Chorley saves £800,000 through smarter IT

Chorley Borough Council has saved £800,000 through IT as part of a three-year council transformation.

Chorley Borough Council has saved £800,000 through IT as part of a three-year council transformation.

The council has split into three departments, based on three groups of customers: business, neighbourhoods and individuals. The restructure started two years ago and will finish this year.

Murphy said the council has saved the £800,000 as a result of new or extended technologies. He said, "IT has been central to facilitating the structural change. Information management is obviously critical during a restructure. When people are moving around they need information to be available."

The council has moved management of council committees online, as well as expenses, council procurement, flexi-time, and planning documents. This has improved accessibility, and reduced administrative overheads and postage and paper costs.

The IT department has overseen the implementation of a new contact centre and CRM system, into which frontline services such as revenue and benefits and environmental services are being integrated. Murphy said the council is using a variety of integration methods, such as adaptors and an NDL integration product, carrying out business cases to see which method is most appropriate for each system.

Chorley is also about to roll out thin client desktop technology, to about 350 of the council's 400 users. Next year, it will also reduce its 37 servers with a virtualisation project.

Murphy said the council is looking to extend its use of geographical information systems (GIS) - switching to maps instead of character based systems. Residents can currently change their address using GIS online, and the council want to extend this service to, for example, enabling people to report an abandoned vehicle by pinpointing its whereabouts on a map.

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