How many have tried, then failed, then given up with coun­cil IT is­sues?

Bristol Post - - COMMENT -

WE are meant to be in the Dig­i­tal Age where ci­ti­zens seam­lessly ac­cess ser­vices elec­tron­i­cally in faster and more cost-ef­fec­tive ways.

But some of the coun­cil’s pub­lic IT sys­tems are stuck in the Stone Age, it seems.

I hav been try­ing re­peat­edly to sub­mit com­ments on a lo­cal plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, but the web­site was rub­bish and re­peat­edly failed to ac­cept my com­ments. It kept ask­ing for my ad­dress de­tails and when I en­tered these, it then flagged that I had not put them in, when I had.

It was rub­bish. I wasted half an hour and had to ring up.

In the end, I had to sub­mit com­ments by email, not us­ing the on­line sys­tem.

This is not the first time I have had prob­lems with the on­line por­tal, and in­deed I re­cently had re­peated trou­bles with the on­line sys­tem of an­other part of the city coun­cil (the Cen­tral Li­brary), which sug­gests to me that the coun­cil’s IT sys­tems are poor.

I use more than one de­vice. This is dam­ag­ing our democ­racy as peo­ple can­not con­trib­ute or ac­cess the ser­vices we are pay­ing for. Some peo­ple need shak­ing out of their com­pla­cency. They need to re­mem­ber that they are here to serve the pub­lic and get things done.

Some of the coun­cil’s web­sites and IT ser­vices are un­re­li­able. They are not fit for pur­pose.

How many peo­ple have tried to sub­mit com­ments but given up? You will never know! Not every­one will have the time or tenac­ity to con­tinue. Bris­tol City Coun­cil is meant to pro­vide a sim­ple ser­vice in the “dig­i­tal age” but parts of it are fail­ing mis­er­ably.

Ci­ti­zens de­serve bet­ter. I hope the mayor will look into this and sort things out. The city coun­cil is one of the worst parts of the lo­cal pub­lic sec­tor and needs to im­prove in key ar­eas.

Name and ad­dress sup­plied

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