For a number of years Waterford City Council has been offering online services and information to the residents of the city. It has become active in social media and its Twitter account is by far the most popular method by which people communicate with the City Council.
Waterford City Council currently offers several payment facilities online – including rents, water rates for businesses, traffic fines and downloadable forms. There are also facilities to join the library, check out a book or even receive a text alert for burst water mains. However Waterford City Council is endeavouring to improve these services.
In order to ascertain what the public wants, the City Council is asking the public to tell them exactly what they would like to see available online.
Conan Power, Waterford City Council, explains “Our primary aim is to establish a focus group with members from the public, across as broad a range of City Council service users as possible. What we hope to gain from this exercise is an in-depth picture of how our online services are regarded, in order to enhance them, offer new services and concentrate on new areas.”
“We know that the best people to ask are the users themselves. Even those who do not use our online services are welcome, so we can find out how to help them connect with us. There are no limits to the focus group, however the conversation will pertain to online services.”
They are many areas the City Council wants to invigorate, for example, WaterfordLife is a portal for small businesses and clubs which is in design at the moment and will enable these enterprises to have their own free presence online, at the same time being part of a larger community portal with information across the board for people living in Waterford city.
Waterford City Council is also seeking opinions on its current documentation and online forms. Does the public want to submit forms online rather than on paper? Are there additional services the Council could provide? Can the Council relay information in a better way? Can it complement a service that’s there at the moment with something more interactive or useful?
Mr. Power added “Other Councils offer a broad range of services but we want to really make our information a service in itself. The ultimate goal is that the focus group will help us to look at providing any service people want that is appropriate online. It all might not be possible immediately but it will help us formulate an informed plan that can be implemented over time.”
Waterford City Council doesn’t have specifics in terms of what is needed to change– that’s for the public to decide via this focus group.
If you want to get involved and participate in this focus group simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Conan Power at the Waterford City Council offices on 051-849746.