How you can help us and our promise to you as South Somerset District Council’s ambitious transformation continues
You may be aware that South Somerset District Council is currently undergoing one of the most ambitious periods of change in its history.
Our Transformation Programme is all about putting our customers first and building the Council of the future - a modern and efficient council able to deliver better services and outcomes for South Somerset in the context of significantly less funding.
We have been redesigning the way we work to ensure we remain financially secure, protect the services that make South Somerset a great place to live, play and work, and deliver for our communities.
This includes creating a new customer hub at Petters Way in Yeovil which is opening soon, customer access points across the district so you can access many of our services at a location convenient to you, and personal online accounts through our website where residents and businesses can self-serve and get a much faster service.
Currently, we are introducing a number of new ways of working and we recognise that it is sometimes taking longer for us to respond to phonecalls and requests for support.
We know this can be frustrating and here’s a guide to how you can help us to help you and what action we will be taking.
How you can help us?
We have created a brand new website through which you can access many of services digitally and what we offer is expanding all the time.
If you’re online, please take the time to see if you can get the information or the service that you need from us here as reporting an issue doesn’t have to wait until our office phone lines are open. If we require any information from you, in a number of cases this can be done with a click of a button once you have signed up for an online account.
Every change has been made with you in mind; to save you time and allow you to contact us when it is most convenient for you.
Log on today at southsomerset.gov.uk and find out how much easier it can be to talk to us online. You can also use the Contact Us form on our website to be kept up to date on requests or applications that you have made.
If you do need to call, where possible try to contact us outside of our peak business hours – between 8.30am and 9am - and your wait time will be significantly reduced.
Please be patient – calls chasing the status of work and requests will increase the overall wait time. Be assured, we’re doing all we can to work through all the outstanding enquiries (which we are working through in date order, eg. oldest first).
Our promise to you
We pledge to do everything we can to reduce the time you are waiting for a phonecall to be answered or for a response to an enquiry.
New technology is being introduced regularly which should quickly see our services improve.
We are undertaking a large-scale training programme to enable our Customer Focussed Team to resolve more customer queries and requests at the first point of contact and many members of the team are also receiving training to support our most in-demand services.
We are also working hard to fill any vacant posts as well as looking at utilising temporary additional resources while the new technology is tested.
Cllr Tony Lock, portfolio holder for protecting core services said: “We are committed to creating a modern, effective, highly skilled council that is better able to deal with the needs of the 21st century.
“As this ambitious work continues, we acknowledge that it is sometimes taking longer than normal for us to respond to our residents and businesses. We pride ourselves on the high quality of service we provide for our communities and we want to give reassurances that we are doing all we can to address this short-term situation.
“In the meantime, please help us by using our website to complete a wide range of tasks or contact us. We understand that using our website won’t be first-choice for everyone. Our offices in Brympton Way in Yeovil, Wincanton and Crewkerne have become Customer Access Points, meaning anyone can visit them to access our online services. If you need help on your first visit, there is a phone line that is linked up directly to our dedicated support team.
“A member of this team will be on the end of every phone call to us. They are experts with the new website, so if you are struggling to find what you need or to complete a digital form, they will be more than happy to guide you through the process the first time round.
“But whenever your needs are more complex, you case will be passed to a specialist officer who can help you every step of the way.”