Cornwall's smartcard delivers e-services to local residents

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Cornwall's smartcard delivers e-services to local residents

Karl Cushing
The Cornish Key project, a Java-based smartcard scheme for access to public services aimed at combating social exclusion in Cornwall, was officially launched last week.

Guy Ware, the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions' Pathfinder project manager for the South West, said the project had already been "a great success". He also raised hopes for further funding when he announced that the department would make a "significant tranche of money" available over the next few years.

Ware admitted that more brokering was needed between the public and private sectors on Pathfinder projects.

The Cornish Key card replaces existing cards in trial applications during the first phase of the project, including prepayment for school meals and electronic pupil registration; library services; car parking; and concessionary bus passes.

The second phase will include e-purse facilities, e-voting and health services.

The council hopes to involve 50,000 local people in the trial - roughly 10% of its population - although only 2,000 have so far come forward.

Earlier, Roy Cosway, the Cornish Key project manager for Cornwall County Council, said some suppliers involved had been inflexible and slow to deliver.

People who can prove residence in Cornwall can apply for a Cornish Key card online. They can check their smartcard's status at local council offices and libraries or buy their own card readers.

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