Ci­ti­zen’s In­for­ma­tion of­fices dealt with 23,000 queries

Bray People - - NEWS -

OVER 23,000 queries were han­dled by County Wick­low Ci­ti­zen’s In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice last year, fig­ures from a new re­port re­veal.

Ac­cord­ing to ‘Mak­ing An Im­pact – The Public Value of Ci­ti­zens In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices’, one in six adults liv­ing in Ire­land con­tacted one of the coun­try’s 42 Ci­ti­zens In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices (CIS) last year. A to­tal of 607,913 peo­ple con­tacted CIS with a to­tal of 1.01 mil­lion queries over­all in 2016, an in­crease of two per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

The vast ma­jor­ity of call­ers to the ser­vices were sup­ported by CIS staff face to face. Four out of five peo­ple dropped into their lo­cal CIS in per­son, while nearly 20 per cent made con­tact by tele­phone and just one per cent got in touch by email.

‘ This is in con­trast to the move by many other ser­vices to use in­ter­net and au­to­mated re­sponses to an­swer peo­ple’s queries,’ said De­vel­op­ment Man­ager at County Wick­low CIS Martina Cronin.

Over 44 per cent of all of queries were in re­la­tion to so­cial wel­fare. Many of these re­lated to pay­ments for fam­i­lies and chil­dren, in­clud­ing fam­ily in­come sup­ple­ment, one-par­ent fam­ily al­lowance, child ben­e­fit or back to school cloth­ing or footwear for ex­am­ple. Al­most 10 per cent of queries were hous­ing re­lated queries and CIS con­tin­ues to deal with in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in cri­sis due to a lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion in the county.

Sis­ter Stanis­laus Kennedy, guest speaker at the launch of the re­port, said that the huge num­bers of en­quiries high­lighted how in­ac­ces­si­ble and im­pen­e­tra­ble many public ser­vices are.

Ac­cord­ing to Martina Cronin, Wick­low CIS is find­ing it­self deal­ing with more com­plex queries.

’ We are con­sis­tently deal­ing with more com­plex is­sues and more dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions for fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als,’ she said.

‘One of the great ad­van­tages of the CIS is that we are lo­cated where peo­ple are liv­ing and we have of­fices based in Bray, Ark­low, Wick­low town, Glen­dalough, Blessington and Balt­in­glass (which are un­der the aus­pices of Car­low CIS).

‘One of the valu­able pieces of ev­i­dence that this re­port shows us that peo­ple who visit CIS pre­fer to talk to other peo­ple about their dif­fi­cul­ties and con­cerns. Our com­mu­nity con­nec­tion as a drop-in ser­vice is our great­est strength,’ she said.

Other re­cur­ring trends saw mi­grants con­tin­ued re­liance on face to face in­for­ma­tion ser­vices; 20 per cent of call­ers came from other coun­tries.

Martina Cronin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.