The Lib Dems have promised to accelerate the modernisation process at St Albans District Council in order to make it more useful to local residents.
Lib Dem Group Leader Chris White said: ‘The council is still absolutely yoked to the idea of residents having to phone through problems and seems to forget that in this day and age the majority of residents would prefer to engage with routine issues on-line – leaving the phones free for those who do not have access to computers or who need a proper discussion.
‘Currently the council receives 2000 phone calls each working day. This is far too many and the whole organisation needs to be restructured to make it more friendly to residents and more cost efficient: it is crazily expensive if an issue like a missed bin is dealt with by phone or even by email.
‘By contrast, the area where people really do need to have conversations – planning – remains underresourced and underperforming. There is a constant stream of complaints about this department and resources need to be freed up from other areas to make sure it starts to deliver a proper service.’