Council takes on technology

IT'S tme 2 pay ur cnl tx.This could be the message making its way to Suffolk phones today after a council embraced twenty-first century technology.Residents in Babergh can now sign up to a system which will see them sent text messages reminding them to pay their council tax.

IT'S tme 2 pay ur cnl tx.

This could be the message making its way to Suffolk phones today after a council embraced twenty-first century technology.

Residents in Babergh can now sign up to a system which will see them sent text messages reminding them to pay their council tax.

The council is piloting the modern method of communication in an effort to reach more of its customers in a cheap and efficient way.


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Bob Southgate, Babergh District Council's head of customer services, said: “Text messaging is an effective and modern way of communicating.

“Most people have a mobile phone and it is no longer a gimmick but a real help in a busy world.

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“By launching this system Babergh is hoping to communicate with even more of its customers, while keeping the traditional methods open, to allow for greater access to our services.

“Text messages are more instantaneous and allow a greater flexibility for the person receiving them.

“The potential for numerous worker hours saved is enormous, coupled with money savings - the cost of a second class stamp is 24p, a text charge is 6p.”

The amount of money saved will depend on the number of people taking up the scheme, which works through e-mail.

It will be a purely voluntary measure, with people contacting the council to be added to the texting list.

During the local elections in May journalists became the guinea pigs for the new project, which has previously been used in other parts of the country, when they were texted the election results saving time for both them and council officers.

And within Babergh District Council the system is being used for a travel alert service to try to alleviate the amount of time council officers waste sitting in traffic jams.

In the future, residents will be able to use the system to report fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles to the Babergh offices.

To sign up for Babergh's council tax reminders text the word REMIND to 07797870220.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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