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The finalists of this year’s Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) Awards have been announced and Colchester Borough Council has been shortlisted for its work to transform its collection service.
The council will now join three other local authorities as finalists in the ‘Revenues Team of the Year (District Authority) category at an awards ceremony on 10 October – after impressing judges with its programme to boost collection levels and, importantly, customer and staff satisfaction.
With the rapid growth of Colchester leading to an increasing number of domestic and commercial properties, the council looked to transform its collection services to effectively manage revenues without the need for additional resources. The solution was to find ways to provide a more intuitive and personalised online experience, so that residents and businesses can pay their bills as quickly and easily as possible.
During 2017/18, the council invested in technology to ensure customers can self-serve and enable those who need additional support to speak to a specialist at first point of contact by phone or email.
As part of the changed approach, officers were also given more authority to help customers and with revenue collection.
The Revenues team handled 46,000 calls in 2017/18 and completed around 330,000 pieces of work. All of this not only helped the council achieve its best results so far with a nearly 98% council tax and over 99% business rates collection rate, but also a 98 per cent customer service satisfaction rating.
Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “I am absolutely delighted the council has been recognised for a prestigious IRRV Award.
“Reaching the finals reflects our commitment to customer-focused delivery of services and continued investment in new technology. This makes it much easier for residents and businesses to interact with the council online.
“It is great that such outstanding work has been recognised. I am proud of our Revenues team, their positive ‘can do’ approach and commitment, and how they please customers.”