Winter support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses, and communities throughout winter.

The Council's Recovery Plan


Customer

The Customer recovery plan has 5 key objectives:

  1. Undertake a review of all customer access channels considering C-19.
  2. Keep customers updated with the resumption of council services.
  3. Support customers to ease financial pressures caused by C-19.
  4. Adopt new ways of working with customers.
  5. Real time customer data.

Activities already completed include:

  • Welfare Benefits and Discretionary Funds services have improved due to new ways of interacting and meeting with residents.
  • The Business Rates team continue to distribute grants and the Discretionary Business Grant was extended with relaxed eligibility criteria.
  • The coronavirus website is continuing to be reviewed and updated where appropriate.
  • Communicating how services are operating (normal, disrupted or closed) via weekly social media updates, which signposts to the website.
  • A review of local land charges marketing is taking place to make the service more commercial through recovery.
  • Elections and Communications Team are discussing ways to contact residents for the Annual Canvass without the need for personal contact.
  • Taxi driver and vehicle licensing processes are now in place and new driver applications will restart soon after a complete overhaul of the processes and new ways of working in a virtual digital way are being designed and developed. This new way of working will reduce the amount of travel taxi drivers need to undertake, alongside reduced printing of documents, both of which contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

Additional work started or planned includes:

  • Staff are working from home, providing the same services and support via web and phone.
  • Library staff will signpost any customers to our telephony and online channels.
  • Current provision is working well and all customers who need support are still able to access services.
  • Continuing to work with services and communicate how services are operating (normal, disrupted or closed) via weekly social media updates, which signposts to the website.
  • Normal recovery process has now resumed for Council Tax.
  • Business Rates team continue to distribute Discretionary Grants.
  • Welfare Benefits Team currently meeting increased demand and offering valuable support to vulnerable residents.
  • Contact Centre performance has been excellent, and we will encourage working from home going forward with digital processes to support this.
  • We continue to proactively work with customers to reduce payments by cheque.
  • Real-time data suites for Local Council Tax Support, Land Charges, Planning, Building Control & Licensing delivered.

Page last reviewed: 27 October 2020