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West Lancashire council makes film stars of its staff
05 December 2010

By David Simister

 Ever wanted to arrange a rubbish collection or report a stray animal out of council opening hours? Well, now you can.

That's message from West Lancashire Borough Council in a fun video to help promote its online services.

Councillor David Westley, the local authority's portfolio holder for finance and ICT, said: “It’s almost 10 times cheaper for the council to provide services online than by phone, so we want to encourage people to use the website to contact us.

"The video shows, in a fun way, that the website is easy to use and available when the offices are closed - even in the middle of the night.

“You can request services, pay bills, ask questions and find other important information. Use the website at home or wherever else you’ve got access to the internet, at a time that suits you, without the cost of a phone call.”

The video features council staff volunteers Bridgette Simpson, an intervention officer in the benefits team, and Ken Knowles, markets and parking officer, in pyjamas, nightie and curlers using the service in the middle of the night.

It shows residents they can save the cost of a phone call or the inconvenience of a visit to an office by using the internet. The council says the video and promotion cost about £2,000, which means only 500 people need to use the service for it to become financially worthwhile.

“These are challenging times for local councils and we’re keen to make savings wherever we can. By using the website people can help keep the costs to taxpayers down,” added Cllr Westley.

“However, I do appreciate that many people don’t wish to or can’t use the internet, so I reassure residents that we’ll still be here to answer phone calls.”

See the short film by clicking the link above.


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