E-Government in Hammersmith

E-Government in Hammersmith

Overview

99% of all local councils in the UK have a website.

By 2005, council services are expected to be available electronically enabling people to pay their council tax or rent online, or report and monitor repairs in council homes.

In July 2001 average electronic availability of councils services stood at 29 per cent, estimates suggest this figure will rise to 45 per cent in March 2003, 73 per cent by March 2004, and 100 per cent by March 2005.

45 per cent of all communications between local councils and citizens are estimated to be electronic.

81 per cent of local councils have appointed an e-champion to take forward the e-government agenda, a further 10 per cent of councils indicate they will do the same in the future.

There are now an estimated 15.4 million home Internet users in the UK.


Locally

National targets for electronic service have been both brought forward and extended to local government. They are for 100% of all services to be capable of electronic transaction by 2005, and 25% by 2002. The definition of 'electronic delivery' covers (for example) a telephone call to a call centre supported by data management or CRM software, but not a fax or an ordinary phone call).

Over the next five years, borough residents will be adjusting to rapid changes in the national and local economy brought about by the speed of connectivity and low cost communications inherent in the Internet and new forms of broadband technology.

Part of the Council's e-strategy try to influence and steer these changes to the benefit of local people, in terms of access to jobs, education, and participation in society.

The risks of a new 'digital divide' and of new forms of 'electronic exclusion' are particularly relevant to a borough with the socio-economic characteristics of Hammersmith and Fulham. The extent of any 'divide' is also narrowing fast, as the costs of online access drop.

The Internet offers enormous opportunities for individuals, local organisations, interest groups, and partner agencies to become involved in exchanging information and 'virtual' dialogue on every aspect of local community life. This has major implications for the council's role in 'community governance', its approach to developing a community strategy, and the representative and constituency role carried out by councillors.

The strategy is designed to show how the authority intends to achieve the target of 100% e-enablement in 2005 and how this fits in the with overall Community Strategy objectives. In producing the statement the council were required to identify the level of electronic government that it had achieved at July 2001, which then stood at 49% well above the 25% target that for last year.