COLUMN: Coun Peter Box calls for your online ideas for Wakefield Council

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Have your say

As summer gets well underway the council is already looking ahead to some of the big and very difficult budget decisions we are going to have to make in the coming months.

Earlier this year, before the Referendum, I talked about the continued cuts to our budget and the significant changes we will have to make to enable us to carry on delivering the services that most people see as a priority.

Coun Peter Box.

Coun Peter Box.

Although there is some national uncertainty, it is business as usual for local government and we are already getting on with it.

One of the areas we need to improve is our use of technology.

We need to do this for two reasons.

Firstly, so that residents can access as many of our services as possible online and secondly, so that we can better engage with our residents on some of the key decisions we’ll be making in the future.

We know this is a digitally connected district with recent figures showing that 84 per cent of people have internet access, which is higher than the national average.

Of those online in Wakefield, 82 per cent use the internet at home via broadband or wireless, 69 per cent via a smartphone and 30 per cent at work or in a place of learning.

I have heard many people say that one of the problems with IT systems is that they are often designed by experts and not the people who will use them.

So, before we make any changes we want to know what you think.

Is our website useful when you try and access services and if not, how do you think it could be improved?

Are there some things that you can’t presently access online but would like to?

How can we engage with you better, differently or more often?

We’d really like to hear your ideas.

Of course, we’re not looking to exclude people who aren’t online - far from it. There will always be a range of ways to talk to us and access services.

But, if there are barriers to you being online we’d like to know what these are.

So whether you’re an IT expert, a silver surfer, a young tech wizard or a digital novice with great ideas, please get in touch and email me at leader@wakefield.gov.uk