Wandsworth residents sign up for council services through Facebook

Wandsworth Council is planning to enable residents to sign up for its online services through their Facebook pages

Wandsworth Council is planning to let residents sign up to its online services through their Facebook pages.

David Tidey head of IT at Wandsworth council, said: “In the next two years we will allow people to sign on with Facebook and Google accounts. They will need to do further checks to confirm who they are, but it will be no different to how we do identity assurance now.”

“There are a number of providers already using a standard called open ID, who use Google, Facebook and AOL. But that’s not yet being done by local authorities,” Tidey told Computer Weekly at the IT Directors Forum.

He said these methods should help to make online transactions more seamless for people. “We don’t want to just give people another online identity as it may put them off,” he said.

“Our drive now is on channel shift and getting people to move from using face to face, phone, then web,” he said.

The council aims to improve its Socitm website rating from 3* to 4* in the next two years. “We are already putting parking permit renewals online and the take-up there has been immense.” The council is working to identify the top five resident transactions.

Socitm recently said that councils across the UK could save £500m with modest investment in their websites.

“We are trying to make the resident experience simpler, at the moment they have to register separately for things. We want them to be able to look at their council tax account, planning applications and parking permit under one account.”

The next part of the strategy will see an £80m investment over the next four years, and will concentrate on flexible working, shutting offices, and giving around 60 social workers laptops and Blackberries so they don’t have to come into the office. This will enable them to do one extra visit per day.

The council will also be hiring a web content creator for its website.

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