or have complex needs, for example offering them different ways to complete straightforward transactions
These changes will reduce the need for customers to travel into the council’s Customer Service Centre for face-to-face meetings.
The council has offered customers a number of online services for some years, including registering for Council Tax and submitting benefits claims. More recently it has invested further in digital channels to allow customers to report issues with waste and recycling or streets and open spaces, or to manage their housing tenancies. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated take-up of these channels with more and more customers making use of these new ways to access services.
Further investment in the coming years will mean that customers will be able to access all of the digital services provided by the council in one place, through the My Cambridge portal via the council website, where they can access all transactions and check progress of their enquiries without having to provide their personal details repeatedly.
In due course customers will be able to carry out even more tasks quickly and conveniently through the portal via their phone or device, including:
- Making appointments for repairs in council homes
- Reporting noise complaints or antisocial behaviour
- Applying for a variety of licences
- Reporting issues with play areas and public toilets
- Booking and paying for market pitches
- Applying to rent commercial properties
Customers who may currently have limited experience of using the internet will be assisted in a number of ways to access online services themselves. This will include being given the opportunity to use council equipment such as PCs and tablets, and being given advice and personal help by council staff to help them use it effectively.
Residents who will require personal support from the council on an ongoing basis will continue to be given it, in the form of telephone or pre-booked face-to-face appointments.
Introducing an appointment-only system for face-to-face meetings also means that the council’s two cash payment offices at Mandela House and at 171 Arbury Road will remain closed.
Vulnerable customers will be fully supported in making payments in other ways as they have been during the coronavirus lockdown and all customers can make payments to the council using payment cards at Post Offices and PayZone points around the city.
Any customers who are vulnerable, need extra support or who do not have easy access to the internet should call the council on 01223 457000 for assistance, including with making payments.
Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “With more and more people using the internet every day to shop, organise their lives, or contact companies and organisations, it is right that the council follows suit by offering more of our services online in the kind of seamless, integrated way people expect.
“As we do so, we will ensure that anyone who needs help – particularly our more vulnerable customers – receives our full support so they access the services they need. We aim to provide a first-class service to any customer that contacts us, with enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently, and with customers informed every step of the way.”