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Over 300,000 citizens in Wigan could benefit from a new partnership designed to revolutionise local services by transforming council performance, reducing costs and delivering effective and efficient services to the local community.

In an agreement worth £400,000 over four years, Northgate’s leading citizen-relationship management service will be introduced at Wigan council, as the authority seeks to build upon its ‘excellent’ CPA rating.

This innovative service will encourage the council to deliver continuous improvement in public services for local citizens and businesses including:

• resolving over 80% of customer queries at the first point of contact;
• equipping staff with the tools to provide proactive and citizen-centred service, allowing instant access to all the information they need to answer multiple service enquiries;
• understanding customer needs through continuously monitoring citizens’ requests, responses and satisfaction levels;
• providing increased opportunities for flexible working – such as home, mobile and remote working – and reducing the administrative burden on staff;
• and delivering efficiency savings across the council’s services.

These enhancements are taking place as part of a wider programme to change the way the council and its partners deliver public services. A Joint Service Centre (JSC) is under development which will enable a range of agencies including the council, the police, fire service and the voluntary sector to deliver citizen-centred services. It is envisaged the JSC will be completed and commence service early in 2011.

Peter Livesey, Assistant Director of Finance and IT at Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, said today:

“Wigan council is committed to delivering a sustainable programme of improvements based on our citizens’ needs. Northgate has a shared commitment in developing first-class public services that will radically improve customer service and benefit the people of Wigan for years to come. We are delighted to be working with them as we strive to deliver our vision of excellence.”

Joe Bradley, Managing Director of Local Government & Social Housing at Northgate Public Services, added:

“Northgate is proud to be working in partnership with Wigan council in order to deliver the best public services for the local community. It is imperative that public authorities meet the increasing needs and expectations of the public. They must also deliver sustainable services to all, including the most vulnerable citizens. We look forward to supporting the council in this innovative programme.”

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For more information:

Fellows’ Associates:
Naomi Stevenson 020 7849 3508; 07966 890403; nstevenson@fellowsassociates.com
Kuntal Biswas 020 7849 3347; 07930 566291; kbiswas@fellowsassociates.com


Notes to Editors:

1. Northgate Information Solutions is a leading provider of innovative services to the public sector and utilities markets. Northgate’s task is to enhance public value through the intelligent use of people and technology, and to share in the economic and social benefits that this brings.

2. In the UK, the company works with four out of five local authorities and every police force. Northgate supports public service transformation through sustainable performance partnerships. Its technology is used in the administration of more than £12 billion of revenues and benefits; in electoral administration systems covering 18 million people; to support the national system for reporting police performance; and in the management of over three million local authority and housing association properties worldwide. Founded in 1969, the company has over 6,000 employees.

3. ‘Front Office’ is Northgate’s leading citizen-relationship management system, helping public sector bodies to improve transactions with customers, track the progress of queries, and review performance and other management information. Northgate’s CRM systems now serve over 8 million citizens in England – one in seven of the population. Northgate will provide Wigan with full integration between ‘Front Office’ and a range of other council systems, including Northgate’s housing system.

4. Wigan’s Joint Service Centre will provide: an Information and Learning Zone with a library and One Stop Shop; a Healthy Living Zone incorporating a new pool and ‘dry’ leisure facilities together with health and social care services; and a Neighbourhood zone, bringing together the agencies involved in environmental and community protection including the Council, Police, Fire and Voluntary Sector.

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