Angus CouncilTel: 08452 777 778

Issued: 11 March 2004

ACCESS Line Development

ACCESS Line, the direct line for council services, is going from strength to strength.

The number of calls per month has risen by 301% since it was launched in 1999 and ACCESS Line operators now handle an average of 3,500 calls every month.

In the past year 75 new services have been added to ACCESS Line and residents can now access over 300 council services by calling 08452 777 778, with operators giving information, responding to a request or taking a payment.

The service has been so well received by residents that the council has had to extend the facility to cope with demand. The service has been relocated and now has the capacity to have five ACCESS Line operators on duty at any one time. Three of the part-time staff will soon be working full-time and the council is also recruiting another part-time operator to improve the speed and effectiveness of the service to callers.

Among the services now delivered on a daily basis by the ACCESS line staff are disabled (blue) badge applications, special collections by debit/credit card payment arrangements, reporting of housing repairs, reporting of roads and street lighting faults through the Clarence system, job applications outwith office hours and applications for free school meals and school clothing grants.

The ACCESS line operators have also carried out telephone surveys of council customers including citizens' panel recruitment and a street lighting satisfaction survey. ACCESS line also carries out specific services such as school closures due to severe weather conditions and various welfare rights campaigns.

Resources and Central Services Convener Alex King said: “The development of ACCESS line is a major investment by the council in improving customer service. The one stop facility offers a reliable and consistent service that allows both the customers and the council to track the progress of any query. With more and more functions being added to the service and the accompanying improvements in technical capacity, the council can provide easier access and better service to Angus residents, giving them greater choice in how they do business with the council.”