E=grant helps offset tax bills

E, that's good news for a change!With all the worry over rising tax bills, residents in Suffolk Coastal have been given a chunk of government cash to offset one of the authority's biggest costs next year.

E... there is some good news for tax payers in Suffolk today.

With a growing worry over rising tax bills, residents in the county's coastal district have been given a chunk of government cash to offset one of the authority's biggest costs next year.

The district council has been given a £200,000 cash boost from Whitehall to help it press ahead with its plans to ensure that even more of its services are geared up to the modern computer age.

Over the next two years the authority faces spending more than £680,000 to keep up with E-government and so the grant is more than welcome.

The government has set all councils tough targets to ensure all of their services that can be provided electronically are made available by December, 2005, and Suffolk Coastal is well on course.

"These E-government targets require us to show that we are adapting more and more of our services for easy access by anyone with a computer, while also improving our service delivery to people whichever way they contact their council," said David Smith, cabinet member for finance and resources.

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"We have been successful so far, and our strategy for the year ahead was recently accepted by the office of the deputy prime minister.

"We have now received the promise of a further £200,000 of government funding, which on top of a similar sum last year, means we can press ahead with some exciting developments."

Top of the list is the introduction of a geographic information system (GIS) that will be at the centre of all Suffolk Coastal's future e-gov developments.

The GIS system means that data on all the services provided by the council can be pinpointed to specific addresses or areas within the district.

"This will not only mean much more detailed information going on our website, but will also enable our staff to offer major improvements in the speed and efficiency of services across the district," said Mr Smith.

"This will be true whether people are accessing services via the telephone, in person, or via our website."



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