07 October 2010>
Residents across the Caerphilly county borough could soon access key council services in their local Post Office if radical new proposals are agreed by the authority.
Caerphilly county borough council this week sets out its first phase of plans to reduce expenditure and achieve savings of £2.1m from the Corporate Services directorate.
The initial report deals with half a million pounds of potential savings by rationalising the council's events, marketing and communications service, transferring cash office functions to Post Offices and reorganising Customer First activities across the county borough.
Cllr Colin Mann, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Resources and Sustainability said "Our payments process currently sees about 370,000 face to face transactions across eight sites within the county borough. This new proposal would involve the introduction of an electronic swipe card as a means of payment that allows transactions to be made at a significant number of locations, including all local Post Offices, petrol stations and shops. We think developing these links is the way forward and could save up to £139,000 per annum."
"The report also looks at the current Customer First provision across the county borough and reflects that, if the swipe card is taken forward, there will be less need for single site offices. Options will include using main libraries to deliver more customer services and the greater use of electronic access to council services. We estimate we can save nearly £250,000 over the next four years in this area."
Reducing the team which communicates with the residents also shows a possible saving of between £178,169 and £434,932 if the number of people delivering this service is reduced. This follows a cut made earlier this year in reducing the expenditure on the council's household newspaper 'Newsline' by nearly £50,000 through producing only six editions per year.
Cllr Lindsay Whittle, Leader of the Council said "All of these options are about taking our services closer to the people, and officers have put forward some exciting and innovating solutions. We know some staff may be displaced by these proposals but we will make every effort to deploy them in other parts of the authority as we are managing our vacancies very well."
The council's Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee were consulted on the proposals on Tuesday (5th October) before Cabinet takes a final decision in November. Staff and Trade Unions have also been consulted on these reports and asked to comment.
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